David Parker November 17, 2008 Phil 101 Minds, Brains, and Machines The cognitive aspect of the mind Has to do with thought, knowledge, memory If a creature knows how many apples are in the bowl, or if they remember directions, those are cognitive aspects of that creature?s mind The affective aspect of the mind Concerns emotions and moods Anger, sadness, happiness, contempt are all emotions in the affective If I am in an anxious mood, that is part of the affective dimension of my mind Emotions usually have something they are about (what Bob is angry about, what Susan is hopeful about) Moods can be more generic The experiential aspect of the mind Has to with the sense and consciousness- how things feel, sound, taste You are holding an orange and you notice its texture, weight, color, and possibly taste. Aspects of character traits may not be subject to a dimension of the mind Mind as a set of dispositions For Ryle, a mind is nothing but a huge collection of dispositions to behavior of various kinds, such as Forgetful, a defensive chess player, dry sense of humor, rotten speller, crafty arguer, good listener, affectionate If you know enough of these ?dispositional? features of a person, there is no further question to be asked about what his mind is like. (to ask that question would be to commit a category mistake) Deeper into dispositions Salt has the dispositional property it does by virtue of its underlying crystalline structure Glass is brittle (another dispositional property) by virtue of its internal structure So too, David Armstrong urges, my being angry might involve a disposition to behave in certain ways, but if it is that is due to some state occurring with me Armstrong: Ryle and other behaviorists are only partly right: ?When I think, but my thoughts do not issue in any action, it seems as obvious as anything is obvious that there is something actually going on in me which constitutes my thought. It is not simply that I would speak or act if some conditions that are unfulfilled were to be fulfilled.? Thinking, emotion, are logically tied to behavior Yet these things cannot be defined just in terms of dispositions to behavior A mental state, for Armstrong, is a cause within a person of certain ranges of behavior, and is what is responsible for their ?multi-track dispositions? It then becomes a scientific question, not a question of logical analysis, what the intrinsic nature of the cause is. Perhaps it is a state of the central nervous system Armstrong?s hypothesis ??we can give a complete account of man in purely physico-chemical terms.? (314) ?the verdict of modern science seems to be that the sole cause of mind-betokening behavior in man and higher animals is the physico-chemical workings of the Central Nervous System.? (317) Chauvinism? ?What gender you are makes a difference for how much of a mind you have?? Armstrong seems to have a strong point against Ryle But now Armstrong seems to be claiming that thinking is a process within the CNS If one claims that thinking, emoting, experiencing, are brain (or at least CNS) processes, it seems to follow that the only way of having a mind is to be made, at least roughly, out of the same sort of stuff that Homo sapiens are made of But then while this might allow chimpanzees and dolphins the possibility of minds, it seems to rule out in principle the possibility that a machine could have one Could a machine think? Alan M. Turing (1912-1954) Instrumental in cracking the code used by the Nazis in World War II Laid some crucial foundations for modern computer science Conjecture that it is in principle possible that a computer could be made to think The Turing Test You are to imagine that you are an interrogator You are asking questions to two things behind windows (you can?t see them). Behind one is a human, behind the other is a machine. If you try this experiment, and you can?t tell which is the computer and which is the person, then the computer that passes that test can be considered to have a mind Turing?s proposal: If a machine can pass Turing?s criterion, namely fool the interrogator in such a way that she cannot tell which is the machine and which is the person, then, Turing proposes, that machine has as good a claim as anyone else to the title, Thinking Thing. Objections to Turing?s Test ?this is beyond current technology? ?All the machine?s ?intelligence? was put there by a programmer.? ?But the machine couldn?t be spontaneous, serendipitous, or kooky.? ?the machine couldn?t feel emotion.? ?the machine couldn?t feel emotion.? ?the machine couldn?t learn.? ?the machine is not conscious.?
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