2018-2019 Academic Catalog 
    Aug 23, 2019  
2018-2019 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

PHIL 070 - The Educated Robot: Artificial Intelligence and Epistemic Values

Research in artificial intelligence is not limited to the project of manufacturing thinking machines. The scope of AI is in fact much more ambitious: artificial intelligence—and cognitive science in general—hopes to uncover the nature of all mental activity. At issue is the question: What conditions must be satisfied for any being, human beings included, to have a mind? One of the primary aims of this course is to describe the issues and questions that vex cognitive scientists and philosophers of mind. We will examine some of the scientific models of thinking currently available—mechanistic and computational models in particular—and attempt to assess some of the prominent criticisms that have been leveled against those theories. Additionally, however, we will pay particularly close attention to issues that touch on our “epistemic values.” Philosophers have focused, and not without good reason, on rather modest and mundane types of mental states—basic sensory awareness and simple propositional knowledge, for example. We will take up the task of examining a wider range of epistemic (that is, “knowledge‐based”) values— including understanding, comprehension, wisdom, good judgment and education. We will ask what it means to possess and cultivate these values against the background of a mechanistic conception of the world and the mind.

Course Designation/Attribute: VE

Anticipated Terms Offered: Offered periodically

Placement Guidelines
VE Eligible