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Jerry Fodor

Obit (of sorts) in LRB but well worth reading his IEP entry. Update: here is the NYT obit. I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate anything else, excepting, maybe, fiberglass powerboats… surely, surely, no one but a relativist would drive a fiberglass powerboat. Cognitive sciencefunctionalismJerry FodorPhilosophy of mindrepresentationalism

Why Philosophers Are Obsessed With Brains in Jars

An old philosophical chestnut discussed in The Atlantic. Words and concepts used by a brain in a vat can’t be meaningfully applied to real objects outside of the brain’s experience, because the ability to have causal interaction with the specific things that words name is inherently how such words acquire meaning, Putnam argued. Artificial intelligenceCognitive…

Can you really upload your mind?

Radio discussion on ABC’s The Philosopher’s Zone Self/less— a film currently doing the rounds—entertains the idea of digital immortality. It might be a work of science fiction but what it portrays is gaining serious traction in the real world. A number of philosophers, neuroscientists, and assorted futurists believe that by mid century a safe form…