[ExI] living philosphers of import

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Mon May 13 09:21:25 UTC 2013

On 2013-05-13 09:38, Gordon wrote:
> Thanks for all the input here in answer to my question!
> If I didn't miss any posts then noticeably absent from the list are 
> the likes of Jerry Fodor and John Searle.

I can't speak about Fodor (he seems to have gone onto some formalist 
track that might make good philosophy papers but doesn't contribute much 
to the important questions), but Searle remains a big name. We might 
mainly see him here as anti-AI, but he is more primarily a big name in 
philosophy of language and mind, where he seems to have made useful 
distinctions. Whether they are useful outside philosophy remains to be 

Conversely, Francis Fukuyama is a good international public intellectual 
to whom we should be grateful that he attacked transhumanism: while his 
arguments are not very good, it actually made transhumanism and 
enhancement a popular topic in academia (and, since he was aligned with 
GWB, a lot of people automatically decided to take the opposite stance 
from him).

Michael Sandel might be better at arguing, although his argument doesn't 
seem to lead very far. And Leon Kass... well, he made arguing for 
transhumanism against him *fun* given his somewhat pompous style.

Hmm, maybe the guy formerly known as pope Benedict should be counted as 
a pretty heavyweight anti-transhumanist philosopher of import. His 
arguments are pretty sharp as long as one buys a pretty speculative (but 
reputedly popular) package of assumptions.

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