AI and the Turing Test for Machine Intelligence
One interesting question is whether there are any fundamental differences between
human thought and any thought that computers will ever be capable of. The question
we're concerned with is somewhat different
We call an argument deductively valid (or, for short, just "valid") when the
conclusion is entailed by, or logically follows from, the premises.
Validity is a property of the argument's form. It doesn't matter what the premises and
Turing considers a number of objections to his test. Let's talk briefly about two of the
One objection has to do with the fact that machines can't make mistakes. Turing
introduces an important distinction here, between errors of fu
It is not possible to produce a set of rules purporting to describe what a
> man should do in every conceivable set of circumstances.
> To attempt to provide rules of conduct to cover every eventuality, even
> arising from traffic lights, appears to
An argument is sound just in case it's valid and all its premises are true.
1. If the moon is made of green cheese, then cows jump over it.
2. The moon is made of green cheese.
3. Therefore, cows jump over the moon.
is an exa
Realism, Reductionism, Error-Theory
This debate between dualists and materialists is an example of a more general kind of
debate you often encounter in philosophy.
In a philosopher's vocabulary, a realist about Xs is someone who believes that
Xs really ex
You call something ad hoc when it's introduced for a particular purpose, instead
of for some general, antecedently motivated reason. So, for instance, an ad
hoc decision is a decision you make when there's no general rule or precedent
telling you w
1. Do creatures like dogs and cats have minds, or consciousness, or a degree of
This question has plagued mankind since we first began to reflect on our own capacity
for conscious thought, and it has perplexed humanity's greatest thinkers ev
Dualism vs. Materialism
As we saw, vitalists sometimes use the term "soul" to describe the special substances
they think are needed to make things alive. In this sense of "soul", vitalists say that
every living thing-including animals and plants-has a "so
What Is an Argument?
An argument is not the same thing as a quarrel. The goal of an argument is not to
attack your opponent, or to impress your audience. The goal of an argument is to offer
good reasons in support of your conclusion, reasons that all part
Some Good and Bad Forms of Argument
reductio ad absurdum
The following is a valid form of argument: "If P, then Q. But not-Q. So not-P."
Some students initially have difficulty understanding why this is a valid form of
argument. Think of it this way: We k
An analysis is a kind of definition. Distinguish, though, between stipulative
definitions and analyses of pre-existing concepts. A person may stipulate:
In this essay I shall use the word "grog" to mean such-and-such.
As long as such st