Book Review: Can a Robot be Human?

Can a Robot be Human book cover

Can a robot be human? If it looks like a human and reacts like a human, does it matter that it does not “feel” emotions like a human? This is one of 33 philosophical questions posed in the book of the same name by Peter Cave, which I picked up recently.

The book contains witty and clear descriptions of 33 philosophical problems, including variations on the classic “Is it ever right to sacrifice the few for the sake of the many?” and “Can a murderer be innocent?”. Each section first sets up the background, poses the question, and then attempts to “answer” it by examining different points of views and highlighting important considerations.

Despite its title, the robot question is really the only one directly relevant to ITGS teachers and students. However, the questions all raise important issues and I could see it being very useful for TOK teachers and students as well as general wider reading.

Can a Robot be Human? is available from Amazon (paperback or Kindle), and from Book Depository, who have free worldwide shipping.

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