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Philosophies, Volume 2, Issue 1 (March 2017)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Philosophies in 2016
Philosophies 2017, 2(1), 3; doi:10.3390/philosophies2010003
Received: 10 January 2017 / Revised: 10 January 2017 / Accepted: 10 January 2017 / Published: 10 January 2017
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Research

Jump to: Editorial

Open AccessArticle The Alphabet Effect Re-Visited, McLuhan Reversals and Complexity Theory
Philosophies 2017, 2(1), 2; doi:10.3390/philosophies2010002
Received: 2 November 2016 / Revised: 14 December 2016 / Accepted: 22 December 2016 / Published: 3 January 2017
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Abstract
The alphabet effect that showed that codified law, alphabetic writing, monotheism, abstract science and deductive logic are interlinked, first proposed by McLuhan and Logan (1977), is revisited. Marshall and Eric McLuhan’s (1988) insight that alphabetic writing led to the separation of figure and
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The alphabet effect that showed that codified law, alphabetic writing, monotheism, abstract science and deductive logic are interlinked, first proposed by McLuhan and Logan (1977), is revisited. Marshall and Eric McLuhan’s (1988) insight that alphabetic writing led to the separation of figure and ground and their interplay, as well as the emergence of visual space, are reviewed and shown to be two additional effects of the alphabet. We then identify more additional new components of the alphabet effect by demonstrating that alphabetic writing also gave rise to (1) Duality, and (2) reductionism or the linear sequential relationship of causes followed by effects. We then review McLuhan’s (1962) claim that electrically configured information reversed the dominance of visual space over acoustic space and led to the reversals of (1) cause and effect, and (2) figure and ground. We then demonstrate that General System Theory first formulated by Ludwig von Bertalanffy (1968), which also includes chaos theory, complexity theory and emergence (aka emergent dynamics) and Jakob von Uexküll’s (1926) notion of umwelt also entail the reversal of many aspects of the alphabet effect such as the reversals of (1) cause and effect, and (2) figure and ground. Full article
Open AccessArticle Cyborgs and Enhancement Technology
Philosophies 2017, 2(1), 4; doi:10.3390/philosophies2010004
Received: 12 October 2016 / Revised: 26 December 2016 / Accepted: 2 January 2017 / Published: 16 January 2017
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Abstract
As we move deeper into the twenty-first century there is a major trend to enhance the body with “cyborg technology”. In fact, due to medical necessity, there are currently millions of people worldwide equipped with prosthetic devices to restore lost functions, and there
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As we move deeper into the twenty-first century there is a major trend to enhance the body with “cyborg technology”. In fact, due to medical necessity, there are currently millions of people worldwide equipped with prosthetic devices to restore lost functions, and there is a growing DIY movement to self-enhance the body to create new senses or to enhance current senses to “beyond normal” levels of performance. From prosthetic limbs, artificial heart pacers and defibrillators, implants creating brain–computer interfaces, cochlear implants, retinal prosthesis, magnets as implants, exoskeletons, and a host of other enhancement technologies, the human body is becoming more mechanical and computational and thus less biological. This trend will continue to accelerate as the body becomes transformed into an information processing technology, which ultimately will challenge one’s sense of identity and what it means to be human. This paper reviews “cyborg enhancement technologies”, with an emphasis placed on technological enhancements to the brain and the creation of new senses—the benefits of which may allow information to be directly implanted into the brain, memories to be edited, wireless brain-to-brain (i.e., thought-to-thought) communication, and a broad range of sensory information to be explored and experienced. The paper concludes with musings on the future direction of cyborgs and the meaning and implications of becoming more cyborg and less human in an age of rapid advances in the design and use of computing technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyberphenomenology: Technominds Revolution)
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Open AccessArticle Exploring the Computational Explanatory Gap
Philosophies 2017, 2(1), 5; doi:10.3390/philosophies2010005
Received: 1 October 2016 / Revised: 12 November 2016 / Accepted: 8 December 2016 / Published: 16 January 2017
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Abstract
While substantial progress has been made in the field known as artificial consciousness, at the present time there is no generally accepted phenomenally conscious machine, nor even a clear route to how one might be produced should we decide to try. Here, we
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While substantial progress has been made in the field known as artificial consciousness, at the present time there is no generally accepted phenomenally conscious machine, nor even a clear route to how one might be produced should we decide to try. Here, we take the position that, from our computer science perspective, a major reason for this is a computational explanatory gap: our inability to understand/explain the implementation of high-level cognitive algorithms in terms of neurocomputational processing. We explain how addressing the computational explanatory gap can identify computational correlates of consciousness. We suggest that bridging this gap is not only critical to further progress in the area of machine consciousness, but would also inform the search for neurobiological correlates of consciousness and would, with high probability, contribute to demystifying the “hard problem” of understanding the mind–brain relationship. We compile a listing of previously proposed computational correlates of consciousness and, based on the results of recent computational modeling, suggest that the gating mechanisms associated with top-down cognitive control of working memory should be added to this list. We conclude that developing neurocognitive architectures that contribute to bridging the computational explanatory gap provides a credible and achievable roadmap to understanding the ultimate prospects for a conscious machine, and to a better understanding of the mind–brain problem in general. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyberphenomenology: Technominds Revolution)
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Open AccessArticle Law, Cyborgs, and Technologically Enhanced Brains
Philosophies 2017, 2(1), 6; doi:10.3390/philosophies2010006
Received: 12 October 2016 / Revised: 16 January 2017 / Accepted: 8 February 2017 / Published: 17 February 2017
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Abstract
As we become more and more enhanced with cyborg technology, significant issues of law and policy are raised. For example, as cyborg devices implanted within the body create a class of people with enhanced motor and computational abilities, how should the law and
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As we become more and more enhanced with cyborg technology, significant issues of law and policy are raised. For example, as cyborg devices implanted within the body create a class of people with enhanced motor and computational abilities, how should the law and policy respond when the abilities of such people surpass those of the general population? And what basic human and legal rights should be afforded to people equipped with cyborg technology as they become more machine and less biology? As other issues of importance, if a neuroprosthetic device is accessed by a third party and done to edit one’s memory or to plant a new memory in one’s mind, or even to place an ad for a commercial product in one’s consciousness, should there be a law of cognitive liberty or of “neuro-advertising” that applies? This paper discusses laws and statutes enacted across several jurisdictions which apply to cyborg technologies with a particular emphasis on legal doctrine which relates to neuroprosthetic devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyberphenomenology: Technominds Revolution)
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Open AccessArticle Of Cyborgs and Brutes: Technology-Inherited Violence and Ignorance
Philosophies 2017, 2(1), 1-14; doi:10.3390/philosophies2010001
Received: 2 November 2016 / Revised: 9 December 2016 / Accepted: 9 December 2016 / Published: 26 December 2016
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Abstract
The broad aim of this paper is to question the ambiguous relationship between technology and intelligence. More specifically, it addresses the reasons why the ever-increasing reliance on smart technologies and wide repositories of data does not necessarily increase the display of “smart” or
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The broad aim of this paper is to question the ambiguous relationship between technology and intelligence. More specifically, it addresses the reasons why the ever-increasing reliance on smart technologies and wide repositories of data does not necessarily increase the display of “smart” or even “intelligent” behaviors, but rather increases new instances of “brutality” as a mix of ignorance and violence. We claim that the answer can be found in the cyborg theory, and more specifically in the possibility to blend (not always for the best) different kinds of intentionality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyberphenomenology: Technominds Revolution)

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