The Actor and the Spectator: 1975 Editionby Lewis White Beck, Lewis W. Beck
Can a machine think? More pointedly, if I am a machine, can I think? Professor Beck answer these questions by analyzing two clusters of metaphors: one of which dramatizes human beings as spontaneous agents (actors), the other of which sees human beings as observers attempting to causally explain their own behaviour and that of the actor (spectators). Using a hypothetical scene with two spectators, each explaining an action, and each representing a different way of viewing the world, Beck points up the central philosophical problems raised by the varieties of ways in which we explain our own actions and those of others.
This concise and illuminating book offers an argument for freedom in human action and sketches the way in which people, both actors and spectators, can behave morally and freely in the world.
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