Are human beings humean robots? Articles uri icon

publication date

  • January 2018

start page

  • 177

end page

  • 186


  • 1


  • 30

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0952-813X

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1362-3079


  • David Hume, the Scottish philosopher, conceives reason as the slave of the passions, which implies that human reason has predetermined objectives it cannot question. An essential element of an algorithm running on a computational machine (or Logical Computing Machine, as Alan Turing calls it) is its having a predetermined purpose: an algorithm cannot question its purpose, because it would cease to be an algorithm. Therefore, if self-determination is essential to human intelligence, then human beings are neither Humean beings, nor computational machines. We examine also some objections to the Turing Test as a model to understand human intelligence.


  • Computer Science


  • human nature; free will; self-determination; algorithm; computational machine; turing test