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Thoughts on Human Models - Machine Intelligence Research Institute
> Explicit specification of a task in the form of, say, an optimisation objective (of which a reinforcement learning problem would be a specific case) is known to be fragile: there are usually things we care about that get left out of explicit specifications. This is one of the motivations for seeking more and more high level and indirect specifications, leaving more of the work of figuring out what exactly is to be done to the machine. However, it is currently hard to see how to automate the process of turning tasks (vaguely defined) into correct specifications without modelling humans.
ramana_kumar  AI  human_nature 
march 2019 by porejide
Teenager helps deaf and blind man to communicate on flight - BBC News
I'm generally in complete despair of humanity... this is beautiful though.
news  interesting  Human_Nature 
june 2018 by atomicules
Book Event: Jenny Davidson’s "Breeding: A Partial History of the 18thC" | The Valve - A Literary Organ |- May 2009
Note - this doesn't appear organized by tag in their archives
Book Event: Jenny Davidson’s Breeding
Posted by Scott Eric Kaufman on 05/25/09
Beginning tomorrow, The Valve will be hosting a book event on Jenny Davidson‘s Breeding: A Partial History of the Eighteenth Century. Peter Gay has already reviewed the book for Bookforum, which is rather remarkable when you consider this was an academic book published by a university press—then again, it’s a rather remarkable book.
The introduction and first two chapters are available online.
cultural_history  Enlightenment  evolution  reviews  aristocracy  mechanism  18thC  inheritance  books  literary_history  Scottish_Enlightenment  novels  nature-nurture  fiction  nobility  intellectual_history  materialism  character-formation  social_order  determinism  human_nature  natural_history  French_Enlightenment 
june 2017 by dunnettreader
De echte les van het beruchte Stanford Prison Experiment: vertrouwen is sterker dan haat
Het Stanford Prison Experiment uit 1971, waarin doodnormale studenten in no time in monsters veranderden, groeide uit tot een van de meest beruchte experimenten ooit. Het werd zelfs de basis van ons cynische mensbeeld. Maar er blijkt niets van te kloppen.
human_nature  social_psych  StanfordPrison 
june 2017 by arnow
Peter K. J. Park - Africa, Asia, and the History of Philosophy: Racism in the Formation of the Philosophical Canon 1780-1830 | SUNY Pess 2013
... a penetrating account of a crucial period in the development of philosophy as an academic discipline. (..) a number of European philosophers influenced by Kant began to formulate the history of philosophy as a march of progress from the Greeks to Kant—(..) supplanted existing accounts beginning in Egypt or W. Asia at a time when European interest in Sanskrit and Persian lit was flourishing. Not without debate, these traditions were ultimately deemed outside the scope of philosophy and relegated to the study of religion. Park uncovers this debate and recounts the development of an exclusionary canon of philosophy in the decades of the late 18thC and early 19thC. To what extent was this exclusion of Africa and Asia a result of the scientization of philosophy? To what extent was it a result of racism? (..)the most extensive description available of Gérando’s Histoire comparée des systèmes de philosophie, F. Schlegel’s lectures on the history of philosophy, Ast’s and Rixner’s systematic integration of Africa and Asia into the history of philosophy, and the controversy between Hegel and the theologian Tholuck over “pantheism.” 1. The Kantian School and the Consolidation of Modern Historiography of Philosophy -- 2. The Birth of Comparative History of Philosophy: Joseph-Marie de Gérando’s Histoire comparée des systèmes de philosophie -- 3. India in Friedrich Schlegel’s Comparative History of Philosophy -- 4. The Exclusion of Africa and Asia from the History of Philosophy: The Formation of the Kantian Position -- 5. Systematic Inclusion of Africa and Asia under Absolute Idealism: Friedrich Ast’s and Thaddä Anselm Rixner’s Histories of Philosophy -- 6. Absolute Idealism Reverts to the Kantian Position: Hegel’s Exclusion of Africa and Asia -- 7. The Comparative History of Philosophy in August Tholuck’s Polemic against Hegel -- downloaded excerpt
Asia  German_scholarship  ancient_history  historiography-18thC  philosophy  ancient_religions  history_of_science  persia  Sanskrit  comparative_religion  ancient_India  comparative_history  racism  philology  colonialism  Kant  philohellenism  religious_history  Africa  Enlightenment  human_nature  Schlegel  German_Idealism  philosophical_anthropology  ancient_Greece  cosmopolitanism  historiography-19thC  19thC  18thC  books  pantheism  intellectual_history  biology  downloaded  teleology  intellectual_history-distorted  Hegel  comparative_anthropology 
march 2017 by Werderbach
What if jobs are not the solution but the problem? | Aeon Essays
Economists believe in full employment. Americans think that work builds character. But what if jobs aren’t working anymore?
