Consciousness Explained in Three Billion Pages

Cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman has recently been getting popular attention for a theory that holds consciousness as fundamental—that is, “…not as something derivative or emergent from a prior physical world”, which he supports with a novel account of the relationship between objects and perception… Continue Reading

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Designer Babies: Reproduction Rights and (So-Called) Disability

Here’s an interesting case: A deaf couple decide they’d like to have a deaf baby, and manage to do so — twice, in fact — by enlisting a sperm donor with five generations of congenital deafness. Did this couple do something wrong by — to paraphrase Alta… Continue Reading

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You Are (Probably Not) a Computer Simulation

This is a revised version of an article that originally appeared in the Spring 2014 edition of The Gadfly, Columbia University’s undergraduate philosophy magazine. Are you a computer simulation? Oxford-based philosopher Nick Bostrom argues that it’s highly probable that you are.… Continue Reading

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Jaron Lanier, You Are Not a Gadget, Part II: Bachelardian Neoteny

“If you get deep enough, you get trapped. Stop calling yourself a user. You are being used.” – Jaron Lanier, in reference to Facebook ——————— Last week, I explored some of my reactions to the first half of Jaron Lanier’s… Continue Reading

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Update: Lanier, Jodorowsky, de Beauvoir, Airbender, et al.

Last week I finished up another semester of classes and have a few weeks free, so I have some time to work on some other projects, including getting some posts done for this blog. I don’t have a particular topic… Continue Reading

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