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date: 01 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The debate about “killer robots” is rarely out of the news. Autonomous Weapons Systems may soon replace drones. Drone strikes, however, are also likely to increase in number. For the International Relations community the main debate is an ethical one: is the direction in which we are taking war likely to increase or decrease our moral competence to wage it? This chapter argues that we are not best placed to ask these questions, because we have an incomplete understanding of the extent to which our humanity is changing and what it means to be human. The latest contribution towards self-understanding made by Actor Network Theory (ANT), machine ethics, and socio-biology suggest we need to urgently reframe the questions we are asking.

Keywords: drones, robots, autonomous. just war, actor network theory, emergence

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