Tag Archives: Philosophy

Don’t trust your intuitions, they will betray you

A video at Aeon well worth checking out on what wrapping a rope around the Earth reveals about the limits of human intuition: If you tied a rope tight around the Earth’s equator and then added a single yard of … Continue reading

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Are zombies conscious?

This is not a question about philosophical zombies.  I did a post on them a while back.  (The TL;DR is that I find that whole concept ranges from incoherent to dubious, depending on the exact version.) This post is on … Continue reading

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The relationship between usefulness and falsifiability

There’s an article by Matthew R. Francis in Symmetry magazine garnering a lot of attention asking whether falsifiability is a useful criteria for scientific theories. Popper wrote in his classic book The Logic of Scientific Discovery that a theory that cannot be … Continue reading

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SMBC on what separates humans from machines

Source: Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (Click through for full sized version and the red button caption.) My own take on this is that what separates humans from machines is our survival instinct.  We intensely desire to survive, and procreate.  Machines, … Continue reading

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Probability is relative

At Aeon, Nevin Climenhaga makes some interesting points about probability.  After describing different interpretations of probability, one involving the frequency with which an event will occur, another involving its propensity to occur, and a third involving our confidence it will … Continue reading

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Why are we real?

Nathaniel Stein has an interesting article at Aeon, The why of reality: The easy question came first, a few months after my son turned four: ‘Are we real?’ It was abrupt, but not quite out of nowhere, and I was … Continue reading

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Being committed to truth means admitting the limitations of what we can know

Michela Massimi has a long article at Aeon defending scientific realism. The time for a defence of truth in science has come. It begins with a commitment to get things right, which is at the heart of the realist programme, despite mounting Kuhnian … Continue reading

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Consciousness lies in the eye of the beholder

There are few things that everyone who ponders consciousness can agree on.  It’s a topic where debates on the very definition of the subject are common.  The only definitions that seem to command near universal assent are the ones oriented … Continue reading

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What positions do you hold that are not popular?

Rebecca Brown has an article at Aeon on how philosophy can make the previously unthinkable thinkable.  She starts with a discussion of the Overton window: In the mid-1990s, Joseph Overton, a researcher at the US think tank the Mackinac Center … Continue reading

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A qualified recommendation: Consciousness Demystified

A couple of years ago I did a series of posts inspired by Todd Feinberg and Jon Mallatt’s excellent  The Ancient Origins of Consciousness, a book on the evolution of animal consciousness.  Somewhat building on what I had read in … Continue reading

Posted in Mind and AI | Tagged , , , , , , , | 15 Comments