Re: Why read philosophy?

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Mon, 04 Oct 1999 22:16:34 -0500

Dan Fabulich wrote:
> 'What is your name?' 'Eliezer S. Yudkowsky.' 'IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT

Anyone tries pulling "stupid Vorlon tricks" on me, the next iteration they get "I don't exist, so I don't have a name." Let 'em deal with that.

> > I have yet to see any non-anthropomorphic philosophy other than my
> > own, which is also anthropomorphic. Hence my skepticism.
> You're using the word "anthropomorphic" in a manner quite different from
> how I normally see it used. Could you flesh that out a little more?

Anthropomorphic: Shaped by man. Any pattern caused by features which are unique to humanity, as opposed to (level one) biological sentience in general, (level two) mortal sentience in general, (level three) sentience in general, or (level four) the truth.

I try for level two philosophies, maybe verging on level three every now and then. Most philosophies are entirely level zero - you couldn't walk up to a random alien race (even a mortal evolved race) and explain them. I try for philosophies that can be explained to AIs. But they still assume some basic facets of human/AI/mortal cognition, so my theories are still anthropomorphic; they're just anthropomorphic on a much lower level.

           Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Running on BeOS           Typing in Dvorak          Programming with Patterns
Voting for Libertarians   Heading for Singularity   There Is A Better Way