Was Descartes wrong?

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SnareStyle10
 
Reply Mon 15 Mar, 2010 11:45 pm
@SnareStyle10,
Yeah, I named that in the first post.

However, the difference is that the scenario in "Brains in a Vat" is the deception of human minds, so the human mind does exist. I am talking about strictly artificial intelligence, no human minds involved. I am arguing that it is possible we may not exist through the efforts of advanced AI and we may only be perceiving consciousness, but we are not actually conscious since we do not exist outside of the efforts from the AI
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 15 Mar, 2010 11:55 pm
@SnareStyle10,
SnareStyle10;140156 wrote:
Yeah, I named that in the first post.

However, the difference is that the scenario in "Brains in a Vat" is the deception of human minds, so the human mind does exist. I am talking about strictly artificial intelligence, no human minds involved. I am arguing that it is possible we may not exist through the efforts of advanced AI and we may only be perceiving consciousness, but we are not actually conscious since we do not exist outside of the efforts from the AI


I don't think your view is coherent. I don't see how we can be only perceiving consciousness without being ourselves conscious.
 
SnareStyle10
 
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 12:03 am
@SnareStyle10,
AI producing AI basically.
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 02:09 am
@SnareStyle10,
SnareStyle10;140122 wrote:
"I think, (therefore) I exist/am"

According to Meditation 2, Descartes says that the only thing he knows with certainty is that due to our ability to think, we know we exist.

Through our consciousness, we exist.

This then leads me to the following question:

Is artificial intelligence considered consciousness?

If it is, then the statement holds true. If it isn't, there lies alternative possibilities for the conception of knowledge.

The Radical Skeptical Theory states that the reality all of us perceive may in fact be an illusion to what is TRULY reality. (Ex - Brain in the Vat, The Matrix, God or an evil spirit deceiving us).

Through the examples listed above, the human mind is being deceived. However, through the concept of AI, it is possible that a "robot" or any other form of machinery with AI is being deceived (or programmed) into perceiving reality the same way we perceive it.

Conclusion:

Descartes is false since there lies the possibility that our lives may be interpreted not only through a MEANS of AI, but AI itself.

A robot may be simulating a life through its thought processes, and it is possible that I am that robot itself.

Thoughts?
Oo ..uhmmmmm if some mindless hooligan kicked your ass, and never once thought "i think, therefore i am" ..then he still is, and can still kick your ass? A shark doesn't have the biggest brain around, but can still kill highly intelligent people who can say "i think, therefore i am", doesn't the shark still exist, and is still just as dangerous no matter if it can say that silly pharse or not.

Therefore that "i think, therefore i am" is navel gazing at best, endulgenec for stonge age philosophers!

If you read any sience magazin, you'll see that no one claim that current AI's has any remarkable consiousness, but we'r getting there.

To make a program precive things, take immense effort, even just to make a robot walk like a human isn't masterd fully, yet. If you have watched some of the best programmed robots yet, they'r still a far cry from anything we consider "consious".
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 09:32 am
@Jebediah,
SnareStyle10;140122 wrote:
"I think, (therefore) I exist/am"

According to Meditation 2, Descartes says that the only thing he knows with certainty is that due to our ability to think, we know we exist.

Through our consciousness, we exist.

This then leads me to the following question:

Is artificial intelligence considered consciousness?

If it is, then the statement holds true. If it isn't, there lies alternative possibilities for the conception of knowledge.

The Radical Skeptical Theory states that the reality all of us perceive may in fact be an illusion to what is TRULY reality. (Ex - Brain in the Vat, The Matrix, God or an evil spirit deceiving us).

Through the examples listed above, the human mind is being deceived. However, through the concept of AI, it is possible that a "robot" or any other form of machinery with AI is being deceived (or programmed) into perceiving reality the same way we perceive it.

Conclusion:

Descartes is false since there lies the possibility that our lives may be interpreted not only through a MEANS of AI, but AI itself.

A robot may be simulating a life through its thought processes, and it is possible that I am that robot itself.

Thoughts?


First, there are quite a few threads in the Rene Descartes section in the Philosophers forum which may be of use to you and your question which deal with this very issue.

