The original edition of What Computers Can't Do comprised three roughly equal parts: (i) a harsh critical survey of the history and state of the art in AI, circa 1970; (ii) a brilliant philosophical expose of four hidden assumptions shoring up AI's rmsplaced optimism; and (iii) a much more tentative exploration of ways to think, about intelligence without those assumptions. Part I, because it was the most combative (and also the easiest to understand), got most of the attention. Also, since (...) that discussion was the most timely Ã¢â¬â hence the most quickly obsolete Ã¢â¬â it is what the excellent substantive introductions to the later editions.. (shrink)
In an interview with Cogito (Greece), philosopher John Haugeland proposes that the defining feature of human intelligence is responsibility. On the ethical level, this means being able to decide between what one is told to do and what one ought to do; on the cognitive level, it involves abandoning a certain theory if it fails to comply with observation.
What follows is an attempt to expose two covert “dogmas”—tendentious yet invisible assumptions—that underlie rationalist thought, both modern and contemporary. Though neither term is perfect, I will call these assumptions..
While brilliance and originality surely top the list of qualities shared by Brandom and Heidegger, another commonality is a tendency to treat their predecessors as partial and sometimes confused versions of themselves. Heidegger, therefore, could hardly be indignant on principle if Brandom finds a fair bit of Making it Explicit in the first division of Being and Time. Nevertheless, some details may deserve a closer look. Here I will concentrate on the more recent of the Heidegger essays reprinted in Tales (...) of the Mighty Dead: ‘Dasein, the Being that Thematizes’. (shrink)
I will focus on the topic announced in the subtitle of Professor Descombes’ profound and provocative work: The Mind’s Provisions: A Critique of Cognitivism. In the end, I will agree with practically everything in his incisive ‘critique’ except its conclusion: that cognitivism is incoherent. What he shows instead, I think, is that cognitivism, as an account of human thought and understanding, is deeply false. The difference matters because incoherence is harder to prove and, prima facie, less plausible. But, if the (...) same argument, slightly recast, shows falsehood with even more conviction, then the essential point is saved after all. So, following a quick characterization of cognitivism, I will attempt to distill what I take to be the main grounds and themes of Descombes’ critique, explain why I don’t think they expose an incoherence, and then show how they might be recast in a way that is devastating all the same. (shrink)
What is the relation between computation and intennonality? Cognition presup- poses intentionality (or semantics). This much is certain. So, if, according to com- putationalism, cognition is computation, then computation, mo, presupposes..
Intentionality is aboutness. Some things are about other things: a belief can be about icebergs, but an iceberg is not about anything; an idea can be about the number 7, but the number 7 is not about anything; a book or a film can be about Paris, but Paris is not about anything. Philosophers have long been concerned with the analysis of the phenomenon of intentionality, which has seemed to many to be a fundamental feature of mental states and events.
This paper presents a non-standard and rather free-wheeling interpretation of "being and time", with emphasis on the first division. the author makes heidegger out to be less like husserl and/or sartre than is usual, and more like dewey and (to a lesser extent) sellars and the later wittgenstein. his central point concerns heidegger's radical divergence from the cartesian-kantian tradition regarding the fundamental question: what is a person?
(with John Haugeland), in R. L. Gregory, ed., The Oxford Companion to the Mind , Oxford University Press 1987; reprinted in Actes du 3ème Colloque International Cognition et Connaissance: Où va la science cognitive? Toulouse: CNRS/Université Paul Sabatier 1988; reprinted in K. Lehrer and E. Sosa, eds., The Opened Curtain: A U.S.-Soviet Philosophy Summit, Westview Press, 1991, Chapter 3.