All of DCrowe's Comments + Replies

Theory of Knowledge (rationality outreach)

I agree that emphasis on critical thinking and analytical skills should be an essential element of any programme but from my admittedly limited experience the IB approach does not go as far in this direction as one might desire. Caveats; 1) the IB ToK element is better than the nothing most curricula I am familiar with have and shows the good intentions of those setting up the course, so this is not a 'it's no good' but a 'could do better' comment and 2) not having gone to a school which taught IB, my experience has been limited to the handful of students ... (read more)

Dennett's heterophenomenology

For my money, the best challenge to Dennett's position on how to understand the role of introspective accounts in psychology is Alvin Goldman's 'Science, Publicity and Consciousness' and the most stimulating work being done from a position relatively consonant with Dennett's is that being produced by Eric Schwitzgebel. If you're interested in introspection you should check out his new book 'Perplexities of Consciousness' but at the very least you should have a look at some of the papers he has on his website on the subject, especially 'Introspection, what?... (read more)

Politics is the Mind-Killer

One obvious reason why this might be the case is that the various implicit norms surrounding political discourse actively encourage tribalism and cognitive dissonance ("Hey! He's a flipflopper!") more so than in other areas of discourse where some of these pressures are lacking or in some cases (such as academia, to some extent) deliberate effort has been expended to create counter-veiling norms to these trends. As long as political discourse involves politicians and politicians owe their careers to the exercises of obfuscation, pandering and app... (read more)

Einstein's Arrogance

I guess a defense of old Albert would go something like this; the route he took to establish his theory didn't rely upon empirical evidence of the sort Eddington was trying to discover but rather was an elegant way to explain certain unusual properties of light and energy which, once he had formulated his theory, it seemed obvious to him could not be explained any other way. The kind of empirical validation which Eddington was carrying out was a laudable and necessary step in the process of theory confirmation/falstification but nevertheless it is entirely... (read more)

The Blue-Minimizing Robot

A couple of points here. First, as other people seem to have indicated, there does seem to be a problem with saying 'the robot has human level intelligence/self-reflective insight' and simultaneously that it carries out its programming with regards to firing lasers at percepts which appear blue unreflectively, in so far as it would seem that the former would entail that the latter would /not/ be done unreflectively. What you have here are two seperate and largely unintegrated cognitive systems one of which ascribes functional-intentional properties to thin... (read more)