Is it true that no computer, no matter how sophisticated humans construct it in the future, will ever be able to solve philosophy problems because fundamentally a computer cannot function without initial human input programming? Even something as simple or mundane as an everyday moral dilemma?

I do no think it is true that a computer cannot function without initial human input programming. There is nothing in the nature of computation that implies this. I believe, along with most cognitive scientists, that human minds are, or include as components, computers... for example, the visual system is understood very well in computational terms. I also do not see why a computer that did require initial human input programming should automatically be unable to solve philosophical problems - such computers can, after all, solve other kinds of problem. What is so special about philosophy?

Many disciplines have areas of study that overlap other disciplines. For example, to do physics also requires substantial math. At the same time, each discipline has something that is uniquely its own. Physics tests the mathematical predictions against actual results. What is it that is unique to philosophy that distinguishes it from other disciplines?

I suppose that if anything unites all philosophers it is an interest in the big questions of mind, world, existence ...analytic philosophers tend to deploy, or try to deploy, rigorous logical arguments in their work. In the latter part of the last century, a lot of analytic philosophers thought of philosophy as a very distinctive subject concerned with the a priori (armchair) analysis of concepts, but the idea that this enterprise is at all fruitful is now much less popular.

Why are there so few women philosophers?

I suggest also that some women simply don't like the argumentative, combative interactions that philosophy typically involves. That might be one among several good reasons for philosophers to consider adopting different and more co-operative modes of interaction.

Just to respond to afew of Jyl's points. (1) We practice philosophy according to a sort of lawyers-in-courtmodel. This practice has its downside. It encourages aggression, whichoften impedes rather than promotes progress. And it leads people oftento defend views that they do not strongly believe in, and certainlywouldn't, if they reflected honestly and outside of the context ofthe good fight that they are enjoying. This also can impedeprogress. Sometimes we'd do better to admit that none of us understands thesubject matter very well - because it is so extremely difficult, notbecause we are thick - and tried to muddle along together. (2) The combative nature of the practice, and the aggression that thisencourages, have indeed caused very talented philosophers not to enterthe profession. Some of these are men. But I strongly suspect thatmore are women. If that empirical suspicion of mine were correct, thenthat wouldprovide one among several good reasons for philosophers to...