Re: Sentience

From: David Cake (
Date: Wed Jun 02 2004 - 11:18:40 MDT

>>According to my own philosophy of mind, I think any system that is
>>"sentient" in sense 1 is almost surely going to be sentient in senses 2
>>and 2'.
>A *philosophy* of mind? Of what conceivable use is a *philosophy*
>of mind? Do electrical engineers have a philosophy of electricity?
>They may have philosophies *about* electricity, its beauty perhaps,
>but not philosophies *of* electricity, for they know of what they
>speak, and therefore they have no reason to make stuff up at random
>like they are Greek philosophers.

        Without a good philosophy of science, you will have bad science.
        And an absence of a good philosophy of mind usually means
poor cognitive science.
        Philosophy does not have to be metaphysics.
        Are electricity and mind are equally well defined
scientifically? Sure, the idea of a philosophy of mind will seem odd
once we can actually build GAI routinely. However, we can't - until
then, dismissing philosophy is premature. Philosophy can give us
guidance for methodology on how to deal with areas that are currently
poorly scientifically defined. Mind is still definitely such an area.

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