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PHI2010 Week 5 Notes

by: Lauren Carstens

PHI2010 Week 5 Notes PHI2010

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Lauren Carstens
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This week, we finished talking about Machines with Thought and began talking about Free Will
Intro to Philosophy
Dr. Clarke
Class Notes
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Lauren Carstens on Friday October 14, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHI2010 at Florida State University taught by Dr. Clarke in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views.


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Date Created: 10/14/16
Machines and Thought  Alan Turing o He proposes to address this question by considering whether a machine could pass the Imitation Game  We have two contestants:  A: man  B: woman  C: interrogator  A and B are hidden from C  C asks questions and, depending on answers, tries to determine which is the man and which is this woman  A tries to fool C  B tries to help C  Now we replace A with a machine  Will the interrogator decide wrongly as often when the fame is played this way as she does when the fame is played by a man and a woman?  If so, then we can count the machine as thinking  What kind of machine will be used in the game?  A digital computer  Nothing an engineer can produce o Digital computers can be thought of as a discrete state machine  A discrete state machine moves by sudden jumps from one definite state to another  Any discrete state machine with a finite number of possible states can be described by a table specifying its internal state at any given moment, given its prior internal state and its input, and specifying its output, given its internal state  Given the table corresponding to a discrete state machine, it is possible to predict what it will do  A digital computer, with its programming, can mimic the behavior of any discrete state machine.  It may thus be called a universal machine  We can take our question to be this: can a digital computer, having adequate storage, speed and programming, satisfactorily play the part of A in the Imitation Game?  Turing: “at the end of the twentieth century, the use of words and general educated opinion will have altered so much that one will be able to speak of machines as thinking without expecting to be contradicted”  Objections: o 2. The test is not an appropriate one, for it can’t determine whether there is consciousness, emotion and feeling, and without these there isn’t real thinking  Reply: We could submit to the machine questions that a thinking being answers on the basis of consciousness, emotion and feeling and see how the machine responds  For example, we might ask it to explain why the specific wording of a certain poem is effective  You need to be somewhat creative/ intuitive to answer  If the digital computer answered questions like we do, we have evidence that the computer answers questions with emotion, feeling or consciousness o 3. Machines are thoroughly predictable. A machine can never give rise to surprises  It just does what it is programmed to do  Reply: they often do!  It comes up with things it’s makers never had imagined o Skip 1 and 4 Free Will  One threat: determinism o For each event that occurs, (except perhaps what occurred at the first moment of time), prior things causally determine that event  1. It commonly seems that it is up to you whether you do this or that o When you deliberate what to eat for lunch (pizza or burrito) it seems common sense to you that each of these things is something you are able to do and it is up to you which of them you do  2. We take ourselves and each other generally to be morally responsible for what we do, and we take it that having free will is one thing that is required for being morally responsible o To believe that some people are blameworthy for some things that they do is to believe that we are sometimes morally responsible for our conduct o It is common to think that free will is one thing that is required to be morally responsible  Having been unable to refrain from doing something can excuse one from blame for doing it  These two thoughts make up a common conviction that we have free will o But this conviction faces some apparent threats o 1. Determinism  Thesis: For each event that occurs, (except perhaps what occurred at the first moment of time), prior things causally determine that event  Implies: if you deliberate about whether to have pizza and decide to have pizza, then things prior to your decision causally determine your decision to have pizza and earlier things determined those things and so on  All events, feelings, thoughts  It is a disputed matter whether determinism is true  But many people think that it is  Does it matter, with respect to free will, if determinism is true?  An argument for incompatibilism: o Determinism is not incompatible with moral responsibility; moral responsibility cannot exist if determinism is true  1. If we are morally responsible for anything what we do, then we have free will  2. If we have free will, then at least sometimes when we act, we are able to do otherwise that what we actually do  3. If determinism is true, then we are never able to do otherwise that what we actually do  -----  4. Therefor, if determinism is true, then we are not morally responsible for anything that we do o Ayer challenges and rejects premise 3:  Even if determinism is true, it is generally the case when we act that we are able to do otherwise than what we actually do  Argues for compatibilism  Determinism is compatible with moral responsibility; moral responsibility can exist even if determinism is true  His first argument:  The concluding claim is that being responsible for your conduct requires that your conduct is causally determined o Consider some choice that someone makes: either that choice is an accident, something that occurs purely as a matter of chance, or it is not  Suppose the first is true: the choice is an accident  In that case, no one has control over whether it occurs.  No one can be responsible for it  Suppose the second is true: the choice is not an accident (not a matter of chance)  In that case, the choice can be explained  And if it can be explained, then it can be causally determined  For this is how we explain things: we cite prior events that causally determine them  Now, we regard someone as morally responsible for an action only if we can attribute that action to the person o And we can attribute an action to a person only when that action stems from some feature of that person’s character o An action stems from a person’s personality only when it can be explained by citing that feature of the person’s character o And an action can be explained by citing a feature of a person’s character only when the action is causally determined by a feature of the person’s character o Thus, someone is responsible for an action only when that action is causally determined  The alternative would be an action that is an accident, one that occurs purely as a matter of chance o And no one would be responsible for something of that sort  There is no conflict between the truth of determinism and moral responsibility  His second argument:


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