Sam Harris’s book Free Will is short, but very smart, and packs a lot of punch. He argues that the concept of free will, as it is commonly understood, is an unfounded myth. He does not believe, however, that this means we lack any control over our lives at all. Instead, he states that his…… Continue reading Sam Harris’s Free Will, a review and evaluation
Our unconscious urges and imagination are the driving forces of our overall nature, but when we confront them, they can seem completely strange to us. The unmitigated primal quality behind the social self seems uncivilised and uncultivated. Our higher self must indeed have a profound part to play in channelling our raw nature into the…… Continue reading Society- the conscious mind’s attempt to develop the subconscious?
I have seen the question asked many times “who is your idol?”, but I have never been able to actually answer this. I do believe that we have a natural propensity to see the heroic in other people. Even further than that, I believe that, in seeing someone as an idol, we set them as…… Continue reading What Eastern and Western religions can teach us about identity
How far is it true that an experience of the world is really just an experience of the self? As I have explored previously, the world of phenomenology has taught us that our perceptions have limits as to how far they can truly represent the world as the world is to us. The reason for…… Continue reading Where does the world stop, and identity begin?
The world has become captivated by the idea that we may be living in some sort of ‘matrix’, ever since the fact that Elon Musk believed this to be the case became a popular meme. Are we really living in a computer simulation? And more to the point, what would the implications of this be…… Continue reading Is reality a simulation? Some preliminary thoughts
One issue which has puzzled philosophers for hundreds of years is that of ‘other minds’. Thomas Nagel made this puzzle iconic in modern philosophy with his essay ‘what is it like to be a bat?’. In this paper, he points out the problem of the subject/object divide. I, the experiencer, am the subject; my experiences are…… Continue reading Can modern art bridge the gap of the subject/object divide?
In trying to answer the question of what a person actually is, by which I mean what is essentially them, we can approach the question by asking the following- what can be taken away from a person’s identity without them ceasing to be them? Thinking back to Derek Parfit’s Teleporter thought experiment, we can wonder…… Continue reading Is the rational or instinctive self the real self?
Sam Harris has recently become more involved in debates regarding robots and Artificial Intelligence and their places in the future. In a discussion with David Chalmers recently, they talked about how some tech developers have been thinking about the development of machine brains, or neurally integrated computers. One reason for this is that electronic computers…… Continue reading The ‘I’ in the continuity of consciousness