[extropy-chat] Semantics + Re: Identity and becoming a Great Old One

Jeff Medina analyticphilosophy at gmail.com
Fri Jan 27 16:23:16 UTC 2006

On 1/27/06, Bret Kulakovich <bret at bonfireproductions.com> wrote:
> Yes, there are a few flavors of Dualism, but they are all based on Plato,

In any sense other than that of the trivial "all philosophy is a
footnote to Plato" platitude, this claim is false.
There are numerous 'flavors' of dualism in contemporary philosophy of
mind, and most of them bear so little resemblance to anything Plato
wrote as to be not worth mentioning.

> the pattern view you are talking about is pretty much Neutral Monism. The
> threaded view is a type of dualism, and in some extreme examples arguably
> Parallelism or (egh) Phenominalism.

While they may seem similar to you, that the pattern & threaded views
reduce to types of these others is (1) arguable, and hence would
require quite a bit of tangential discussion to establish, with little
foreseeable value in so doing, and (2) pointless, as there are many
nuances to different philosophers' variants of general terms like
dualism, monism, neutral monism, etc., so people would still need to
clarify what they meant by "phenomenalism", leading to the very same
discussion of the threaded view that is currently going on.

> as new. Coming to the table saying we espouse the "Threaded View" and the
> other party returning "You mean Cartesian Dualism?" would not strengthen our
> standing.

Sure it would, after we pointed out that they were wrong to dismiss
someone's nuanced view with a philosophical red herring it to them
bore some resemblance. It would only harm our standing if they would
be right to call it Cartesian dualism, and they wouldn't.

> So hey- If  you get a chance, I am not asking to be catered to - it would
> help a great deal all involved if the distinctions between Threaded and
> Patterned, Dualism and Monism could be illustrated by examples that would
> not make them so.

Introducing these various terms will only serve to confuse the
discussion, because a lot of people have half-baked, half-read
understandings of them, and people will be forced to respond again and
again to misdirected comments based on different conceptions of the
broad philosophical terms.

I therefore strongly recommend *not* introducing these terms. In fact,
I may just add them to my auto-trash filter, along with q-ualia and
f-ree will.

Jeff Medina

Community Director
Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

Relationships & Community Fellow
Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies

School of Philosophy, Birkbeck, University of London

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