I think it unwise, particularly for a computing scientist, to underestimate the influence of that school of psychologist that, because they found the human mind too difficult and elusive an object for their study, turned to the study of rats instead, and even restrict that study —as I saw expressed recently— “to the most mechanical forms of behavior —often so mechanical that even rats have no chance to show their higher faculties—”. By presenting their crude, mechanical models as a valid approximation for the human mind, they have blurred the distinction between man and machine dangerously, and we observe the two complementary phenomena: an anthropomorphic view of machines and a mechanical view of people.

EWD #540

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