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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Lampara House Project for GENDERS

Thank you for this video which is now circulating in Japan! On Friday, I will turn over the stuff you did for Lampara House, WIN and AWEP.

Grade Consultation Day is Sacred

My dear students,

As I hang around M408 all by lonesome, with your quizzes and papers prepared for consultation in case you may have some questions, it strikes me that I am the only one who finds the whole activity extremely important.  And it saddens me.  A lot.  While I exercise some sort of power over you as your teacher, GCD affords you some power as well—to ask, inquire and demand answers. Your queries may not be satisfied by a quick reply through email (which I do very sparingly).  And also, I very much want to see you again, for some, for the last time maybe as you will be off to graduate and leave DLSU perhaps forever.

So, I deem the Grade Consultation Day sacred inasmuch as it embodies our relationship together; not only as teacher-students but maybe as friends as well now that we have shed the formalities of our official relationship.

But, sigh!  Here I am, still alone:(  I will leave in a few moments from now and any query will be deemed moot because our precious time has passed.

FINAL GRADE CONSULTATION

Hi All,

I will see you at M 408 from 900 to 1000 AM today.  Remember, no grade negotiations!

 

GENDERS A55

I find it utterly amazing that only 3 out of 8 groups submitted their projects.  I just have to hope that you wouldn’t be as flabbergasted as I am right now when you’d receive your grades for GENDERS.  Any sort of excuse why you were not able to submit is just what it is really—lame.  So, I don’t buy it and oh, I do not negotiate with beggars and terrorists!

Final Grade Consultation

So, I just found out that my.lasalle account has expired!  I have to activate it tomorrow so if you’d be around DLSU by then, I would be glad to see you:)  I’ll be at the Philosophy Department from 10 AM to 3 PM.

GENDERS PROJECT CONCERNS

I will not be in campus to personally receive your projects today so make sure that you  have a received notice from our Secretary Ms. Tin to prove that you turned your project over to her.  This notice must be prepared by you with date and nature of the project written in.  Have her sign this slip.

Also, if your project is in video format or website, I want to see where you have circulated them (YouTube, Facebook, etc.). 

Be guided.

Thanks!

GENDERS PROJECT DUE APRIL 19, 2013

Dear Students,

I hope this finds you in the best of health and condition after the Final exams!  I want your projects submitted tomorrow, April 19, 2013 from 10 AM to 4 PM at the Philosophy Department, North Conservatory.  Please note that I will personally receive your projects and will not allow the secretary or drop-off to a pigeon hole (I do not have any) somewhere.  With these said, I am super excited to receive them!

Please be guided accordingly.

 

thanks,

Dr. Jeane

 

Featured Post: Martin Sy of INTFILO S22

…because this is just too good to pass up!  🙂

 

The Intricacies of Love and Humanity


In this journal entry, I attempt to answer to the best of my abilities several questions that happened to cross my mind during one of our class activities. Specifically, the activity we had was a film showing of 
Time of Eve (イヴの時間 Eve no Jikan) which was a film that tackled a future generation where androids have become an ordinary and integrated part of human society.

If something has feelings, does it also have humanity?
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word 
emotion as “the affective aspect of consciousness” [1]. Oxford Dictionaries defines it as “a strong feeling deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others” [2]. Truly, in accordance with both of these definitions of the word emotion, a certain response from the subject in question is said to be needed for emotion to exist. And a response can only be given when one has the gift (or curse?) of consciousness. But going back to the original question, the question of whether the existence of emotion itself (not taking into account the existence of consciousness) warrants enough reason to qualify one to be a human being or not still remains.

When we strip some aspects away, such as emotions, would you see a mannequin-like human or a human-like mannequin?
Image from http://michelephoenix.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Faceless_by_Jointor.jpg


The argument regarding what constitutes humanity is one that has persisted across generations and has divided opinion among many people. Across continents and cultures, people have their own set of beliefs that all make sense (to one person or another). Honestly, it would be a tedious task to consolidate all opposing opinions and present each and every one of their arguments. My journal would likely end up like a cluttered mess of swarming ideas with nowhere useful to go. Instead, I would rather explore the general correlation that ties humanity to the emotions that we observe daily.