I can agree with the underlying conclusion that (as far as the beginning of mediation is concerned) the only thing he knows with certainty (knows clearly and distinctly) is that his cognition implies his existence.

Your restatement of the radical skepticism theory (known to others as universal skepticism, universal doubt, etc.) is also well put. What is thrown into doubt in meditation one is only that which is not known clearly and distinctly, for what may be perceived may be real, only we cannot know for certain... so we must doubt what we do not know clearly and distinctly.

As far as artificial intelligence being considered consciousness, I would wonder whether or not this is in fact the argument Descartes is putting forward in the first place. Descartes puts forward universal doubt in meditation one, and at the end of meditation 2 concludes that both he exists and his thoughts exist (leading him into meditation 3 where he attempts to prove that other things exist). But a large portion of meditation 2 is devoted to the support of rationalism and a-priori notions, that is, that knowledge comes before the senses. With this in mind, would it not be the case that if Descartes himself is fundamentally based in a-priori principles, he himself is artificial intelligence, programmed from the start (contrary to empiricists like Locke who would say at birth one is begun tabula rasa)?

After your statement of the question you state that were it the case that artificial intelligence were considered consciousness, then the statement holds true. In what sense would it hold true? Descartes has not resolved universal doubt, since he has a long work ahead of him to find out what he knows clearly and distinctly. The truth is somewhat farther down the road. Then you say if it isn't the case that artificial intelligence is considered consciousness, then there are alternatives for the conception of knowledge. To tell the truth, both of these choices are perfectly fit into the context of Descartes text, which is that knowledge is either Descartes a-priori knowledge (inherent in the rationalist perspective) or the latter a-posteriori empiricist type.

But the issue I see is in your conclusion. I take a lot of your arguments before the conclusion as round-about points for a-priori and a-posteriori distinctions. One thing that is essential to consider, at least in terms of modern philosophy, is the refutation of innate ideas (the substance of a-priori knowledge) for empirical study. John Locke, Hume, Berkeley, and all other empiricists make a clear refutation before moving on with their own respective empirical perspectives. AI in a way is determined by innate ideas, and any modus of falsity I would think has to include the refutation of such a notion. In the case of the robot, the robot in either case may be working on a predefined program (a-priori) whose cognizance is reliant in any case.

But about AI in general, you may be interested in this book. Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter. I've never read a more complicated book, but the underlying theme of the book is artificial intelligence. Among the central questions asked are exactly how the self comes out of things which have no self. He then gets into elaborate notions of formal logical systems, godel's incompleteness theorem, and the isomorphic comparisons between the inanimate and the animate, like a relationship between geometrical certainties and biological minutia. Its heavy on musical theory, art, number theory and a large part of logic, but it is a very rewarding read.
 
pshingle
 
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 10:32 am
@SnareStyle10,
I personally believe that, no matter how advanced an AI system becomes, that it could never show many of the more extreme emotions that are displayed by humans. What degree of greed could AI possess? What about anger or malice? I would be interested to see what level AI could be created. Perhaps someone with more technological insight could enlighten us to this information if it is available.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 10:42 am
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon;140287 wrote:


Your restatement of the radical skepticism theory (known to others as universal skepticism, universal doubt, etc.) is also well put. What is thrown into doubt in meditation one is only that which is not known clearly and distinctly, for what may be perceived may be real, only we cannot know for certain... so we must doubt what we do not know clearly and distinctly.



The notion of clear and distinct ideas is introduced only in the Third Meditation, so it is premature to say that in the First Meditation, Descartes tells us to doubt only what is not known clearly and distinctly. In the First Meditation, Descartes just tells us that he resolved to doubt whatever is dubitable. He never there tells us how do decide whether something is dubitable or not. In the Second Meditation, the doubt is stopped because he encounters something that is not dubitable, his own existence. Then, in the Third Meditation, he infers from that, his rule that what is indubitable are clear and distinct ideas. But even at this point, Descartes does not know that clear and distinct ideas are true. He knows only that they are indubitable. To know that clear and distinct ideas are true, he then requires the Divine Guaranty, God's assurance that clear and distinct ideas are true, since without the Divine Guaranty, he cannot know that clear and distinct ideas are true. And then, he proceeds to present his first proof of God (the Ontological Argument) which runs up against the notorious Cartesian circle. Descartes uses the notion that clear and distinct ideas are true to prove that God exists, but uses God, to prove that clear and distinct ideas are true.

