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bigjeff5 comments on Zombies: The Movie - Less Wrong

72 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 20 April 2008 05:53AM

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Comment author: bigjeff5 03 February 2011 09:27:00PM 0 points [-]

If the twelve examples of solved philosophy you link to are actually your favorite, then I really, really don't understand why anybody bothers with it at all.

All twelve seem completely useless to me.

Comment author: JoshuaZ 03 February 2011 09:52:53PM *  1 point [-]

I understand why you might think that for most of his list, but I'm confused as to why one would have that attitude about some of them, such as number 7, the Bayesian solution to the raven paradox. A more substantive critique seems to be that many philosophers who are taken very seriously don't consider many of these problems to be solved.

Comment author: bigjeff5 04 February 2011 12:08:22AM 1 point [-]

Upon reflection, I suppose I was not considering all of what philosophy can entail, particularly since Richard's list was incredibly underwhelming. I was also thinking of metaphysics when I wrote that, and I over-generalized. Logic, for one thing, I think is very useful when it is applied, and that is considered a philosophical discipline.

So, I take back my statement, somewhat. Philosophy just seems mostly useless, but I'll concede that I could be wrong.

Comment author: Perplexed 03 February 2011 10:11:32PM 0 points [-]

They strike me as useful enough to practicing philosophers (to the extent that they are correct, that is!). But it appears that you are looking for something more immediately useful to ordinary people.

Sorry. Just ain't going to happen. But you did get something useful from that list. The realization that you are probably not cut out to be a philosopher (at least not in the English-speaking world).

Comment author: bigjeff5 03 February 2011 11:29:09PM 1 point [-]

It just seems to me that philosophy itself, as a separate discipline, isn't particularly useful for anything outside of philosophy.

Perhaps that is a little clearer.

And actually I think I would be pretty good at philosophy - I love to argue, and often quite accidentally take absolutely useless positions. ;) (I'm kidding! Sort of.)

Comment author: Perplexed 04 February 2011 01:49:37AM 9 points [-]

Everytime a philosopher does something useful outside philosophy, they kick him out of the philosopher's guild, name a new scientific or mathematical discipline after him, and make him work for a living as a scientist or mathematician. (I'm kidding too! Sort of.)

The real reason to knock philosophy as a discipline is that when they finally do solve a problem, and the solution is actually useful (as with, believe-it-or-not, that black raven / red herring thing), most philosophers don't accept the solution, even though the solution is in use out there in the real world (if AI research counts as the real world).