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Caledonian2 comments on Zombies: The Movie - Less Wrong

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

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Comment author: Caledonian2 25 April 2008 03:26:17PM 2 points [-]

It's possible that you're right, but the evidence increasingly seems to be that you're pretending to knowledge and certainty about both academic philosophy and the physical sciences that's unjustified based on your level of competency or literacy in either field.

Ah, I see where you've become confused. What you're asking for is credentials, not competency. Richard has credentials. I have competency.

The question them becomes: how can one demonstrate competence in the absence of credentials, when your audience doesn't have the level of competence to which you're laying claim? It's easy when the argument whether, say, heavier-than-air flight is possible - you simply build the flying machine, and convincing the opposition of the wrongness of their argument is accomplished, even if they can't comprehend the flaw in their position. When you're dealing with highly abstract verbal arguments, though, the inability of the opposition to perceive the wrongness with their arguments is generally insurmountable. If they could perceive the problem, the conflict itself wouldn't be taking place.

What has academic philosophy accomplished, HA? I can answer that question for physics, mathematics, neurology, chemistry, psychology, engineering - for practically any established field you can name - without needing more than a few moments to think of examples. What can you offer for academic philosophy?

Take all the time you need.