RE: Reality, the bogus nature of the Turing test

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Sun, 24 Sep 2006 22:59:51 +1000

Peter Jones writes:

> Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> > Brent meeker writes:
> >
> > > Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> > > > John,
> > > >
> > > > Even a real solipsist might eat, sleep, talk to people etc., all under the impression that everything is a
> > > > construction of his own mind. People willingly suspend disbelief in order to indulge in fiction or computer
> > > > games, and a solipsist may believe that he is participating in the greatest and most perfect of games. I
> > > > think that most real solipsists would eventually go mad and start to believe that the game is reality.
> > >
> > > And that would make a difference how?
> > >
> > > Brent Meeker
> >
> > It wouldn't make any difference: if solipsism were true, people would behave exactly as they do behave,
> > most of them not giving the idea that there is no external world any consideration at all, the rest deciding
> > that although it is a theoretical possibility, there is no practical purpose served by worrying about it.
> Their explanation, if they have any, as to why they behave
> as they do would be peppered with "as ifs". Solipisism is
> for people who prefer certainty to understanding.

And we can't have certainty, right? The only empirical fact I know for certain is that I am having a conscious
experience *now*; everything else is extrapolation and tentative assumption. Given two explanations for why
things are as they seem, the correct one X and the simplest that is consistent with the facts Y, we have to choose
Y. If we choose X because we like the sound of it or something we are lost as far as discovering truth about the
world goes - even though X happens to be correct in this case.

Stathis Papaioannou
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Received on Sun Sep 24 2006 - 09:00:48 PDT

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