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Potential paper topics April 2, 2007

Posted by Ron in Uncategorized.

Here’s the list from Friday’s lecture:

  • Do birds have grammar?
    • What types of grammar exist?
    • How can we test if something has a grammar if we don’t know what the words mean?
  • Is prosopagnosia more common than we thought?
    • What is prosopagnosia?
    • What levels of prosopagnosia exist?
    • How do we test for prosopagnosia?
    • If prosopagnosia is so common, why was it undetected?
    • What has changed now that it has been detected?
  • Do humans and agents in The Matrix have different inner lives?
    • What are the assumed characteristics of The Matrix?
    • What are the limitations of understanding whether something is conscious?
    • What about the nature of qualia?
    • In the end, does it matter?
  • Is morality determined by evolutionary pressures?
    • Why might our notion of mortality be supported by evolution?
    • Why might evolution cause altruistic behavior?
    • How can we tell whether our morality is based on evolutionary pressures rather than simply on our common experiences in the real world?
  • Are we “Natural Born Cyborgs” (Clark)?
    • What does it mean for me to “outsource” part of my cognitive system onto devices or external representations?
    • How and when are we good at extending our cognition to other things?


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