Beyond persons: Extending the personal/subpersonal distinction to non-rational animals and artificial agents
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Biology and Philosophy 23 (1):87-100 (2008)
The distinction between personal level explanations and subpersonal ones has been subject to much debate in philosophy. We understand it as one between explanations that focus on an agent’s interaction with its environment, and explanations that focus on the physical or computational enabling conditions of such an interaction. The distinction, understood this way, is necessary for a complete account of any agent, rational or not, biological or artificial. In particular, we review some recent research in Artificial Life that pretends to do completely without the distinction, while using agent-centred concepts all the way. It is argued that the rejection of agent level explanations in favour of mechanistic ones is due to an unmotivated need to choose among representationalism and eliminativism. The dilemma is a false one if the possibility of a radical form of externalism is considered
|Keywords||Philosophy Evolutionary Biology Philosophy of Biology|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Gilbert Ryle (1949/2002). The Concept of Mind. Hutchinson and Co.
James J. Gibson (1979). The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception. Houghton Mifflin.
David Marr (1982). Vision. Freeman.
Valentino Braitenberg (1986). Vehicles: Experiments in Synthetic Psychology. Philosophical Review 95 (1):137-139.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Mariarosaria Taddeo (2010). Modelling Trust in Artificial Agents, A First Step Toward the Analysis of E-Trust. Minds and Machines 20 (2):243-257.
Toni Rønnow-Rasmussen (2009). Normative Reasons and the Agent-Neutral/Relative Dichotomy. Philosophia 37 (2):227-243.
Nicola Lacey & M. Lee (2003). The Epistemological Foundations of Artificial Agents. Minds and Machines 13 (3):339-365.
Matthew Elton (2000). Consciousness: Only at the Personal Level. Philosophical Explorations 3 (1):25-42.
Sebastian Gardner (2000). Psychoanalysis and the Personal/Sub-Personal Distinction. Philosophical Explorations 3 (1):96-119.
S. Grodzinsky Frances, W. Miller Keith & J. Wolf Marty (forthcoming). The Ethics of Designing Artificial Agents. Ethics and Information Technology.
Frances S. Grodzinsky, Keith W. Miller & Marty J. Wolf (2008). The Ethics of Designing Artificial Agents. Ethics and Information Technology 10 (2-3):115-121.
Martin Davies (2000). Persons and Their Underpinnings. Philosophical Explorations 3 (1):43-62.
Martin Davies (2000). Interaction Without Reduction: The Relationship Between Personal and Subpersonal Levels of Description. Mind and Society 1 (2):87-105.
Susan L. Hurley (1998). Vehicles, Contents, Conceptual Structure and Externalism. Analysis 58 (1):1-6.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads230 ( #10,565 of 1,792,850 )
Recent downloads (6 months)79 ( #7,186 of 1,792,850 )
How can I increase my downloads?