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Distributed morality in multiagent systems

Luciano Floridi

The phenomenon of distributed knowledge is well-known in epistemic logic. In this paper, a similar phenomenon in ethics, largely neglected so far, is investigated, namely distributed morality in multiagent systems (MAS) The paper is divided into three parts: the logic, the genesis and the implications of distributed morality. More specifically:

a) the first part explains the nature of distributed morality, as a feature of moral agency. Here the central topic is the logic of distributed morality;

b) the second part investigates the problem of how distributed morality can arise in multiagent systems comprising also non-human (artificial or hybrid) individual agents. Here the central topic is MAS; and

c) the third and concluding part explores the implications of the occurrence of distributed morality in our information-based society.

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