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Julio Moreno-Dávila
Personhood, Logos and Artificial Intelligence


The term “Logos” can be translated as “verbum” or as “ratio.” Had the Aristotle translator used the meaning “verbum,” we human beings would be defined as “verbal animals.” This can be seen as a remote origin of the concept of intelligence as self-awareness, but this can be shown not to be the case as Ludwig Wittgenstein did. René Descartes was the main contributor to this misunderstanding.

The non-continental (Anglo-Saxon) analytical philosophy has pointed out how flawed this way is of seeing intelligence. As St. Augustine says, “What is time? If nobody asks me, I know; if I want to explain it, I don’t.” This is an eloquent objection to Cartesian thesis. Developing these Ideas, the author arrives to the following conclusions:

  1. It seems more appropriate to define personhood as “verbal animal” than as “rational animal.”
  2. The Turing test is appropriate to define a kind of intelligence in a machine, putting emphasis on verbal abilities and being objectively checkable.
  3. The Turing test seems to be incomplete as it fails to show the ability of learning by being told.
  4. The “animal” part in the “verbal animal” definition of personhood is an essential one.

Dr. Moreno-Dávila has been a lecturer at the Università Pontificia Regina Apostolorum since 2002 in the framework of a master’s degree in Gödel’s theorem, St. Anselm’s ontological argument and Analytical Thomism.  He is also working on his second PhD in philosophy.  His first PhD is in the field of mathematical logic.  He earned this degree from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in 1990 while being responsible for artificial intelligence applications in an important Swiss bank. 

Previous to these degrees, he was awarded a masters degree in Electronic Engineering from the Madrid Institute of Technology in 1965.  He worked in the field of applied mathematics (operations research) in the leading Italian data processing company.  He was responsible for statistics and operations research in the world’s biggest food company in Switzerland from 1972 to 1985. 

Retired from commercial activities, he taught Operation Research and Artificial Intelligence from 1996 at the American Graduate School of Business, becoming the Dean of the faculty in 1998, till 2002.

His main research interests are the relations between mathematical logic, Anselm’s ontological argument and Gödel’s theorem.  He has published in the field of mathematics and statistics, but recently he has published about the logic used by Aquinas, and the Monte-Carlo algorithms as a counter example against Darwinism.


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