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current students > seminars > fall 2011 schedule > seminar: On the Human

 

Honors Seminars Fall 2011

On the Human

Course:
HON 345 Sec:001  
Credit:
3 hours  
GER Cat:
Humanities: Philosophy  
Time:
10:15-11:30  
Days:
TuTh  
Location:
Riddick Hall 00319  
Instructor:
Dr. Gary L. Comstock
Professor of Philosophy
 
Restrictions:  
Description:

What makes us unique, different from animals and machines? This course focuses on the question of human singularity, the properties, if any, that distinguish us from dogs and pigs, on the one hand, and artificial intelligences and cyborgs on the other. We will watch and discuss youtube videos about computers that read monkeys brains, robots that imitate human facial movements, and pigs with human genes. We'll also read about scientific experiments in these areas, and philosophical explorations of those experiments. What is human nature? And if technology advances to the point where we can actually change human nature, should we? Should we implant memory chip in our brains? Would you upload your psychological identity into a virtual Matrix and live in a disembodied state?