Re: Why read philosophy?

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Mon, 04 Oct 1999 20:30:21 -0500

I can't think of any good reason to read philosophy, unless of course it's my philosophy. Socrates was the only competent pure philosopher I know of, and Plato screwed his legacy up for the next two thousand years. The competent philosophers of this generation are uniformly scientists, and lately computer programmers, who happen to mention philosophy while they're educating you about something - and even their philosophy simply doesn't come up to the standards of completeness and simplicity necessary to design personal philosophies for AIs, which is the only point at which there's some real criterion for success or failure.

Philosophy is the art of telling the simplest possible true story about the Universe that lets us model reality and make choices. Philosophy, by its nature, is not a human art; anthropomorphism is a legitimate criticism of any philosophy, as much so as of a theory of physics. I have yet to see any non-anthropomorphic philosophy other than my own, which is also anthropomorphic. Hence my skepticism.

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