Two Problems of Moral Luck for Brain-Computer Interfaces

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Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are devices primarily intended to allow agents to use prosthetic body parts, wheelchairs, and other mechanisms by forming intentions or performing certain mental actions. In this paper I illustrate how the use of BCIs leads to two unique and unrecognized problems of moral luck. In short, it seems that agents who depend upon BCIs for bodily movement or the use of other mechanisms (henceforth “BCI-agents”) may end up deserving of blame and legal punishment more so than standard counterparts simply due to factors beyond their control. My aim is to explore whether we can avoid the implication that BCI-agents are subject to these unique sources of moral luck. In doing so I offer a number of possible solutions and then defend one of these solutions as the best. As it turns out, the solution I defend addresses both problems of moral luck at once and has broader implications for theorizing about moral luck as well as the epistemic condition on moral responsibility.
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Archival date: 2021-09-08
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