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

Jeff Medina analyticphilosophy at gmail.com
Fri Jan 27 21:51:28 UTC 2006

On 1/27/06, Bret Kulakovich <bret at bonfireproductions.com> wrote:
> regardless of how much I have simplified exactly

But it's _not_ regardless of how much you've simplified. How much
you're simplifying is precisely one of the key issues leading to my
assertion that [introducing monism/dualism talk will only confuse
matters further].

> 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.
> Jeff, I'm pretty sure internet mailing lists are generally defined by (1)
> and (2).

Then it should've been obvious that I must've meant something more
specific/precise. I'm sure you'll have no problem thinking of more
meaningful connotations of (1) and (2) than the generic
all-internet-mailing-list-applicable sense.

To which Bret replied:
> Can you point me to anything - something at SIAI perhaps, on the
> Threaded/Patterned topic?

No, but I fail to see the point of this request. I haven't defended
any position in the threaded/patterned discussion, nor have I
suggested that this was hashed out previously by myself or anyone else
at SIAI.

> I'm obviously not the first person to make the comparison.

I'm obviously not the first person to point out that, in the general
case, noting other people share one's view does not imply one's view
isn't due for an update.

> If you won't even allow idle discussion to lead to clarity for
> some internet crank, what on earth will you do about peer review?

Internet crank? Pardon, maybe someone who actually is in my kill file
started the threaded/patterned discussion -- I don't know who you're
talking about. Unless you're just being excessively, unseriously

As to the actual content of this query, please elaborate just how
"introducing terms X and Y would be counterproductive in this
particular discussion" implies a problem regarding my view on peer
review. (Which is not to say I don't have any problems with the
current peer review system. Like many, I do. But those problems are
not relevant to the current discussion.)

> I would think you would want people to introduce the
> terms so that we could all leave with the same understanding?

I explicitly stated that the terms would *confuse* the matter, because
most people have different "half-baked, half-read understandings" of
technical philosophical jargon. They think they understand, but that
appears to be because there's not often a bunch of scary math on the
same page, and this leads them to assume philosophy is easier to
understand and do well.

So, to this question, no -- I *don't* want the terms introduced
*precisely because* you will decrease the chances of everyone leaving
with the same understanding.

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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