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Androids and the Mind/Body Problem

After reading the synopsis (or viewing the episode) write a substantive response (at least 350 words) and
post it on the forum. Your initial post must address the first question below. You may also address several
of the other questions as well but the bulk of your response should be on the first question and relating

the story to Hasker, Ch 3.

� From your reading of Hasker, and using the categories he uses, what view of the mind/body problem

do you think is exhibited by Picard? By Maddox? Support your answer.

Maddox lists three criteria for a being to be sentient: intelligence, self-awareness and consciousness.
Are these adequate? Can you think of other properties or characteristics a being needs to have in order

to be considered a �person?� What might they be?

� Do you think that artificial intelligence to the level as it is presented in the story will someday be

possible? Why or why not?

� Do you think Maddox is right when he claims that Picard is being �irrational and emotional� in his

view of Data?

� Do you agree with the JAG officers final ruling. Why or why not?
� If A.I. does become possible, will we have obligations to treat machines �ethically?�


Androids and the Mind/Body Problem

Following a comprehensive reading of the text, Picard appears to have a materialistic
outlook. On the other hand, Maddox portrays a dualistic view of the data. A cardinal component
of Picard’s crew is data, and therefore, he has a strong belief that data makes cognizant decision
independently and possesses feelings similar to the other members of the crew. This implies that
Picard sees data as possessing a mind and body as one entity (Hasker, 1983). Maddox on the
other side, has a belief that the mind and body are separate. He strongly holds that one must be
self-aware, intelligent, as well as conscious so as to be regarded a human. His argument
regarding the data is that it possesses no brain and is only a computer.
The three criteria listed by Maddox are cardinal as they sum up a person. All people
possess all these traits and they have to interact for a person to be complete. There are no other
traits that correspond to these already known three.
Without doubt, there are high chances of the presence of artificial intelligence in future as
narrated in the story. To illustrate this, there are numerous people presently who own iPhones,
which have the Siri program. This program is essentially a kind of artificial intelligence in that it
learns as well as adapts to commands and personal habits. In addition, there are robotics
companies that are developing adapting and moving machines. There is a great need for artificial
intelligence to pull limitless information using the internet so as to learn (Hasker, 1983). Many
people are most likely to side with Maddox and assert that data is basically a machine, and this
involves disregarding what Picard is arguing.



Hasker, W. (1983). Metaphysics: Constructing a World View. Downers Grove, Ill.,

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