---------- Post added 03-16-2010 at 12:46 PM ----------

pshingle;140292 wrote:
I personally believe that, no matter how advanced an AI system becomes, that it could never show many of the more extreme emotions that are displayed by humans. What degree of greed could AI possess? What about anger or malice? I would be interested to see what level AI could be created. Perhaps someone with more technological insight could enlighten us to this information if it is available.


It might be that a person could have emotions, but not have extreme emotions. Computers will never be human beings, but that does not mean they cannot be persons. And persons need not have extreme emotions even if persons who are also human beings do.
 
Jebediah
 
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 10:50 am
@pshingle,
pshingle;140292 wrote:
I personally believe that, no matter how advanced an AI system becomes, that it could never show many of the more extreme emotions that are displayed by humans. What degree of greed could AI possess? What about anger or malice? I would be interested to see what level AI could be created. Perhaps someone with more technological insight could enlighten us to this information if it is available.


I think Krumple made a good point about this in the other thread. Part if being human is knowing you are human. For an AI to be like a human it would have to think it was human, have a human body, have everyone else think it was human.
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 10:59 am
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;140298 wrote:
I think Krumple made a good point about this in the other thread. Part if being human is knowing you are human. For an AI to be like a human it would have to think it was human, have a human body, have everyone else think it was human.
I can't see this as a valid premesis.

Could you elaborate for your reasoning?
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 12:17 pm
@HexHammer,
kennethamy;140295 wrote:
The notion of clear and distinct ideas is introduced only in the Third Meditation, so it is premature to say that in the First Meditation, Descartes tells us to doubt only what is not known clearly and distinctly.

The notion (which in fact is a modus if the philosopher is understood correctly, not a notion) of clear and distinct ideas has been introduced ever since Discourse on the Method for Conducting One's Reason Well and for Seeking the Truth in the Sciences. Simply put, seeking what is known clearly and distinctly is part of the Cartesian scientific method. It is inherent in most everything that he is doing in terms of the text. That you would say it is only introduced in the third meditation is not correct considering that it first stated explicitly in the third meditation, though the modus has been implicitly followed since page one.

Ironically, in the third meditation where "clearly and distinctly" first appear together (others may find via the use of word search if you have not read the text) refers to the recap of Descartes work in the previous two meditations (specifically paragraph 2). Keep in mind Descartes method, doubt all that which is not known clearly and distinctly, analyze down to the simplest components, reconstruct, and enumerate. This is done in every meditation, especially meditation 3.
kennethamy;140295 wrote:
In the First Meditation, Descartes just tells us that he resolved to doubt whatever is dubitable. He never there tells us how do decide whether something is dubitable or not.
kennethamy;140295 wrote:
In the Second Meditation, the doubt is stopped because he encounters something that is not dubitable, his own existence.

The doubt is not "stopped," only that he has a more clear and distinct ideas that he may exist and that his thoughts may exist. This then leads into the third meditation which attempts to prove whether or not other things exist (i.e. God).
kennethamy;140295 wrote:
Then, in the Third Meditation, he infers from that, his rule that what is indubitable are clear and distinct ideas.

Seeking what is known clearly and distinctly is something that has been in play since before meditation three. The inference comes from the earlier chapters.
kennethamy;140295 wrote:
But even at this point, Descartes does not know that clear and distinct ideas are true. He knows only that they are indubitable. To know that clear and distinct ideas are true, he then requires the Divine Guaranty, God's assurance that clear and distinct ideas are true, since without the Divine Guaranty, he cannot know that clear and distinct ideas are true. And then, he proceeds to present his first proof of God (the Ontological Argument) which runs up against the notorious Cartesian circle. Descartes uses the notion that clear and distinct ideas are true to prove that God exists, but uses God, to prove that clear and distinct ideas are true.

