David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Avant 2 (2):45–69 (2011)
What we have learnt in the last six or seven decades about virtual machinery, as a result of a great deal of science and technology, enables us to offer Darwin a new defence against critics who argued that only physical form, not mental capabilities and consciousness could be products of evolution by natural selection. The defence compares the mental phenomena mentioned by Darwin’s opponents with contents of virtual machinery in computing systems. Objects, states, events, and processes in virtual machinery which we have only recently learnt how to design and build, and could not even have been thought about in Darwin’s time, can interact with the physical machinery in which they are implemented, without being identical with their physical implementation, nor mere aggregates of physical structures and processes. The existence of various kinds of virtual machinery (including both “platform” virtual machines that can host other virtual machines, e.g. operating systems, and “application” virtual machines, e.g. spelling checkers, and computer games) depends on complex webs of causal connections involving hardware and software structures, events and processes, where the specification of such causal webs requires concepts that cannot be defined in terms of concepts of the physical sciences. That indefinability, plus the possibility of various kinds of self-monitoring within virtual machinery, seems to explain some of the allegedly mysterious and irreducible features of consciousness that motivated Darwin’s critics and also more recent philosophers criticising AI. There are consequences for philosophy, psychology, neuroscience and robotics
|Keywords||Universal Turing machine Mind Evolution|
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
John L. Pollock (2008). What Am I? Virtual Machines and the Mind/Body Problem. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (2):237–309.
Stevan Harnad (1992). Virtual Symposium on Virtual Mind. Minds and Machines 2 (3):217-238.
Patrick Hayes, Stevan Harnad, Donald R. Perlis & Ned Block (1992). Virtual Symposium on Virtual Mind. Minds and Machines 2 (3):217-238.
Aaron Sloman & Ronald L. Chrisley (2003). Virtual Machines and Consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies 10 (4-5):133-172.
Marcin Miłkowski (2009). Is Evolution Algorithmic? Minds and Machines 19 (4):465-475.
Philip Brey (2005). The Epistemology and Ontology of Human-Computer Interaction. Minds and Machines 15 (3-4):383-398.
D. King (1996). Is the Human Mind a Turing Machine? Synthese 108 (3):379-89.
C. F. Boyle (1994). Computation as an Intrinsic Property. Minds and Machines 4 (4):451-67.
Edwin J. Beggs, José Félix Costa & John V. Tucker (2010). Physical Oracles: The Turing Machine and the Wheatstone Bridge. Studia Logica 95 (1/2):279 - 300.
Darren Abramson (2011). Philosophy of Mind Is (in Part) Philosophy of Computer Science. Minds and Machines 21 (2):203-219.
Sara Franceschelli (2009). Computer Simulations as Experiments. Synthese 169 (3):557 - 574.
Saul Traiger (2000). Making the Right Identification in the Turing Test. Minds and Machines 10 (4):561-572.
Added to index2012-04-28
Total downloads85 ( #12,162 of 1,089,085 )
Recent downloads (6 months)29 ( #3,305 of 1,089,085 )
How can I increase my downloads?