How obliged can we be to AI, and how much danger does it pose us? A surprising proportion of our society holds exaggerated fears or hopes for AI, such as the fear of robot world conquest, or the hope that AI will indefinitely perpetuate our cul- ture. These misapprehensions are symptomatic of a larger problem—a confusion about the nature and origins of ethics and its role in society. While AI technologies do pose promises and threats, these are not qualitatively different (...) from those posed by other artifacts of our culture which are largely ignored: from factories to advertising, weapons to political systems. Ethical systems are based on notions of identity, and the exaggerated hopes and fears of AI derive from our cultures having not yet accommodated the fact that language and reasoning are no longer uniquely human. The experience of AI may improve our ethical intuitions and self-understanding, potentially helping our societies make better-informed decisions on serious ethical dilemmas. (shrink)
"Judicious in every respect: selection, translation and structuring of the texts, footnotes, bibliography, and index.... The book of choice for undergraduate courses." --Edward M. Galligan, University of North Carolina.
Knowing is something that we do not have much of a theory about., p. 365.)Interest has recently been shown in causal theories of perception, memory, inference, reference, truth, justification and belief, as well as in a more general “causal theory of knowledge” which would embrace and connect all of these concepts within a broad epistemological framework. The burden of this paper is that prospects are poor for an interesting and general enough causal theory of knowledge. A threat to generality arises (...) from the causal theory's difficulties with knowledge of general truths. A threat to interest arises when attempts to accommodate general truths lead to a weakening of the notion of “causal connection” appealed to, making dubious the explanatory force of such an appeal. (shrink)
This volume contains ten new essays on a priori knowledge by authors from Canada, the United States, Australia, & Europe Topics addressed include the nature, explanation, & indispensability of a priori knowledge, its connection with analytic truth, its place in mathematics, in logic, & in empirical theory, & the contribution of Kant & Quine to these topics. The focus is on twentieth-century contributions to these issues, but most essays also address earlier discussions at some length, & the essays that focus (...) on Kant also relate his views to more recent discussions. Contents: Introduction. A Rationalist Manifesto. Analyticity, Undeniability, & Truth. Analyticity & the A Priori. The Doubtful A Priori. Some Remarks on Indiscernibility. The Constitutive A Priori. Kant's A Priori Methods for Recognising Necessary Truths. EPR as A Priori Science. Gaps, Gluts, & Paradox. An Essay on Material Necessity. (shrink)