Again, clear and distinct ideas are not a specific point, but an underlying feature of his general method. They do not in themselves form a specific point from which other points can be inferred, they are the underlying elements of the investigation which yield the results.

Meditation three is centered on two arguments for the existence of God, God being the one thing he can rationally suppose exists beyond him and his thoughts (mediation 2). This is also additional proof that he is not under the control of a deceiving demon as well, meaning that even the fact of the cogito "resolution" is still in play. This is in fact why Descartes provides the scales of reality and the principles of truth (i.e. formal, objective, and eminent reality, as well as the principles which state that a cause has as much reality as its effect and every event has a cause). The scales of reality provide the rationalization to suppose the existence of God (God having a higher formal reality than Descartes could even conceive of).

As far as the Cartesian circle goes, academically at any rate, it is that we have a clear and distinct idea of God. Why? Because God exists. But God exists because we have a clear and distinct idea of God. (thus the circle). A conflict of the application of clear and distinct ideas. Descartes gets out of the Cartesian circle by supposing the principle of sufficient reason (that God is the cause of the idea , where the cause must have as much formal reality as the idea has in objective reality), and also explains the whole reason for the scales of reality in the first place. Ironically, clear and distinct ideas are the issue with the Cartesian circle in the fist place.
 
DwayneFord
 
Reply Sat 20 Mar, 2010 10:58 am
@SnareStyle10,
hey !!

k i believe that when descartes said " i think therefore i am" he implied my ( Descartes' ) brain exists. he wasn't generalizing the idea to everyone. " i think, therefore everyone exists" but it was the only way he was sure that his brain existed somewhere whether it in a vat of liquid or whatever.

also are we assuming that A.I. has conscious thought?

also if you are feeling that you may be a robot or that people we meet day to day are robots, i'd almost go to say you have something like a solipsist point of view !
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 20 Mar, 2010 11:09 am
@DwayneFord,
DwayneFord;141594 wrote:
hey !!

k i believe that when descartes said " i think therefore i am" he implied my ( Descartes' ) brain exists. he wasn't generalizing the idea to everyone. " i think, therefore everyone exists" but it was the only way he was sure that his brain existed somewhere whether it in a vat of liquid or whatever.

also are we assuming that A.I. has conscious thought?

also if you are feeling that you may be a robot or that people we meet day to day are robots, i'd almost go to say you have something like a solipsist point of view !


Descartes certainly did not believe that he was identical with his own brain, if that is what you mean. Since he believed he would exist after death, he did not even think that his brain was necessary for his existence.
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Sat 20 Mar, 2010 12:51 pm
@DwayneFord,
DwayneFord;141594 wrote:
hey !!

k i believe that when descartes said " i think therefore i am" he implied my ( Descartes' ) brain exists. he wasn't generalizing the idea to everyone. " i think, therefore everyone exists" but it was the only way he was sure that his brain existed somewhere whether it in a vat of liquid or whatever.
DwayneFord;141594 wrote:
also are we assuming that A.I. has conscious thought?

Hofstadter would say that these two elements are inextricably connected because intelligent things come out of unintelligent things (i.e. elements into composites, etc.). As for Descartes, wouldn't he consider them both one in the same?

DwayneFord;141594 wrote:
also if you are feeling that you may be a robot or that people we meet day to day are robots, i'd almost go to say you have something like a solipsist point of view !
 
DwayneFord
 
Reply Sun 21 Mar, 2010 12:18 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;141598 wrote:
Descartes certainly did not believe that he was identical with his own brain, if that is what you mean. Since he believed he would exist after death, he did not even think that his brain was necessary for his existence.


i don't really understand what you mean by identical with his own brain! i was implying that what Descartes was implying was that because i can think, i must have a place where the thoughts are, a mind, so that is the only thing that he could be sure of. this works because everything we sense is just sensory inputs via our senses which is interpreted by our brain and our reality is formed. so the fact that we can perceive the "world" it is proof, for Descartes, that a (his) mind exists.

as for the comment that Descartes believed he would exist after death, i am not familiar about this? was he meaning he will exist after death in the sense his body will still be on the planet in the dirt after he died or his mind would live on forever ?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 21 Mar, 2010 02:41 am
@DwayneFord,
DwayneFord;141797 wrote:


as for the comment that Descartes believed he would exist after death, i am not familiar about this? was he meaning he will exist after death in the sense his body will still be on the planet in the dirt after he died or his mind would live on forever ?


