Unlike other human-made objects, the ability for intelligent systems to exhibit agency, and even appear anthropomorphic, leads to moral confusion about their status in society. As Himma states “If something walks, talks, and behaves enough like me, I might not be justified in thinking that it has a mind, but I surely have an obligation, if our ordinary reactions regarding other people are correct, to treat them as if they are moral agents.” Here, I present an evaluation of the requirements for moral agency and moral patiency. I examine human morality through a presentation of a high-level ontology of the human action-selection system. Then, drawing parallels between natural and artificial intelligence, I discuss the limitations and bottlenecks of intelligence, demonstrating how an ‘all-powerful’ Artificial General Intelligence would not only entail omniscience, but also be impossible. I demonstrate throughout this Chapter how culture determines the moral status of all entities, as morality and law are human-made ‘fictions’ that help us guide our actions. This means that our moral spectrum can be altered to include machines. However, there are both descriptive and normative arguments for why such a move is not only avoidable, but also should be avoided.
The question whether automata can be intelligent or even have a mind has been an ongoing controversy for centuries. Even though we intuitively agree with the positions of Descartes and Searle that automata do not have a mind nor understand what they are doing the way we do, we do nevertheless observe the increasing occurrence of automata performing several tasks that are considered to require mental abilities (e.g. AlphaZero, Google Duplex, and Project Debater). The article outlines the different positions in the controversy and argues for the thesis that, based on recent advances in artificial intelligence, automata could in principle perform other complex tasks, and in particular moral decision-making as well.
The successes of self-learning AI systems lead to highly speculative but very influential theories involving the concept of superintelligence. The following text will illustrate what is meant by the concept of superintelligence, which prerequisites and conditions are connected with it and to what extent these are realizable. On this basis, it will be critically reflected to what extent such an understanding of artificial intelligence challenges our human self-conception and whether the dangers in the use of AI predicted by advocates of the super-intelligence hypothesis are actually the most pressing questions in dealing with this versatile and promising technology.
In The Quantity of the Soul, Augustine puts forward the view that the soul is immaterial and that its quantity (quantitas) must be understood in terms of power rather than spatial extension. Against this view, his friend and interlocutor Evodius raises an important objection, The Objection from Touch, which argues that the soul’s exercise of tactile sensation requires that it be extended through the parts of the body. This paper examines Evodius’s objection and Augustine’s response to it. Particular attention is given to certain features of Augustine’s theory of sensation that this exchange reveals, especially his view that the eyes undergo passion-at-a-distance or are acted on at a place where they are not present.
Panpsychism has become a highly attractive position in the philosophy of mind. On panpsychism, both the physical and the mental are inseparable and fundamental features of reality. Panentheism has also become immensely popular in the philo-sophy of religion. Panentheism strives for a higher reconciliation of an atheistic pantheism, on which the universe itself is causa sui, and the ontological dualism of necessarily existing, eternal creator and contingent, ﬁ nite creation. Historically and systematically, panpsychism and panentheism often went together as essential parts of an all-embracing metaphysical theory of Being.
The present collection of essays analyses the relation between panpsychism and panentheism and provides critical reﬂections on the signiﬁcance of panpsychistic and panentheistic thinking for recent debates in philosophy and theology.
Without joint action, man’s cultural, scientific and everyday achievements would be unthinkable. What special cognitive abilities make it possible for this to happen so often and in so many ways? Dancing, waging war, building a castle together in the sandbox - joint action is a central component of everyday life and the success of mankind. This ability is based on special socio-cognitive abilities, the scope and interplay of which characterize the human species. Literature often focuses on the large and complex forms of joint action.
This book represents an attempt to present a philosophical reconstruction of joint action through an interdisciplinary investigation of small forms with few actors. This is suitable for explaining the behavior of children and adults, as well as for taking into account empirical results from related disciplines, especially developmental psychology.
What ought individual agents do with regard to climate change? This book challenges the common intuition that every individual agent is morally required to do her bit by refraining from individual polluting actions and still does not leave individuals off the hook. Climate change requires an extremely ambitious, collective solution. This book defends the primacy of promotional duties and focuses on getting individuals as members of society involved. By taking a rights-based approach, it provides a profound normative basis to lead a heated discussion e.g. with regard to what can reasonably be demanded of individuals. Next to addressing duties of specific groups of agents such as young parents, this book aims to derive concrete recommendations for action. But, more broadly, it aims to empower individual agents to finally be able to make a meaningful difference in the global fought against climate change.