So what really is humanity? Is it the body? Is it the so-called soul (or perhaps the spirit)? In the film Time of Eve, it was posited by one of the characters how it could be that feelings were enough for someone to be considered human. After all, all we really communicate and interact with does not truly transcend that which we can observe. Our senses limit the ability by which we can determine the authenticity or genuineness of another object or person. Much thought about this doubt of humanity has permeated throughout history and will probably continue on until someone manages to determine how real we really are (if that is at all even possible). That being said, if we are limited to our senses in determining the truth, it may not sound completely absurd that we classify things as being human because we observe them possessing or expressing emotion.

If we were to say however, that emotions are truly sufficient to warrant a subject as being human, then what would it hold for those who are mentally ill? Would the different way in which they think and feel emotions make them less human? In fact, who’s to say that the mentally ill are not the ones who are really more human than those who develop in accordance with majority rule? This idea would entail that we give a different level of humanity to these people. The absoluteness that normally defines what a human being is would be blurred. More doubt may surface as there are now different hierarchies as to the humanity of a certain subject. The same argument would probably hold true for those under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

And what happens if we were to discover the existence of intelligent extra-terrestrial life who are able to respond to stimulus and possess an “affective aspect of consciousness”?

Could it be that we are frightened by a faceless persona because we cannot ascertain its emotions?
Image from http://25.media.tumblr.com/5b7876dd93cb51c9de0d8dc0f793dba7/tumblr_mg85k6UmgN1r5v0zyo1_500.gif


Ultimately, it may also be that emotion is in fact a manifestation of humanity and not the other way around. It could be that humanity is the one that drives the manner in which we use our senses and process experiences. Our emotions are among the mental manners in which our humanity expresses itself. Although of course, this idea would still be subject to the arguments previously presented.

Can there be love between non-human beings?
Part of the central plot of the film Time of Eve is the debate over whether or not it is acceptable for love to exist between an animate and a somewhat-animate object. By the end of the film, the debate is not conclusively answered; arguments on each opposing side were just presented.

Can romantic love completely transcend the physical?
Image from http://synapticnulship.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/hanson-robot-faces-human.jpg


On the one hand, love is defined as an abstract feeling of attraction or commitment to another specific person or object. Here, it is argued that romantic love cannot solely be found in human-to-human relations, but can also be formed with non-human objects. The abstracted definition of love opens the door to many possibilities. As human beings, who are we to dictate upon other beings, such as animals or a future sentient artificially-intelligent (AI) entity what we believe love is. Once again, the idea of the limitations of the sensory experience gives us an air of doubt as to the ability by which we can determine the veracity of a certain concept; much more so one that is intangible, invisible, inaudible, inedible, and inolfactible.

Arguments can also be made to the contrary. Some would argue that only human beings are able to experience the concept of true love. Some say that the “love” that may be applied to non-human entities are ones that are not the same. This argument supplies that there are in fact different forms or types of romantic love.

In a whole other debate, but one that is not completely distant from this one here, is the topic of love and gender. Is heterosexual love any different from homosexual love? But again, that is a whole other ballpark.

Does believing you love mean that you actually love?
Image from http://d-lists.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/Robot-Love1.jpg


When we think of robots, do we see them as being able to have romantic love with each other? May it be argued that they simply were programmed to “love”? And what does happen when robots are explicitly commanded to “love” another robot, does it actually count as “love”? It may also be that AI entities may one day decide to “love” one another, but then it would beg the question as to if this is legitimate love as it would come primarily from a thought process as opposed to a emotion or feeling.

In the end, the question as to what true love and who can experience it is a truly big question to answer. It may be easier to think of an answer that fits one’s own beliefs rather than to debate endlessly upon who is right and who is wrong.

