Justin E. H. Smith of Concordia University hopes that artificial intelligence and extraterrestrial life (a “statistical near-certainty”) will help us “give up the idea of rationality as nature’s last remaining exception”:
He is unusually frank in explaining why he finds that an attractive (or even tenable) idea:
“In answering the where question of reason in this maximally broad way, we are able to preserve the naturalism that philosophy and cognitive science insist upon today, while dispensing with the human-exclusivity of reason. And all the better, since faith in the strange idea that reason appears exactly once in nature, in one particular species and nowhere else, seems, on reflection, to be itself a vestige of pre-scientific supernaturalism.”
He hopes that artificial intelligence and extraterrestrial life (a “statistical near-certainty”) will help us “give up the idea of rationality as nature’s last remaining exception.”
But what if philosophy and cognitive science are so wrong in this matter that they are leading Smith and the rest of us into absurdities? Neurosurgeon Michael Egnor comments. Denyse O’Leary, “Philosopher argues, human reason is inferior to animal reactions” at Mind Matters News
See also: The real reason why only human beings speak. (Michael Egnor) Language is a tool for abstract thinking—a necessary tool for abstraction—and humans are the only animals who think abstractly
Do big brains matter to human intelligence? We don’t know. Brain research readily dissolves into confusion at that point.
Tales of an invented god: The most important characteristic of an AI cult is that its gods (Godbots?) will be created by the AI developers and not the other way around
Panpsychism: You are conscious but so is your coffee mug Another approach to dethroning reason is to claim that everything is conscious, a surprisingly popular view among naturalists.
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