The Importance of Philosophy to Artificial Intelligence?

October 12, 2022
Submitted By: Brian David Skelly

Please join us in Auerbach 320 or online this Wednesday, Oct. 12, from 1-2 p.m. for our next meeting of the University of Hartford Philosophy Club as Clark Sexton presents on the Importance of Philosophy to Artificial Intelligence.

To join the meeting online click here.

If you have trouble joining, call Brian Skelly at 413-273-2273.

In Clark’s own words: I plan on walking through the ontology represented in a Type Hierarchy, the Lexicon, an Attribute Grammar, and the processing involved in disambiguating an ambiguous expression. Here is a partial outline:

I. Is Philosophy Important to Artificial Intelligence?

II. The Official Line / The Conventional Wisdom

III. Ways in Which Philosophy is Important to Artificial Intelligence

IV. Contribution of Philosophy to Knowledge Representation and Natural Language Processing:

i. Fundamental philosophical distinctions implicit in natural language

ii. How we represent our knowledge

iii. Meaningful vs. Nonsensical predications


    1. The man is angry
    2. The square root of three is angry

V. Implementing an NLP System Capable of Disambiguation Components:

i. Type Hierarchy

ii. Lexicon

iii.Attribute Grammar

iv. Computation


Dr. Clark Sexton has a doctorate in Computer Science from Kansas State University and a doctorate in Philosophy from the University of Kansas. His research in Computer Science was in Artificial Intelligence, and, more specifically, Natural Language Processing. For this research, he implemented an NLP system that could parse a wide range of syntactic structures of English, and perform type checking to determine whether a sentence was meaningful and disambiguate certain ambiguous expressions.

An ongoing weekly tradition at the University since 2001, the University of Hartford Philosophy Club is a place where students, professors, and people from the community at large meet as peers. Sometimes presentations are given, followed by discussion. Other times, topics are hashed out by the whole group.   

Presenters may be students, professors, or people from the community. Anyone can offer to present a topic. The mode of presentation may be as formal or informal as the presenter chooses. 

Please be a part of us as we continue this great tradition both in the classroom online!

For more information, please contact Brian Skelly at: