[ExI] The point of emotions

Stefano Vaj stefano.vaj at gmail.com
Mon Apr 21 14:18:51 UTC 2008

On Mon, Apr 21, 2008 at 2:54 PM, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
>  I am not asking a philosophical question but, if you will, a practical
>  question about what we really think is likely to be the case. We
>  cannot be absolutely sure that the Earth is spherical rather than flat
>  any more than we can be absolutely sure that other people have minds
>  like our own.

I believe that a difference nevertheless exists. I cannot be sure that
the earth is really spherical in the sense that I might be dreaming
the world or living in a VR, à la Deutsch. But making the assumption
that this is not the case, there are different consequences, both from
a theoretical and practical point of view, that makes the hyphothesis
that the earth is flat not really satisfactory.

As far as issues such as "what women - other people - or animals, or
plants - really feel" are concerned, we are inevitably bound to
interpretation based on our experience and if the questions goes
beyond what can be ascertained through experiment we are in the field
of ko'ans, or Zen questions.

In other words: if it walks like a duck, swims like a duck, quacks
like a duck, I call that bird a duck, and am contented with that.

Stefano Vaj

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list