work  economics  politics  income  sociology  human_nature  automation 
november 2016 by vloux
Robert A. Markus - Saeculum: History & Society in the Theology of St Augustine (1970, rev 2007) | Cambridge University Press
Significant intro to rev'd edition, included in downloaded frontmatter along with TOC and original Preface. -- In this book Professor Markus's main concern is with those aspects of Augustine's thought which help to answer questions about the purpose of human society, and particularly with his reflections on history, society and the Church. He relates Augustine's ideas to their contemporary context and to older traditions, and shows which aspects of his thought he absorbed from his intellectual environment. Augustine appears from this study as a thinker who rejected the 'sacralization' of the established order of society, and the implications of this for a theology of history are explored in the last chapter. -- Downloaded frontmatter, excerpt & index via Air to DBOX - added to Evernote
books  downloaded  intellectual_history  theology  philosophy_of_history  Late_Antiquity  Early_Christian  Augustine  human_nature  eschatology  social_order  Providence  teleology  religion-established  politics-and-religion  religious_culture  Roman_Empire  paganism  pluralism  secularism  Roman_religion  secularization  Papacy  ecclesiology 
september 2016 by dunnettreader
Eric Schwitzgebel - A Dispositional Approach to the Attitudes: Thinking Outside of the Belief Box - 2013
in N. Nottelmann, ed., New Essays on Belief (Palgrave, 2013). -- Abstract: I argue that to have an attitude is, primarily, (1.) to have a dispositional profile that matches, to an appropriate degree and in appropriate respects, a stereotype for that attitude, typically grounded in folk psychology, and secondarily, (2.) in some cases also to meet further stereotypical attitude-specific conditions. To have an attitude, on the account I will recommend here, is mainly a matter of being apt to interact with the world in patterns that ordinary people would regard as characteristic of having that attitude. I contrast this view with alternative views that treat having an attitude as a matter of possessing some particular internally stored representational content or some other "deep" structural feature. -- downloaded to Tab S2
chapter  human_nature  moral_psychology  dispositions  character  character-formation  propositions  representation  folk_psychology  downloaded 
september 2016 by dunnettreader
Edward Slingerland - What Science Offers the Humanities: Integrating Body and Culture | Cambridge University Press (2008)
What Science Offers the Humanities examines some of the deep problems facing current approaches to the study of culture. It focuses especially on the excesses of postmodernism, but also acknowledges serious problems with postmodernism's harshest critics. In short, Edward Slingerland argues that in order for the humanities to progress, its scholars need to take seriously contributions from the natural sciences—and particular research on human cognition—which demonstrate that any separation of the mind and the body is entirely untenable. The author provides suggestions for how humanists might begin to utilize these scientific discoveries without conceding that science has the last word on morality, religion, art, and literature. Calling into question such deeply entrenched dogmas as the "blank slate" theory of nature, strong social constructivism, and the ideal of disembodied reason, Slingerland replaces the human-sciences divide with a more integrated approach to the study of culture. --
Part I. Exorcising the Ghost in the Machine:
1. The disembodied mind
2. They live among us
3. Pulling the plug
Part II. Embodying Culture:
4. Embodying culture
Part III. Defending Vertical Integration:
