Can philosophical zombies do philosophy?
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Can philosophical zombies do philosophy?

Can philosophical zombies be philosophical? Preamble There are various takes on what a p-zombie is, most of which were attempts to dethrone physicalism – this article isn’t one of those. This kind of p-zombie is different from what David Chalmers describes in The Consciousness Mind. In Chalmers view, p-zombies are physiologically identical to humans, even…

The Unfolding Mysteries of the Cosmos: A Reflection on Seneca’s Vision
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The Unfolding Mysteries of the Cosmos: A Reflection on Seneca’s Vision

The time will come when diligent research over long periods will bring to light things which now lie hidden. A single lifetime, even though entirely devoted to the sky, would not be enough for the investigation of so vast a subject… And so this knowledge will be unfolded only through long successive ages. There will come a time when our descendants will be amazed that we did not know things that are so plain to them… Many discoveries are reserved for ages still to come, when memory of us will have been effaced.

How science fails
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How science fails

There is a really interesting Aeon article on what bad science, and how it fails. Update: a discussion on this exists in the philsci FB group on here. What is Bad Science? According to Imre Lakatos, science degenerates unless it is both theoretically and experimentally progressive. Can Lakatos’s ‘scientific programme’ approach, which incorporates merits of…

Can We Improve the Science of Solving Global Coordination Problems?  Anders Sandberg
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Can We Improve the Science of Solving Global Coordination Problems? Anders Sandberg

Anders Sandberg discusses solving coordination problems: Includes discussion on game theory including:the prisoners dilemma (and the iterated form), the tit-for-tat strategy, and reciprocal altruism. He then discusses politics, and why he considers himself a ‘heretical libertarian’ – then contrasts the benefits and risks of centralized planning vs distributed trial & error and links this in…

Suffering, and Progress in Ethics – Peter Singer
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Suffering, and Progress in Ethics – Peter Singer

Suffering is generally bad – Peter Singer (who is a Hedonistic Utilitarian), and most Effective Altruists would agree with this. Though in addressing the need for suffering today Peter acknowledges that, as we are presently constituted, suffering is useful as a warning sign (e.g. against further injury). But what about the future? What if we…

Review of Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari – Steve Fuller
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Review of Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari – Steve Fuller

My sociology of knowledge students read Yuval Harari’s bestselling first book, Sapiens, to think about the right frame of reference for understanding the overall trajectory of the human condition. Homo Deus follows the example of Sapiens, using contemporary events to launch into what nowadays is called ‘big history’ but has been also called ‘deep history’…

Is there a Meaningful Future for Non-Optimal Moral Agents?
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Is there a Meaningful Future for Non-Optimal Moral Agents?

In an interview last year, I had a discussion with John Danaher on the Hedonistic Imperative & Superintelligence – a concern he has with HI is that it denies or de-emphasises some kind of moral agency – in moral theory there is a distinction between moral agents (being a responsible actor able to make moral…

The Knowledge Argument Applied to Ethics
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The Knowledge Argument Applied to Ethics

A group of interested AI enthusiasts have been discussing Engineering Machine Consciousness in Melbourne for over a decade. In a recent interview with Jamais Cascio on Engineering Happy People & Global Catastrophic Risks, we discussed the benefits of amplifying empathy without the nasty side effects (possibly through cultural progress or technological intervention – a form…