Reources Consulted:
[1] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/emotion
[2] http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/emotion?q=emotion
[3] http://www.empathictherapy.org/On-Being-Human.html
[4] http://louispsolomon.com/post/29222678978/some-questions-about-emotion-and-humanity
[5] http://face-and-emotion.com/dataface/emotion/emotion_intro.jsp
[6] http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/love-without-limits/201111/what-is-love
[7] http://www.positivefuturist.com/archive/388.html
[8] http://www.lovotics.com/
[9] http://colleenanderson.wordpress.com/2009/08/27/love-sex-and-inanimate-objects/

Further Reading:

  • Existentialism and Human Emotions by Jean Paul Sartre (http://dbanach.com/exist.htm)

  • Love and Sex with Robots by David Levy

  • Lovotics: Loving robots by H. A. Samani

Featured Post: Marc Chan’s Entry on Eve no Jikan

Check out Marc Chan’s Tumblr Post on Eve no Jikan!

http://marcmyintfilo.tumblr.com/

 

Excellent work, Bianca Trish Adolfo of S22

One of Us

Posted on March 21, 2013

Android.18.full.1401888

Android 18 (Dragonball Z)

           Over the past decades, humans have been constantly trying to improve robotics and artificial intelligence. Brilliant minds had already created robots and androids capable of helping us in everyday life. This may not be that evident yet to us ordinary people in third world countries, but there is no denying that technological innovations continue to improve over time. Thus there will come a time when humans would have to re-evaluate their perceptions about androids. For this re-evaluation, two things need to be answered: first, do androids have consciousness, and second, can androids be considered as human beings?

            In this 21st century, it is probably hard to think about androids as more than just machines so let us take a peek into the future where technology far exceeds the technology that we know now.

           Tokyo, Japan, Year 2510- Youichi wakes up to the sound of curtains being pulled, and sunlight streaming through his bedroom window.  He opens his eyes and sees a woman’s smiling face gently urging him to wake up. He turns to his side, looks at the clock, and realizes that he needs to get ready for school. The woman, Chiharu, goes out of his room and makes her way to the dining room downstairs. Youichi follows afterwards, grabs a chair, and eagerly waits while she prepares his breakfast.

1186725323_esAnimeBoy

               After a while, the woman placed a plate of food in front of him. He smiled; she really knew what his favorite foods are. Well, no wonder about that, since she has been taking care of him since he was a baby. Because his parents think that just providing for his monetary needs was enough, she became both his guardian and best friend. He tells her about his problems, and she gives him advice. She makes him feel safe; cheers him up when he is sad; scolds him when he does something wrong; and teaches him many things about life. She is an irreplaceable part of his life, and she is an android.

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           For Youichi, being an android or a human does not really make that much of a difference. Humans shun androids because we think they are just machines, and are thus not conscious. But what is consciousness in the first place?

             Oxford takes consciousness to mean an alert cognitive state in which you are aware of yourself and your surroundings, or maybe being aware of something. But this, along with the other dictionaries’ definitions, though widespread, does not really explain everything about consciousness. Until now, there are many studies being done and theories being laid as to what this concept really means; even the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy says that there is still no agreed upon theory about consciousness. Also, having definitions and theories about consciousness that are conflicting makes one doubt about the validity of this argument. In the present, maybe the two most known theories of the mind are dualism and materialism. In dualism, it basically says that while the body is material or matter, consciousness is non-material or non-matter. While in materialism, it is more on the technical side, which considers the brain as the mind.

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           However, these two theories could be easily contested. Dualism faces Rene Descartes’ mind-body problem. How could a non-matter interact with matter or vice versa? Also, since the two solutions given to this was to allow only the body to exist, or to allow only the mind to exist, then this already disproves the dualism theory which says that both exist. On the other hand, materialism would have to answer to the fact that humans have not completely understood every aspect of the brain, which poses two major issues. First, current science has not yet completely explained how neural activities or other brain activities make us conscious. Second, there is Joseph Levine’s (1983) idea of an ‘explanatory gap’ which questions how or why consciousness, a non-matter, depends on a material substance.

           Besides, there are many types of consciousness. Rosenthal (1986), Gennaro (1995), and Carruthers (2000) give us some types of consciousness that can be applied to whole organisms (creature consciousness) or limited to just some of mental processes (state consciousness). Here are some types under creature consciousness: sentience – being able to sense and respond to the environment, wakefulness – being awake, and self-consciousness – being aware that you are aware. The boundaries of these types are not really that defined which makes it harder.