5. Defending the empirical
6. Who's afraid of reductionism?
Edward Slingerland, University of British Columbia, Vancouver - taught in the School of Religion and Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at USC.... currently Associate Professor of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia and is Canada Research Chair in Chinese Thought and Embodied Cognition. His previous books include The Annalects of Confucius and Effortless Action: Wu-wei as Conceptual Metaphor and Spiritual Ideal in Early China, which won the American Academy of Religion's 2003 Best First Book in the History of Religions Award. -- downloaded Intro
books  kindle-available  downloaded  humanities  philosophy_of_social_science  cognition  mind  philosophy_of_religion  human_nature  Chinese_thought  embodied_cognition  naturalism  reductionism  postmodern  two_cultures  constructivism  cultural_history  religious_history  social_theory  sociology_of_knowledge 
june 2016 by dunnettreader
William T. Lynch - Darwinian Social Epistemology: Science and Religion as Evolutionary Byproducts Subject to Cultural Evolution (Feb 2016) | Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective
Key to Steve Fuller’s recent defense of intelligent design is the claim that it alone can explain why science is even possible. By contrast, Fuller argues that Darwinian evolutionary theory posits a purposeless universe which leaves humans with no motivation to study science and no basis for modifying an underlying reality. I argue that this view represents a retreat from insights about knowledge within Fuller’s own program of social epistemology. I show that a Darwinian picture of science, as also of religion, can be constructed that explains how these complex social institutions emerged out of a process of biological and cultural evolution. Science and religion repurpose aspects of our evolutionary inheritance to the new circumstances of more complex societies that have emerged since the Neolithic revolution.  - downloaded via iPhone to DBOX
sociology_of_religion  animals  theodicy  cosmology  gene-culture_coevolution  constructivism  intelligent_design  human_nature  transhumanism  imago_dei  intellectual_history  Darwinism  epistemology-social  sociology_of_knowledge  sociology_of_science_ 
may 2016 by dunnettreader
Steve Fuller - Social Epistemology for Theodicy without Deference: Response to William Lynch (pages 207-218) | Symposion. Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Scien - April 2016ces
ABSTRACT: This article is a response to William Lynch’s, ‘Social Epistemology Transformed: Steve Fuller’s Account of Knowledge as a Divine Spark for Human Domination,’ an extended and thoughtful reflection on my Knowledge: The Philosophical Quest in History. I grant that Lynch has captured well, albeit critically, the spirit and content of the book – and the thirty-year intellectual journey that led to it. In this piece, I respond at two levels. First, I justify my posture towards my predecessors and contemporaries, which Lynch shrewdly sees as my opposition to deference. However, most of the response concerns an elaboration of my theodicy-focussed sense of social epistemology, which is long-standing but only started to become prominent about ten years ago, in light of my involvement in the evolution controversies. Here I aim to draw together a set of my abiding interests – scientific, theological and philosophical – in trying to provide a normative foundation for the future of humanity. - downloaded via iPhone to DBOX
sociology_of_knowledge  artificial_intelligence  downloaded  constructivism  Innovation  risk-mitigation  transhumanism  article  human_nature  epistemology-social  sociology_of_science_ 
may 2016 by dunnettreader
Consciousness (pages 11-18) | Symposion. Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences - Jan 2015
Nicholas Rescher

ABSTRACT: Consciousness is sometimes viewed as a particular parametric factor in the analogy of blood pressure or electric charge. The paper argues that this is an erroneous conception becomes consciousness involves a varied assortment of different phenomena that have no single unified commonality. And so even as ‘abnormal psychology’ has to be a disjointed assembly of diverse specialties so will ‘consciousness studies’ have to be.
neuroscience  article  mind-body  philosophy_of_science  reductionism  human_nature  psychology  downloaded  consciousness  mind 
may 2016 by dunnettreader
O. Bradley Bassler, The Pace of Modernity: Reading With Blumenberg (2012) | re-press publishers
Wittgenstein said that philosophers should greet each other, not by saying “hello,” but rather “take your time.”  But what is time?  Time is money, but this points to an even better answer to this basic question for our modern epoch: time is acceleration.  In a cultural system which stresses economic efficiency, the quicker route is always the more prized, if not always the better one.  Wittgenstein’s dictum thus constitutes an act of rebellion against the dominant vector of our culture, but as such it threatens to become (quickly) anti-modern.  We need an approach to “reading” our information-rich culture which is not reactionary but rather meets its accelerated condition.  In this book, O. Bradley Bassler develops a toolkit for acute reading of our modern pace, not through withdrawal but rather through active engagement with a broad range of disciplines.  The main characters in this drama comprise a cast of master readers: Hannah Arendt, Jean Starobinski, Harold Bloom, Angus Fletcher, Hans Blumenberg and John Ashbery, with secondary figures drawn from the readers and critics whom this central group suggests.  We must develop a vocabulary of pacing, reflecting our modern distance from classical sources and the concomitant acceleration of our contemporary condition.  Only in this way can we begin to situate the phenomenon of modernity within the larger scales of human culture and history.

About the Author
O. Bradley Bassler studied in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago and took a second Ph.D. in Mathematics at Wesleyan University.  He has published in areas ranging from philosophy and history of philosophy to literary studies and the foundations of mathematics, with essays appearing in New German Critique, Heidegger Studies, Review of Metaphysics and other journals.  He is also a published poet.  He currently is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Georgia, Athens, USA.
biocultural_evolution  etexts  change-social  technology  open_access  Arendt  dualism  lit_crit  phenomenology  metaphor  Montaigne  Husserl  individualism  books  poetics  modernity  social_theory  Blumenberg  rhetoric  human_nature  Heidegger  Scribd  philosophical_anthropology 
april 2016 by dunnettreader

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