Evolution: The Computer Systems Engineer Designing Minds

Abstract
What we have learnt in the last six or seven decades about virtual machinery, as a result of a great deal of science and technology, enables us to offer Darwin a new defence against critics who argued that only physical form, not mental capabilities and consciousness could be products of evolution by natural selection. The defence compares the mental phenomena mentioned by Darwin’s opponents with contents of virtual machinery in computing systems. Objects, states, events, and processes in virtual machinery which we have only recently learnt how to design and build, and could not even have been thought about in Darwin’s time, can interact with the physical machinery in which they are implemented, without being identical with their physical implementation, nor mere aggregates of physical structures and processes. The existence of various kinds of virtual machinery (including both “platform” virtual machines that can host other virtual machines, e.g. operating systems, and “application” virtual machines, e.g. spelling checkers, and computer games) depends on complex webs of causal connections involving hardware and software structures, events and processes, where the specification of such causal webs requires concepts that cannot be defined in terms of concepts of the physical sciences. That indefinability, plus the possibility of various kinds of self-monitoring within virtual machinery, seems to explain some of the allegedly mysterious and irreducible features of consciousness that motivated Darwin’s critics and also more recent philosophers criticising AI. There are consequences for philosophy, psychology, neuroscience and robotics.
Keywords Universal Turing machine  Mind  Evolution
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive
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
What Am I? Virtual Machines and the Mind/Body Problem.John L. Pollock - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (2):237–309.
Evolutionist of Intelligence. Introduction.Marcin Miłkowski - 2011 - Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies 2 (2):29-33.
Virtual Machines and Consciousness.Aaron Sloman & Ronald L. Chrisley - 2003 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 10 (4-5):133-172.
Is Evolution Algorithmic?Marcin Miłkowski - 2009 - Minds and Machines 19 (4):465-475.
Artificial Life: Synthetic Versus Virtual.Stevan Harnad - 1993 - Philosophical Explorations.
Is the Human Mind a Turing Machine?D. King - 1996 - Synthese 108 (3):379-89.
Computation as an Intrinsic Property.C. F. Boyle - 1994 - Minds and Machines 4 (4):451-67.
Computer Simulations as Experiments.Sara Franceschelli - 2009 - Synthese 169 (3):557 - 574.
Making the Right Identification in the Turing Test.Saul Traiger - 2000 - Minds and Machines 10 (4):561-572.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2012-04-28

Total downloads

222 ( #16,193 of 2,152,527 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

6 ( #119,679 of 2,152,527 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums