Ascribing Mental Qualities to Machines

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John McCarthy
Martin Ringle (eds.)
Philosophical Perspectives in Artificial Intelligence, pages 161-195
Harvester Studies in Cognitive Science
Harvester Press, Brighton

Ascribing mental qualities like beliefs, intentions and wants to a machine is sometimes correct if done conservatively and is sometimes necessary to express what is known about its state. We propose some new definitional tools for this: definitions relative to an approximate theory and second order structural definitions.