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Profile: Aaron Sloman (University of Birmingham, University of Birmingham)
  1. Aaron Sloman (1978). The Computer Revolution in Philosophy: Philosophy Science and Models of Mind. Harvester.
    Since 1991 the author has been Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science in the School of Computer Science at the University of Birmingham, UK.
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  2. Aaron Sloman, Physicalism and the Bogey of Determinism.
    This paper rehearses some relatively old arguments about how any coherent notion of free will is not only compatible with but depends on determinism. However the mind-brain identity theory is attacked on the grounds that what makes a physical event an intended action A is that the agent interprets the physical phenomena as doing A. The paper should have referred to the monograph Intention by Elizabeth Anscombe, which discusses in detail the fact that the same physical event can have multiple (...)
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  3.  35
    Aaron Sloman (2010). An Alternative to Working on Machine Consciousness. International Journal of Machine Consciousness 2 (1):1-18.
  4.  19
    Aaron Sloman (1987). Motives, Mechanisms, and Emotions. Cognition and Emotion 1 (3):217-233.
  5. Aaron Sloman (1993). How to Dispose of the Free Will Issue. AISB Quarterlye 82:31-2.
  6. Aaron Sloman & Ronald L. Chrisley (2003). Virtual Machines and Consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies 10 (4-5):133-172.
    Replication or even modelling of consciousness in machines requires some clarifications and refinements of our concept of consciousness. Design of, construction of, and interaction with artificial systems can itself assist in this conceptual development. We start with the tentative hypothesis that although the word “consciousness” has no well-defined meaning, it is used to refer to aspects of human and animal informationprocessing. We then argue that we can enhance our understanding of what these aspects might be by designing and building virtual-machine (...)
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  7. Aaron Sloman (1970). `Ought' and `Better'. Mind 79 (315):385-394.
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  8. Aaron Sloman (2011). Evolution: The Computer Systems Engineer Designing Minds. Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies 2 (2):45–69.
    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 (...)
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  9. Aaron Sloman (2011). Comments on “The Emulating Interview... With Rick Grush”. Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies 2 (2):35–44.
    Author comments Rick Grush’s statements about emulation and embodied approach to representation. He proposes his modification of Grush’s definition of emulation, criticizing notion of “standing in for”. He defends of notion of representation. He claims that radical embodied theories are not applicable to all cognition.
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  10.  46
    Aaron Sloman & Monica Croucher, Why Robots Will Have Emotions.
    Emotions involve complex processes produced by interactions between motives, beliefs, percepts, etc. E.g. real or imagined fulfilment or violation of a motive, or triggering of a 'motive-generator', can disturb processes produced by other motives. To understand emotions, therefore, we need to understand motives and the types of processes they can produce. This leads to a study of the global architecture of a mind. Some constraints on the evolution of minds are disussed. Types of motives and the processes they generate are (...)
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  11. Aaron Sloman, Virtual Machine Functionalism: The Only Form of Functionalism Worth Taking Seriously in Philosophy of Mind.
    Most philosophers appear to have ignored the distinction between the broad concept of Virtual Machine Functionalism (VMF) described in Sloman&Chrisley (2003) and the better known version of functionalism referred to there as Atomic State Functionalism (ASF), which is often given as an explanation of what Functionalism is, e.g. in Block (1995). -/- One of the main differences is that ASF encourages talk of supervenience of states and properties, whereas VMF requires supervenience of machines that are arbitrarily complex networks of causally (...)
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  12. Aaron Sloman (2010). Machine Consciousness: Response to Commentaries. International Journal of Machine Consciousness 2 (1):75-116.
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  13.  18
    Aaron Sloman (1986). What Sorts of Machines Can Understand the Symbols They Use? Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 61:61-80.
  14.  43
    Aaron Sloman (2010). Phenomenal and Access Consciousness and the "Hard" Problem: A View From the Designer Stance. International Journal of Machine Consciousness 2 (1):117-169.
