Re: PHIL: Extropianism: A Philosophy Without a Foundation

Max More (
Fri, 05 Mar 1999 09:01:27 -0800

At 03:44 AM 3/5/99 -0600, Eliezer wrote:
>Max More wrote:
>> Still, of all the points you make, this one at least has the merit of
>> hinting at a possible way of improving the definition and Principles. I've
>> been considering a more systematic and hierarchical derivation of the
>> current principles from fewer underlying ideas. However, I feel much
>> reluctance to heading in that direction, since it lends itself to monistic
>> and dogmatic system building.
>Listen to those misgivings. A deep philosophical justification of
>Extropy from first principles is a nice thing to publish on your own
>account, but those of us who have our own complex personal philosophies
>would almost certainly disagree; it shouldn't be part of the
>*definition*. Besides, what if you're wrong?

Thanks for your thoughts, Eliezer. As someone with a strong predilection for organizing ideas, it's tempting to try to derive everything that falls under "extropy" from a smaller number of "first principles". Overall, though, I share your misgivings and I'm glad to hear some reinforcement of these misgivings to counterbalance those who want to make extropianism more exclusionary.

Perhaps I can have it both ways, as you suggest: See if I can work out a derivation of extropian ideas from more fundamental ideas, but keep that to myself, and retain the idea of extropianism as a somewhat looser set of values. *Let* the ideologues and dogmatists rail against this looseness. I think it's clear which approach is the more extropian, both in principle and in result.


Max More, Ph.D.
<> or <>

Implications of Advanced Technologies
President, Extropy Institute: EXTRO 4 Conference: Biotech Futures. See