Re: Mindless Thought Experiments

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Mon Mar 03 2008 - 21:49:26 MST

Krekoski writes

> [Stathis had written]
> > I have a computer in front of me of bizarre alien manufacture which
> > simulates a day in the life of an apple. I don't understand its
> > architecture and there is no I/O which would allow me to test it. The
> > aliens all died...
> I would argue that without any input or output that it's not a meaningful
> question.

Do you consider yourself a philosophical realist? If so, then what is
true of an object is actually the case, and what is not is not the case,
whether or not any intelligent entity happens to have the means to
find this out. But :-) not all people are philosophical realists.

> You say it simulates an apple, but it might just be a paperweight
> since we have no objective means of determining if it is in fact
> simulating an apple.

I stand up for philosophical realism, and want, like so many, to drive
a stake through the heart of positivism.

Stathis was postulating a real history of the item. As part of his hypothesis it
is factual that it simulates an apple, whether or not anyone can demonstrate it.


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