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arbn comments on Welcome to Less Wrong! (2010-2011) - Less Wrong

42 Post author: orthonormal 12 August 2010 01:08AM

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Comment author: [deleted] 16 November 2011 05:39:00AM *  7 points [-]

I'm 22 years old, and currently a fourth-year college student, studying Philosophy and minoring in Computer Science at a very small, Christian school. I found a link to LW while searching for open, online scholarship combining analytic philosophy with algorithmic analysis. After glancing over the resources here, I am extremely excited about the prospect of participating. Philosophical logic, formal epistemology, and functional programming are my passions, and I am thrilled whenever I see interdisciplinary progress being made in cognitive science research. Everything I love is aptly characterized as being abstractly directed at the investigation of human reasoning. So, I definitely feel that I will be able to learn quite a lot from all of you.

Until two years ago, I was a committed and highly conservative Christian. That's how I was raised, and overcoming my own internal resistance to changes in religious perspective was quite a slow and painful process. I frantically searched for philosophical justifications of the rationality of theistic belief (e.g., Plantinga, van Inwagen). Eventually, however, my own philosophical reflections forced me to conclude that I indeed had no good reasons for believing many of the things I had previously believed. I now identify as a rationalist and an agnostic.

My present task is a paper analyzing potential problems arising from the account of evidential probability conjucted with E=K in Timothy Williamson's "Knowledge and Its Limits". I find this rather enjoyable. In my spare time, I've been reading books and articles on epistemic logic, Bayesian epistemology, and the Philosophy of Science. In future, I'd really like to be a philosopher, a programmer of some variety, or a mathematics teacher. As far as hobbies are concerned, I'm an avid Go player, Haskell coder, and open-source software advocate.

The one thing I value most is education. I'd like to work to make information, knowledge, and genuine wisdom accessible to more people. High quality intellectual and moral instruction seems to contribute so much to the quality of one's life, that I feel a strong desire to do anything in my power to provide that to more people. In light of this, I am very curious about how people learn and understand, but I also feel a sort of obligation to better my own understanding of what sound judgments, rational decisions, and solid arguments look like.

I'll end this here, to keep it brief. I anticipate stimulating and constructive exchanges with many of you.