The pernicious fallacy of AI understanding and creativity
Metaphysical Speculations
by Bernardo Kastrup
2M ago
Today’s generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications are impressive. Large Language Models (LLMs), such as ChatGPT, easily pass the Turing Test and are thus indistinguishable from humans in an online text conversation. They are used in professional settings to handle customer inquiries, draft legal text, and a variety of tasks that, until recently, only humans could manage. Other generative AIs produce high-quality images, music, and video, often with high artistic value, based on simple descriptions or ‘queries.’ It has thus become difficult for the average educated person to avoid ..read more
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Some of my best adversarial debates, as captured in video
Metaphysical Speculations
by Bernardo Kastrup
2M ago
Over the past 15 years or so, I have engaged in a number of debates with other scholars, as I believe strongly that this kind of interaction is an excellent way to question and improve our culture's mainstream views. In this post, I'd like to highlight the more adversarial of these debates. By 'adversarial' I don't mean unfriendly; some may be, but many aren't. I mean simply that these 'adversarial' engagements entailed mutual critiques of different, perhaps even contradictory views. This helps us make the potential shortcomings of the respective views more explicit, which is surely a progre ..read more
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The curious case of a troll who goes by "Paul Austin Murphy," and Medium's complicity
Metaphysical Speculations
by Bernardo Kastrup
3M ago
Let me start this by admitting upfront that I do not know who Paul Austin Murphy is, beyond a libellous hit-piece he wrote about me last year. I never heard of him or his work as a philosopher, and don't even know if he really is a philosopher at all, as he doesn't seem to list his education, qualifications, or experience anywhere online. As a matter of fact, for all I know Paul Murphy isn't even his real name, but just a pseudonym meant to deflect possible legal action against his libellous ways. Under normal circumstances, I wouldn't have read his hit-piece (the title say ..read more
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The Phantom World Hypothesis of NDEs/OBEs
Metaphysical Speculations
by Bernardo Kastrup
5M ago
  A couple of weeks ago, Dr. Sam Parnia released a new mini-documentary about Near Death Experiences (NDEs), which he now coined a new term for: REDs, for 'Recalled Experiences of Death.' His argument is that, physiologically, these people weren't merely near death, but actually died and were resuscitated thanks to modern medical technology. Indeed, defining death as a state one can never return from is operationally contingent; it is arbitrary and ignores the physiology—the science—of the process. So I am comfortable with the term RED. But I diverge. The point of this essay is a com ..read more
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On geopolitics, Russia, MAGA, and Western values
Metaphysical Speculations
by Bernardo Kastrup
5M ago
  As regular readers may have noticed, I've deleted earlier posts on this blog that discussed political and moral topics outside the realm of metaphysics. I did so because I want my participation in the cultural debate to remain focused on my key areas of expertise; I don't want to be perceived as a wanna-be political pundit. That said, as a citizen, I carry the responsibility to take part in our democratic political process to the same extent that any other citizen does. This is the spirit of this post. Since deleting the aforementioned posts, some have questioned whether my politic ..read more
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UAPs and Non-Human Intelligence: What is the most reasonable scenario?
Metaphysical Speculations
by Bernardo Kastrup
7M ago
Editorial note I originally intended to publish the essay below in an (online) magazine, not my own blog. I still have this intention, but opted to publish the complete draft here first for several reasons: (a) most magazines will place the essay behind a paywall (I already tried to negotiate this out, but it is not negotiable); (b) most magazines will require me to significantly shorten the essay (even Aeon Magazine, which publishes long-form essays, limits them to 5,000 words, while the text below has over 6,800 words); (c) most magazines will force me to edit at least some parts of my arg ..read more
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Analytic Idealism, UAPs, the Daimon, and a model of dissociation: challenges for 2024
Metaphysical Speculations
by Bernardo Kastrup
7M ago
You may have noticed that, since Essentia Foundation started in earnest in the summer of 2020, my philosophical output essentially ground to a halt. Indeed, my latest published book to-date, Science Ideated, was finished in April of 2020, even though it only came out in 2021. The reason for this is that Essentia Foundation took all my time in its first years. Starting a new organisation and team from scratch isn't trivial. Moreover, running Essentia Foundation resonated so profoundly with the path of meaning in my life that it basically became an 'obsession'—something I don't consider bad at ..read more
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My unfortunate attempt at debating Tim Maudlin
Metaphysical Speculations
by Bernardo Kastrup
10M ago
I recently was invited by Curt Jaimungal, of the Theories of Everything podcast, to debate philosopher Tim Maudlin on issues of philosophy of physics. I accepted after briefly looking up Maudlin's name and seeing that he was an academic. The result of this attempted debate, however, was a complete and unqualified disaster: As much as this unfortunate event is deserving of forgetting, I think I owe my audience some clarifications. I'll try to keep it brief, to the point, and factual. Did I know about Tim Maudlin's work before this attempted debate? No, I didn't. I essentially knew nothin ..read more
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NH-PHILOSOPHY, PART 2: In-your-face media bias?
Metaphysical Speculations
by Bernardo Kastrup
11M ago
I thought I'd share with you something I observed today, which I thought was remarkable. Browsing YouTube video recommendations late this evening, I first clicked on a months-old video of a NASA press conference on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs), which NASA has been officially investigating. In it, Dr. Sean Kirkpatrick, head of the investigative team, discusses two types of UAP cases. The first is that of seemingly metallic spheres that, somehow, move (fast) and manoeuvre without any signs of propulsion or control surfaces: As you can see, Dr. Kirkpatrick: Shows a video of one such s ..read more
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E.T. PHILOSOPHY, PART 1: Accounting for UAPs' zigzagging, 'brownian motion'
Metaphysical Speculations
by Bernardo Kastrup
1y ago
As discussed in my previous post in this blog, I admit to having been caught off guard by the latest developments regarding UAPs and non-human intelligence. Nonetheless, I cannot help but take these developments seriously, and thus felt compelled to explore the subject further in two directions: first, to understand clearly how (im)plausible it is that the allegations are fabrications, given the legal context of the case; and second, to apply reason and information already disclosed to speculate educatedly on what we can expect a non-human intelligence to be like. As luck would have it, the f ..read more
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