A fictional dualism model of social robots

Paula Sweeney* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

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4 Citations (Scopus)
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In this paper I propose a Fictional Dualism model of social robots. The model helps us to understand the human emotional reaction to social robots and also acts as a guide for us in determining the significance of that emotional reaction, enabling us to better define the moral and legislative rights of social robots within our society. I propose a distinctive position that allows us to accept that robots are tools, that our emotional reaction to them can be important to their usefulness, and that this emotional reaction is not a direct indicator that robots deserve either moral consideration or rights. The positive framework of Fictional Dualism provides us with an understanding of what social robots are and with a plausible basis for our relationships with them as we bring them further into society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-472
Number of pages8
JournalEthics and Information Technology
Issue number3
Early online date8 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


  • Social robots
  • Fictional dualism model
  • Empathy for social robots
  • Rights for social robots
  • Social robots and society
  • Social robots and fiction


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