Mini-Heap


Recent additions to the Heap of Links…

  1. A philosophy museum is a way to show that “philosophy can… be something understandable and fun and playful that can be accessed by people who are not academics” — an interview with Anna Ichino (Milan) on the creation of the first philosophy museum
  2. Diverse Bioethics — a list of people working in bioethics who are members of groups traditionally underrepresented in the field
  3. As philosophy teachers, “we tend to think about content much more than we should, and we tend to think about experience much less than we should” — an interview with Stephen Bloch-Schulman (Elon), who devises some interesting pedagogical experiences for his students
  4. “The trick is to resist identifying the material realm with what can, in principle, be reverse engineered or designed” — Rory O’Connell (Chicago) on how “the cost of eroding the distinction between genuine thought and artificial intelligence is nothing less than our self-understanding as human beings”
  5. What, if anything, is wrong with using an AI to write a thank you note, or an expression of sympathy, or a love letter? — Kelly Weirich (Pierce) on “emotional outsourcing”
  6. “Each individual will be forced to be free” — an “interview” with Jean-Jacques Rousseau at 3:16AM
  7. “On the surface, banking regulation appears to be a set of fairly technical problems. But there are deeply normative issues at stake here” — Richard Endörfer (Gothenburg) clearly explains those problems, identifies those issues, and assesses the costs and benefits of different approaches to them

Discussion welcome.

Mini-Heap posts usually appear when 7 or so new items accumulate in the Heap of Links, a collection of items from around the web that may be of interest to philosophers.

The Heap of Links consists partly of suggestions from readers; if you find something online that you think would be of interest to the philosophical community, please send it in for consideration for the Heap. Thanks!

Thinker Analytix

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Patrick S. O'Donnell
8 months ago

I enjoyed the O’Connell article, in part because I agreed with most of it. The most important thing said here is something I have been emphasizing and repeating in the few items I’ve posted about AI: we are witnessing the techno-fantasies and capitalist wet dreams of AI enthusiasts—from philosophers to engineers to venture capitalists—that amply evidence a conspicuously “profound failure to distinguish what is, and is not, truly human.” In other words, and be it deliberately or unintentionally, or via such psychological mechanisms as self-deception, denial, willful ignorance, what have you, what is missing among this motley group of AI aficionados are individuals who have spent sufficient time and laser-like attention devoted to examining and reflecting on philosophical and other works on such subjects as human nature, selves, and personhood; consciousness and the unconscious (and what is betwixt and between them); sentience; the meaning of human dignity; the nature of the emotions; intellectual and moral powers; moral psychology and dispositional character traits; vices and virtues; spirituality; artistic expression and aesthetic experience; the notion of minds and mental life not reducible to brains and neurons; normative practical reasoning and judgment involving time sensitive situations and circumstances involving others; the arts of living together and ethical life; hopes and dreams; spontaneity; leisure; boredom; play; the nature of pleasurable activities; ideals, principles, and values; a sense of humor; aspiration (the ‘agency of becoming’); the quest for welfare, well-being, and human flourishing or eudaimonia, etc., etc. In other words and in short, we are confronted with what O’Connell calls “a wider crisis of understanding.”