[ExI] Philosophy and philosophers

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Fri Oct 17 08:53:17 UTC 2014

On Sat, Oct 11, 2014 at 11:00 AM, Anders Sandberg <anders at aleph.se> wrote:

> Another angle to this discussion is whether scientists or philosophers
> have influenced transhumanism the most. And I think the philosophers win.

### I would define philosophy as the art of answering questions you are too
ignorant to ask... which should not be taken as an insult. After all, we
all start out too ignorant to even know how to ask questions, much less
answer them. In this way, all children are budding philosophers, and some
of us never leave that stage (again, not an insult :)

As soon as, by dint of structured sensory input and cortical
self-organization, you manage to form semi-coherent predictive models of an
aspect of reality, you stop being a philosopher - you become a
ball-thrower, a car mechanic, a quantum physicist - somebody who can bend
the world to his mind, by first bending a part of his mind to reflect the
world. But some facets are too complex to comprehend, for now and possibly
for ever - this is the domain of the philosopher.

In this light, philosophy is the noble pursuit of (yet) ineffable truths
that fills fat tomes with megabytes of high-falutin' nonsense, where after
400 pages of rigorous preliminary exposition the questions and answers end
up in a muddle. Of course, one cannot expect a child laboring beyond his
limits to produce more - but then, children that never try never grow up
into interesting adults.

So we should not be too hard on philosophers, they can't give detailed
answers, since as soon as they do, we start calling them engineers. And
some children should never grow up, so silly questions keep getting asked.

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