Computing Reviews
Today's Issue Hot Topics Search Browse Recommended My Account Log In
Home Topics Titles Quotes Blog Featured Help
Search

Cover Quote: February 1985

But if there were a machine which had such a resemblance to our bodies, and imitated our actions as far as is morally possible, there would always be two absolutely certain methods of recognizing that it was still not truly a man. The first is that it could never use words or other signs for the purpose of communicating its thoughts to others, as we do. It is indeed conceivable that a machine could be so made that it would utter words.…But it could never modify its phrases to reply to the sense of whatever was said in its presence.…The second method of recognition is that, although such machines could do many things as well as, or perhaps even better than, men, they would infallibly fail in certain others, by which we would discover that they did not act by understanding or reason, but only by the disposition of their organs.…From this it follows that it is morally impossible and clearly incredible that there should be enough different devices in a machine to make it behave in all the occurrences of life as our reason makes us behave.



- René Descartes
Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason and Seeking Truth in the Field of Science, 1637
Send Your Comments
Contact Us
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.   Copyright © 2000-2021 ThinkLoud, Inc.
Terms of Use
| Privacy Policy