RE: Books on rationality

From: Martin Moore (
Date: Sun Jun 09 2002 - 10:09:07 MDT

Ben & Eleizer,

This thread is most certainly pertinent.

I worry about a distrubing trend among furturists
(Transhuamnists included) to write-off discussions of
political, economic, and epistemological philosophy as
a waste of time or off-topic. They may already be
living somewhere past the Singularity in their minds
and have forgotten that the present serves as the
foundation to realize their visions. Disengaging in
favor of purely technological activity or, even worse,
purely passive imaginings is impractical.

To the contrary, major change has always been heralded
in by one "ism" or another. As much as new ways of
thinking or perceiving (or projecting for that matter)
the world is a response to major social change, they
also serve as an integration mechanism. Whether
expressed as art, myth, literature, or philosophy
these both prepare the affected culture for the impact
of change, and create a mindset which furthers the
transformation of society.

You mentioned Existentialism and Post-Modernism which
arose, respectively, in response to the atheism of
enlightened rational thought (not to mention
industrial rev / WWII) and Cold War certainties & new
physics (Theory of Relativity & Uncertainty Pncpl
among them). This sounds myopic, but in the interest
of time and a lot of space that could be wasted, you
see the point I'm making...

In any case, a certain zeitgeist has implications
which crosses disciplines.

Transhumanists, and anyone who envisions a
singularity, will ignore your recent posts at their
own peril. The research you are both conducting,
assuming that it is as important as I believe it is,
must necessarily have a dramatic impact on philosphy -
not simply in order to get There, but how we will
interact with the world once we are.

How do we get from Plato, to Kant, to Hegel, to De
Sartre (I'll take the opportunity to throw in
Heidegger), past Focault and to... To What?


--- Ben Goertzel <> wrote:
> > And with that said... why would rationality have
> any trouble dealing with
> > the possibility that our universe is a computer
> simulation? How does the
> > proposed objective fact that our universe is a
> computer simulation in any
> > way obviate the notion of objective reality?
> Perhaps our communication is getting tangled up in
> the various shades of
> meaning of words like "objective reality."
> If the ground under my feet is part of a computer
> simulation, then is it
> "objectively real"? I think that according to
> classical realist philosophy
> the answer is NO.
> > And how does faith help in the slightest?
> The assumption that the ground under one's feet is
> DEFINITELY not going to
> go away in five minutes when the simulation is
> switched off, seems to be
> emotionally reassuring to many humans, putting them
> in a more relaxed frame
> of mind that allows them to function more
> effectively.
> -- Ben G

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