Why Life is Necessary for Mind: The Significance of Animate Behavior

In James O'Shea Eric Rubenstein (ed.), Self, Language, and World:Problems from Kant, Sellars, and Rosenberg. Ridgeview Publishing Co. pp. 61-88 (2010)
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I defend the thesis that psychological states can be literally ascribed only to living creatures and not to nonliving machines, such as sophisticated robots. Defenders of machine consciousness do not sufficiently appreciate the importance of the biological nature of a subject for the psychological significance of its behavior. Simulations of a computer-controlled, nonliving autonomous robot cannot carry the same psychological meaning as animate behavior. Being a living creature is an essential link between genuinely expressive behavior and justified psychological ascriptions.
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