avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Mon Feb 8 03:11:54 UTC 2010
----- Original Message ----
> From: Ben Zaiboc <bbenzai at yahoo.com>
> To: extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
> Sent: Sun, February 7, 2010 3:04:36 AM
> Subject: Re: [ExI] Nolopsism
> Philosophically, it may be as you say. Practically, though, it's not really
> that useful because it makes no actual difference to the way we regard things
> like fear of death, or to the law.
> It's in the scientific arena that nolipsism is most useful, because it explains
> what subjectivity actually is, and clears the nonsense and confusion out of the
How so? Siddhartha Guatama said that the self was an illusion some 3000 years ago only he called it the skandha of consciousness instead of a "de se designator". What makes nolopsism more scientifically useful than Buddhism? Are you suggesting that by sweeping consciousness under a rug, it can be scientifically ignored? I can imagine the dialog:
Chalmers: What is the neurological basis of phenomenal consciousness?
Pollock: Phenomenal consciousness doesn't actually exist. It is simply a necessary illusion of subjectivity. It allows you to think about yourself without knowing anything about yourself. Which would be useful if you went on a bender and passed out in the Stanford Library. That is, of course, if there were a you to do the thinking and a you to to think about. Which there isn't. But human minds weren't meant to go there, so you can pretend to exist if you want.
Julie Andrews [waltzing by]: Me... the name... I call myself...
Chalmers: Oookaaay... So what is the neurological basis of the *illusion* of phenomenal consciousness?
Pollock: [glances at watch] Well would you look at the time. It's been nice chatting but I must be going now.
> We know, at least in theory, that subjectivity can be built into an
> artificial mind, and we can finally dump the concept of the 'hard problem' in
> the bin.
So you think that programming a computer to falsely believe itself to be conscious is easier than to program one to actually be so. Or do you think that programming a computer to use "de se" designators necessarily makes it think itself conscious? A person could get by without the use "de se" designators yet still retain a sense of self. It might sound funny, but a person could consistently refer to themselves in the third-person by name even in their thoughts. Stuart doesn't think that "de se" designators are particularly profound. Stuart doesn't need them. Do you see what Stuart means?
> The concept of a "de se" designator explains why we don't have souls, not why we
> shouldn't have property rights.
Property rights are no less abstract than souls. Neither seems to have a physical basis beyond metaphysical/philosophical fiat. Communists tend not to believe in either.
"Never express yourself more clearly than you think." - Niels Bohr
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