Dennett (Oneworld Thinkers) by Tadeusz Zawidzki

By Tadeusz Zawidzki

Tadeusz Zawidzki outlines Dennett's reconciliation of 3 significant components--thought, recognition, and freedom of the will--with what technological know-how tells us approximately human nature. during this exposition, the e-book highlights the real position that Darwinian considering performs in Dennett's proposed reconciliation, in addition to his leading edge proposals concerning the 'reality' of our awareness and its attributes.

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Extra info for Dennett (Oneworld Thinkers)

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In principle, if you knew all the microscopic details about the internal state of a chessplaying computer, you could use the laws of physics to predict everything it would do in the future. If you looked at the electrical properties instantiated in all of its circuits and switches at one time, together with how they are related to each other, you could use our knowledge of electromagnetic phenomena to predict what happens next. Of course, we rarely do this. Trying to predict what one’s computer will do next on the basis of its current physical state is practically impossible.

When we explain the apparently rational chess-playing competence highlighted in the intentional stance description of such a system, in terms of heuristics implemented by such limited component homunculi, we have descended to the design stance, in an attempt to repay our loans of intelligence. 42 The intentional stance This process can continue for each of these more limited homunculi, until we arrive at a level of description where the job performed by each homunculus can be performed by a thoroughly unintelligent physical system.

Computers behave as their programs make them behave; they have no choice in the matter. And there is no reason to suppose there is anything it is like to be a computer. Even if there were, how would understanding the software running on a computer reveal what it is like to be the computer? Finally, though computer programs consist of symbols that appear to stand for objects and properties, for example, a value entered in a spreadsheet program might stand for a student’s grade on a test, this is clearly a case of what, above, I called ‘derived intentionality’: symbols in computers stand for what their users and designers take them to stand for.

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