• I Robot....
    The principles we (robots, fish, iPhones, humans) work on e.g. the laws of physics and chemistry are same. The difference I believe is that of degree not of kind.TheMadFool

    Are planets robots? How about black holes? Plants? Fire?

    Physics and chemistry apply to everything physical. You've basically equated robotics with those two fields. There needs to be a bit more discrimination before you can compare life forms to robots.

    Is a squid like a robot?
  • Has Wittgenstein changed your life?
    That is, ethics is shown, not said.Banno

    Except that it is, like since you were a little school boy. Do this, don't do that. It's better to share. 10 commandments. A good person does this and not that. Our language is full of ethical entreaties. We have ethical schools of philosophy dating back to pre-Socrates. We discuss ethical dilemmas presented to characters on various shows. It's hard to see how ethics isn't intimately related to language.
  • The death penalty Paradox
    Or Babylon 5: mind wipe the criminal and replace it with a new mind. I don't recall where they got the "new" minds from.
  • The death penalty Paradox
    Well what hasn't been done cannot be done and must be a bad idea. I concedeunenlightened

    It would be like promising to get rid of money if you got elected. Now maybe one day in the future we'll be post scarcity and there won't be money or prisons (maybe a neural adjustment will fix criminal impulses). But that possibility says nothing about the reality of a politician abolishing punitive forms of justice today.
  • The death penalty Paradox
    I'm not expecting to get elected any time soon.unenlightened

    Even if you were elected, you wouldn't get very far with abolishing punishment. Literally every society engages in some form of retributive justice.
  • The death penalty Paradox
    Punishment is never sensible. If someone is unpleasant, they are not made more pleasant by being unpleasant to them.unenlightened

    Punishment is also for the victims and society's sense of justice. This even applies to studies where participants play a game that gives them a chance to cheat, and others will go out of their way to punish the cheaters, even at cost to the themselves.

    Humans have an innate need for some form of justice. It's not all about the perpetrator.
  • Argument Against the Existence of Animal Minds
    A primary function of a mind is to create knowledge - each mind has to do that for itself. Animals don't create knowledge.tom

    Nah. The primary function of mind is to figure out how to survive and have (and rear in some animals) offspring. The accumulation of knowledge is a spandrel. Evolution could care less about philosophical, mathematical, or sports knowledge, for example.
  • Argument Against the Existence of Animal Minds
    Plants don't count but horseshoe crabs do because ...?

    Wouldn't the statistics be heavily in favor of being some bacterium or virus overy any other life form?

    How about we change mind to sonar. It's incredibly unlikely to be a whale or a bat. Therefore, only whales and bats exist. Or perhaps, it's incredibly unlikely to be able to use your mind to change the color of every single skin cell, therefore, only cephalopod minds exist.

    Afterall, what makes the human mind more unique than that of an octopus or a bat? Just because we value abstract reasoning more than being able to see with sonar or camouflage into the background? (Would be quite useful in certain social situations come to think of it.)

    There's a very wide range of abilities that we're not so great at or lack altogether. A mantis shrimp's eyes puts ours to shame, and are probably unique in their combined abilities. Maybe only mantis shrimp eyes exist?

    The argument is trading on pure anthropomorphism. I doubt very much nature agrees with our exaggerated sense of self-worth, or philosophical obsessions over language and abstract thinking. The lowly horseshoe crab has been around in basically the same form for four hundred million years or so. We've been around for what? A couple hundred thousand in close to modern form? The horseshoe crab has survived all manner of cataclysms. We worry about making it out of this century.

