Dignity and Dissent in Humans and Non-humans


*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Is there a difference between human beings and those based on artificial intelligence (AI) that would affect their ability to be subjects of (human-like) dignity? This paper first examines the philosophical notion of (human) dignity as Immanuel Kant derives it from the moral autonomy of the individual. It then asks whether animals and AI systems can claim Kantian dignity or whether there is a sharp divide between human beings, animals and AI systems regarding their ability to be subjects of dignity. How this question is answered depends crucially on one’s understanding of what constitutes human dignity and autonomy, and what requirements one places upon systems in order for them to be seen as morally autonomous.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2497-2510
Number of pages14
JournalScience and Engineering Ethics
Issue number5
Early online date29 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • Autonomy
  • Cyborgs
  • Extended mind
  • Human dignity
  • Kant
  • Robots


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