I've been thinking a lot lately about the "determinism makes us robots" assumption that seems more or less pervasive in the popular literature on free will and moral responsibility. It popus up especially in popular articles about the impact of neuroscientific work on free will. The idea seems to be that the truth of determinism would preclude reasoned judgment, which appears to be at least a significant requirement for free and responsible action. But the robot metaphor carries with it the image of self-alienation, as if determinism would have us carrying on mechanistically in spite of some deper free self.
There was an interesting exchange about this on The Garden of Forking Paths recently over an article of Dana's. And since then contributors have been linking to (mostly popular) articles that make this assumption or seem to take it as a serious position that needs to be dispatched.
All this strikes me as interesting both sociologically and philosophically. There's ample evidence to show that lots of people think this way about determinism. What makes, not just incompatibilism, but this particular interpretation of its consequences, so attractive to undergraduates and science journalists? Is compatibilism really that unintuitive? And so what if it is? Eddy Nahmias and Joshua Knobe have pushed this for some purpose that is a bit opaque to me.
Anyhow, thoughts on the determinism to robots move, either anecdotal or otherwise?