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Kain aka That Evil Guy [userpic]

Inside the cult of transhumanism lay the cult of machine-aided immortality. They think that they could somehow transfer their consciousness into a machine and live forever that way.

Just about all of their arguments in favor of such silliness involve some kind of smoke-and-mirrors trickery. Usually it involves throwing out a highly technical term like quantum entanglement and then hand wave their way around it.

Let's be charitable and for the sake of argument take their argument for granted, without an in-depth examination of the technicalities. You take some artificial copy of yourself, "entangle" the two, and voila! Your consciousness is now in the copy.


You've made a "copy" (again, ignoring the full implications of that, again for the sake of argument) but when it comes time to switch off your own continuity, you still die. All you would be doing is making another mechanized continuity, of which you wouldn't be experiencing because one, you'd be dead on your side even if it's conscious on the other and two, there is no consciousness in the AI on the other end. The entanglement doesn't place your consciousness on both ends- It constructs what is a simulated consciousness on the other end i.e. an artificial system that shows all the signs of consciousness yet contains NONE.

The trickery doesn't stand. Immortality Transhumanists are seeking to make a dead world out of p-zombies.

Аркадий Малер [userpic]

Оригинал взят у arkadiy_maler в Дехристианизация

Дехристианизация - на сайте Богослов.ру

История политических идеологий Модерна – это история неуклонной секуляризации тех ценностей, на которых они были основаны. Поэтому сегодня можно констатировать, что если возможна какая-то новая христианская метаидеология, способная адекватно ответить на все вызовы современности, то она должна слагаться из идей всех трех христианских субидеологий – христианского либерализма, христианского социализма и, разумеется, христианского консерватизма, который будет играть в этом процессе ведущую роль. Этим синтетическим путем шла христианская социальная философия XX века в целом и русская религиозная философия в частности, накопив огромные наработки в этой сфере, так и оставшиеся до сих пор достоянием архивов и специалистов. (При этом нужно четко различать чисто светские идеи этих авторов и их богословские поиски, нередко входящие в противоречие с православным догматическим вероучением). Одно глобальное обстоятельство способствует этому возникновению – это очевидный конец эпохи Модерна, реабилитация религиозного мировоззрения в Постмодерне и затянувшийся кризис последнего. Мы вступаем в постсекулярную эпоху, которую предрекал Николай Бердяев, назвав ее «Новым Средневековьем» и, одновременно, в эпоху нового подъема России, бывшей в XX веке главным оплотом секуляризма в мире, а теперь ставшей последним оплотом консервативных ценностей в Европе. Главной идейной интригой ближайших лет будет вопрос о том, какая версия русского консерватизма окажется доминирующей и определяющей лицо России в XXI веке. См. весь текст

Not Paul Hope [userpic]

What is philosophy?

It is certainly not best characterized by the contemporary academic "discipline" known as Philosophy.
The "disciplines" are bureaucratic constructs, each with their own ideological blinders.
This can be seen clearly through the lens of philosophy, but not of Philosophy, which categorically restricts its own potential self-awareness.

philosophy is the impulse towards transcendence. Nothing more or less.

This is no more apparent than when the philosopher denies the possibility of transcendence. For example, by a total embrace of an atheistic physicalism. "That's it! I've settled the question! There is nothing left to transcend!" And so, they've transcended, and do so, again and again, every time doubt creeps in.

The doubt creeps in because, of course, atheistic physicalism is an absurd position because it negates everything that cannot be negated: consciousness, life, civilization, God.

A moment's consideration (perhaps a long moment) reveal that exactly the opposite is the case. The world as it appears, the sensuous world, is a distortion. It is not an illusion in the sense that one sees what isn't there, or even that one isn't seeing what's really there. But the world of the senses is a distortion in the same way that your dreams are a distortion of reality. They are connected to reality by your real, waking life. They are meaningful representations of some greater, more comprehensive, more coherent Reality. But they are disconnected and out of order, full of anxieties that mean nothing because, upon waking, you will understand immediately that it was all just a dream.

