Can Animals and Machines Be Persons? : A Dialogue
Leiber (Justin)
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BOOK ABSTRACT:

Reviews

  1. A delightful book, beautifully written and psychologically acute.
    … Peter T. Manicas, Queens College, CUNY
  2. Written in a lively and entertaining style, this little book, which deals with topics such as 'personhood,' animal rights1, and artificial intelligence ... makes some rather difficult philosophical points clear in an unpedantic fashion.
    … M. E. Winston, Trenton State College

BOOK COMMENT:

Hackett Publishing Company, Indianapolis, 1985



"Leiber (Justin) - Can Animals and Machines Be Persons? : Introduction, Setting, Notes & Reading List"



Author’s Introduction
  1. This is a dialogue about the notion of a person, of an entity that thinks and feels and acts, that counts and is accountable. Equivalently, it's about the intentional idiom - the well-knit fabric of terms that we use to characterize persons.
  2. Human beings are usually persons (a brain-dead human might be considered a human but not a person). However, there may be persons, in various senses, that are not human beings.
  3. Much recent discussion has focused on hypothetical computer-robots and on actual nonhuman great apes. The discussion here is naturalistic, which is to say that count and accountability are, at least initially, presumed to be naturally well-knit with the possession of a cognitive and affective life.
  4. Otherwise, my aim has been to introduce some of the ideas that have sparked recent discussions.
  5. For a critical reading and / or helpful comments, I thank Noam Chomsky, Daniel Dennett and Marvin Minsky.
  6. The Setting:
    • This is the transcript of a hearing before the United Nations Space Administration Commission, established in the last1 decade of the twentieth century to consider claims arising in space and hence beyond the legal scope of any particular terrestrial nation.
    • The concern of this hearing is the "rights of persons" on the UNSA's permanent satellite space community, Finland Station.


COMMENT: Hackett Publishing Co, Inc; New Ed edition (1 Jan. 1985)




In-Page Footnotes ("Leiber (Justin) - Can Animals and Machines Be Persons? : Introduction, Setting, Notes & Reading List")

Footnote 1: As this book was published in 1985, this is clearly a “conceit”, and the details (omitted here) are to give verisimilitude.



"Leiber (Justin) - Can Animals and Machines Be Persons? : The First Morning"

Source: Leiber - Can Animals and Machines Be Persons? : A Dialogue, 1985 - Chapter 1



"Leiber (Justin) - Can Animals and Machines Be Persons? : The Afternoon"

Source: Leiber - Can Animals and Machines Be Persons? : A Dialogue, 1985 - Chapter 2



"Leiber (Justin) - Can Animals and Machines Be Persons? : The Following Morning"

Source: Leiber - Can Animals and Machines Be Persons? : A Dialogue, 1985 - Chapter 3



Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



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