Biology and Philosophy 36 (2):1-5 (2021)

Birch, Ginsburg, and Jablonka lay out a very convincing case for an important transition marker: unlimited associative learning. Especially welcome are the empirical predictions. I focus here not on the question of how to infer phenomenal consciousness from this behavioral metric, but on possible novel applications of this useful and fundamental framework. Specifically, I highlight two aspects of biology that are often not considered in philosophy of mind approaches that focus on natural species and evolutionary time scales. These are the ability of minds and bodies to change drastically on the time scale of an individual experiencing subject, and bioengineering of novel living forms with no evolutionary history at the organism level. Both of these aspects provide interesting new contexts within which to explore UAL and its implications.
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DOI 10.1007/s10539-021-09792-4
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Artificial Life: An Overview.C. Langton & M. Boden - 1997 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (4):587-601.

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