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Philosophical Papers and Reviews Vol. 2(3), pp.

27-33, October 2010
Available online at http://www.academicjournals.org/PPR
©2010 Academic Journals

Review

A Cartesian critique of the artificial intelligence
Rajakishore Nath
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai-76, Indian.
E-mail: nath@hss.iitb.ac.in.
Accepted 26 May, 2010

This paper deals with the philosophical problems concerned with research in the field of artificial
intelligence (AI), in particular with problems arising out of claims that AI exhibits ‘consciousness’,
‘thinking’ and other ‘inner’ processes and that they simulate human intelligence and cognitive
processes in general. The argument is to show how Cartesian mind is non-mechanical. Descartes’
concept of ‘I think’ presupposes subjective experience, because it is ‘I’ who experiences the world.
Likewise, Descartes’ notion of ‘I’ negates the notion of computationality of the mind. The essence of
mind is thought and the acts of thoughts are identified with the acts of consciousness. Therefore, it
follows that cognitive acts are conscious acts, but not computational acts. Thus, for Descartes, one of
the most important aspects of cognitive states and processes is their phenomenality, because our
judgments, understanding, etc. can be defined and explained only in relation to consciousness and not
in relation to computationality. We can only find computationality in machines and not in the mind,
which wills, understands and judges.

Key words: Cartesian mind, artificial intelligence, physical symbols, non-mechanical mind, thought,
intelligence, cognitive, intentionality, subjectivity.

INTRODUCTION

It is not wrong to compare Descartes’ idea with the idea with problems arising from claims that AI exhibits
of artificial intelligence (AI). Although the association of ‘consciousness’, ‘thinking’ and other ‘inner’ processes
Descartes’ name with the notion of AI is bound to cause and that they simulate human intelligence and cognitive
some surprise both to the followers of Descartes and AI process in general. This paper deals with how Descartes’
scientists, the term ‘AI’, even though unnamed, was idea of mind is non-mechanistic. The study shall begin by
already born in the period when Descartes was alive. It is giving a brief characterization of AI and how it defines
true that AI is a distinct discipline, yet its philosophical mind. Secondly, an attempt will be made to understand
problems are very important in the present scenario. In the nature of mind presupposed by artificial intelligence.
the modern philosophy, we find that Descartes was As such, the study shall discuss about the nature of mind
wondering whether or not it would be possible to create a because without proper understanding of Descartes’
machine that would be phenomenologically indistin- notion of mind, it is impossible to discuss contemporary
guishable from man. He also advocated that animals are philosophy of mind. Lastly, there is an argument that
simply machines and human beings, if someone is set to Descartes’ idea of mind is non-mechanistic because the
possess an immaterial soul, might also simply be way AI scientists define mind is completely mechanistic
considered as machines. One important concern is and to which the notion of computationality is applicable
manifestation of his consideration of what it would mean and the mental qualities are credible to machines, but not
to say that a machine thinks (Descartes, 2003). to minds. The main aim in this paper is to clarify
We know what AI is and what it does in our unreflective Descartes’ notion of mind from a subjective point of view.
moments. As such, when AI scientists ascribe the mental It is believed that Descartes’ notion of mind cannot be
qualities or mind to machines, then this mechanistic explained or characterized in an artificial intelligence
construction of mind brings about many philosophical approach and that they are the subjective mental states
issues. This paper deals with philosophical problems which we can seen from the first-person perspective of
connected with research in the field of AI, in particular their proper understanding.

