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Lecture 6

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Department
Philosophy
Course
PP111
Professor
Dwayne Moore
Semester
Fall

Description
 Functionalism and Artificial Intelligence  Functionalism defines mental states in terms of the job they do, or the role they play, in the system of the mind  Imagine a machine that does all the same jobs that we do (i.e., a machine that passes the Turing Test)  The machine is functionally equivalent to humans, and since mental states are defined in terms of their functions, we can conclude the machine has mental states o Functionalism endorses Strong AI  Are humans complex info processors like computers are? Are computers capable of thinking like humans are? o Functionalists answers "yes" to both since they're functionally equivalent  Problems With Functionalism - Consciousness o Strong AI faced the Chinese Room Objection (the computer behaves like a human, but lacks understanding, so it's not thinking) o Functionalism now faces the problem of Consciousness (a mental state is not only defined by the behaviour it produces….) o If "pain" is defined in terms of what cause it, and what it cause, then we are leaving out the raw feel of pain  "If you are tempted to functionalism, I believe you do not need refutation, you need help." - John Searle, 1992  Summary o Strong AI defines thinking in terms of imitating/behaving like humans o Strong AI faces the Chinese Room problem - a computer can behave like a human without understanding o Functionalism defines mental states in terms of its role (causes/effects) in the system of the mind. This role then has a physical realizer, so the role is multiply realizable o The Consciousness Objection suggests that if mental states are defined in terms of their causes/effects, then this leaves out the important experiential element of mental states  Freewill and Determinism  Varieties of determinism o Theological determinism  God is all powerful, so God has absolute power over all human actions, so you do not freely choose to act o Biological Determinism  Your genetic makeup, your instincts and environmental stimuli completely determine how you act and who you are, so you do not freely choose who you are. You are born a certain way.  Ex: birds can fly, but we cannot; you were born with a genetic predisposition to be lazy, smart, susceptible to addictions, musical, etc… o Cultural Determinism  Sociological factors, such as public institutions, family values, and peer-influence completely determine how you act and who you are, so you don't freely choose who you are, rather you are socially constructed.  Ex: (non)religious upbringing determines your beliefs on religion, socio- economic class determines your level of success o Psychological Determinism  Unconscious and/or uncontrollable psychological factors completely determine how you act and who you are, so you don't freely choose who you are  Ex: PTSD, suppressed memories, you must do what you think is best o Microphysical Causal Determinism  Every event, including every human action, is completely determined by prior microphysical causal processes, combined with the laws of physics, neither of which we have control over, so we don't act freely  Microphysical causal determinism o Physical causal closure -- every event has a sufficient physical cause o The nomological character of causality -- events related by cause and effect are subsumed under strict laws of nature o "We ought to regard the present state….as well as the lightest atoms in the world." - Laplace  Freewill o Freewill is supported by common sense -- we appear to be free, we think alternative possibilities stand before us, and we can choose either o Freewill Is supported by ethical considerations as well; recall the ethical grounding argument for mental causation says that an "ought implies a can", so in order to be morally responsible the agent must be able to act  Problem: a "can" may not be enough for moral responsibility  Rockslide "can" kill the hiker, but it's still not morally responsible if it does because it was not in control of itself, it "just happened"  The human "can" and "cannot" kill the hiker, so he is morally responsible if he does, because he's in control of himself, it did not "just happen"  "Almost all philosophers agree that a necessary condition for holding an agent
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