Bio-Agency and the Possibility of Artificial Agents
Meincke (Anne Sophie)
Source: Forthcoming in: Philosophy of Science - Between the Natural Sciences, the Social Sciences, and the Humanities. ed. by G. Schurz. Dordrecht: Springer
Paper - Abstract

Paper StatisticsNotes Citing this PaperColour-ConventionsDisclaimer

Author’s Abstract

  1. Within the philosophy of biology, recently promising steps have been made towards a biologically grounded concept of agency. Agency is described as bio-agency: the intrinsically normative adaptive behaviour of human and non-human organisms, arising from their biological autonomy.
  2. My paper assesses the bio-agency approach by examining criticism recently directed by its proponents against the project of embodied robotics. Defenders of the bio-agency approach have claimed that embodied robots do not, and for fundamental reasons cannot, qualify as artificial agents because they do not fully realise biological autonomy. More particularly, it has been claimed that embodied robots fail to be agents because agency essentially requires metabolism.
  3. I shall argue that this criticism, while being valuable in bringing to the fore important differences between bio-agents and existing embodied robots, nevertheless is too strong. It relies on inferences from agency-as-we-know-it to agency-as-it-could-be which are justified neither empirically nor conceptually.


Retrieved from, 6 October 2020

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

© Theo Todman, June 2007 - Oct 2020. Please address any comments on this page to File output:
Website Maintenance Dashboard
Return to Top of this Page Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page Return to Theo Todman's Home Page