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Old 12-10-2009, 02:04 PM   #31
whswhs
 
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Default Re: Is Transhuman Space a "silly" genre?

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I think you might be selling LAIs short. IMHO, an LAI may not have as deep a worldview (world-simulation?) as an SAI, but it's a qualitative difference more than a quantitative one. An LAI is the equivalent of a human being with a sheltered upbringing, and possibly a moderate learning disability.

Remember, unlike an NAI, an LAI can buy off most of its disadvantages. That tells me they can change their worldview.
I don't see that it implies that at all. A dog—not a neo, but a plain garden variety mutt—can buy off disadvantages and acquire advantages, because it can learn through training. That doesn't mean a dog has a worldview.

In particular, LAIs have Low Empathy. To me that says that they don't have detailed internal models of the people they are interacting with, which implies that they don't have detailed internal models of themselves either; they have limited self-awareness and limited volition.

The Hidebound disadvantage also indicates that LAIs have a limited ability to innovate responses. I think of interacting with one as like playing a very sophisticated computer rpg where at any point you have a finite list of possible responses to a situation and the computer has a finite set of reactions to each, as opposed to a human-run rpg where if you say something unexpected the GM will think about their vision of the world and invent a consequence that makes sense.

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Old 12-10-2009, 02:51 PM   #32
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Default Re: Is Transhuman Space a "silly" genre?

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
I don't see that it implies that at all. A dog—not a neo, but a plain garden variety mutt—can buy off disadvantages and acquire advantages, because it can learn through training. That doesn't mean a dog has a worldview.
...

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Old 12-10-2009, 03:48 PM   #33
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Default Re: Ghosts and Mind Copies - The Identity Question

This seems more like an issue of reductionism than anything else. Not that anyone is likely to change anyone else's opinion on that issue anytime soon.

I would be more inclined to call Molokh a mathematical realist in general, rather than a Platonist. The Aristotle/Plato dichotomy really isn't.

Last edited by Jc1991; 12-10-2009 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 12-10-2009, 06:01 PM   #34
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Default Re: Ghosts and Mind Copies - The Identity Question

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This seems more like an issue of reductionism than anything else. Not that anyone is likely to change anyone else's opinion on that issue anytime soon.

I would be more inclined to call Molokh a mathematical realist in general, rather than a Platonist. The Aristotle/Plato dichotomy really isn't.
Who are you suspecting of being a reductionist? I don't call myself a reductionist, but I do consider myself a physicalist, and I don't believe in any version of dualism or idealism.

As to mathematical realism, isn't that just the application of Platonism to mathematics?

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Old 12-10-2009, 07:41 PM   #35
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Default Re: Ghosts and Mind Copies - The Identity Question

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Who are you suspecting of being a reductionist? I don't call myself a reductionist, but I do consider myself a physicalist, and I don't believe in any version of dualism or idealism.
I don't suspect either of you of being a formal reductionist. I consider your position to be less reductionist on this particular issue, for certain definitions of reductionism which I've been studying recently. But note that certain forms of reductionism reject numerical identity and dualism and idealism.

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As to mathematical realism, isn't that just the application of Platonism to mathematics?
Mathematical Platonism is a subset of all mathematical realism. There are other sorts of realism which admit of the independent truth of mathematical statements without postulating a world of ideal forms.

Edit: I suspect that Molokh holds his position for reasons not directly related to reductionism.
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Old 12-11-2009, 05:22 AM   #36
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Default Re: Ghosts and Mind Copies - The Identity Question

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I would be more inclined to call Molokh a mathematical realist in general, rather than a Platonist. The Aristotle/Plato dichotomy really isn't.
That seems to be a very accurate way of describing the case. At least I do see how the position is based on mathematics. Though since math is the language of the world, that's not very surprising.
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Old 12-11-2009, 05:48 AM   #37
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Default Re: Ghosts and Mind Copies - The Identity Question

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But your use of "each mind" already begs the question: It equivocates between the qualitative identity of mind and the numerical identity of mind. Two minds can be qualitatively identical if they contain the same information at some point. But that's not sufficient for numerical identity. It is not clear that the mind in an organic body is or can be numerically identical to the digital ghost based on that mind residing in a cybershell or bioshell, given the specific technological assumptions of THS about the uploading process.
That's what I meant with my post. Right now, none of these dilemmas are technologically possible since we cannot copy minds, or all the information of a particular mind, and so on. Confusion about identity exists mainly in philosophical theory, and not in practice. As a result, few people even need a solid definition of "identity".

But once you get to TS-era technology, such definitions are suddenly urgently needed for legal as well as social reasons. And then it gets complicated - you specify "qualitative identity" and "numerical identity" and seem to have your own definitions for them, but no doubt other people will come up with their own terms and their own definitions for different types of identities.

In Transhuman Space, it has gone so far that different societies have come up with their own terms and definitions - and laws.
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Old 12-11-2009, 08:03 AM   #38
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Default Re: Ghosts and Mind Copies - The Identity Question

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And then it gets complicated - you specify "qualitative identity" and "numerical identity" and seem to have your own definitions for them, but no doubt other people will come up with their own terms and their own definitions for different types of identities.
Those are not my own definitions. They're taken straight from standard philosophical literature, explained as clearly as I can manage.

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Old 12-11-2009, 08:23 AM   #39
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Default Re: Ghosts and Mind Copies - The Identity Question

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Those are not my own definitions. They're taken straight from standard philosophical literature, explained as clearly as I can manage.
Now I'm curious - which books are those, and in what way are they recognized as "standard"?
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Old 12-11-2009, 09:05 AM   #40
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Default Re: Ghosts and Mind Copies - The Identity Question

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Now I'm curious - which books are those, and in what way are they recognized as "standard"?
Well, when I wanted to check the terminology, I found it in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/identity/ .

In other words, this isn't some new theory that has just been come up with in a recently published book or two; this is well understood philosophical terminology that's in the reference works. What you're asking is like asking "in what way is this phrase 'science fiction' recognized as 'standard'?"

It's really not surprising that there's an established terminology for this. Philosophers have been discussing these issues at least since Plato and Aristotle (Aristotle's "third man" argument against Platonic forms turns on it), and it was a key to Christian eschatological debates of the Middle Ages that gave rise to the doctrines of the particular and universal judgments.

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