Quintessence of Dust by Harry Redner argues for a science of matter and a philosophy of mind based on emergence. Mind emerges from matter through five essential stages – “quintessence” (
Hamlet). Human mind is differentiated from animal mind primarily by reference to art (
Homo ludens). This approach draws support from Donald, Edelman and other palaeoanthropologists, psychologists and neurologists.
The emergent relation between two entities is defined as an indissoluble non-identity. The “mind as machine” thesis, artificial intelligence and cognitivism are criticised. The alternative emergentist approach comes close to Spinoza. The book attempts a synthesis of the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities based on philosophic premises.
This book discusses the major issues of the current AI debate from the perspectives of philosophy, theology, and the social sciences: Can AI have a consciousness? Is super intelligence possible and probable? How does AI change individual and social life? Can there be artificial persons? What influence does AI have on religious worldviews?
In Western societies, we are surrounded by artificially intelligent systems. Most of these systems are embedded in online platforms. But embodiment of AI, be it by voice (Siri, Alexa, Cortana) or by actual physical embodiment (e.g., robots) give artificially intelligent systems another dimension in terms of their impact on how we perceive these systems, how they shape our communication with them and with fellow humans and how we live and work together. AI in any form gives a new twist to the big questions that humanity has concerned herself with for centuries: What is consciousness? How should we treat each other - what is right and what is wrong? How do our creations change the world we are living in? Which challenges do we have to face in the future?
In our daily lives, we are surrounded by all sorts of things – such as trees, cars, persons, or madeleines – and perception allows us access to them. But what does ‘to perceive’ actually mean? What is it that we perceive? How do we perceive? Do we perceive the same way animals do? Does reason play a role in perception? Such questions occur naturally today. But was it the same in the past, centuries ago? The collected volume tackles this issue by turning to the Latin philosophy of the 13th and 14th centuries. Did medieval thinkers raise the same, or similar, questions as we do with respect to perception? What answers did they provide? What arguments did they make for raising the questions they did, and for the answers they gave to them? The philosophers taken into consideration are, among others, Albert the Great, Roger Bacon, William of Auvergne, Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus, John Pecham, Richard Rufus, Peter Olivi, Robert Kilwardby, John Buridan, and Jean of Jandun.
Contributors are Elena Băltuță, Daniel De Haan, Martin Klein, Andrew LaZella, Lukáš Lička, Mattia Mantovani, André Martin, Dominik Perler, Paolo Rubini, José Filipe Silva, Juhana Toivanen, and Rega Wood.
Neuroscientists often consider free will to be an illusion. Contrary to this hypothesis, the contributions to this volume show that recent developments in neuroscience can also support the existence of free will. Firstly, the possibility of intentional consciousness is studied. Secondly, Libet’s experiments are discussed from this new perspective. Thirdly, the relationship between free will, causality and language is analyzed. This approach suggests that language grants the human brain a possibility to articulate a meaningful personal life. Therefore, human beings can escape strict biological determinism.
Was ist Selbstbewusstsein? Entgegen der weit verbreiteten Ansicht, dass Selbstbewusstsein ein Fall von intentionalem und repräsentationalem Bewusstsein ist, entwickelt dieses Buch ein alternatives Modell: Selbstbewusstsein ist ein Phänomen sui generis und besteht in einem performativen Akt. Lässt sich Selbstbewusstsein mit den begrifflichen Mitteln intentionaler und repräsentationaler Theorien des Selbstbewusstseins vollständig erklären? Die provokante These dieser Untersuchung lautet: Intentionales Selbstbewusstsein setzt präreflexives Selbstbewusstsein voraus, das im Rahmen repräsentationaler Theorien nicht erklärt werden kann. Als neuer Leitbegriff der Theorie der Subjektivität wird der Begriff der Performativität vorgeschlagen.
In Cognitive Kin, Moral Strangers?, Judith Benz-Schwarzburg reveals the scope and relevance of cognitive kinship between humans and non-human animals. She presents a wide range of empirical studies on culture, language and theory of mind in animals and then leads us to ask why such complex socio-cognitive abilities in animals matter. Her focus is on ethical theory as well as on the practical ways in which we use animals. Are great apes maybe better described as non-human persons? Should we really use dolphins as entertainers or therapists? Benz-Schwarzburg demonstrates how much we know already about animals’ capabilities and needs and how this knowledge should inform the ways in which we treat animals in captivity and in the wild.
Empiriomonism is Alexander Bogdanov’s scientific-philosophical substantiation of Marxism. In Books One and Two, he combines Ernst Mach’s and Richard Avenarius’s neutral monist philosophy with the theory of psychophysical parallelism and systematically demonstrates that human psyches are thoroughly natural and are subject to nature’s laws. In Book Three, Bogdanov argues that empiriomonism is superior to G. V. Plekhanov’s outdated materialism and shows how the principles of empiriomonism solve the basic problem of historical materialism: how a society’s material base causally determines its ways of thinking. Bogdanov concludes that empiriomonism is of the same order as materialist systems, and, since it is the ideology of the productive forces of society, it is a Marxist philosophy.