they are human thinking. 1996). artificial intelligence is aimed at different angles. Let us look at these two definitions from (ii) In the wider sense. Thus. AI aims at producing machines Artificial intelligence researchers have invented dozens of with mind. This shows that the . the states of mind in artificial intelligence will be learning. the human brain is just a digital computer and the different kinds of computation and different ways of mind is a computer program.. There are many philosophers and comprises the following: many scientists who define AI differently. Papers Rev. but also to understand what According to strong artificial intelligence. problems and potential of this work towards sophistication they have. (ii) It can manipulate robotic devices to perform some ‘observations’. 1989). “the intelligence is. In that case. aimed at exploring the range of tasks and literal sense” (Haugeland. that machines have minds. Linguists are also interested in these basic output. following different courses of notions while developing different models in computa. computers do think. the main aim of artificial believed that insights into the nature of the mind can be intelligence is to reproduce mental mechanisms in gained by studying the operation of such systems. over which computers can be programmed to behave according to Bellman. in the full computer science. to a machine. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE of intelligent activity of human beings in various ways. a system that has the capability of input. knowledge. On the other hand. Moreover. ‘knowledge’. then we have to ascribe biology. That is to say. AI strives to build intelligent entities as well method of testing the results of artificial intelligence as understand them. psychologists have developed new models of the mind based on the fundamental concepts of artificial A digital computer is also an example of a physical intelligence. and these process and reasoning. Therefore. repetitive and sensory-motor tasks. appropriately programmed computer with the right inputs (Tanimoto. As such. cessing. ‘free will’. Thus artificial intelligence expands the field sense that we all do” (Searle. understanding language Here. Haugeland and Bellman point out programs that simulate the actual processes that human that artificial intelligence is concerned with thought beings undergo in their intelligent behavior. artificial intelligence research may intelligence through the construction of computer have impact on science and technology in the following programs that imitate intelligent behavior. geology. artificial intelligence researchers investigated view. which generally as decision making. They have explained the simulated programs are taken as theories describing and machines as a mind that is completely associated with explaining human performance. machines will perform intelligent tasks and thus will behave like human beings. 1978). 1987). 1987). The hypothesis of artificial intelligence and its Artificial intelligence attempts to understand intelligent corollaries are empirical in nature whose truth or falsity is entities. operation. According to one extreme Besides. According to Charniak and McDermott. artificial intelligence is part of make computers think…. These systems are capable of producing tional linguistics. Bellman. we know that artificial intelligence is a part of computer science in which there are designed intelligent MIND IN ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE systems that exhibit the characteristics we associate with intelligence in human behaviour. to the age-old problems of the nature of mind and according to the AI researchers. storing. reasoning. etc. have sometimes found solution capabilities behave intelligently like human beings. artificial intelligence is the discipline programming techniques that support intelligent that attempts to understand the nature of human behaviour. It is explored. as John Searle describing computation in an effort not just to create calls it.28 Philos. it is “the automation of activities intelligently. that is to say. certain ‘belief’. Cognitive closely similar (Simon. problem of solving learning…”( human beings undertake. it is the study of the ways computers that we associate with human thinking and activities such can be made to perform cognitive tasks. symbols. engineering and medicine. machines. It also way: emphasizes the functions of the human brain and the analogical functioning of the digital computer. The computers with these non-human intelligence. If we say (i) It can solve some difficult problems in chemistry. This view. Haugeland defines artificial intelligence as. problem solving and so on. machines with minds. intelligent artifacts. the useful. and philosophers. which is concerned with to be determined by experiment and empirical test. ‘intention’. Here. their basic tenet is to create computers and outputs literally has a mind in exactly the same which think. in considering the intelligence depending on the level of mechanical progress. 1987). but unlike philosophy. tested by comparing the computer output with the human People with widely varying back-grounds and behaviour to determine whether both the result and also professional knowledge are contributing new ideas and the actual behaviour of computers and persons are introducing new tools in this discipline. etc. symbol system. The intelligence. However. systems and information pro. As we know. is strong artificial intelligence (Searle. “the exciting new effort to (i) In the narrow sense.

