• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In what sense, if any, can a machine be said to know something? How can anyone believe that a machine can think?

Extracts from this document...


"In what sense, if any, can a machine be said to know something? How can anyone believe that a machine can think?" A knowledge issue that can be derived from this question is: do mathematical predictions obtained by machines such as computers or calculators constitute knowledge? One claim to this issue is that mathematical knowledge must be true because it corresponds to phenomena predicted by formulas and mathematical belief. For example, in the field of demography, models and formulas can be used to predict the growth and decay of populations. Mathematical information is critical to such predictions. By evaluating existing phenomena in population growth, computer models sanctioned by the UN were able to give the exact date that the world population surpassed six billion, on October 12, 1999 years in advance. ...read more.


Wrong predictions also conflict with Plato's definition of truth which holds that truth must be eternal. Once proven wrong, the truth is no longer eternal. Source: "World at Six Billion." UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. United Nations, n.d. Web. 19 Jan 2011. <http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/sixbillion/sixbillio n.htm#top>. "Does making a knowledge claim carry any particular obligation or responsibility for the knower?" A knowledge issue that can be derived from this is: how important is the sharing of individual knowledge to the advancement of human knowledge as a whole? One claim that can be made is that without the communication of knowledge, people will continue to hold false beliefs and no advancement can be made. For example, the ancient Greek view of the brain, originally held by Aristotle, maintained that the heart was the center of intellect and the brain was simply responsible for the cooling of blood heated by the heart. ...read more.


An implication of this claim is that only one person will attain a certain bit of knowledge. This is not necessarily true. A counterclaim is that more than one person can know the same bit of knowledge without any communication between the two. Someone other than Galen might have conducted experiments and found the true function of the brain. However, if that other scientist had not communicated that knowledge to the community of knowers, most other thinkers would not know the truth. Thus, if knowledge is not common and spread amongst the community, no advancement can be made as a whole. If only a select few people know the truth, there are still others who do not and continue to perpetuate false beliefs, and the community as a whole cannot make further advancement. Source: F., Mark, Barry W., and Michael A. Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain. 3. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2007. 5-7. Print. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge essays

  1. People Need To Believe that order can be glimpsed in the chaos of events

    We human beings cling to life through things we know and understand. But understandings and knowledge are ambiguous. The fact that there is right and wrong knowledge implies that those believing in the wrong knowledge are living with the wrong assumptions and things are out of the ordinary.

  2. Can we know something that has not yet been proven true?

    It would be impractical to prove that God exists if this means to demonstrate in a way that nobody can question. The other type of evidence is indirect, which we already accept as truth as it fits in with what we claim to know.4 This is frequently referred to as

  1. TOK, can a machine know

    Also another quota machines fail to meet is awareness. Awareness requires a conscious, something only human beings possess. High-Tech machines are claimed to be able to learn, as they interpret and realize patterns; however, arguers say that they are pre-programmed to realize a certain, limited amount of patterns, meaning they

  2. How do I know what is right and what is wrong?

    In that debate, I was assigned to debate about "legalism" which is a philosophy that states that all humans are corrupt to start with. Being more detached from religion, that debate became a kind of a self realization moment. It made me ponder the fact that do I follow all

  1. TOK. How can the different ways of knowing help us to distinguish between something ...

    If this claim is true then it is also true that we see much less than is actually there. This proves that even though our senses are effective in the day to day processes of our lives, they are not a credible or reliable source of information.

  2. Can a Machine Know? TOK essay.

    it can respond to Chinese human text input so realistically that it convinces a human being like me that know Chinese it is another human being sitting in the room responding to my text conversation input.

  1. That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. (Christopher Hitchens). ...

    One theory that was almost dismissed in this manner was Einstein?s relativity theory. It has a concept of time dilation, according to which time is relative, and is not a constant. This claim seems very absurd, according to common sense.

  2. That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.(Christopher Hitchens) Do ...

    This explanation generates a more visceral reaction whenever we learn about the Haymarket riots, which is why it is generally accepted as being true. Because critics of the trial attempted to dismiss the ?evidence less trial? with no evidence themselves, the fundamental truth of the matter has been re-written.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work