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Why unreal punishments in response to unreal crimes might actually be a really good thing
Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2009 (English)In: Ethics and Information Technology, ISSN 1388-1957, E-ISSN 1572-8439, Vol. 11, no 1, 71-79 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article I explore ways to argue about punishment of personal representations in virtual reality. I will defend the idea that such punishing might sometimes be morally required. I offer four different lines of argument: one consequentialistic, one appealing to an idea of appropriateness, one using the notion of organic wholes, and one starting from a supposed inability to determine the limits of the extension of the moral agent. I conclude that all four approaches could, in some cases, justify punishing a virtual reality representation; an avatar. As a consequence of my conclusion, I suggest that our institutionalized criminal justice system must be broadened in scope and punitive measures, in order to cover the new and difficult cases arising in virtual reality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Netherlands, 2009. Vol. 11, no 1, 71-79 p.
Keyword [en]
Avatars; Ethics in virtual reality; Extended agents; Punishment; Retributive justice; Virtual reality
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-18838DOI: 10.1007/s10676-009-9182-1OAI: diva2:221888
Available from: 2009-06-05 Created: 2009-06-05 Last updated: 2014-08-06Bibliographically approved

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Johansson Agnafors, Marcus
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