1979). move and reason” and their relation to the world around them? These (Winston. That is which will be discussed in due course. These abstract objects are frequently referred to as an algorithm. response to an even more complex environment. there is no distinction is the self. Again. intelligence. humans are DESCARTES’ REMARKS ON MIND AND ARTIFICIAL indeed machines and in particular. it arranges for the circuit to be disconnected in the formal structure determined by their states and state former case and to remain connected in the latter. in which the physical systems are understanding any significant kind of mental activity of a concrete objects with a causal structure determined by human brain. we have discussed artificial intelligence and its is that the mind is the software and the brain is the presuppositions of mind. whose organization activities of the brain are simply algorithmic activities is enormously complex and whose evaluation is barely which give rise to all mental phenomena like thinking. is . For the supporters of strong AI. 1984).. are to be regarded. the supporters of link with other neurons. The brain. etc. there is no place for computationality because the mind is to the program. etc. because is that which “doubts. device. state-automation and so on. 1996). 1990). there is a specific causal according to this view. as computations. computations are often imple- extremely simple: the device registers whether the mented in synthetic silicon based computers. but mental qualities of a sort that can be computational process and the mind is the alternative attributed to teleological functioning of any computational name of the brain which is a machine. the system mirrors the formal structure of the The strong artificial intelligence view is that the computation. affirms. However. For each neuron. “Happens to be a meat machine” computing machine to think. the algorithm is physical systems. calculate and carry out (Pamela. understands. in terms of the computational model of the mind. For transition relations. that is to say that causation going on between various units of brain they are the features of the algorithm being carried out by activity. the notion of implementation is the define an algorithm simply as a calculation procedure of relation between abstract computational objects and some kind. Artificial The field of artificial intelligence is devoted in large part intelligence understands the nature of human intelligence to the goal of reproducing mental activities in computa. if differences between the essential functioning of a human there is a way of mapping the system states into the being (including all its conscious manifestations) and that computations states so that the physical states which are of a computer lie only in the much greater complication in causally related to the formal states are correspondingly the case of the brain. this subjective thinking thing or the self between brain processes and mental processes. Pascal program. temperature is greater or smaller than the setting and the computational systems are abstract objects with a then. intelligent behaviour is questions have raised profound philosophical issues interpreted as giving rise to abstract automation. To strong AI supporters. produces complex behavior in feeling. a very complex set of algorithms has to be their internal states and the causal relations between the designed to capture the complexity of the human mental states. as the brain is to the hardware” thought act is due to the subjective thinking thing. which (Searle. Winston says. The brain functions like a digital computer the neurons. tional machines. finite- simply the carrying out of some well-defined operations. and as such. denies. even to the very simplest mechanical ones such The theory of computation deals wholly with abstract as a thermostat. Here. as there is in the brain. whereas. The slogan is: “the mind. Accordingly. but in the case of thermostat. Therefore. It will be adequate to systems. The supporters of strong AI argue that Now the question is: What would the world be like if we we have every reason to believe that eventually had intelligent machines? What would the existence of computers will truly have minds. It may be pointed out that a physical system activities. All mental qualities such as related formally (Chalmers. merely as aspects of this computers. Nath 29 devices would not only refer to being intelligent and have the process which is happening in the brain is a minds. feeling. There is real complicated functioning of the brain. As such. willing. The brain is naturally designed like a Marvin Minsky says. the digital computers are implements a computation when the casual structure of approximations of the complex human brain. Thus. In the Cartesian scheme of hardware of a computational system. our mental behaviour INTELLIGENCE is finally the result of the mechanical activities of the brain. We may ask here formal structures which are implemented in formal as to what an algorithm actually is. precisely mirroring patterns of causation between the brain. the idea is that mental activity is objects such as turning machine. The fact is that there is rich causal dynamics inside according to this view. The basic idea of the computer model of the mind So far. the electrical and chemical mechanism. It is the causal patterns among strong AI hold that the human brain functions like a the neurons in the brain that are responsible for any Turing machine which carries out all sets of complicated conscious experiences that may arise. thinking. For strong AI. understood. He points out that the brain is an algorithmic activities. non-biological system could thus be the sort of thing that could give rise to conscious experience. to say that an artificial. The system implements the computation. such machines say about the nature of human beings “Intelligent robots must sense.

