Has the computer age brought with it a renewed vitalist philosophy? The machine age, the late nineteenth century, thought of all organisms as analagous, and perhaps more than analagous, with mechanical devices like the typewriter, or the lift (the elevator). Full of moving parts, these were nevertheless conceivable as static objects capable of dynamic movement, and most importantly they were conceivable only as visualized objects. When you visualize a machine it must be stable, arrested though it may be in some stage of its process. Moreover, you cannot attribute a subjectivity to such things without considerable dishonesty.

Now, the modern computer contains almost no moving parts, yet it is conceivable only in terms of its inner processes, the currents in its channels, and what is more these processes are of the utmost abstraction,  so its essence is not something that can be visualized, but only entertained as conceptual models, as signs constituting chains of logical operations which we contemplate in time during processing, rather than taking the whole synchronic scene in at one gulp.

In other words, when considering computers we are engaged in a task not at all unlike that of considering the subjectivity of other minds. Thus it is with difficulty that we avoid attributing subjectivity to the computer. The consequence may be that we are on the verge, not of a further reductionist step towards physicalist disillusion, but of a peculiarly strong eruption in transcendental dualism.