In this paper, I discuss the relationship between philosophy and reality based on my experiences in an interdisciplinary project which integrates studies in robotics, cognitive science, and brain science. The central topic of this paper is a philosophical analysis of conversations among teleoperated androids and humans. I explain ontological aspects in these conversations from a semantic and pragmatic viewpoint. On the base of these considerations, I offer an explanation regarding the relationship between the self and information.
I have developed a teleoperated android of myself, which is called Geminoid. Both of the visitor who talks with the geminoid and the operator who operates the geminoid adapt to the geminoid. The visitor recognizes it as me and I, the operator, recognize the geminoid body as my own body. This unique robot system is not only state of the art technology, but also a platform to study cognitive science and philosophy. This paper introduces various phenomena in the use of the geminoid and discusses the philosophical meanings.
Human beings can convey their intentions to other people non-verbally, through looks and gestures. It is known that during development, infants acquire this ability before they learn to speak. We have focused on the phenomenon of “joint attention,” wherein infants try to look at objects by following their parent’s gaze. This behavior begins as a reflective one, but then progresses further into the next stage-understanding and sharing other peoples’ intentions. We try to clarify joint attention by constructing a simple robot that visually interacts with human beings. In this paper, we suggest two important mechanisms for understanding and sharing intentions; an association mechanism to produce an intentional gaze following, and an inference mechanism to recursively rectify the robot’s own intentions by understanding the interacting person’s intentions.
Robert Kane developed naturalized version of Libertarianism in his The Significance of Free Will. In this paper, his free will theory is critically examined. My criticism consists of two parts. In the first part, I argue that Kane’s theory is troubled by the problem of choice’s being matters of chance, and his account of ultimate control does not provide any solutions. It is also pointed out that though his position satisfies UR (the condition of Ultimate Responsibility), since it is only vacuously satisfied, the source of an agent’s purposes cannot be said to lie in the agent. In the second part, I compare Kane’s theory with a compatibilist theory, showing that his position gives no more freedom-elevating features than compatibilism. Thus it is concluded that Kane’s attempt fails as a libertarian theory.
The debate over scientific realism is one of the traditional topics in philosophy of science. Today there are various types of realism and anti-realism, including entity realism, (epistemic/ontic/moderate) structural realism, semirealism, eclectic realism, and constructive empiricism. However, the main point of the dispute, which is the validity of inference from observable evidence to unobservable events, seems to have been set aside in the recent debate. To improve this situation, I propose a new approach to the scientific realism issue that utilizes the epistemological positions. As an example, I also demonstrate an analysis of the debate based on contextualism in epistemology.
This article explores “Inner Speech Account of Introspection”, according to which inner speech is the source of our introspective self-knowledge. The view hypothesizes that we come to know that we are thinking that p by being aware of the sentence of inner speech “p” accompanying the thought. I argue for Inner Speech Account by showing that it explains six explananda imposed for the philosophical theories of introspection; peculiar access, privileged access, detection condition, the lack of phenomenology, occurent/dispositional distinction, and content/attitude distinction.
It is shown that the validity of Ludwig Boltzmann’s statistical approach to thermodynamical asymmetry depends on the metaphysical standpoints concerning time. Price advocates one metaphysical standpoint that denies the direction of time itself, the denial leads to a difficulty in explaining the thermodynamical asymmetry. In the case of Price’s strategy, the direction of the law does not warrant as much explanation as does the constraint condition on the past, which does not work. In contrast, our study advocates the other metaphysical standpoint. Our strategy suggests that the constraint condition on the past does not warrant as much explanation as does the direction of the law. These findings are exactly opposite to those of Price.
According to the “truthmaker maximalism”, every true contingent proposition is made true by something in the world, called its truthmaker. Although at first sight the maximalism seems to be a natural position, it has serious difficulties, especially concerning negative truths. In view of this, many truthmaker theorists adopt some non-maximalist position. It is not clear, however, whether these non-maximalists are justified, since existing reasons to justify the non-maximalism are not good enough. In this paper, then, I shall propose a new reason for the non-maximalism, which consists in the observation that the maximalism cannot acknowledge the widely accepted view that certain inferences involving logical constants are valid in the properly logical sense.