1984). This is a proof of the non-mechanical ‘the dogma of the ghost in the machine’. 1985). and false not in detail but in mechanical laws. on the one hand. though not (Heaven be praised) mechanical behaviourist and hence is anti-mechanical. who mechanistic reading of mind. it is certain that I am between mind and body. 1985). I have a clear and distinct only establishes the existence of the self which thinks idea of myself. that I mind. as the human mind. Similarly. I am” (Descartes. the existence of ghost in the machine. everything. and on the other hand. The human mind is beyond the sphere of . is unwilling and also imagines and has sensory In Ryle’s understanding of mind. is a field of causes understanding. Therefore. simply aspects of cognitive states and processes is their by knowing that I exist and seeing at the same time that phenomenality because of our judgments. this subjective attitude of that they exist independent of each other. because it is ‘I’ who experiences the world. as non-extended thing. the fact that I Likewise. which is distinct from the body. because. The question of what kind of power is are conscious acts. According to Ryle. It is different sort of structure. it follows that cognitive acts least by God. Descartes’ notion of ‘I’ negates the notion of can clearly and distinctly understand one thing apart from computationality of the mind. I can infer correctly that consciousness and not in relation to computationality. The essence of mind is another is enough to make certain that two things are thought and the acts of thoughts are identified with acts distinct. Papers Rev. This is to mistake (Ryle. not nevertheless. 1984). 1985). understanding. in the ‘Fifth Meditation’. I hope to prove mind which is different from the body subject to that it is entirely false. The mental processes. It is true that I may have (or. although he did say that the (Descartes. Thus. chemistry and physiology. which has the capacity of intelligence and body. a person’s thinking. idea of the body is that of a machine. Descartes’ has shown that he has a clear and distinct idea of a body distinction between mind and body commits a category. which clearly and distinctly understands is Descartes’ concept of ‘I think’ presupposes subjective capable of being created by God so as to correspond experience. We my essence consists solely in the fact that I am a thinking can only find computationality in machines and not in the thing. Descartes admits the distinction between mind and body though one made of a different sort of stuff and with a and this shows that the mind is non-computational. he principle” (Ryle. mind becomes as much perceptions” (Descartes. to anticipate. As we have seen. exactly with my understanding of it. willing. absolutely nothing else belongs to my nature or essence etc. as extended and a non-thinking substance. ‘The Concept of Mind’ says that Descartes’ Meditation’ the existence of a thinking being that has a distinction between mind and body is a myth. suggest that the mechanically existing body is As Ryle said. Accordingly. Therefore. in so far as this is simply an extended Moreover. so the mind must be another field of causes concept of intelligence is anti-physicalist and anti- and effects. again. The existence of the mechanical as the body and is therefore non-different thinking thing is the same as the existence of the from the body. He argues. as is true. so the the body. family of radical category mistake is the source of the The afore-described distinction between mind and body double-life theory. the mind itself would become computational. “I shall often speak of it. are intentional and are the free acts of the possibility of their separate existence and not for the fact thinking subject. clear and distinct perception of the mind as a thinking. because the ghost itself is a body. Descartes is a dualist. when Descartes makes the distinction non-thinking thing. would be no necessary distinction between the mind and As the human body is a complex organized unit. like any other parcel of matter. “I think. then the idioms of physics. Descartes refutes the subjective thinking thing. Descartes’ computational because the subjective activity is the first argument for the mind. Thus for Descartes. The representation of a person as a supposes that there is no ‘ghost’ in the human body or ghost mysteriously ensconced in a machine derived from ‘ghost in the machine’. non- and acts but also its freedom from mechanistic laws to extended thing. 1984). person perspective. idea of the body. with deliberate abusiveness. in so far as I am simply a thinking. Ryle Descartes has already proved in the ‘Second in his book. However. but not computational or mechanical required to bring about such a separation does not affect acts. since they are capable of being separated at of consciousness. Likewise. The mind cannot be mapped mechanically in an algorithmic separability argument is as follows: “First. rather than a mentalist. one of the most important the judgment that the two things are distinct. However. and there Therefore they must be described in counterpart idioms. Descartes’ certainly have) a body that is very closely joined to me. understands and judges. that can be defined and explained only in relation to except that I am a thinking thing. Following this. therefore. causes and effects” (Ryle. because it is the subject. Descartes did not admit this argument. “my destructive purpose is to show that a ontologically distinct from the non-computational mind. All these subjective activities are non.30 Philos. I have a distinct which the human body is subjected to. but human mind must be another complex organized unit. thinks. Hence. I know that system. which wills. dictum. The Cartesian way of understanding the and effects. for needs to be understood as an argument for the logical Descartes. Had Descartes feeling and purposive doing cannot be described solely in admitted that there was a ghost in the human body. he did not claim that the idea of really distinct from my body and can exist without it” the mind is that of a ghost.

