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Dr. Leonard Kahn presents paper at two national conferences

Dr. Leonard Kahn, assistant professor of Philosophy, presented a paper titled "Robophobia: Military Robots and the Ethics of Armed Conflict" the annual conference of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics (APPE) in Reston, Virginia on February 19, 2016 and at the conference for the Humanities and Education Research Association (HERA) in New Orleans, LA on March 25, 2016.

In his paper, Kahn develops a position he calls “robophobia.” This is a conjunction of the following three claims: Claim A: The increased use of military robots will lead to more armed conflict in the world. Claim B: The increased amount of armed conflict that comes about as a result of the intensified use of military robots will, all things considered, be morally bad Claim C: We should, therefore, enforce ethical norms that limit the use of military robots. Kahn's paper argues for Claims A and B, respectively, while also considering possible objections to each.  In the final section of his paper, Kahn turns to Claim C and to the question of how we should enforce ethical norms that will restrict the use of military robots. Kahn considers several possibilities: a straightforward prohibition on the use of military robots, an agreement between nation-states not to develop military robots beyond certain levels, and a tax on military robots. Kahn notes the merits and difficulties of implementing each possible solution, ultimately maintaining that it is imperative we find a solution or else face living in a world where war is even more common.