The Star Wars character C3PO is so convincingly depicted that we may have to remind ourselves that there was no real robot behind the elegant mannequin. The passage of time has not remedied this deficiency; nor, alas, have I a blueprint to offer. I do believe, however, that it will repay us to identify some attributes a robot would need in order to count as humanoid. By clearly distinguishing among such features, and considering what our attitudes toward such a device might be, we can enrich our understanding of what it is to be human.
Continue reading Challenges for a Humanoid Robot
Self-insight is often considered one of the most distinctive aspects of human experience. While other species can recognize themselves in the mirror or have a rudimentary sense of self, the human capacity for self-insight and self-reflection is what makes our species unique. However, this capacity has many, often hilarious, limits. We all have some version
Continue reading Bright Spots and Blind Spots in Self-Knowledge
Does evolution explain our behaviour? The short answer is: No. And you may well concur with that answer but ‘out there’ there is an increasing constituency of thinkers claiming quite otherwise. Along with the claims that the brain explains the mind and activity in one bit of brain or another corresponds to love, joy, conscience,
Continue reading Does Evolution Explain Our Behaviour?