We all know that AI is meant to be taking over the world and doing amazing things, things you would never dream of: finding facts, discovering our political weak-spots, and (most important) doing all those things that we used to think only people could do, like play chess, answer telephones, or - today's subject - … Continue reading Why I do not believe stories about AI
Introduction In his essay (appropriately) titled 'Ontological Relativity', Willard Quine introduced the notion that there is no such thing as a fixed, standard ontology, but instead ontology must be relativised, so each individual has one or more ontologies unique to them, and that we use language as a means to (where possible) translate between them. … Continue reading Ontological relativity without the rabbit
1 Introduction It is a truism that lay persons rush in where experts fear to tread. We are too well aware of the many enthusiasts who insist that they have built a perpetual motion machine, that they can square the circle, and so on and so forth. Where philosophers have long concluded that there can be no such … Continue reading Against Standard Ontologies
Introduction What I want to talk about today is Kuhn's concept of paradigms and paradigm shifts. This much-misunderstood theory of science is often popularised as claiming that science progresses not by orderly development and deduction from evidence, but rather as a form of beauty contest, with current orthodoxy being that which happens to be most … Continue reading Paradigm shifts, perspective, impressionism, epistemology
Epistemic Barriers - this time in English! 1 Introduction I admit it. On Epistemic Barriers is (though I say it myself) a rather profound piece of work, containing some very important philosophical ideas. Unfortunately, it is also profoundly hard to read. I made the mistake of writing it in the impenetrable style of some of … Continue reading It came from beyond an epistemic barrier . . .
1 Introduction In a recent essay I made some, in retrospect, rather excitable claims about the possibility that a potentially insurmountable epistemic barrier might be emerging as a kind of fault-line within our culture. I wrote, of course, while impassioned, which is never wise, and cooler reflection has led me to doubt my own conclusion. … Continue reading On Epistemic Barriers
What is the 'other'? The 'other' is a key idea in what is commonly known as post-modern thought. Writers such as Lacan made it into a key tool in the analysis of culture, where it essentially defined as applying to any group that society chooses to marginalise, wishes to exclude or subordinate. This has led … Continue reading The ‘other’ in culture