Welcome to the Free Talk Live bulletin board system!
This board is closed to new users and new posts.  Thank you to all our great mods and users over the years.  Details here.
185859 Posts in 9829 Topics by 1371 Members
Latest Member: cjt26
Home Help
+  The Free Talk Live BBS
|-+  Free Talk Live
| |-+  The Polling Pit
| | |-+  Of Man and Machine...

Poll

If a machine or 'synthetic' entity could think would you call it a person?

Yes. (Cognito Ergo Sum)
- 12 (37.5%)
No. (You gotta be a carbon based life form to join our club)
- 13 (40.6%)
Maybe, depends. (Please explain)
- 7 (21.9%)

Total Members Voted: 14


Pages: 1 2 [3]   Go Down

Author Topic: Of Man and Machine...  (Read 8863 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Gordee

  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 169
    • View Profile
Re: Of Man and Machine...
« Reply #30 on: February 17, 2007, 12:04:29 PM »

"Person" discussed here is being developed at The Technical University in Lausanne, Switzerland. Researchers have created an artificial brain, called "Blue Brain", that currently has about 10 000 computer chips that act like real nerve cells. The goal for the next year is to build a much bigger thinking computer with one million nerve cells. Furthermore, by 2015 researchers hope to complete their primary goal - a replication of the entire human brain, for which 100 billion cells have to be engineered.

More here:
http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,466789,00.html
« Last Edit: February 17, 2007, 08:17:43 PM by Gordee »
Logged

ladyattis

  • Guest
Re: Of Man and Machine...
« Reply #31 on: February 17, 2007, 01:49:34 PM »

Why is it "not how it works?" Why does the word "person" include future knowledge, currently unknown "knowledge?" Once we discovered/encountered an intelligent alien, you're saying that we'd look at the current definition of "person" (which is "rational human being") and change it to accommodate our new knowledge ("rational being")? Why would we do this, since we already have knowledge/definitions that encompass this (while we don't know about intelligent aliens, we can theorize, as we're doing now): We have the words "rational," "human," and "alien" - and we have "person" ("a rational human"), so why wouldn't we create "alientelligent" ("a rational alien") and "neopeep" ("rational beings")? Actually, I may be questioning myself onto your side of the argument. Does it really make a difference which word we redefine to fit our new knowledge? We could redefine "person" to include aliens and humans, or we could create a new word "neopeep" to encompass both entities. Hmmm...
Because the definition of person works the same in both instances. The truth values for person is fulfilled. Plus this plead that it's future knowledge is a bit skiddish when you look at it. First it implies that no current can be extended to consider or to integrate new knowledge. Second it implies that certain principles of logic are not invariant and should change even if they are consistent across the largest set of all possibles. And that's my stickler to you. How do you handle those hanging facts?


Quote
Rand may not have contended that rational agents were not "persons," but I don't think she contended that all rational agents would be called "persons." I'd love to read about this if you can reference it. I vaguely remember a reference to intelligent aliens, but I don't remember Peikoff saying they'd be called humans. I want to find that. I'll go search my Objectivist Research CD, but it doesn't have every writing of course.
ITOE, second edition on the definition of human.
Logged

Taors

  • Guest
Re: Of Man and Machine...
« Reply #32 on: February 17, 2007, 08:06:27 PM »

I'm going to lynch every robot person I see.
Logged

Mike Barskey

  • FTL AMPlifier Silver
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 185
    • View Profile
    • My own web site
Re: Of Man and Machine...
« Reply #33 on: March 15, 2007, 11:06:22 PM »

Sorry for such a long delay before my response.

Why is it "not how it works?" Why does the word "person" include future knowledge, currently unknown "knowledge?" Once we discovered/encountered an intelligent alien, you're saying that we'd look at the current definition of "person" (which is "rational human being") and change it to accommodate our new knowledge ("rational being")? Why would we do this, since we already have knowledge/definitions that encompass this (while we don't know about intelligent aliens, we can theorize, as we're doing now): We have the words "rational," "human," and "alien" - and we have "person" ("a rational human"), so why wouldn't we create "alientelligent" ("a rational alien") and "neopeep" ("rational beings")? Actually, I may be questioning myself onto your side of the argument. Does it really make a difference which word we redefine to fit our new knowledge? We could redefine "person" to include aliens and humans, or we could create a new word "neopeep" to encompass both entities. Hmmm...
Because the definition of person works the same in both instances. The truth values for person is fulfilled. Plus this plead that it's future knowledge is a bit skiddish when you look at it. First it implies that no current can be extended to consider or to integrate new knowledge. Second it implies that certain principles of logic are not invariant and should change even if they are consistent across the largest set of all possibles. And that's my stickler to you. How do you handle those hanging facts?

