The Computer as Cognitive Artifact and Simulator of Worlds

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    Abstract

    In this essay, the relation between computers and their human users will be analyzed from a philosophical point of view. I will argue that there are at least two philosophically interesting relationships between humans and computers: functional and phenomenal relationships. I will first analyze the functional relationship between computers and humans. In doing this, I will abstract from ordinary functions of computers, such as word processor, information provider, and gaming device, to arrive at a generalized account of the functional relationship between humans and computers. Next, I will explore the phenomenal relationship between humans and computers, which is the way in which computers transform our experience of and interaction with our environment or world. Both analyses, I will argue, point to a dual role of computers for humans: a cognitive role, in which the computer functions as a cognitive device that extends or supplements human cognition, and an ambient role, in which the computer functions as a simulation device that simulates objects and environments.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCurrent Issues in Computing and Philosophy
    EditorsA. Briggle, K. Waelbers, P.A.E. Brey
    Place of PublicationAmsterdam
    PublisherIOS Press
    Pages91-103
    Number of pages13
    ISBN (Electronic)978-1-60750-343-9
    ISBN (Print)978-1-58603-876-2
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    Event5th European Conference on Computing and Philosophy, ECAP 2007 - University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands
    Duration: 21 Jun 200723 Jun 2007
    Conference number: 5

    Publication series

    NameFrontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications
    PublisherIOS Press
    Volume175

    Conference

    Conference5th European Conference on Computing and Philosophy, ECAP 2007
    Abbreviated titleECAP V
    CountryNetherlands
    CityEnschede
    Period21/06/0723/06/07

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