Persons, Animals, and Machines

Science, Technology and Human Values 23 (4):384-398 (1998)
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What is the relationship between persons, animals, and machines? The author first presents a form of argument against any attempt to reduce biology to mechanism. He then runs a parallel argument for psychology and biology. But although he tries to resist reduction, he insists that to bring into being a person or an animal requires no more than the construction of a certain sort of machine, or causal engine, such that certain normative standards can be applied to its behavior If to call an entity a machine is to forego such commitments, then, trivially, no animal or person could be a machine. If the term "machine" implies no more than the presence of a causal engine, natural or artificial, then machines can be, and some are, animals or people.



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