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A Formulation of the Argument

A Formulation of the Argument - A Formulation of the...

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A Formulation of the Argument The final account of one's knowledge of the mental states of others that I want to consider centers around the contention that the basis - or at least one possible basis - of one's being justified in ascribing states of consciousness to other organisms is either the fact that (1) Other organisms use mentalistic language, or the fact that (2) Other organisms appear to assert that they have states of consciousness. Michael Scriven, in an article entitled "The Compleat Robot: A Prolegomena to Androidology", advances a version of this argument to support the claim that there are conditions under which one would be justified in attributing experiences, sensations, thoughts, feelings, and so on to non-biological machines. One reason this sort of argument is very interesting is that if it is sound, it provides one with a method of answering the question of other minds both in the case of biological organisms that resemble oneself and in the cases of biological organisms that do not resemble oneself, and secondly, in the case of non-biological entities - such as robots. In this
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