philosophical frameworks

From: Wei Dai <>
Date: Mon, 12 Jul 1999 17:34:22 -0700

I think we need a way to rule out some of the approaches, otherwise we'll
get bogged down arguing over basic issues without any way to resolve them
and without being able to get to the deeper issues.

Why did I reject Moravec's approach when I first read about it in his book?
I think it was because it asks me to give up my current philosophical
framework (namely decision theory) without offering anything comparable to
replace it with. The same is true for the relative strong SSA. I was
sympathetic to quantum immortality until I spent a month last year trying
to figure out how decision theory would to work with the relative strong
SSA (although the term wasn't coined yet at the time) and failed to see how
decision theory can be modified to be compatible with it and still be
self-consistent. These problems are not apparent until you try to formalize

So I ask anyone who does not accept the absolute strong SSA to show me
either how you would formally fit your approach into the framework of
decision theory, or what philosophical framework you would replace it with.
If the former, what are utility and probability functions defined over? If
the latter, how would your framework handle questions of epistemology and
ethics? Basicly I want an "existence proof" that your approach CAN be
extended into a full philosophical system, even if you haven't worked it
out completely yet.
Received on Mon Jul 12 1999 - 17:35:56 PDT

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