Moralism In Keith Stanovich's 'The Robot's Rebellion'

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Keith Stanovich’s The Robot’s Rebellion delves deep into the world of evolutionary psychology, stating how modern society is stuck in a technologically run programme of sorts where we are all but robots stuck in a world revolved around our most primal cognitive abilities. In the introductory pages of this novel, Stanovich draws our attention to four notable theorists, among them, philosopher Daniel Dennett who refers to the implications that modern evolutionary theory will have on the twenty-first century. Specifically he states that these advances will destroy many traditional concepts that we have had wired in our minds for centuries (Stanovich 2004). Stanovich emphasizes that while we may appear controlled by these mechanisms, we have …show more content…
Morality, as explained in lecture is a process which has existed in the primal section of the human brain. Much like the Trolley problem, we are presented with a set of “moral dilemmas” which challenge our preprogrammed way of thinking. Through the act of killing, cheating, dishonesty and otherwise similar processes, our minds are pre-programmed to understand the reason to warrant the fact that it is wrong, but the process is unconscious, as we are unaware of truly why we believe this to true. Rationality, as explained in The Robot’s Rebellion is argued to be the fuel behind the discoveries of human cognition, as Stanovich argues that society has the capacity to create mismatches between evolutionary influenced TASS processes and external responses to the environment by using this very skill (Stanovich …show more content…
While we sit and self-reflect about our mechanical inner workings, where is the solution? He consistently mentions that our world is “technologically run” and will eventually be overrun by these same powers, but never once provides a clear solution for this problem. Instead that we need to accept this demise and wait for our eventual fate. Instead of offering an adequate solution, Stanovich urges that we simply accept our inevitability to this collapse of the system which we rely on and have relied on since the beginning of our evolutionary existence (Stanovich 2004). An “intellectual cataclysm” is what he describes it as. Overall, The Robot’s Rebellion: Finding Meaning in the Age of Darwin, provides an informative and critical view of human cognition and its evolutionary origins. While it does not necessarily provide a concise solution, it aims at broadening our awareness of these biological mechanisms which run our everyday lives encouraging us to be more than “survival machines” (Stanovich

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