In this paper we want to analyze some philosophical and epistemological connections between a new kind of technology recently developed within robotics, and the previous mechanical approach.
A new paradigm about machine-design in robotics, currently defined as ‘Embodied
Intelligence’, has recently been developed. Here we consider the debate on the relationship
between the hand and the intellect, from the perspective of the history of philosophy,
aiming at providing a more suitable understanding of this paradigm. The new bottom-up
approach to design is deeply rooted in a new kind of empiricism, which tries to overcome
issues connected with the previous approach strongly committed with the Artificial Intelligence
(AI) debate and its origin. Since Turing’s time, the AI debate showed a rationalistic
bias which remained undisputed until now. The paradigm shift we are witnessing nowadays
is a reply to that bias in order to achieve not only a better way to design robots, but also to
understand some underlying epistemological remarks.