The question of consciousness

28 Feb

The big issue for artificial intelligence was until recently autonomy, robots, autonomous machines and now autonomous cars, with all the controversy the project evolves, Germany, for example, already provides a line of autonomous cars for the next decade that will begin.

The new issue is the question of consciousness, it has occupied the minds of philosophers for over a century, and can conceptualize in general terms the ability to take actions and consequences of these actions, which has to do with autonomy, because autonomy It is to analyze the consequences of acts performed by machines, the limits of dangerousness and privacy.

In the context of social or historical consciousness, this was Gadamer’s great debate with Dilthey, to which he attributed a conception of romantic consciousness for the absence of a “historical mediation” from facticity, and asks “how will the task of hermeneutics ”and finds a common ground between Schleiermacher and Hegel” (Gadamer, 2002, Truth and Method, p. 256), with the concepts of reconstruction and integration, and according to him, Dilthey makes the intermediate path between them.

Gadamer explains: “Schleiermacher and Hegel could present the two extreme possibilities of answering this question.

Their answers could be assigned to the concepts of reconstruction and integration. For both Schleiermacher and Hegel, in the beginning there is the awareness of a loss and alienation from tradition, which is what drives hermeneutic reflection” (idem).

However, he will say, each of them will determine the task of hermeneutics differently, and what Gadamer calls reconstruction and integration means the separation of preconceptions and alienation from tradition, and therefore rebuild and integrate.

Schleiermacher’s famous thesis is “What matters is to understand a better author than one would have understood himself,” Gadamer thought about the work of art, but Schleiermacher is stuck with his conception of “history of the spirit” which is his concept.

What Hegel says, according to Gadamer, is the creation of a category by stating that the essence of the historical spirit is not the restitution of the past, but the mediation of thought with the present life, which is the prevalence and idealism of the ideal over the factual questions.

And the origin of consciousness, as it happened, is that Terence Deacon is right in claiming that the mind came from matter, and with it came consciousness, if it is true, it is possible to think that somehow the machine, on the levels of intelligence artificial, you may have “consciousness” and then you will know that it is machine and that we humans are not.

What we relate in the videos of Gadamer and Peter Sloterdijk was to introduce this question, and the question of truth is proposed as the genesis of historical consciousness (Gadamer, 2002, p. 265), so machine consciousness cannot have this level.

GADAMER H. G.(2002) Verdade e Método (Truth and Method), 4th ed., Tr. Flavio P. Meurer. Petrópolis: Vozes (Brazilian edition).


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