Machines: to Have or to Be? Small (Trans-, Post-, Bio-) humanistic Thought Experiments

Abstract

When we think about “machines”, or “robots”, or “AI”, what comes to our minds is generally an extension of our common relationship with objects in our humane and mundane world: there is a clear distinction between the subject, “we”, and the object. Upon review of some of the most important literary trends of the last centuries, this article invites us to consider the prevalence of this classical ontological division, taking into consideration examples such as Frankenstein, the “brain in a vat” thought experiment, and the last advances towards the reality of “cyborg” beings. The question behind the article bring us to consider to what extent an absolute division between us and machines is still a thing in our days

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This paper was published in Journal of Ethics in Higher Education.

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