Wittgenstein and the Problem of Machine Consciousness

Grazer Philosophische Studien 33 (1):375-394 (1989)
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For any given society, its particular technology of communication has far-reaching consequences, not merely as regards social organization, but on the epistemic level as well. Plato's name-theory of meaning represents the transition from the age of primary orality to that of literacy; Wittgenstein's use-theory of meaning stands for the transition from the age of literacy to that of a second orality (audiovisual communication, electronic information processing). On the basis of a use-theory of meaning the problem of machine consciousness, to which the later Wittgenstein again and again returned, is capable of a non-essentialist solution: appropriate changes in our form of life might well entail a radically different psychological language-game
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