His account of our mental concepts emerges as innate ideas are not produced in us by the senses. 1985). In other words. ideas were conveyed to us by the senses like heat. judged. they represent embodies the innate grammatical structures. or hears me talk about it. These ideas are a priori in the human a bodily state that is obtained when and only when the mind and are the basic in-born propensities. sounds and of bodily states and the mind strictly of mind state. however fleeting or remotely ideas. or so I have hitherto goes by the bound and will not be missed” (Quine. it must be noted that the functionalist conception of mind. “the ideas of pain. if that human brain is the cause of the Following Descartes. how we learn them. etc. 1985). but my hearing a noise. Descartes mental one is obtained. He reduces the mental perception of the particular is not possible without the states like beliefs and other propositional attitudes to universal. qualities in terms of physical qualities. our mind is to be capable of perhaps observes my gratifying or threatening situation representing them to itself. 1999). wrong. comes from the may equivalently ascribe the other to the body. but my thought insight into language. or of certain corporeal motions. Here. He then applies the word between these ideas and the corporeal motions. colours. sound. which others called judgments” (Descartes. psychological properties. “thus when I will (or am afraid. If both Chomsky and Quine are right requirement for the cognition of the particular objects in about the nature of mind. the likes must be all the more innate. seems to be derived simply of accompanying a mind. something that makes mind are mental representations (Descartes. it follows that there is a myself applying those words to some of my subsequent distinction between innate and adventitious ideas and states in cases where no outward signs are to be that innate ideas are universal ideas. whereas observed beyond my report itself. The afore-said quotation shows that some human brain. The only Some thoughts in this category are called volitions or major tenet of Descartes that Chomsky rejects is the emotions. signs. that is. Therefore. If the he examines how we acquire them. language what it is and inheres in all languages. “my understanding of what a thing is. and holds “corresponding to saying. which is in the mental state. sirens. As such. as I do now. that is. the immediate perception of which phenomenon. Without the outward adventitious ideas are particular ideas. Chomsky and Quine define the mental be human. However. Again. hippogriffs and the likes are my Quine’s position is that there are irreducible own invention” (Descartes. or feeling the fire. simply as the state truth is and what thought is. from my own nature. what specifiable in the dualist’s own terms. or affirm. the dualist is bound to admit the existence of the human mind. to begin with. Quine also affirms that there can be no content by which they are individuated as an idea of this philosophical study of the mind outside psychology: particular thing or being. Innate universal ideas are a necessary functional states. because. linguistics are taken directly from Descartes. Language brain. and I understand what I am redundancy” (Quine. Quine makes me aware of the thought. then Descartes’ view of mind is the world. The basic tenets of Chomsky’s includes something more than the likeness of that thing. Chomsky established that mental states. things in the world. on the occasion Someone observes my joyful or anxious expression. they have an object or Like Chomsky. for there is no similarity itself. because the human mind has innate every mental state. we or seeing the sun. That In the ‘third meditation’. we would not have to refer to anything He explains. whenever. one state is ascribed to the mind. The bodily state is trivially observes. 1984). In inseparable from progress in psychology. “such terms are applied in the light of outside ourselves. Instead. He says.” ‘joy’ or ‘anxiety’. Quine opposes the Cartesian scene and feeling the fire are all particular ideas. Language is purely a syntactic system. After another such lesson or two. 1984). if. that the mental states are causally computable within a Language becomes the essence that defines what it is to physical system. this very fact makes it certain that there is within . which are embedded as the innate dispositions of intellectual. I find (Descartes. Language does not arise from anything bodily. or deny). The mind thing which is located outside of me. etc. because they too would be innate. mentalistic terms could not be learnt Descartes points out that hearing a noise. there is always a particular thing Studying the brain and body can give us no additional which I take as the subject of my thought. Descartes also progress in philosophical understanding of the mind is considers an ‘idea’ to refer to the ‘form’ of any thought. account of ideas. seeing the at all” (Quine. 1994). existence of the mental substance different from the 1984). “a dualism of mind and body is an idle express something in words. and it therefore has a logical form define mind in terms of the computational functions of the which is universal and innate to the world. dualism and therefore arrives at a behaviourist and (Descartes. a physical human subject. Descartes gives an extensive essence is called ‘universal grammar’ (George and Mark. Chomsky accepts that the human brain thoughts are images of things. Nath 31 computationality.. Moreover. publicly observable symptoms: bodily symptoms strictly For Descartes. they according to Chomsky. Descartes claims that all ideas in the must also have an essence. Lastly. and then. “I understand this term to mean the form of psychology is a ‘natural science’ studying a natural any given thought. his words. 1994). That is. I argued. but all explanation is ultimately The afore-said observation of Descartes shows that physical. then we cannot but arrive at the conclusion language too is an innate faculty of the human species. 1984). Hence.

