For some reason, Mary's room has been garnering attention lately. This TED Ed video on it was shared on Aeon's site this week. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGYmiQkah4o The wording of the actual thought experiment is important, so quoting Frank Jackson's words (via the Wikipedia article on the knowledge argument): Mary is a brilliant scientist who is, for whatever reason, … Continue reading The problem with Mary’s room
In the last post, I pondered what distinction between the physical and non-physical, noting that I've historically resisted the label of "physicalist" or "materialist" maintaining that, if any evidence for the non-physical ever did become available, I'd accept its existence. I finished my post asking what that evidence might look like? And if even asking … Continue reading What would evidence for the non-physical look like? A possible answer.
Click through for full sized version, and philosophical explanation if you're not familiar with David Chalmer's and Daniel Dennett's positions on philosophical zombies. Philosophy Humans - Existential Comics. I can't say I've ever been too impressed with the idea of a philosophical zombie. I could see maybe a zombie existing that behaves identically to a … Continue reading Zombies discussing philosophical zombies
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vw61gCe2oqI This weekend, I watched the movie, 'Edge of Tomorrow', also known as 'Live. Die. Repeat.' It's the latest in a common motif in science fiction and fantasy, the time loop story, where the hero repeats the same events over and over until they find a way to break out. It's a concept that's been … Continue reading The mind / body dualism of ‘Edge of Tomorrow’
A few days ago, when I told him I thought his skepticism of mind uploading was a bit overly pessimistic, Massimo Pigliucci pointed out that mind uploading implies dualism and seemed to see this as a strike against it. (The relevant comments are scattered on this thread at his blog. Search for "selfaware" to find … Continue reading The dualism of mind uploading
Dear Dan— I’d like to begin by thanking you for taking the time to review Free Will at such length. Publicly engaging me on this topic is certainly preferable to grumbling in private. Your writing is admirably clear, as always, which worries me in this case, because we appear to disagree about a great many … Continue reading The Marionette’s Lament : A Response to Daniel Dennett : : Sam Harris
The concept of free will is intimately tangled up with the idea of responsibility. Are you responsible for your actions? To what degree are your actions predetermined? If they are predetermined, how can we hold anyone accountable for their actions? Does the idea of moral responsibility even make sense? Libertarian free will The classic definition … Continue reading Free will? Free of what?
Mind body dualism is the theory that mind and matter are separate substances. It's an ancient theory discussed in various forms by philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle, and theologians such as Thomas Aquinas. In 1641, Rene Descartes put forth his views, usually referred to as Cartesian dualism which laid important foundations for modern philosophy in … Continue reading The mind is the brain, and why that’s good