Philosophy & Artificial Intelligence
Full course description
One of the characteristics of scientific knowledge is the translation of natural phenomena into quantitative or mathematical data – the book of nature, Galileo wrote, is written in the language of mathematics. Over the course of the twentieth and twenty-first century, this desire to understand the world through the logic of mathematics has been extended beyond the natural world to include such things as human consciousness, learning, and intelligence. Indeed, the foundation of what is called ‘artificial intelligence’ is the pursuit of replicating human consciousness and intelligence through mathematical models and formulas. In this course we will examine these issues from a philosophical perspective, beginning with a basic overview of the philosophy of science with an emphasis on quantification and then moving on to study philosophical issues that have developed out of the pursuit of artificial intelligence.