RE: Books on rationality

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Sun Jun 09 2002 - 20:19:01 MDT

> Let it suffice to say for now that, regardless of the aesthetic or
> philosophical value you may place on existentialist and post-modernist
> writings, I presume that in your work-a-day life as project
> leader in charge
> of building a god-like artificial superintelligence, you of necessity must
> assume, at least for heuristic purposes, that a material, logically
> consistent, objective reality exists. At least, that would seem prudent to
> me! If I'm wrong and you do presume a relativist, subjectivist, variable
> "reality" (Don't the po-mo's always put that term in problematic quotation
> marks?) then please tell us more about that.

I never do find it necessary to assume that a material, logically
consistent, objective reality exists, no.

I assume that

1) my subjective reality has certain properties of persistence and
consistency over time

2) this subjective reality of mine has other beings in it (e.g. my
collaborators) whom I can usefully modeled as if *they* have their own
subjective realities, which intersect substantially with mine (though not
necessarily agreeing with mine precisely).

These are the minimal pragmatic assumptions I need to make to proceed with
my life, so they are the assumptions I habitually make.

And this is not just abstract mumbo-jumbo -- this is *really* how I
feel/think about the world. It seems to serve me OK.

Is this identical to what you mean by assuming a "material, logically
consistent objective reality." I don't think so....

But nor is it identical to nihilistically assuming nothing at all.

-- Ben G

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