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Displaying: 21-26 of 26 documents


section: philosophy of mind and cognitive science
21. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 6
Steffen Borge A Modal Defence of Strong AI
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John Searle has argued that the aim of strong AI to create a thinking computer is misguided. Searle's "Chinese Room Argument" purports to show that syntax does not suffice for semantics and that computer programs as such must fail to have intrinsic intentionality But we are not mainly interested in the program itself, but rather the implementation of the program in some material. It does not follow by necessity from the fact that computer programs are defined syntactically that the implementation of them cannot suffice for semantics. Perhaps our world is a world in which any implementation of the right computer program will create a system with intrinsic intentionality, in which case Searle's "Chinese Room Scenario" is empirically (nomically) impossible. But perhaps our world is a world in which Searle's "Chinese Room Scenario" is empirically (nomically) possible, and the silicon basis of modern-day computers is one kind of material unsuited to give you intrinsic intentionality. The metaphysical question turns out to be a question of what kind of world we are in, and I argue that in this respect we do not know our model address. The "Model Address Argument" does not ensure that strong AI will succeed, but it shows that Searle's challenge to the research program of strong AI fails in its objectives.
22. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 6
Derek J. Ettinger The Argument from 'Surprise!': Davidson on Rational Animals
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Can non-human animals think, or arc they mindless automatons? The question is an ancient one, but as we enter the new millennium its answer is of increasing importance to both ethics and the philosophy of mind. Donald Davidson is perhaps the best known contemporary proponent of the claim that animals cannot think. His argument is characteristically systematic and far-reaching. He claims that the capacity for surprise is a necessary condition for thought, and that such a capacity presupposes complex attitudes involving sophisticated concepts and higher-order beliefs. He argues that only creatures with a fully developed language could reasonably be said to be capable of such attitudes, and as such, he concludes that humans are the only animals that can think. I argue against Davidson along both positive and negative dimensions. First, I develop a simple argument (similar in structure to Davidson's) designed to show that we have good reason to believe that even with several important Davidsonian assumptions in place, animals can think. Second, I argue that Davidson has failed to provide plausible support for his assumption that the capacity to be surprised (as he defines it) is anything other than a sufficient condition for thought. Finally, I suggest that we distinguish between thought and rationality in the hopes of better capturing the wide diversity of mental landscapes.
23. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 6
Costas Pagondiotis, Spyros Petrounakos The Sense of Agency and the Naturalization of the Mental
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In this paper we examine whether the sense of agency represents an obstacle to the project of naturalizing the mental. On the basis of a thought experiment we suggest that the sense of agency is not an epiphenomenon. We also examine Frith's attempt to explain in functionalist terms the sense of agency through the comparator and metarepresentational mechanisms. Through a variety of arguments we try to show that explanation by recourse to these mechanisms is inadequate. We conclude by suggesting that one possible reason for the failure of the functionalist approaches is that they begin from the assumption that thought is a form a of willed action.
24. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 6
Terence Sullivan The Mind Ain't Just in the Head-Defending and Extending the Extended Mind
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Andy Clark and David Chalmers have recently argued that the world beyond our skin can constitute part of the mind. That is, our minds can and sometimes do extend beyond our heads and bodies. Clark and Chalmers refer to this claim as the 'Extended Mind'. After illustrating the Extended Mind via a thought-experiment I turn to consider a criticism made by Lawrence Shapiro. After outlining Shapiro's claim I will show that in fact this does little to call into to doubt the Extended Mind. However, Clark holds that the Extended Mind does face a serious criticism from the threat of 'Mental Bloat'; the worry here is that arguing that the mind extends beyond the skin quickly leads to absurdities. I consider Clark's response to this worry but find it to be unconvincing. However, I go on to show that there is in fact little to fear from Mental Bloat. Therefore, it will be my conclusion that there is some reason to hold that the mind ain't just in the head.
contributors
25. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 6
Contributors
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index
26. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 6
Name Index
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