Emerging Technologies and the Future of Philosophy


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This article examines how a class of emerging technologies—specifically, radical cognitive enhancements and artificial intelligence—has the potential to influence the future of philosophy. The article argues that progress in philosophy has been impeded, in part, by two specific constraints imposed on us by the natural architecture of our cognitive systems. Both of these constraints, though, could in principle be overcome by certain cognitive technologies currently being researched and/or developed. It surveys a number of these technologies, and then looks at a particular metaphilosophical stance (called “inflationism”) that advocates amplifying the abilities of philosophers rather than reducing the ambitions of philosophy, given the apparent “teleological gap” between philosophy's ultimate goal (i.e., “the truth”) and the limited capacities of our evolved mental machinery.