I don't agree that "it implies that certain principles of logic are not invariant." I'm claiming that the definition of "human" is invariant, bound by the contents of all curent human knowledge. I'm saying that new knowledge (the extsitence of rational alien beings) would require a new definition or a new word. What principle of logic does this make variant? I'm saying that if you extend the definition of the word "human" to include rational alieng beings as well as rational human beings, why can't you just change the definition of the word "atom" to include everything, since that would still be "consistent across the largest set of all possibles." The key for a definition is the essential characteristics (the Conceptual Common Denominator).

New Oxford American Dictionary defines "human being" as:
Quote
a man, woman, or child of the species Homo sapiens, distinguished from other animals by superior mental development, power of articulate speech, and upright stance.

... and "human" as:
Quote
a human being, esp. a person as distinguished from an animal or (in science fiction) an alien.

I think their definition of "human being" is not quite right, because an upright stance and articulate speech are not a distinguishing feature of humans ("upright" is subjective and surely other animals could be considered to have an upright stance; and some animals communicate within their breed via articulate speech, like dolphins) and because it suggests that humans' ability to reason is merely a faculty that any animal has and can develop (like if a dog developed mentally to a point at which we considered them "superior" then it would be human). But I agree that a distinguishing and essential characteristic of human beings is that they must be "a man, woman, or child of the species Homo sapiens." This would simply not include aliens.

I quoted their definition of "human" because I thought it funny that it specifically defines humans "as distinguished from...an alien," but their definition is rediculous. Their definition of "person" is "a human being regarded as an individual," yet their definition of "human" is "...a person..."

Quote
Rand may not have contended that rational agents were not "persons," but I don't think she contended that all rational agents would be called "persons." I'd love to read about this if you can reference it. I vaguely remember a reference to intelligent aliens, but I don't remember Peikoff saying they'd be called humans. I want to find that. I'll go search my Objectivist Research CD, but it doesn't have every writing of course.
ITOE, second edition on the definition of human.

ITOE 2nd Ed. is included in the Objectivist Research CD, so I have the ability to search its contents. No hits for "person," "people," "human," and "alien" reveal or suggest any definition of those specific words. It's likely that Rand's definition of one of those words is in the book, but I am not going to reread it now; I have a list of others I want to complete first.

My stance is unchanged; I think the word "human" would not include rational aliens or robots should we discover/invent them; instead, I think that a new word would be coined to define the new creature, as well as another new word to encompass both (or all rational beings, even unknown ones).

- Mike

ladyattis

  • Guest
Re: Of Man and Machine...
« Reply #34 on: March 15, 2007, 11:57:06 PM »

I don't agree that "it implies that certain principles of logic are not invariant." I'm claiming that the definition of "human" is invariant, bound by the contents of all curent human knowledge. I'm saying that new knowledge (the extsitence of rational alien beings) would require a new definition or a new word. What principle of logic does this make variant? I'm saying that if you extend the definition of the word "human" to include rational alieng beings as well as rational human beings, why can't you just change the definition of the word "atom" to include everything, since that would still be "consistent across the largest set of all possibles." The key for a definition is the essential characteristics (the Conceptual Common Denominator).
According to whom? Lets take the word atom, it's been around for about three thousand years. The ancient Greeks used it to be mean that which is indivisible. Today, atoms are indeed divisible, so we stop calling modern atoms their namesake? So, by your logic atoms are not atoms, yet they are. Paradox/Contradiction! Whoops!

So, that pretty much proves my point. Just because a word was once attributed to a single definition does not imply it is that way forever, nor that knowledge modifies, condenses, and expands the lexicon. In short, words too are subject to the CCD, in that when a word becomes to mean another thing it gets changed over and the older definition is depreciated.


Quote
I think their definition of "human being" is not quite right, because an upright stance and articulate speech are not a distinguishing feature of humans ("upright" is subjective and surely other animals could be considered to have an upright stance; and some animals communicate within their breed via articulate speech, like dolphins) and because it suggests that humans' ability to reason is merely a faculty that any animal has and can develop (like if a dog developed mentally to a point at which we considered them "superior" then it would be human). But I agree that a distinguishing and essential characteristic of human beings is that they must be "a man, woman, or child of the species Homo sapiens." This would simply not include aliens.
No, aliens would be called persons too since they are rational agents. You seem to be going in circles here. Where is Person defined in philosophy in general to solely and wholly mean humans? Not a single time have I seen such a definition, not by Rand and not by her contemporaries, nor ours.

Quote
My stance is unchanged; I think the word "human" would not include rational aliens or robots should we discover/invent them; instead, I think that a new word would be coined to define the new creature, as well as another new word to encompass both (or all rational beings, even unknown ones).
Human != Person, please try again. You're going in circles!

Here's your logic.

