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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…

There’s Something About Mary

Galen Strawson revisits Frank Jackson’s thought experiment in a final draft made available here. For those not familiar with this thought experiment, Galen sets it up quickly and clearly. If this line of thought is right, the mistake on both sides is—to repeat—to confuse materialism or physicalism with physics-alism. The mistake is a mistake whether…

Intuition Pumping: Dennett Interview

3:AM Magazine: Dennett plugging his latest. See also Real People: Personal Identity without Thought Experiments. CognitionCognitive neuroscienceconsciousnessDaniel DennettIntuition pumpnaturalismphilosophical psychologyPhilosophyPhilosophy of mindReligionsciencethought experiments