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Esther Meeksnature of Knowledge

  • Date Submitted: 02/03/2014 08:14 PM
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Nature of Knowledge Essay

Based on Ester Meeks definition for knowledge, a machine cannot know. Her definition describes knowing as the responsible human struggle to rely on clues to focus on a coherent pattern and submit it to reality. Because of Meeks' emphasis on the struggle to know being reserved for humans, one can assume that machines or other non-living objects do not have the capacity to know. However, due to advances in technology such as artificial intelligences (AI) one can see that machines do possess the ability to know limited information, albeit with help from human counterparts.
Plato's definition of knowledge is a justified true belief, with the justification being beyond a reasonable doubt. Machines have the capacity to know because they are programmed by humans, and they are programmed with knowledge humans believe to be true beyond a reasonable doubt. In addition to that, machines are also gaining the ability to learn, so not only do they have knowledge from what has been inputted into them from humans, but they also are able to integrate various clues and patterns to add to their knowledge. Meeks' statements imply that one must be human in order to have the ability to know. Yet technology has advanced to the point where machines can have the ability to obtain knowledge. The robotics field is currently developing machines with the capacity for self-awareness in order to work alongside humans. Through the reason given to them, they will be able to see how they affect their surroundings. Machines are also able to justify their knowledge through the reason that is implanted within them. With further developments, machines may soon be able to act in ways that strongly mimic human intelligence such as in popular films like I Robot, Transformers, or The Matrix Trilogy.   Currently, machines must rely on reason to prove their knowledge beyond a reasonable doubt because in being a non-living object, they do not fully possess the other three ways to...


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