A) A human is a person because of XYZ properties. In this case, the property of REASON and volition are the primary features that define a person. And humans have these qualities, so they're PERSONS.

B) You're ASSUMING because all we know is humans in the category of PERSONS, that THERE CAN BE NO OTHER SPECIES IN THE GENUS PERSONS. That doesn't follow, you have not shown a conclusive logic proof or an empirical basis for that any rational volitional agent organic, in-organic, or whatever cannot be a person. I have proven my case by the fact that the MAJORITY OF PHILOSOPHERS AGREE that PERSONS is a GENUS for which HUMANS ARE A SUBSET BUT *NOT* THE SET THEREOF.  Therefore, the onus is now on you to show why this relationship between PERSONS and HUMAN is wrong.

My argument still stands, and you have yet to knock it down. Get to work and stop the circling. If I wanted circling I'll read Leonard Peikoff.

-- Bridget
Logged

ladyattis

  • Guest
Re: Of Man and Machine...
« Reply #35 on: March 16, 2007, 12:05:40 AM »

To further clarify I'll write in an abridged form of Java.


class Persons {

boolean volitional, rational;
   Persons () {
                 volitional = true;
                 rational = true;
                }

//...

}

class Human extends Persons  {
  String firstName, lastName;
  float birth, death, anAge;
 //...
}

class Alien extends Persons { ... }

class artificialIntelligence extends Persons { ... }

Each class there that is a PERSONS, so it has a state that is rational and volitional. Understand? Do I need to crack open the UML to explain?

-- Bridget gets annoyed with circular arguments.
Logged

gibson042

  • Non-Aggression Principal since 2006
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 948
    • View Profile
    • gibson.mp
Re: Of Man and Machine...
« Reply #36 on: March 16, 2007, 01:28:40 AM »

Bridget, did you have to use the word "genus"?  Humans, homo sapiens, already have a genus.  Paradox/Contradiction! Whoops!

I kid, I kid...

P.S. Why is your class name plural?  Wouldn't "Person" make a better choice? :wink:
Logged
"WOOOOOP  WOOOOOP  WOOOOP EH EH EH EH HHHEEEOOOO HEEEOOOOO" Rillion

AlexLibman

  • Guest
Re: Of Man and Machine...
« Reply #37 on: March 16, 2007, 10:12:46 AM »

I am a know-nothing racist.

For those in the human race, everything!  (Each according to his ability!)

For those outside the human race, nothing!  (Unless they can kick our ass...)
Logged

Mike Barskey

  • FTL AMPlifier Silver
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 185
    • View Profile
    • My own web site
Re: Of Man and Machine...
« Reply #38 on: March 16, 2007, 10:43:48 AM »

I don't agree that "it implies that certain principles of logic are not invariant." I'm claiming that the definition of "human" is invariant, bound by the contents of all curent human knowledge. I'm saying that new knowledge (the extsitence of rational alien beings) would require a new definition or a new word. What principle of logic does this make variant? I'm saying that if you extend the definition of the word "human" to include rational alieng beings as well as rational human beings, why can't you just change the definition of the word "atom" to include everything, since that would still be "consistent across the largest set of all possibles." The key for a definition is the essential characteristics (the Conceptual Common Denominator).
According to whom? Lets take the word atom, it's been around for about three thousand years. The ancient Greeks used it to be mean that which is indivisible. Today, atoms are indeed divisible, so we stop calling modern atoms their namesake? So, by your logic atoms are not atoms, yet they are. Paradox/Contradiction! Whoops!

So, that pretty much proves my point. Just because a word was once attributed to a single definition does not imply it is that way forever, nor that knowledge modifies, condenses, and expands the lexicon. In short, words too are subject to the CCD, in that when a word becomes to mean another thing it gets changed over and the older definition is depreciated.

I think your atom example convinced me. At least, for now. :) Ancient greeks used all human knowledge at the time to define the an "atom" as "that which is indivisible." Their mistake was incorrectly choosing essential characteristics. Today we still call it an "atom" but the definition has changed since we know it consists of still smaller parts. So you're saying that if I'm currently defining the word "person" to be "a rational human agent," I'm mistakenly adding "human" as an essential characteristic of "person." This makes sense to me.

Another mistake I've made in this discussion is mixing the words "person" and "human." I understand that "person" can be defined as "a rational agent," which would include humans as well as other rational agents, but I still think that an essential characteristic of "human" is "homo sapien" (but I see now that that definition could be changed in the future - but if it does change in the future, shouldn't there be a new word to define "rational homo sapien?").

I never responded to this:
Quote
How is an extremely retarded person rational when they also don't make rockets, GM foods, or dildos?
Because many retarded persons will reference themselves, what belongs to them, and what they really feel, even if it's very basic. The same for toddlers and such. Dogs don't have a sense of self in that if you put a dog in front of a mirror it will not recognize its own image as its own.

