Re: META (Re: KILLTHREAD: Re: physical pain is bad)

From: Philip Goetz (
Date: Fri Jan 27 2006 - 06:29:45 MST

On 1/27/06, Olie L <> wrote:
> >From: Philip Goetz <>
> >Date: Thu, 26 Jan 2006 23:51:21 -0500
> >
> >Do people think SL4 would improve if we banned philosophy?
> Ummm... does that mean barring discussion of papers by Drs Nick Bostrom and
> James Hughes?
> What about Kurt Godel? Douglas Hofstadter? Heck, I think it eliminates a
> fair chunk of the SIAI reading list.

How many members actually understand Goedel? Has Goedel's or
Hofstaedter's work ever been referred to in an SL4 post that was interesting?
I don't recall any.

> Admittedly, discussions about ontology tend to be pretty tedious. From what
> I've seen (and I've read... ugh... a fair portion...ugh... of the backlog, I
> mean, archive. Which is infuriating, because so many of the threads aren't
> indexed properly), despite the number of clever people here, I don't think
> this list has really added anything to the field.

Ontology would be a great subject for discussion, as far as, for instance,
a discussion of how categorization can be performed. We don't do that,
though. I consider ontology more linguistics than philosophy.

> >- How are we supposed to talk about what sort of goals and ethics we
> >should develop an AI to have, so that it will be friendly, without
> >delving into "mere philosophy"?
> Given that Ethics is commonly considered a branch of philolosophy, this
> seems like a tricky ask to me.

Well, I'm willing to give up that discussion if it means we can clear the
list of discussions of consciousness, skepticism, and SL0+1 ethical

> Similarly, meta-mathematics, logic, rationality, epistemology and semantics
> are generally considered branches of philosophy.

Yes, but I think we all know that's not what I meant in that post.
Except for meta-mathematics of the skeptical type, doubting whether
mathematics is adequate to describe the universe, or something
like that. Let us say I am referring to aspects of philosophy that are
not more properly addressed by linguistics, math, and/or artificial

- Phil

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