• the science of getting machines
to perform jobs that require
• Intelligence is:
Are Computers Intelligent?
Currently computers have two
limitations by comparison with
–must be fed information
effectiveness of computer’s
output depends on what the
programmer had in mind and
goes on to make of it.
Three kinds of questions:
1. Will a computer ever be able to do
X? (an empirical question)
2. Given that some computer can do X,
does that show that it does it in the
same way that humans do X?
(empirical question that depends on
3. If some computer could do X, would
that show that it had property P?
(philosophical, conceptual question)
Can computers have
Lycan argues that it is conceivable that
computers could come to have
intelligence with the Harry and
Henrietta thought experiments.
What are the moral
implications of consciousness?
If X is conscious just as a human is,
then X has the same moral claim to
human rights and privileges
(according to Lycan).
1. what if the computer cannot feel
2. What follows from the fact that the
computer is constructed out of
goods that are owned by the builder?
Does the computer have a right to its
parts once they no longer form a
portion of its body?
3. Note that the converse would
definitely not follow immediately: if
something does not have
consciousness then it does not have
human rights and privileges.
Computational Theory of Mind
• Lycan’s theory that the mind is
(functionally equivalent to) a
• a kind of functionalism, a theory
that mental events are defined in
terms of what they cause and
what they affect, which includes
both physical events and other
• Thus functionalism solves the
mind/body problem by showing
how mental events are caused
by physical events, not as one
physical event causes another,
but in the sense that we come to
define a certain combination of
physical events as a mental