  15.  20
    Aaron Sloman (1991). Developing Concepts of Consciousness. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 14 (4):694-695.
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  16.  20
    Aaron Sloman & Monica Croucher (1980). How to Turn an Information Processor Into an Understander. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (3):447.
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  17.  79
    Aaron Sloman (1992). Prolegomena to a Theory of Communication and Affect. In Andrew Ortony, Jon Slack & Oliviero Stock (eds.), Communication from an Artificial Intelligence Perspective: Theoretical and Applied Issues. Springer
    As a step towards comprehensive computer models of communication, and effective human machine dialogue, some of the relationships between communication and affect are explored. An outline theory is presented of the architecture that makes various kinds of affective states possible, or even inevitable, in intelligent agents, along with some of the implications of this theory for various communicative processes. The model implies that human beings typically have many different, hierarchically organized, dispositions capable of interacting with new information to produce affective (...)
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  18.  23
    Aaron Sloman (2009). What Cognitive Scientists Need to Know About Virtual Machines. In N. A. Taatgen & H. van Rijn (eds.), Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. 1210--1215.
  19.  81
    Aaron Sloman (1964). Colour Incompatibilities and Analyticity. Analysis 24 (Suppl-2):104 - 119.
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  20.  93
    Aaron Sloman, VARIETIES OF ATHEISM What is Analytical Atheism?
    William James wrote about varieties of religious experience (See http://etext.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/JamVari.html) but I don't know of anyone who has documented the varieties of atheism. Unlike James I don't here attempt to collect data about what atheists say and do, and how they came by their atheism. This is, instead, an analytical paper describing how various sorts of atheistic position can arise in opposition to various sorts of theistic position. Clarity about this could help to make debates about atheism and theism more (...)
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  21.  34
    Aaron Sloman, Diversity of Developmental Trajectories in Natural and Artificial Intelligence.
    It may be of interest to see what can be done by giving a robot no innate knowledge about its environment or its sensors or effectors and only a totally general learning mechanism, such as reinforcement learning, or some information-reduction algorithm, to see what it can learn in various environments. However, it is clear that that is not how biological evolution designs animals, as McCarthy states.
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  22.  70
    Aaron Sloman (1971). New Bodies for Sick Persons: Personal Identity Without Physical Continuity. Analysis 32 (2):52 - 55.
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  23.  16
    Aaron Sloman, Orthogonal Recombinable Competences Acquired by Altricial Species.
    CONJECTURE: Alongside the innate physical sucking reflex for obtaining milk to be digested, decomposed and used all over the body for growth, repair, and energy, there is a genetically determined information-sucking reflex, which seeks out, sucks in, and decomposes information, which is later recombined in many ways, growing the information-processing architecture and many diverse recombinable competences.
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  24. Aaron Sloman, What is It Like to Be a Rock?
    This paper aims to replace deep sounding unanswerable, time-wasting pseudo- questions which are often posed in the context of attacking some version of the strong AI thesis, with deep, discovery-driving, real questions about the nature and content of internal states of intelligent agents of various kinds. In particular the question.
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  25.  52
    Aaron Sloman (1969). Transformations of Illocutionary Acts. Analysis 30 (2):56 - 59.
    Speech-Act analyses of words like 'good', 'true', 'know' and 'probable' were criticised by j.R. Searle in "speech acts". I have tried to show how his criticisms can be met by an analysis in terms of operators on speech acts which 'transform' them into other speech-Acts. I conclude, Not that speech-Act analyses are correct, But that they survive searle's criticism.
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  26.  39
    Aaron Sloman (2002). The Irrelevance of Turing Machines to Artificial Intelligence. In Matthias Scheutz (ed.), Computationalism: New Directions. MIT Press
  27.  23
    Aaron Sloman (2011). Komentarze do „Emulującego wywiadu… z Rickiem Grushem”. Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies 2 (2).
