The ontological status of computers or what is a computer?

AI and Society 6 (4):305-323 (1992)
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Abstract

The development of computers as ‘mind tools’ has generated intriguing and provocative views about their potential human-like qualities. In this paper an attempt is made to explore the ‘real’ nature of computers by an examination of three widely different perspective, (1) the common-sense view of computers as tools; (2) the provocative view of computers as persons; and (3) the challenging view of computers as texts. In the course of the discussion an extended critique of the use of anthropomorphic terms in relation to machines is conducted and the fundamental differences between human persons and machines is reasserted

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References found in this work

What is it like to be a bat?Thomas Nagel - 1974 - Philosophical Review 83 (October):435-50.
The Modularity of Mind.Robert Cummins & Jerry Fodor - 1983 - Philosophical Review 94 (1):101.
What is it like to be a bat?Thomas Nagel - 1979 - In Mortal questions. New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 435 - 450.
Minds, Brains and Science.John R. Searle - 1984 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
The Society Of Mind.Marvin Minsky - 1986 - Simon & Schuster.

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