Toward an Ontology of Simulated Social Interaction: Varieties of the 'As-If' for Robots and Humans

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingBook chapter



The paper develops a general conceptual framework for the ontological
classification of human-robot interaction. After arguing against fictionalist interpretations
of human-robot interactions, I present five notions of simulation or
partial realization, formally defined in terms of relationships between process systems
(approximating, displaying, mimicking, imitating, and replicating). Since each
of the n criterial processes for a type of two-agent interaction Á can be realized
in at least six modes (full realization plus five modes of simulation), we receive
a (6n n)(6n n) matrix of symmetric and asymmetric modes of realizing Á,
called the ‘simulatory expansion’ of interaction type Á. Simulatory expansions of
social interactions can be used to map out different kinds and degrees of sociality in
human-human and human-robot interaction, relative to current notions of sociality
in philosophy, anthropology, and linguistics. The classificatory framework developed
(SISI) thus represents the field of possible simulated social interactions. SISI
can be used to clarify which conceptual and empirical grounds we can draw on to
evaluate capacities and affordances of robots for social interaction and it provides
the conceptual means to build up a taxonomy of human-robot interaction.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSociality and Normativity for Robots : Philosophical Inquiries into Human-Robot Interactions
EditorsRaul Hakli, Johanna Seibt
Number of pages29
Place of publicationNew York
PublisherSpringer Publishing Company
Publication year31 Jul 2017
ISBN (print)9783319531311, 331953131X
ISBN (Electronic)9783319531335
StatePublished - 31 Jul 2017
SeriesStudies in the Philosophy of Sociality

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