    [Przekład] Author comments Rick Grush’s statements about emulation and embodied approach to representation. He proposes his modification of Grush’s definition of emulation, criticizing notion of “standing in for”. He defends of notion of representation. He claims that radical embodied theories are not applicable to all cognition.
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  28.  90
    Aaron Sloman, The Evolution of What?
    There is now a huge amount of interest in consciousness among scientists as well as philosophers, yet there is so much confusion and ambiguity in the claims and counter-claims that it is hard to tell whether any progress is being made. This ``position paper'' suggests that we can make progress by temporarily putting to one side questions about what consciousness is or which animals or machines have it or how it evolved. Instead we should focus on questions about the sorts (...)
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  29.  2
    Aaron Sloman (1993). The Mind as a Control System. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 34:69-110.
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  30.  19
    Aaron Sloman, Ian Wright & Luc Beaudoin (1996). Towards a Design-Based Analysis of Emotional Episodes. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 3 (2):101-126.
  31.  2
    Aaron Sloman (1969). IV—Explaining Logical Necessity. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 69 (1):33-50.
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  32.  14
    Aaron Sloman (1967). Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume. In Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume. Aristotelian Society 77-94.
    http://www.cs.bham.ac.uk/research/projects/cogaff/62-80.html#1967-01.
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  33.  56
    Aaron Sloman & David Vernon, A First Draft Analysis of Some Meta-Requirements for Cognitive Systems in Robots (An Exercise in Logical Topography Analysis. ).
    This is a contribution to construction of a research roadmap for future cognitive systems, including intelligent robots, in the context of the euCognition network, and UKCRC Grand Challenge 5: Architecture of Brain and Mind. -/- A meeting on the euCognition roadmap project was held at Munich Airport on 11th Jan 2007. This document was in part a response to discussions at that meeting. An explanation of why specifying requirements is a hard problem, and why it needs to be done, along (...)
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  34.  82
    Aaron Sloman (2002). The Irrelevance of Turing Machines to AI. In Matthias Scheutz (ed.), Computationalism: New Directions. MIT Press
  35.  14
    Aaron Sloman (2002). How Many Separately Evolved Emotional Beasties Live Within Us. In Robert Trappl (ed.), Emotions in Humans and Artifacts. Bradford Book/MIT Press 35--114.
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  36.  77
    Aaron Sloman, Misrepresenting Einstein's Views on Religion.
    There are many religious scientists who misrepresent or misquote Einstein in support of their claim that there is no conflict between science and religion, and who, deliberately or out of ignorance, fail to point out that what Einstein meant by 'religion' is totally different from what most people mean, and moreover that he regards the ordinary kinds of religion as possibly only for inferior minds and inferior cultures.
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  37.  19
    Aaron Sloman (1981). Deep and Shallow Simulations. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 4 (4):548.
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  38.  79
    Aaron Sloman (1986). Did Searle Attack Strong Strong AI or Weak Strong AI? In Artificial Intelligence and its Applications. Chichester
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  39.  76
    Aaron Sloman, Toward a General Theory of Representations.
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  40.  18
    Aaron Sloman (2011). Ewolucja: inżynier systemów komputerowych projektujący umysły. Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies 2 (2).
    [Przekład] To, czego w ciągu ostatnich sześciu lub siedmiu tego nauczyliśmy się na temat wirtualnej maszynerii w wyniku dużego postępu nauki i techniki, umożliwia nam zaoferowanie stanowisku darwinowskiemu nowej obrony przeciw krytykom, którzy twierdzili, że jedynie forma fizyczna – a nie zdolności umysłowe czy świadomość – może być produktem ewolucji poprzez dobór naturalny. Obrona ta porównuje zjawiska umysłowe, wspominane przez przeciwników Darwina, z treściami maszynerii wirtualnej w systemach obliczeniowych. Obiekty, stany, zdarzenia i procesy w owej maszynerii, które dopiero od niedawna (...)