Again and again in this great dream we encounter philosophy. We read it, we hear it, we think it ourselves. It is an active, impersonal force in our great collective dream. It is waking up.

Current Location: nettime
Current Music: Rebellion - Arcade Fire
James Camien [userpic]

Non-English-language posts are, as far as I am concerned, welcome. (Am open to revising this position in face of popular revolt.) However, posts must of course contain or at least aspire to philosophy; also, duplicate posts will be deleted.

Kain aka That Evil Guy [userpic]

The Chinese Room demonstrates that outward appearance of an understanding of meaning is by no means an actual indicator of understanding.

Bona fide understanding is a main feature of conscious thinking. If something is not conscious, it is not possible for it to understand.

What goes on inside the Chinese Room is an analog of programming. AI is dependent on programming.

Thus, what AI accomplishes in fooling someone in thinking that it has any sort of comprehension of meaning, is a demonstration of a mere appearance of comprehension. It would only appear to be sentient, while being as non-sentient as any program.

The only way for anyone to demonstrate the possibility of consciousness in an AI is to demonstrate independence from programming.

There is no such demonstration. Bottom-up AI, including experiments showing the purported evolution of bottom-up AI, still requires programming.

James Camien [userpic]

I believe all bans on community members to have been lifted. Bygones and all that; and in any case, it's not like there's any water to poison these days. If people are having trouble, let me know via LJ PM.

UPDATE: I believed wrong. But now all bans are definitely rescinded.

Diary of a B+ Grade Polymath [userpic]

Heck, I don't particularly care for Kant, but this is as ridiculous an evaluation as one can find.

"Even apart from the fact that Kant’s theory of the “categories” as the source of man’s concepts was a preposterous invention, his argument amounted to a negation, not only of man’s consciousness, but of any consciousness, of consciousness as such. His argument, in essence, ran as follows: man is limited to a consciousness of a specific nature, which perceives by specific means and no others, therefore, his consciousness is not valid; man is blind, because he has eyes—deaf, because he has ears—deluded, because he has a mind—and the things he perceives do not exist, because he perceives them."


someone [userpic]

The purpose of this post is to explore the requirements to recreate a living, conscious human being on a computer, as opposed to running a functional model of a brain in software.
Prompted by Greg Egan's "Permutation City", which I'm currently reading.

I appreciate you taking time to critically examining my argument.

A neuronal activity consists largely of neurons firing, spikes propagating, and synapses forming/changing. Those things can happen either as a result of external (sensory) input coming into the brain, or feedback loops in the brain itself.

We can capture the state of the brain at any particular moment by recording all relevant parameter values. These parameters can be plugged into a functional model of the brain, together with any input signals. The model will allow us to predict (calculate) how the system is going to change, if started with those initial parameters (the real brain changes due to laws of physics, for example, if the electrical potential value in some neuron is large enough, that neuron is likely to fire; it also changes as the input signals change). The system uses analog signals, and is not governed by a global clock, so the change will be analog (gradual). There is no "next state" to speak of - the state is continuously changing. We can make "snapshots" of a real, living brain at different times, or we can calculate the state of the brain at those times. If the results are identical, we have a good model.

Calculating the state of the brain at successive points in time, given initial parameters, sensory input, and a functional model, can be considered to be an active, ongoing brain simulation. Calculating those states frequently enough can let us construct a pattern of neuronal activity, which we can then decode as specific thoughts, feelings, and motor commands intended to generate some actions. We can have a robot perform the actions, and this robot will appear alive and even "conscious". However, there's no living "being" controlling this robot. The brain state calculations could, in principle, be done on paper, because it's all just number crunching*. The calculated numbers could tell us what the real person would feel like, if this was a real person. But it's not. It's a description of a real person - a mathematical model with a bunch of parameters.

