First, watch Star Trek Next Generation S2:E9 “The Measure of a Man” episode (Links to an external site.)

Second, answer these questions:

(1) Did Captain Picard make a persuasive argument to Data’s personhood? Give detailed reasons for your answer. (2a) If you think Data is a person, how do you know you are not mistaken? Data is a machine, after all. How do you know Data isn’t just an elaborate, mindless mimicry of human behavior? (2b) If you think Data is not a person, how can you be so sure? Weren’t whole groups of humans considered “soulless” in the past, a judgment we now regard with horror (as indicated in the episode)? Is your rejection of the personhood of Data grounded in a way that wouldn’t also reject the personhood of another human? (3) What do you think Data meant about the “ineffable quality” of an experience (as opposed to just the “mere facts” of that same experience)? 

Note: Answer either (2a) or (2b) (but not both).