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  41.  39
    Aaron Sloman, Acquiring Orthogonal Recombinable Competences.
    It is conjectured that humans and some other altricial species instead use innate mechanisms for decomposing situations into components that can be explicitly learnt about, and stored in such a way that the competence can be re-used in combination with other learnt competences, in perceiving novel situations and performing novel actions.
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  42.  71
    Aaron Sloman, What Are Virtual Machines? Are They Real?
  43.  17
    Aaron Sloman (1978). What About Their Internal Languages? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 1 (4):602.
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  44.  47
    Aaron Sloman, Supervenience and Implementation.
    How can a virtual machine X be implemented in a physical machine Y? We know the answer as far as compilers, editors, theorem-provers, operating systems are concerned, at least insofar as we know how to produce these implemented virtual machines, and no mysteries are involved. This paper is about extrapolating from that knowledge to the implementation of minds in brains. By linking the philosopher's concept of supervenience to the engineer's concept of implementation, we can illuminate both. In particular, by showing (...)
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  45.  50
    Aaron Sloman (1993). The Mind as a Control System. In Christopher Hookway & Donald M. Peterson (eds.), Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement. Cambridge University Press 69-110.
    This is not a scholarly research paper, but a ‘position paper’ outlining an approach to the study of mind which has been gradually evolving since about 1969 when I first become acquainted with work in Artificial Intelligence through Max Clowes. I shall try to show why it is more fruitful to construe the mind as a control system than as a computational system.
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  46.  67
    Aaron Sloman (1992). The Emperor's Real Mind -- Review of Roger Penrose's The Emperor's New Mind: Concerning Computers Minds and the Laws of Physics. Artificial Intelligence 56 (2-3):355-396.
    "The Emperor's New Mind" by Roger Penrose has received a great deal of both praise and criticism. This review discusses philosophical aspects of the book that form an attack on the "strong" AI thesis. Eight different versions of this thesis are distinguished, and sources of ambiguity diagnosed, including different requirements for relationships between program and behaviour. Excessively strong versions attacked by Penrose (and Searle) are not worth defending or attacking, whereas weaker versions remain problematic. Penrose (like Searle) regards the notion (...)
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  47.  65
    Aaron Sloman (1979). The Primacy of Non-Communicative Language. In M. MacCafferty & Kurt Gray (eds.), The Analysis of Meaning: Informatics 5, Proceedings Aslib/Bcs Conference. Aslib
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  48.  48
    Aaron Sloman, Simplicity and Ontologies The Trade-Off Between Simplicity of Theories and Sophistication of Ontologies.
    Often, when people discuss the role of simplicity in science, they do not notice the trade-off between simplicity of ontology and simplicity of theory using an ontology. Einstein appears to have been emphasising simplicity of ontology (basic elements), though he might have included theory as well (basic axioms/assumptions).
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  49.  35
    Aaron Sloman, Polyflaps as a Domain for Perceiving, Acting and Learning in a 3-D World.
    Test domains for AI can have a deep impact on research. The polyflap domain is proposed for testing complex AI theories about architectures, mechanisms and forms of representation involved in features of human and animal intelligence that evolved to enable perception, action, and learning in diverse environments containing things that we can perceive and manipulate, and many complex processes involving objects that differ in shape, materials, causal properties, and relations to one another. We need a test environment that is rich (...)
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  50.  60
    Aaron Sloman (1996). What Sort of Architecture is Required for a Human-Like Agent? In Ramakrishna K. Rao (ed.), Foundations of Rational Agency. Kluwer Academic Publishers
    This paper is about how to give human-like powers to complete agents. For this the most important design choice concerns the overall architecture. Questions regarding detailed mechanisms, forms of representations, inference capabilities, knowledge etc. are best addressed in the context of a global architecture in which different design decisions need to be linked. Such a design would assemble various kinds of functionality into a complete coherent working system, in which there are many concurrent, partly independent, partly mutually supportive, partly potentially (...)
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