RE: Books on rationality... uh, Philosophy?

From: Martin Moore (
Date: Sun Jun 09 2002 - 18:52:35 MDT

>Ben Wrote
>The philosophical quest is an important part of
>nearly any human endeavor,
>but it's not a quest that ever arrives at a
>solution, so one certainly
>shouldn't wait for philosophical answers before
>proceeding with concrete projects!!

Granted. Albeit, by the same token, one certainly
shouldn't wait for concrete projects before proceeding
with philosophical answers, either. They are

My interest in the philosophical side of this field is
largely due to its general absence in the face of a
plethora of tech postulations and "when we get there"
imaginings. My guess is that the impact of this
'movement' (aside from its scientific implications) on
our society and culture, not only stands to be
tremendous in and of itself, but will act in symbiosis
with technological change. This has always been the
case. I have no reason to believe that it won't be
again, unless the speed of technological advancement
is just advancing too quickly.

Your posts are among the first I've come across that
deal intelligently with this. They are distinguished
from the sci-fi ramblings I've seen elsewhere. I will
also be re-reading Lee's insightful recent input in a

OK, Gordon. I will defer to the Author on this one.
After all, it is your book.

Instead I'll send you a link that bolsters your
argument, not mine.

This sight is a gem, and I think that you'll
appreciate it :) It seems to randomly generate a
ridiculously realistic Postmodernist paper, all on its
own, each time you visit. hahah, absurd but, God, they
would pass for the real things!

I'm looking forward to enjoying your paper one day. If
you are actually able to accomplish "stepping on a few
philosophers' toes" in the process, I'll not only
appreciate your writing that much more, I'll toast to

In the meantime, I will be watching for some good
Singularity-based philosophy discussions, no matter
the Subject line.


--- Ben Goertzel <> wrote:
> > Though I suspect that, as Ben
> > and Eliezer demonstrated, should Gordon continue
> his
> > efforts to arrive at a "'How-to guide' for
> thinking
> > more rationally", he may just find that philosophy
> > stands squarely in his way.
> Here is my view on that.
> Of course, philosophical issues are pertinent to the
> issue of how to think
> more rationally.
> However, even without resolving these issues, it
> should be possible to make
> a useful book on the subject, helpful and
> informative to many people.
> Similarly, philosophical issues arise in AI work --
> the definition of
> intelligence, mind and consciousness are thorny
> issues!
> But even so, I think it is possible to write useful
> books and do useful
> work -- and even create real AI -- without resolving
> these philosophical
> issues.
> Just as we interact with humans all the day, in
> spite of not having resolved
> the philosophical issues involved with the question
> "are other minds *really
> conscious? how can we know?"
> The philosophical quest is an important part of
> nearly any human endeavor,
> but it's not a quest that ever arrives at a
> solution, so one certainly
> shouldn't wait for philosophical answers before
> proceeding with concrete
> projects!!
> I like this phrase from the theory of algorithms:
> "Probably Approximately
> Correct." The most we can ever hope for?
> Of course, this perspective, in itself, draws
> explicitly on American
> pragmatist philosophy ;)
> -- Ben G

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