status I hope to make this a series of posts. For now, just an outline of one of the earlier in the series
Common trope of seeing a hard boundary between mind and mere machinery. This is so baked-in to culture that people do not really question it. It is of course rooted in mind/body dualism and that is very hard to overcome.
Cybernetics promises to do that, and while it may have its own issues....
The point here is not whether current AIs are real minds, but whether any kind of computational or mechanical mind can be. Are the like us or not, and if they simply can't be, why not?
Mechanism seems bad because all our highest human attributes are assigned to the apparently non-mechanical part of ourselves – freedom, love, courage, arete, creativity. We find it hard to imagine machines with these capabilities, or even make sense of the concept. Machines just do what they are programmed to do, and these higher functions all involve, in some way, a transcending of the merely programmatic.
Yet we cannot deny the biological basis of our own thinking – our own bodily nature, our limits. We may experience ourselves as something that transcends the bodily, but that won't change anything when death or senility comes calling. And even in the day to day we are dealing at a practical level with the embodied nature of mind, we can't avoid it.
The responses are various forms of dualism, various forms of co-existence, or mind/body nondualism.