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Roma, 15 gennaio 20101 Perception and action A philosophical approach Sandro Nannini Università di Siena Dipartimento di Filosofia e Scienze Sociali.

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Presentation on theme: "Roma, 15 gennaio 20101 Perception and action A philosophical approach Sandro Nannini Università di Siena Dipartimento di Filosofia e Scienze Sociali."— Presentation transcript:

1 Roma, 15 gennaio 20101 Perception and action A philosophical approach Sandro Nannini Università di Siena Dipartimento di Filosofia e Scienze Sociali

2 2 Human beings and machines: Naturalising the mind D. Dennett – E il cervello è a sua volta unimmensa macchina per molti versi simile al computer […] E. Carli – Crede allora che sarebbe possibile amare una macchina? D. Dennett – Quanto allipotesi di amare una macchina, devo dire che se tale macchina fosse Michelle Pfeiffer non vedo perché non potrei amarla. (Cervelli che parlano, Mondadori, 1997, pp. 75-76)

3 Roma, 15 gennaio 20103 Perception and sensory-motor coordination Animals acquired the ability to perceive some features of the external world and of their own body in order to execute movements apt to increase the probability to survive (e.g. by catching preys or avoiding plunderers).Animals acquired the ability to perceive some features of the external world and of their own body in order to execute movements apt to increase the probability to survive (e.g. by catching preys or avoiding plunderers).

4 Roma, 15 gennaio 20104 Perception and sensory-motor coordination Human senses and human sensory-motor coordination are the result of biological evolution.Human senses and human sensory-motor coordination are the result of biological evolution. Biologicalevolution

5 Roma, 15 gennaio 20105 Perception and sensory-motor coordination: Perceptions can be conscious or unconscious: in both cases perceptions are mental representations of the internal and external world.Perceptions can be conscious or unconscious: in both cases perceptions are mental representations of the internal and external world. Human beings construct a representation of the external world in order to move and act in it.Human beings construct a representation of the external world in order to move and act in it.

6 Roma, 15 gennaio 20106 The computational brain The brain acquires by means of the senses a certain amount of information about some regularities of the external world as regards the distribution of matter and physical events in space and time and changes the format of such information step by step until a pattern of motor neurons activity able to trigger a right motor response is produced.The brain acquires by means of the senses a certain amount of information about some regularities of the external world as regards the distribution of matter and physical events in space and time and changes the format of such information step by step until a pattern of motor neurons activity able to trigger a right motor response is produced.

7 Roma, 15 gennaio 20107 Styles of brain computation No!!! No representations May be! A Brooks robot Unlikely! Symbolic representations Subsymbolic representations

8 Roma, 15 gennaio 20108 Frogs and flies A frog recognizes flies as food only if they are moving.A frog recognizes flies as food only if they are moving. We human beings instead recognize flies as flies independently of their movements.We human beings instead recognize flies as flies independently of their movements. Therefore, the representation that an animal has of its environment is functional to the actions that it is able to execute in that environment. Therefore, the representation that an animal has of its environment is functional to the actions that it is able to execute in that environment.

9 Roma, 15 gennaio 20109 A reply to (3c): frogs and flies It is not the case that we human beings see flies as they are, frogs instead see them as they appear to them.It is not the case that we human beings see flies as they are, frogs instead see them as they appear to them.

10 Roma, 15 gennaio 201010 The 1-eaters and the 2-eaters 1000200000 0100000002 0010000000 0001222200 0000100000 0020010000 0000001222 ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? 100020000001000000020010000000000122220000001000000020 0100000000001222?????????????????????????????? 100020000001000 000020010000000 000122220000001 000000020010000 0000001222????? ??????????????? ?????????? Which is the right representation? It depends on what you eat!

11 Roma, 15 gennaio 201011 Real world / phenomenal world Mental representations are constructions of the mind (=brain), not the copies of real objects.Mental representations are constructions of the mind (=brain), not the copies of real objects. There is similarity between the activity patterns of hidden units in an artificial neural network and mental representations: they are a representation (= a state space partition) of the input apt to get the desired output.There is similarity between the activity patterns of hidden units in an artificial neural network and mental representations: they are a representation (= a state space partition) of the input apt to get the desired output. Every species lives in its own phenomenal world adapted to a certain kind of interaction with the real physical world.Every species lives in its own phenomenal world adapted to a certain kind of interaction with the real physical world.

12 Roma, 15 gennaio 201012Conclusion Perceptions can be naturalised only if the common sense concept of perception is radically changed: perceptions are not copies of real objects passively received from the external world but formats given to sensory inputs in order to construct a stable and multi- purpose model of reality that is able to control the very flexible behaviour of human beings.Perceptions can be naturalised only if the common sense concept of perception is radically changed: perceptions are not copies of real objects passively received from the external world but formats given to sensory inputs in order to construct a stable and multi- purpose model of reality that is able to control the very flexible behaviour of human beings. These perceptions can be functionally reduced and therefore can be implemented by brain processes.These perceptions can be functionally reduced and therefore can be implemented by brain processes.

13 Roma, 15 gennaio 201013 Thank you for your attention! Thank you for your attention!


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