    Maybe only horseshoe crab minds exist.
  • How do physicalists explain 'intentional content'?
    It's not just "my form." It's ridiculous to think that every (other) physicalist is merely deferring to the science of physics, and that that's all there is to the position.Terrapin Station

    Of course it's not just deferring, since it's a philosophical position. But the term is physicalism for a reason, and that's because modern physics has shown that matter isn't the only game in town. Or to put it a better way, matter is only part of the physical picture.
  • How do physicalists explain 'intentional content'?
    That would matter if physicalism were adherence to whatever the received view is in the scientific discipline of physics, but it isn't.Terrapin Station

    I think you have your own version of physicalism as evidenced by:

    TThe idea that energy can obtain apart from matter is part of the "crap" I was referring to earlier. It's incoherent.Terrapin Station

    As such, whenever I mention physicalism going forward, just ignore it, because it obviously has nothing to do with your form of materialism.
  • How do physicalists explain 'intentional content'?
    A clue should be in the term "materialism"--materialists/physicalists generally think that everything is material or matter as well as perhaps "forces" of matter and so on.Terrapin Station

    Really? You fall back on matter after rejecting physics? BTW, there is a reason it's called physicalism. And that reason is because physics has shown that the world is made up of more than matter, and that matter itself isn't even truly fundamental. It's a form of energy.
  • How do physicalists explain 'intentional content'?
    You're getting confused here regarding the exact content of their views with the sort of thing they were talking about. What do all materialists pre-science have in common that makes them materialists?Terrapin Station

    Mind independent, natural stuff? It's kind of hard to specify a material ontology without being specific. Thus atoms and voids, or five elements.
  • How do physicalists explain 'intentional content'?
    nd if you are, you know that materialists go back hundreds and hundreds of years, right?--long before there even was anything like a science of physics per se. So how do you make sense of there being materialists prior to the formal development of science?Terrapin Station

    Because of the Greek atomists positing that atoms and the void were all that ontologically existed. Everything else was made up of that. I suppose that Thales and Aristotle posited alternative materialistic views with water or the five elements.

    But those have been outdated by the findings of science. You can't seriously maintain an old-fashioned version of materialism. We know they were inadequate. There's more than atoms and the void, or water, or the five elements.
  • How do physicalists explain 'intentional content'?
    That's got to be about the stupidest comment I've ever heard. "Just in case your physicalism isn't a deferral to the science of physics, then we have no way to tell what in the world you might be referring to by 'physical.'"Terrapin Station

    Well, what do you mean by "physical"? The world? What we sense? Reality?

    Because that's not saying much. Any metaphysical doctrine can do the same.
  • How do physicalists explain 'intentional content'?
    The only thing that's required is that you think that everything is physical. You can believe that the science of physics has just about everything completely wrong and still think that everything is physical.Terrapin Station

    That is literally saying nothing whatsoever, since you're free to state whatever you want and call it physical. What would it even mean for physics to be completely wrong and yet physicalism to be true?
  • How do physicalists explain 'intentional content'?
    The science of physics is not the same thing as what the science of physics studies.Terrapin Station

    Okay, sure. But you can't argue for physicalism by positing something not part of the science of physics, and use that to defend physicalism.

    So panpsychism is not physicalism, because they are positing an extra ontological property onto the world.
  • How do physicalists explain 'intentional content'?
    So you can't be a physicalist and an instrumentalist?Michael

    No, no way. An instrumentalist is not making any ontological commitments.
  • How do physicalists explain 'intentional content'?
    And one need not be a realist on logic, either.Terrapin Station

    So what? You need logic to make meaningful statements.

    So how is it the case that physicalism is necessarily about "what's logically necessitated by physics"?Terrapin Station

    If it's not, then there's more to heaven and earth than is dreamt of by physicalists.
  • How do physicalists explain 'intentional content'?
    Physicalism need not have anything to do with the science of physics.Terrapin Station

    Yes it does. Physicalism is predicated on the stuff of physics being what's ontologically fundamental.
  • How do physicalists explain 'intentional content'?
    ut you don't have to be a realist on physical law to be a physicalist either.Terrapin Station

    Sure, I was just making a list. Causality is it's own deal. Arguably, laws of nature, if they're real, transcend physics.

    But that is a totally different discussion, attacking physicalism from a very different angle.