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A cartesian critique of the artificial intelligence

This paper deals with the philosophical problems concerned with research in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), in particular with problems arising out of claims that AI exhibits ‘consciousness’, ‘thinking’ and other ‘inner’ processes and that they simulate human intelligence and cognitive processes in general. The argument is to show how Cartesian mind is non-mechanical. Descartes´ concept of ‘I think’ presupposes subjective experience, because it is ‘I’ who experiences the world. Likewise, Descartes´ notion of ‘I’ negates the notion of computationality of the mind. The essence of mind is thought and the acts of thoughts are identified with the acts of consciousness. Therefore, it follows that cognitive acts are conscious acts, but not computational acts. Thus, for Descartes, one of the most important aspects of cognitive states and processes is their phenomenality, because our judgments, understanding, etc. can be defined and explained only in relation to consciousness and not in relation to computationality. We can only find computationality in machines and not in the mind, which wills, understands and judges.

©2010 Academic Journals. Article first published in ‘Philosophical Papers and Reviews’, V. 2 (2010), n. 3, pp. 27-33 and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence

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