Discussion article for the meetup : West LA—What, Exactly, Is a Person?

WHEN: 11 September 2013 07:00:00PM (-0700)

WHERE: 10850 West Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064, USA

How to get in: Go to the Westside Tavern in the upstairs Wine Bar (all ages welcome), located inside the Westside Pavillion on the second floor, right by the movie theaters. The entrance sign says "Lounge".

Parking is free for 3 hours, or for longer if you are a caitiff.


if we only care about desires we act upon, then we only respect preferences with optimization power, and thus might actually makes right

drunken muflax

I no longer find the Hansonian construal of "care" tenable. Caring is feeling strong emotions, not magically becoming an agent.


Acknowledging that personhood is a nonbinary concept inspires questions. How do we measure how persony someone is? Are octopodes people? Birds are obviously people, but what about the nonhuman great apes? Is there a relationship between agency and qualia, and if so, what is it? Do persons with more intense qualia care more about things, or do people with more agency care more about things? Is the idea of being more-of-a-person coherent at all? Should we allow more intense experiences to count more on the utilitarian calculus, even though this can in principle be hijacked? How should we treat instrumental utility monsters? When does a baby become a person? Can you lose personhood through an act of will? Why do we think personhood is important? Why do we think importance is important? Who the Hell do you think I am!? We'll discuss all this and more, this Wednesday, at the Westside Tavern! Be there or be square!

Recommended reading:

Prior exposure to Less Wrong is recommended but not required. That which can be destroyed by your presence at this meetup should be!

There may or may not be a whiteboard.

Discussion article for the meetup : West LA—What, Exactly, Is a Person?

New Comment
1 comment, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 12:22 PM

I am excited about this topic