Issue 155

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Issue 155: April/May 2023


Mind and Artificial Intelligence: A Dialogue

by Rick Lewis


News: April/May 2023

Computer made of mouse brain cells • Microsoft disbands AI ethics team • RIP Ernst Tugendhat — News reports by Anja Steinbauer


What it Means to be Human: Blade Runner 2049

Kilian Pötter introduces the big ideas and problems around artificial consciousness.

AI & Human Interaction

Miriam Gorr asks what we learn from current claims for cyberconsciousness.

Arguing with the Chinese Room

Michael DeBellis says Searle’s famous argument about computers not having understanding does not compute.

What’s Stopping Us Achieving Artificial General Intelligence?

A. Efimov, D. Dubrovsky, and F. Matveev explore how the development of AI is limited by the perceived need to understand language and be embodied.

Can Machines Be Conscious?

Sebastian Sunday Grève and Yu Xiaoyue find an unexpected way in which the answer is ‘yes’.


Ergoing Nowhere

Noah Harris says Descartes failed to find absolute foundations for knowledge.

Descartes & Stupidity

Trevor Pateman asks: stupidity – essence, or accident?

How Descartes Inspired Science

Kanan Purkayastha has both general and special theories about how the master rationalist inspired modern empirical science.


Hap & Happiness

Stephen Anderson meditates on misfortune and meaning.

Hannah Arendt: On the Spectre of Nuclear War

Maurits de Jongh finds our contemporary situation reflected in earlier states.

The Urgency of Art

Sam McAuliffe thinks that art offers another way of thinking.

Interview with a Chatbot

The full text of our brief interview with OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot.

Chamfort (1740-1794)

Martin Jenkins looks at the life of a wry observer of society, cut short by that society’s revolutionary turmoil.

What Is Time?

Each answer below receives a book. Apologies to the many entrants not included.



Logic & Fallacies • Off the Rails Again • Theodicy Continues • Rolling Back the Digital Tide • Knowing Foucault Himself • Rubbishing Rubbish • Cicero Civilises Characteristically • Pluralism vs French Universalism


Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

by Terence Green

Philosophers on Beer

by Matt Qvortrup

Reflections on Taking My Blood Pressure

Raymond Tallis finds himself within himself.

How To Live A Happy Life, With Seneca

Massimo Pigliucci shares some Stoic standards.


We Have Always Been Cyborgs by Stefan Lorenz Sorgner

Natasha Beranek sees transhumanism get an upgrade.

In Praise of Failure by Costica Bradatan

Paul J. D’Ambrosio looks at the sorts of successes to which failure can lead.


Thomas R. Morgan ponders the phantom pain and pleasure perspective.


Simon & Finn

by Melissa Felder

Steve Delmonte’s Cartoon (1)

by Steve Delmonte

Guto Dias’ Cartoon

by Guto Dias

Steve Delmonte’s Cartoon (2)

by Steve Delmonte


Typing to Turing

by Samantha Neave

Spinoza’s Godly Mystery

by Sivanth Adithya.N

The Last Thought

Everything must end eventually, even consciousness. A short story by Grant Bartley.

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