Tag Archives: epistemology


Step on a tack with bare feet and it will hurt. Why? Pain receptors at the site of the injury will send electrical signals via nerve fibres to your spinal cord and ultimately to your brain where they will pass into areas responsible for physical sensation, thought and emotion. The end result is that unpleasant feeling we call “pain.” But is the neurophysiology of pain, all there is to pain?  Granny Smith apples look green to me. And if you have normal colour vision, they look green to you too. Or at least, both you and I will describe Granny Smith apples as green. But how do I know that when you look at a Granny Smith, you experience the same colour as I do? Computers are becoming increasingly better at performing cognitive tasks once thought of as distinctively human. Not only do computers excel at chess, they can recognize faces, engage in conversations, and much more. Do computers, then, think? And even if they do, could there ever be computer consciousness? These are some of the philosophical puzzles that we’ll be tackling this semester in PHL 220.