Special Issue "Death and Robots: Updating Techno-Death Debates"

A special issue of Philosophies (ISSN 2409-9287).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2023 | Viewed by 387

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Alger Sans Pinillos
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Humanities, Philosophy Section and Computational Philosophy Laboratory, University of Pavia, 27100 Pavia, Italy
Interests: abductive reasoning; cognitive science; philosophy of science; technology and human values; facts/values imbrication; philosophy of medicine; irradiation of cultural values
Prof. Dr. Jordi Vallverdú
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Philosophy Department, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra (BCN), Spain
Interests: robot emotions; affective computing; computational cognitive science; human-robot interaction; philosophy of technology; Bayesian probability; blended cognition
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Vicent Costa
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Artificial Intelligence Research Institute (IIIA-CSIC), 08193 Bellaterra (BCN), Spain
2. Department of Philosophy, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra (BCN), Spain
3. Institut d’Història de la Ciència, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra (BCN), Spain
Interests: artificial intelligence; sex robots; ethical and cultural aspects of artificial intelligence; fuzzy logic

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We invite you to participate in the special issue of Philosophies, Death and Robotics: Updating Techno-Death Debates.

The relationship between robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), and death is an urgent topic to study, raising complex and fundamental issues/questions/problems in philosophy. The fact that we humans live in terms of coexistence with machines with a certain degree of autonomy places us in reality much more shocking than science fiction stories, utopian/dystopian prophecies of possible and worthy futures, and even forecasts based on current data, known as Present. Indeed, living beings' lives are intertwined with that of artificial beings, and humans depend on these artifacts and devices to survive, just as they need us to exist.

The scope of the special issue is related to the relationship between death, robotics, and AI from three general focuses.

Self-motivation. The technological boom in which we find ourselves implies that there is a technology capable of autonomous killing. Whether for war purposes or euthanasia, AIs are often programmed to take life. This circumstance opens up many interesting debates about the reality of autonomy and the morality behind designing machines capable of killing under pre-established protocols.

Interaction between humans and robots. Humans no longer only interact with each other but also with technology with a certain degree of intelligence. That is a step beyond the simple use of artifacts and tools, which has implied the creation of new ways of communicating and relating. Likewise, the appearance of these technologies generated new interaction forms, including those laid out by the ongoing sex robots industry, which opens the way to a possible integration of AI into the cosmovision of human beings without implying the classic equation of robot to the human being.

The concept of death under the new social and cultural spectrum. Understanding death and life require considering the social and cultural spectrum where they occur and are signified. In particular, the way a machine exists is determined by the role it plays in the community, which will imply to a large extent what it means to the rest of its members. Furthermore, death is usually associated with the inevitability of the condition of living. However, the possibility of having technology that can last forever (for example, by replicating itself) shows the need to start thinking about the being/existence of AI. All things considered, it is relevant to analyze in which terms death can be applied to this sort of machine, which implies a revision of the concept of death under the spectrum of new entities capable of interacting and learning that seems to be able to be eternal and, at the same time, possess the capacity to cease the life of other living beings.

In this Special Issue, only original research articles are welcome. Research areas may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Killer robots
  • Human-machine interaction/Human-Robot Interaction
  • Death and life in IA
  • Socio-cultural revision of Death
  • Deadbots
  • Automated euthanasia
  • Sex robots
  • Virtual Death
  • Robot cemeteries
  • Religion, death, and robots
  • Augmented reality and palliative care
  • Apoptotic Robotics
  • Apocalyptic views on robots and death.
  • Dystopias
  • Medical robots
  • Automation and mortality
  • Robot death and human grief
  • Robotic surgery
  • Living and conscious Ai/robotics
  • Robot warriors and the transfiguration of death
  • Psychology of robotic death
  • Robots as priests of death ceremonies
  • Ethorobotics
  • Death as AI/robotics mistake
  • Legal aspects of robotic death
  • Robotics and entropy

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Alger Sans Pinillos
Prof. Dr. Jordi Vallverdú
Dr. Vicent Costa
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Philosophies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • death and robotics
  • AI
  • interaction
  • self-motivation
  • sex robots
  • socio-cultural cosmovision

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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