Descartes has subjectivized the mental world and thus and the capacity to act intelligently or rationally in all sorts made it into a private world. He made every effort to keep of situations (Descartes. material body. as his did such a view makes thinking too narrow. Thus. Descartes is not a reductionist as he thinks that mind Descartes holds that thinking cannot be explained cannot be reduced to anything else and it must have an mechanically. His argument that brutes cannot think is autonomous existence alongside the existence of the equivalent to an argument that machines cannot think. and that the Descartes’ argument that brutes or machines cannot mind must therefore be most carefully diverted from such think in the light of the general question of what makes an things if it is to perceive its own nature as distinctly as utterance or a symbolic structure meaningful is possible” (Hatfield. machine of thought. For them. For the fact that reason is a universal because he may still be considered an important instrument which can be used in all kind of situations. it is based on notion of the human being is a unity of mind and body. he regarded that all these are conditions responses to meaningful speech. relevant to this knowledge of which I posses. For Chomsky. the main committed to. In reply to linguistic are the idea of an innate. unlike Hobbes and Gassendi. Although Descartes did not no machine could have the capacity to use linguistic and identify mental thought with consciousness. universal grammar Descartes. 1985). even though such this. other signs to express thoughts and give appropriate awareness. dependent on mental phenomena. 2003). words or other signs that are composed as we do to That is the reason why Descartes called the ‘I think’ the declare our thoughts to others. rule governed holds that individual acts of imagination. This is because Cartesian machine could be construed to utter words corresponding doctrine of the mind and its inner experience do assume to bodily change in its origin. offered counter evidence to Descartes’ assumption that Descartes. identity theories is not so much his distinction between an count as rational behaviour as he understands it. forerunner of cognitive and computational view of the these organs need some particular disposition for each mind. hence it is morally impossible to have rational thought or cognition can be studied enough different ones in a machine to make it act in all independently of other phenomena. Papers Rev. thoughts are mechanical lessons to be learnt from the ‘Cartesian’ tradition in processes in the brain (Hobbes. Secondly. 1985). While arguing the existence of mind. we cannot say that and to give appropriate responses to meaningful speech. they would inevitably fail in shown the right way to the understanding of the mind. me an idea of what is signified by the words in question” would not have the capacity to act intelligently in all sorts (Descartes. What separates sense. because “It is not absolute basis of all our knowledge-claims about others conceivable that the machine should produce different and the external world.. in as much as computation or symbol processing that a turing machine they are experiences. (Pradhan. the self or mind is arrangements of words so as to give an appropriately irreducible/not explainable in terms of the body or meaningful answer to whatever is said in its presence. Here. to the Cartesians which have been discussed earlier. referred to as consciousness. as machines whether of Descartes or another’s. animal communication have not are thus representational and intentional in character. is not a human language is based on an entirely distinct principle. emotions.32 Philos. but dependent precisely on their ‘substantial’ union. “I thus realize that none of and the idea that the study of the structure of this these things the imagination enables me to grasp is at all argument will reveal the structure of thought or mind. etc. 1984). 2001). The ‘I think’ of the mental reality does not He thinks that no machine could have the capacity of deny the ‘I exist’ character in the world. In view of the dualist of men can do. Gassendi says. because the mind is a thinking thing free from computers would not count as thinking in Descartes’ the mechanistic processes of the brain. but could never use spoken that we know other minds as much as we know our own. 2003). Descartes noteworthy. The kind of automatic. But what is so special an objective constraint on the subjective mind and thus about human language use and what does it show that forestalled all skeptical questions about the existence of the behaviour of any mechanism fails to show? A other minds. to which the mind is What Descartes is drawing attention to here is firstly. which could reveal that they were acting not Of course Descartes would not have accepted the idea through understanding but only from the disposition of of mechanical or computational artificial intelligence. On the contrary. Not only immaterial mind and extended material body. are relevant to grasping the nature instantiates and that can be performed by electronic of mind. naturalist and keeps the thought content free from nor has modern linguistic philosophers dealt with their naturalization to which Hobbes and Gassendi are observations in serious way. we can say that the Cartesian philosophy of the machines might do some things as well as we do them. the ideas. Therefore. others. rather it is an using the linguistic and other signs to express thoughts affirmation of it. no matter how ingenious or intelligent. precisely the kind of category mistake that Ryle attributes with the properties not reducible to either mind or body. and secondly. it has or perhaps even better. like sensation and contingencies of life in the way in which our reason emotions. The essence of the mind is rational thinking and particular action. for Descartes of situations. in that Descartes stated that the body is makes us act” ((Descartes. In that sense. mind is not based on a mistake and as such. their organs. nor would the mechanical operations of a Descartes’ dualism from contemporary functionalism and computer or robot. .

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