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Philosophy has two usages: educational and personal. First, it provides a good exercise to the mind, mostly useless but as sophisticated as you can get. Second, it arms you with something to say when you have nothing to say but you want to. For many, philosophy looks like science but it is not. The scientific process has 4 stages: observation, explanation (qualitative), creating a model (quantitative), and inference (after that back to the model, etc). The endpoint of any scientific discipline always has been the model-based quantitative forecast. The traditional philosophy never got to the stage of creating a model, only observation and explanation, with no possible falsification (critical in science). Still, that makes us feel better like we understand the world and maybe we can do something, but the second part is an illusion (if you stay within philosophy). One may claim that ethics eventually helps us better coexist, but when you ask for ethical guidelines to be integrated into AI (think trolley problem), the number of opinions are usually more than the people in the room (any room).

… and no, I’m not angry at or dislike philosophy. I’m just trying to verbalize my understanding of philosophy as a particular type of fiction and we should appreciate it as such.

Categories human condition


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