Androids: Artificial persons or glorified toasters?

Joe Slater

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter explores if androids like Ash in Alien have rights. Philosophers have tried to answer this type of question in several ways. The chapter looks at a few of these different ways, thinking about some cases that might be surprisingly difficult to explain, like why babies matter, whether animals have moral status, and what we should think about synthetics in this regard. Australian philosopher, Peter Singer argues that it is speciesist to treat human beings as the only things worthy of moral status. He thinks speciesism, like racism and sexism, is morally abhorrent. Animals, aliens, or androids might be in the class of things having moral status. Autonomy is one trait some philosophers, have thought is a good candidate for conferring moral status. One reason people might think of autonomy as the supreme notion of moral status is the role it plays in fixing the meaning of other moral ideas.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAlien and Philosophy
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781119280873
ISBN (Print)9781119280811
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Alien
  • Androids
  • Artificial persons
  • Autonomy
  • Human life
  • Moral ideas
  • Moral status
  • Philosopher
  • Speciesism


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