[Brad is a frequent contributor to our Facebook page, so we invited him to post on the blog – welcome him!]
I found this to be an interesting video which relates to both the Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty episodes. In the video, Hubert Dreyfus discusses Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and the philosophical implications for artificial intelligence. Dreyfus has long been a critic of AI and has often cited Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty as offering important phenomenological insights into AI’s philosophical underpinnings.
Dreyfus discusses how human expertise depends primarily on practical coping skills and a basic engagement with the world, not on some internalization of rules. I think he’s spot on. Practical knowledge, as more fundamental than that of the theoretical, need not even rise to the level of consciousness.
Merleau-Ponty is mentioned as being significant for calling out that the body plays an essential role for our being-in-the-world. Whereas the philosophical tradition has always taken the body to be something which gets in the way of reason and the intellect, Merleau-Ponty takes it to be crucial. Dreyfus goes on to talk about his book, the internet, and how the past failures of AI were based on mistaken philosophical presuppositions. [The video is in two parts, if you don’t get a youtube link at the end to part II, you can find it here.]