Can a machine think ? Automation beyond simulation

AI and Society:1-12 (forthcoming)
This article will rework the classical question ‘Can a machine think?’ into a more specific problem: ‘Can a machine think anything new?’ It will consider traditional computational tasks such as prediction and decision-making, so as to investigate whether the instrumentality of these operations can be understood in terms of the creation of novel thought. By addressing philosophical and technoscientific attempts to mechanise thought on the one hand, and the philosophical and cultural critique of these attempts on the other, I will argue that computation’s epistemic productions should be assessed vis-à-vis the logico-mathematical specificity of formal axiomatic systems. Such an assessment requires us to conceive automated modes of thought in such a way as to supersede the hope that machines might replicate human cognitive faculties, and to thereby acknowledge a form of onto-epistemological autonomy in automated ‘thinking’ processes. This involves moving beyond the view that machines might merely simulate humans. Machine thought should be seen as dramatically alien to human thought, and to the dimension of lived experience upon which the latter is predicated. Having stepped outside the simulative paradigm, the question ‘Can a machine think anything new?’ can then be reformulated. One should ask whether novel behaviour in computing might come not from the breaking of mechanical rules, but from following them: from doing what computers do already, and not what we might think they should be doing if we wanted them to imitate us.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s00146-018-0821-0
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 35,954
External links

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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Can Machines Create Art?Mark Coeckelbergh - 2016 - Philosophy and Technology 30 (3):285-303.
How to Use the Experience Machine.Eden Lin - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (3):314-332.
Heidegger in the Machine: The Difference Between Techne and Mechane.Todd S. Mei - 2016 - Continental Philosophy Review 49 (3):267-292.
Nano-Enabled AI: Some Philosophical Issues.J. Storrs Hall - 2006 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 20 (2):247-261.
Accelerating Turing Machines.B. Jack Copeland - 2002 - Minds and Machines 12 (2):281-300.
Nano-Enabled AI: Some Philosophical Issues.J. Storrs Hall - 2006 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 20 (2):247-261.
Nano-Enabled AI.J. Storrs Hall - 2006 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 20 (2):247-261.
The Experience Machine Deconstructed.H. E. Baber - 2008 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 15 (1):133-138.
Autonomous Machine Agency.Don Berkich - 2002 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Added to PP index

Total downloads
12 ( #469,337 of 2,293,879 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #254,453 of 2,293,879 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature