Re: Corner cases was Robert Aunger essay

From: Robin Faichney (
Date: Wed 19 Apr 2006 - 16:37:51 GMT

  • Next message: Keith Henson: "Evolutionary Psychology, Memes and the Origin of War"

    Wednesday, April 19, 2006, 3:50:16 PM, Keith wrote:

    > At 10:08 AM 4/19/2006 +0100, Robin wrote:
    >>Tuesday, April 18, 2006, 7:27:43 PM, Keith wrote:
    >> > At 07:07 PM 4/17/2006 +0100, Robin wrote:
    >> >>
    >> >>If you believe the human spirit can be separated from the body
    >> >>you're a dualist.
    >> > Since spirit is an active quality--you interact with one--the question
    >> > would be if I thought I could interact with an OS with no underlying
    >> > hardware. Obviously, no. I don't believe disembodied spirits are
    >> > possible, information storage and processing requires matter. Now it is a
    >> > different kind of question when you ask about information. The spirit of a
    >> > cryonics patient stored in LN2 is as inactive-gone-as a computer with the
    >> > power off. But if the patient were repaired and warmed up, we have good
    >> > reason to believe their spirit would become active again.
    >>Your use of the term "spirit" is covering some sloppy thinking.
    >>Without a clear definition

    > Do you see "sloppy thinking" in the way I defined the word above and
    > provided examples?

    Absolutely. Your use of the word implies a necessarily cohesive and consistent quality which is in YOUR mind, in other words this spirit, like any other, is actually projected by the perceiver.

    > Or is it "sloppy thinking" to use the word at all? (Because of other
    > definitions.)

    Absolutely. At the very least, it misleads those you're trying to communicate with, and it appears to me that it's misleading you too.

    > If the latter, I don't mind using a new term for "the quality in animals
    > and machines we interact with."

    We interact with animals and machines, not with any particular quality that these things have and (I suppose) rocks and such don't have.

    Re cryonics and brain scanning: sorry, don't have the time, ie am not sufficiently interested to pursue this.

    Best regards,
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