Browsing All Posts filed under »Gordon Hawkes«

How Many Lego Bricks to Build a Mind?

January 30, 2017 by

52

How many Lego bricks would it take to build a conscious, rational mind? This may sound like an absurd question. Lego bricks don’t seem like the sort of thing that you could build a mind out of. (At least, I’m assuming that artificial intelligence researchers aren’t currently tinkering away in their state-of-the-art labs with a […]

Aristotelian Rape Training: Pornography and Rape Culture

April 8, 2016 by

2

Someone asked me the other day what I thought about the Jian Ghomeshi case. Jian Ghomeshi, if you aren’t familiar, is a Canadian radio personality who was charged with sexually assaulting women. His accusers described him suddenly turning violent, yanking their hair, slapping them. What was not in dispute in the case was that Ghomeshi […]

Assisted Death? Please Euphemize Me Now, Doctor

April 5, 2016 by

Comments Off on Assisted Death? Please Euphemize Me Now, Doctor

George Orwell comes up a lot lately. The term “Orwellian” is ubiquitous in current social commentary. As such, I won’t use the hackneyed term in this post—although I will reference the word “apophasis”. This is, after all, a post about the use of words. In particular, the use of the words “assisted death.” As a […]

Barack Obama Is Not My Father: A Simple Argument Against Physicalism

March 26, 2016 by

29

The following is a rather simple (simplistic?) argument against certain forms of physicalism*, specifically, those forms which identify the conscious mind with physical processes of the brain. The argument starts with the principle of the indiscernibility of identicals (thank you, Leibniz), which is usually uncontroversial: If A and B are one and the same thing, […]

This Blog Post Is False…and True (or, Is a Denial of the Law of Noncontradiction Self-Refuting?)

March 7, 2016 by

7

There is a straightforward objection to any denial of the law of noncontradiction: A denial of the law of noncontradiction is self-refuting because one must presuppose the truth of the law of noncontradiction in order to deny it. That is, to deny the law of noncontradiction is to allow that it is both true and […]

Put Down the Axe, Ockham! Objections to Substance Dualism (Part 2)

October 27, 2015 by

40

This is the second in a series of posts answering the most common objections to substance dualism (see the intro here, and the first response here). I will argue that an appeal to Ockham’s razor does not, at present, carry any weight against substance dualism, and the principle is only relevant as a hypothetical qualifier […]

Hey, Neuroscience, Why Can’t We Be Friends? Objections to Substance Dualism (Part 1)

October 7, 2015 by

34

For many who’ve taken philosophy courses at the university level (let alone those who teach philosophy), substance dualism appears to be a theory with, dare I say it, no substance. It’s not a “live option.” But, to extend the pun, I think it’s the dismissal, not the theory, that lacks substance. In the introduction to this series of posts, I […]