Such a robot would already be pretty impressive, but how do we create a "living being"? For that, we need to switch from performing calculations to running physical processes. We need to build a system where processes are happening "on their own". Instead of calculating the "next state", we need to let the system run so that any "next state" would develop naturally. Instead of calculating a snapshot at a particular time, we should have a system that has a continuous physical state at all times.

It's not clear how accurately we need to imitate the relevant physical processes in hardware, or if it's possible to use some software abstractions. For example, can we represent synapses as numbers stored in memory, or must they be actual physical devices, such as memristors? Do we need to generate analog voltage spikes on dedicated wires, or can we use digital data packets on a switched network between neurons?

I tend to think that as long as we recreate the movement, transformation, and storage of important information throughout the entire system, we have a living being.

*Compare with Searle's Chineese Room Experiment.

Аркадий Малер [userpic]

В новой программе Катехон-ТВ выступает - Виктор Петрович Лега, кандидат богословия, с 1991 г. заведующий Кафедры философии Православного Свято-Тихоновского гуманитарного университета (ПСТГУ), доцент Сретенской семинарии, МГЛУ, МФТИ.

Тема - "Философия и богословие".

- значение философии в формировании христианкой теологии
- вера от слышания и вера как уверенность
- влияние Платона vs. влияние Аристотеля
- догматические проблемы в русской религиозной философии
- деструктивная роль постмодернизма

