How to Properly Wear a Tin Foil Hat: A Call for Epistemic Humility in the Creation of Artificial Intelligence, in Applications of Neuroprosthetics, and in the Debate over Scientific Realism
AuthorSchuler, Matthew Michael
philosophy of science
realism vs. anti-realism
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation consists of three (more or less) freestanding articles. The first two chapters are intended, nonetheless, to work in tandem to a significant degree. The third (and final) chapter is the most freestanding of the three, but it does have direct ties to the first two chapters; however, it takes a broader view of the philosophy of science and technology, and furthermore attempts to extend the results already obtained to metaphysics (actually, metametaphysics, to put it more accurately). In the first article, I discuss the philosophical import of recent scientific research on hippocampal prosthesis (HP), focusing on the handful of implications that seem to have the most direct philosophical relevance; of these, the one most fascinating is what the possibility of HP appears to be able to tell us about artificial intelligence. But because the principal (intended) scientific application of HP is its use in the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease, I also devote considerable space to the ethics of using HP in this way. In the second article, I once again discuss HP, but here my focus is solely on using its advent as the basis for an inductive inference meant to establish the possibility of artificial intelligence. In fact, I believe it is possible to simply give a recipe for its creation. However, here too the second half of the article is devoted to the ethics of the practice in question – in this case, the use of Neuroprosthetics to create deep, genuine artificial intelligence. In the final article I develop a novel argument against scientific realism by exploiting one of the realist’s own, most fundamental, commitments: naturalism. I then show that this form of argument can be applied to cast serious doubt on the plausibility of Ted Sider’s metaphysics.
Degree ProgramGraduate College