        But to answer the first question posed in this article (do androids have consciousness), all of these works to my advantage. I can say that androids are conscious because all the definitions and theories of consciousness written above also apply to them, as can be seen in the short story presented here before.

           Now the only question left is whether or not androids can be considered as human beings. If people would insist that androids cannot be counted as human beings simply because only humans are conscious, then it seems to me that theirs is a weak argument, if not totally absurd. Why use the concept of consciousness as the defining factor of who is or who is not a human when there is no single and universally approved meaning of what consciousness is? If this is the case then I could simply say that androids are human beings because they are conscious.

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            But this explanation may not be sufficient for some people so for the sake of it, we will try to find out how human beings are considered human beings. There are many explanations on who a human is. If we look at it from a religious perspective, the Catholic bible states that humans are those made in the image and likeness of God. God gave this human a soul which sets it apart from the other creatures. Others say we are human because of our body structure- the result of our evolution to Homo sapiens, or that we are humans because we are not programmed. Still others would say that human beings are human beings simply because they are born from other human beings.

            However, all these can be contradicted. First, the existence of God itself is a mystery, one that is still being debated until now. And if the existence of a God who gives souls cannot be proved, then the religious definition of a human becomes null. Second, if our body structure makes us human then if another creature looks and acts human, that creature is also a human. Or we can say that since rats have almost the same biological structure as us, then they should be humans as well. Rats are used for medicinal experiments precisely because of this. Also, Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution is not accepted by everyone (i.e. religious people, scientists who believe we came from some other specie) so it cannot be used as a basis. And if the sole existence of evolution makes one ‘human’, then androids also have their own form of evolution, albeit not exactly the same as us. For the programming part, though we do not need to install software to run, humans are also programmed to conform to things. We have our self-preservation instincts; we follow rules about how to do things or how to go with our lives. Or to make it simpler, animals and plants are also not programmed, so following the argument, animals and plants should be considered humans as well. As for the last argument, for me this is the one we should ponder about – how can we be so sure that we are humans? We can be androids ourselves, just implanted with false memories; or our minds can be playing tricks on us telling us that we are human. We could also be shape shifters whose ancestors mingled with humans and decided to look like them. Or worse, we could just be figments of another creature’s imagination, and therefore not really existing in this world. On another note, there are some human beings whose behavior we cannot really consider human.

            The main point is that there is really no distinct line that separates species from each other. We just think that way, and unconsciously discriminate. But if we cannot pinpoint what exactly makes us so different and so special that we put other creatures beneath us, then we should start considering that those other creatures could just very well be one of us.

 

References:

Android 18/#1401888 – Zerochan. (n.d.). Zerochan: HQ Anime Image Board. Retrieved March 20, 2013, from http://www.zerochan.net/1401888

Anime girl. (n.d.). Wallpapers 4 desktop. Retrieved March 20, 2013, fromhttp://www.wallpapers4desktop.net/_ph/3/2/668464955.jpg

Carruthers, P. 2000. Phenomenal Consciousness. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Death Note Character Creation Rp – Forums – MyAnimeList.net. (n.d.). Organize, Discuss, Discover – MyAnimeList.net. Retrieved March 20, 2013, from http://myanimelist.net/forum/?topicid=454185

Definition of consciousness in Oxford Dictionaries (British & World English). (n.d.). Retrieved March 21, 2013, fromhttp://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/consciousness

Gennaro, R. 1995. Consciousness and Self-consciousness: A Defense of the Higher-Order Thought Theory of Consciousness. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Levine, J. 1983. “Materialism and qualia: the explanatory gap”. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 64: 354-361.

PSY 101 – Introduction to Psychology by Jeffry Ricker, Ph.D. (n.d.). Retrieved March 21, 2013, fromhttp://sccpsy101.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/mind-body.jpg

Rosenthal, D. 1986. “Two concepts of consciousness.” Philosophical Studies, 49: 329-59.

Van Gulick, Robert, “Consciousness”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2011 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2011/entries/consciousness/&gt;.

What is a human. (n.d.). Hubpages. Retrieved March 21, 2013, from http:// james-a-watkins.hubpages.com/hub/What-is-a-Human-Being

 

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