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Robot life: simulation and participation in the study of evolution and social behavior.

  • Author(s): Kelty, Christopher M
  • et al.
Abstract

This paper explores the case of using robots to simulate evolution, in particular the case of Hamilton's Law. The uses of robots raises several questions that this paper seeks to address. The first concerns the role of the robots in biological research: do they simulate something (life, evolution, sociality) or do they participate in something? The second question concerns the physicality of the robots: what difference does embodiment make to the role of the robot in these experiments. Thirdly, how do life, embodiment and social behavior relate in contemporary biology and why is it possible for robots to illuminate this relation? These questions are provoked by a strange similarity that has not been noted before: between the problem of simulation in philosophy of science, and Deleuze's reading of Plato on the relationship of ideas, copies and simulacra.

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