"The pump," said Mma Potokwane. "It is making a very strange noise. The water comes all right, but the pump makes a noise as if it is in pain."Without endorsing Matekoni's conclusion, doesn't it feel like one is causing pain to a tool if one uses it in such a way that it complains by creaking, grating or binding?
"Engines do feel pain," said Mr J.L.B. Matekoni. "They tell us of their pain by making a noise." (Alexander McCall Smith, Tears of the Giraffe)
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Pain and machines
Some of Descartes' followers are accused of treating the noises animals make when to all appearances in pain like the grating of a machine and hence as unconscious. But someone could have the reverse attitude: