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negligence. (

Cambridge Dictionary of

Philosophy, 1995, p. 482


The legal concept has no requirement

that the agent be capable of feeling

guilt or remorse or any other emotion;

so-called cold-blooded murderers are

not in the slightest degree exculpated

by their flat affective state.

Star Trek’s

Spock would fully satisfy the mens

rea requirement in spite of his fabled

lack of emotions. Drab, colorless—but

oh so effective—”motivational states

of purpose” and “cognitive states of

belief” are enough to get the fictional

Spock through the day quite handily.

And they are well-established features

of many existing computer programs.

When IBM’s computer Deep Blue

beat world chess champion Garry

Kasparov in the first game of their

1996 championship match, it did so

by discovering and executing, with

exquisite timing, a withering attack, the

purposes of which were all too evident in

retrospect to Kasparov and his handlers.

It was Deep Blue’s sensitivity to those

purposes and a cognitive capacity to

recognize and exploit a subtle flaw in

Kasparov’s game that ex plain Deep

Blue’s success. Murray Campbell, Feng-

hsiung Hsu, and the other designers

of Deep Blue, didn’t beat Kasparov;

Deep Blue did. Neither Campbell nor

Hsu discovered the winning sequence

of moves; Deep Blue did. At one

point, while Kasparov was mounting a

ferocious attack on Deep Blue’s king,

nobody but Deep Blue figured out that

it had the time and security it needed

to knock off a pesky pawn of Kasparov’s

that was out of the action but almost

invisibly vulnerable. Campbell, like the

human grandmaster-. watching the

game, would never have dared consider