By Martin Heidegger
A revised translation of Heidegger's most vital work.
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Additional resources for Being and Time (Suny Series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy)
When suitably inspected, the argument even for the possibility of brains-in-vats is, therefore, self-refuting. Like mine, Putnam’s point is diagnostic: what he really wants to show is how certain assumptions lead people (“philosophers”) to endorse scenarios that are incoherent—that is, that are internally inconsistent. Once they recognize this inconsistency, the strategy goes, they will be forced to evaluate their perhaps tacit assumptions and give them up in favor of the program Putnam is advocating—namely, that meanings just aren’t in the head, and that understanding is an ability, not a mental state we can introspect.
Bostrom’s most explicit characterization of the posthuman is in terms of his characterization of a “posthuman” civilization being one “where humankind has acquired most of the technological capabilities that one can currently show to be consistent with physical laws and with material and energy constraints” (Bostrom 2003, 4). As such, and as Bostrom acknowledges, our assessment of the notion of the posthuman is dependent on our knowledge of physical laws and material and energy constraints: it is physical theory–dependent.
Let’s phrase this in a way that resolves some of this discomfort so as to see where the essential discomfort might lie: if we are the sort of beings who are likely to attain to posthumanity, then we are likely ourselves already to be living in a (posthuman) simulation. In fact, Bostrom states this reduced version of his conclusion in almost the same form at the end of his paper: “Unless we are now living in a simulation, our descendants will almost certainly never run an ancestor-simulation” (Bostrom 2003, 14).
Being and Time (Suny Series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy) by Martin Heidegger