Reply To: Ego(s)?

  • Whit Blauvelt

    March 8, 2024 at 3:44 pm

    Hi Gary,

    One more clarification: I’m no Descartes scholar, but Galen Strawson, who is, makes a strong argument that by “cognito” Descartes meant all of our sentience, not just the narrow use of the word “think” to mean “inner speech” — which is how I’d interpreted it (well, interpreted the English translation of Descartes) before reading Strawson, who quite convinced me otherwise with a number of examples from Descartes’ usage of the Latin “cognito.”

    McGilchrist, provocatively, directly attacks Descartes for questioning whether other minds are also sentient, saying that’s an attitude also of some schizophrenics. I’ve always taken the other minds problem to be silly too, so welcomed that take down. But it makes a difference if we’re question whether there are other sentient beings, or whether instead there are just others with linguistic routines — as the latter leads to the absurd claim that AI can be (maybe already is) conscious, whereas the former strongly suggests that, if language is not the key to being a conscious, sentient being, but merely one tool we, as such beings, use, that AI is no more likely to become conscious than our hammers and saws.