In this paper, I will analyze different approaches to the epistemology but this is not a philosophical inquiry. Rather, I am interested in what causes the difference among English and Russian philosophers working on one particular issue: consideration of Gettier’s Problem. I will provide a short survey of recent articles available in open Internet sources. As a result, I found that Russian writers tend to be very ontological in that field. Does this entail that deeper spirituality, or the proverbial “mysterious Russian soul”, is the cause for such pretentiousness? Seriously, I will try to answer why they stay far from precise analyses of details.
The classical account of knowledge is that a subject S knows a proposition p iff S believes p, the belief p is true, and S has a justification for that belief. This means that S can offer good reasons in support of why she believes p. In short, it is called the JTB Definition. It appears in Plato's dialogues and it was relevant until the mid-1960s. In 1963, a philosopher named Edmund Gettier published an article in which he showed that knowledge could not merely be justified by true belief.
Gettier’s counterexamples pushed us to revise many of very important philosophical issues. What is knowledge? What is the structure of our beliefs? What human’s thinking and reasoning entail? You do not need to be a philosopher to grasp an understanding that these epistemological issues can impact such problems as Cognitive Psychology, Artificial Intelligence, for example, possibility of existence of computer holds Turing’s test, etc. Moreover, Edmund Gettier opened a new era in epistemology named post-Gettier era. Even a historian is allowed to ask: what happened since Plato in philosophy and what occurred in paradigm of humanity after the mid-1960?
I have made a brief survey of articles available in open Internet sources. The web search system Yandex.ru has been chosen for tracing results on two queries: “Gettier case” in English and in Russian (Кейс Геттиера). Yandex.ru is powerful website in Russian speaking matters. Therefore, Russian sources have to predominate among the search results in the search engine. The first three pages of results in Yandex.ru search engine were analyzed. I considered the search result valid if it had a link to a PDF file available for free download. The following results were obtained:
· The query in English gave two students’ essays from Routledge and Northern Illinois University, three overviews of lectures from different universities, two drafts of articles for peer review, two published articles by Cognition and Sayi magazines. As a sum, there were 9 results. The articles, for example John Turri’s draft, provides analysis of different epistemological approaches such as Casual Theory of Knowledge, No False Assumptions condition, Safe condition, Sensitivity condition, Reliabilism, Fallibilism, Credital account, etc. The papers contain quotations by the authors: Hetherington S., Pritchard D., Zagzebski L., Sosa E., etc. Note - those scientists are leaders in contemporary epistemology. No Russian author has been found.
· The query in Russian gave 4 results: one overview of lectures of University of Tomsk, three published articles. The article of Olchovskiy G. considers Casual Theory of Knowledge. The article of Nikiforov A. considers semantic analysis of predicate “know”. The article of Lamberov L. provides a survey of the above approaches and shows inconsistence of given considerations. All papers are written in Russian. It is noticeable that Russian philosophers used only original article of Edmund Gettier (1963) as a foreign source inside the body of papers, even though they provide other sources in bibliographies. Therefore, the conversation is stuck on the analysis of theories that were considered in 1970-1980’s by English speaking philosophers. Russian sources dissect two original cases from the Gettier’s article and say nothing about enormous amounts of known counterexamples. In addition, the same search was conducted a year ago it produced one Russian author - Kusliy P. - who wrote an overview of other Russian authors in the field of Gettier’s problem.
Even a brief consideration shows that Russian philosophical scholars stay far away from mainstream of contemporary formal and analytical epistemology. While English-speaking scholars provide very precise, all-embracing analysis, the Russian speakers try to eliminate problems of formal epistemology by attempting to propose a full and consistent theory of Gnosis. This attempt is as successful as any general theory. As a person involved in both the Russian and the English field of information, I want to understand what causes those differences. It can be due to general reasons:
1.     Ignorance of Russian scholars due to language barrier, 70-years ideological pressure, and so on.
2.     Absence of interest towards the problem described above.
I will discuss the second alternative because the sickness of ignorance can be cured, absence of interest cannot. A contemplation of historical development of branch of Russian humanitarian and social sciences allows us to suppose that, most of the time, it was a conversation about human life, society, and soul. The Russian humanitarian and social sciences have very rarely been considered as a possible source of advantage for technology and practice. For the sake of simplicity, let us consider the following chain: since the orthodox religion considered the material world to be something that keeps our spirit from flying, there has always been a strict division between technical and humanitarian sciences. It received some development during the Soviet Union era, where philosophy became a part of ideology. The situation with humanitarian science nowadays in Russia seems to go back to the orthodox medieval times. Of course, we can find similar features in European history but they were gradually eliminated from the scientific paradigm. Now a significant benefit of interdisciplinary inquiry has become obvious. Quantum physics and the Theory of game, Epistemology and Economic science contribute to each other, sometimes in much unexpected ways. Thus, I suppose that in part, the state of the Russian analytical project in Epistemology is conditioned by misunderstanding of possible advantages of fundamental humanitarian inquiries for improvement of material products as well as for social and environmental challenges.
In conclusion, I would like to give my own translation of a well-known Mendeleev’s passage. If education begins with Socrates, we can expect brilliant technological advances. Otherwise, new “Socrates” never occurred if tutor begins with particular technical problems. It seems we forgot our own history.
Kusliy, P.S. (2011). "Knowledge, the Gettier's problem and some of the discussions in the contemporary epistemology", http://CyberLeninka.ru/article/n/znanie-problema-gettiera-i-nekotorye-diskussii-v- sovremennoy-otechestvennoy-epistemologi
Lamberov L. (2010),”Как важно быть серьёзным: О некоторых критика Геттиера”, Эпистемология & философия науки 4 (“It is important to be serious: About Gettier critique”, Epistemology and Philosophy of Science).
Nagel J., Mar R., and San Juan V. (2013) “Authentic Gettier cases: A reply to Starmans and Friedman”, Cognition 129: 666-696
Pritchard, D. (2005). Epistemic Luck. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Pritchard, D. (2007). "Anti-luck epistemology", Synthese 158: 277-297.
Reed, B. (2000). “Accidental Truth and Accidental Justification”, Philosophical Quarterly Vol. 50, No198: 57-67.
Sosa, E. (1988). “Beyond Skepticism, to the Best of Our Knowledge”, Mind 97: 153-189.
Turri J. “In Gettier’s wake”, forthcoming.
Zagzebski, L. (1994). “The Inescapability of Gettier Problems”, Philosophical Quarterly 44: 65-73.

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