His mind (soul) would live forever. He was a Catholic. So, he was not his body (or brain). He would survive the dissolution of his brain.

---------- Post added 03-21-2010 at 04:44 AM ----------

DwayneFord;141797 wrote:


as for the comment that Descartes believed he would exist after death, i am not familiar about this? was he meaning he will exist after death in the sense his body will still be on the planet in the dirt after he died or his mind would live on forever ?


His mind (soul) would live forever. He was a Catholic. So, he was not his body (or brain). He would survive the dissolution of his brain.

Of course, consciousness cannot exist without a mind.
 
Pepijn Sweep
 
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 04:55 pm
@SnareStyle10,
SnareStyle10;140122 wrote:
"I think, (therefore) I exist/am"

According to Meditation 2, Descartes says that the only thing he knows with certainty is that due to our ability to think, we know we exist.

Through our consciousness, we exist.

This then leads me to the following question:

Is artificial intelligence considered consciousness?

If it is, then the statement holds true. If it isn't, there lies alternative possibilities for the conception of knowledge.

The Radical Skeptical Theory states that the reality all of us perceive may in fact be an illusion to what is TRULY reality. (Ex - Brain in the Vat, The Matrix, God or an evil spirit deceiving us).

Through the examples listed above, the human mind is being deceived. However, through the concept of AI, it is possible that a "robot" or any other form of machinery with AI is being deceived (or programmed) into perceiving reality the same way we perceive it.

Conclusion:

Descartes is false since there lies the possibility that our lives may be interpreted not only through a MEANS of AI, but AI itself.

A robot may be simulating a life through its thought processes, and it is possible that I am that robot itself.

Thoughts?


[CENTER]:bigsmile:

Dear Mr Kenny,

How could Descartes have thought a'bout robots ? Coming to Holland's Leyden for the University and printing one of his books he studied other things. Like Wind-Mills and Polders and Canals with Ships pulled by Animals... He met the Staaten van Holland having a pick-nick.

Ps
[/CENTER]
 
Ahab
 
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 05:02 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;141817 wrote:
His mind (soul) would live forever. He was a Catholic. So, he was not his body (or brain). He would survive the dissolution of his brain.

---------- Post added 03-21-2010 at 04:44 AM ----------



His mind (soul) would live forever. He was a Catholic. So, he was not his body (or brain). He would survive the dissolution of his brain.

Of course, consciousness cannot exist without a mind.


If he was a good Catholic he would not have believed he would exist in the afterlife without his body. Catholics don't believe in bodiless existence. That is one reason for the doctrine of the Resurrection of the Body.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 05:39 pm
@Ahab,
Ahab;142757 wrote:
If he was a good Catholic he would not have believed he would exist in the afterlife without his body. Catholics don't believe in bodiless existence. That is one reason for the doctrine of the Resurrection of the Body.


I think that according to Catholics the body is a spiritual body.
 
Ahab
 
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 05:54 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;142767 wrote:
I think that according to Catholics the body is a spiritual body.


The same body a person had will be resurrected. It will be immortal. And it shouldn't be confused with the soul or with the mind.

Not all Catholics personally believe it, but that is official doctrine. I'm not an expert on Catholicism, but I did convert to that faith in my mid 30's and had to go throgh quite a bit of instruction at the time.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 06:05 pm
@Ahab,
Ahab;142769 wrote:
The same body a person had will be resurrected. It will be immortal. And it shouldn't be confused with the soul or with the mind.

Not all Catholics personally believe it, but that is official doctrine. I'm not an expert on Catholicism, but I did convert to that faith in my mid 30's and had to go throgh quite a bit of instruction at the time.


I don't think that conflicts with the doctrine that we survive the death of the body.
 
 

 
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