-- Bridget

While a dog does not recognize its own image as its own, elephants and some primates do, and possibly some other animals as well. Are these animals rational?

- Mike

ladyattis

  • Guest
Re: Of Man and Machine...
« Reply #39 on: March 16, 2007, 11:20:29 AM »

Bridget, did you have to use the word "genus"?  Humans, homo sapiens, already have a genus.  Paradox/Contradiction! Whoops!

I kid, I kid...

P.S. Why is your class name plural?  Wouldn't "Person" make a better choice? :wink:

An entity can have multiple genuses. WHOOPS! You lose again.

Human is also in the general genus of MAMMAL, UPRIGHT WALKER, LANGUAGE ADEPT, etc...


-- Bridget bonks you with big book of OOP paradigms, which she hates hates hates!
Logged

ladyattis

  • Guest
Re: Of Man and Machine...
« Reply #40 on: March 16, 2007, 11:24:33 AM »

I think your atom example convinced me. At least, for now. :) Ancient greeks used all human knowledge at the time to define the an "atom" as "that which is indivisible." Their mistake was incorrectly choosing essential characteristics. Today we still call it an "atom" but the definition has changed since we know it consists of still smaller parts. So you're saying that if I'm currently defining the word "person" to be "a rational human agent," I'm mistakenly adding "human" as an essential characteristic of "person." This makes sense to me.
Not mistakes, just an addition to our knowledge. To them there were things that are indivisible. They couldn't cut most material past a certain point. They couldn't understand why a statue, when rubbed by passers-by for good luck would show an erosion pattern. And so on. So some of them concluded it had to be made of something that could not break down any further and they were right for their technology.

Quote
Another mistake I've made in this discussion is mixing the words "person" and "human." I understand that "person" can be defined as "a rational agent," which would include humans as well as other rational agents, but I still think that an essential characteristic of "human" is "homo sapien" (but I see now that that definition could be changed in the future - but if it does change in the future, shouldn't there be a new word to define "rational homo sapien?").
Not really just as we don't have a new word to describe atoms and there's hundreds [currently] of different kinds of them in regards to the periodic table of elements.

Quote
While a dog does not recognize its own image as its own, elephants and some primates do, and possibly some other animals as well. Are these animals rational?
Dogs don't get the nice shiny neocortex. Most primates do, but only a smaller version as it were. Something about that part of the brain does seem to spark the power of volition and reason. Whatever it does, it sure does it well.

-- Bridget
Logged

gibson042

  • Non-Aggression Principal since 2006
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 948
    • View Profile
    • gibson.mp
Re: Of Man and Machine...
« Reply #41 on: March 16, 2007, 12:16:55 PM »

Human is also in the general genus of MAMMAL, UPRIGHT WALKER, LANGUAGE ADEPT, etc...

Mammal (i.e., Mammalia) is a class, not a genus.  The genus of humans is Homo, the family is Hominidae, the order is Primates, etc.  "Genus" has a very specific singular meaning that is by far its most common use.  "Set" or "category" or even "class" would have served you better.  It was a joke, dammit!
Logged
"WOOOOOP  WOOOOOP  WOOOOP EH EH EH EH HHHEEEOOOO HEEEOOOOO" Rillion

AbsurdParadox

  • FTL AMPlifier Platinum
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 517
    • View Profile
Re: Of Man and Machine...
« Reply #42 on: March 16, 2007, 02:23:03 PM »

This is probably the dumbest intelligent thread I've ever seen. Evar.
Logged

Mike Barskey

  • FTL AMPlifier Silver
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 185
    • View Profile
    • My own web site
Re: Of Man and Machine...
« Reply #43 on: March 16, 2007, 02:38:19 PM »

This is probably the dumbest intelligent thread I've ever seen. Evar.

Uhhhhh... Thanks? No, wait!

- Mike

ladyattis

  • Guest
Re: Of Man and Machine...
« Reply #44 on: March 16, 2007, 07:52:06 PM »

Human is also in the general genus of MAMMAL, UPRIGHT WALKER, LANGUAGE ADEPT, etc...

Mammal (i.e., Mammalia) is a class, not a genus.  The genus of humans is Homo, the family is Hominidae, the order is Primates, etc.  "Genus" has a very specific singular meaning that is by far its most common use.  "Set" or "category" or even "class" would have served you better.  It was a joke, dammit!

Not in a generalized context. If we're talking about a single layer of related categories, then genus works fine.

-- Bridget
Logged
Pages: 1 2 [3]   Go Up
+  The Free Talk Live BBS
|-+  Free Talk Live
| |-+  The Polling Pit
| | |-+  Of Man and Machine...

// ]]>

Page created in 0.032 seconds with 38 queries.