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Good and real : demystifying paradoxes from…
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Good and real : demystifying paradoxes from physics to ethics (vuoden 2006 painos)

– tekijä: Gary L. Drescher

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut
822261,808 (3.2)-
Examining a series of provocative paradoxes about consciousness, choice, ethics, and other topics, Good and Real tries to reconcile a purely mechanical view of the universe with key aspects of our subjective impressions of our own existence. In Good and Real, Gary Drescher examines a series of provocative paradoxes about consciousness, choice, ethics, quantum mechanics, and other topics, in an effort to reconcile a purely mechanical view of the universe with key aspects of our subjective impressions of our own existence. Many scientists suspect that the universe can ultimately be described by a simple (perhaps even deterministic) formalism; all that is real unfolds mechanically according to that formalism. But how, then, is it possible for us to be conscious, or to make genuine choices? And how can there be an ethical dimension to such choices? Drescher sketches computational models of consciousness, choice, and subjunctive reasoning--what would happen if this or that were to occur? --to show how such phenomena are compatible with a mechanical, even deterministic universe. Analyses of Newcomb's Problem (a paradox about choice) and the Prisoner's Dilemma (a paradox about self-interest vs. altruism, arguably reducible to Newcomb's Problem) help bring the problems and proposed solutions into focus. Regarding quantum mechanics, Drescher builds on Everett's relative-state formulation--but presenting a simplified formalism, accessible to laypersons--to argue that, contrary to some popular impressions, quantum mechanics is compatible with an objective, deterministic physical reality, and that there is no special connection between quantum phenomena and consciousness. In each of several disparate but intertwined topics ranging from physics to ethics, Drescher argues that a missing technical linchpin can make the quest for objectivity seem impossible, until the elusive technical fix is at hand.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:hisperic
Teoksen nimi:Good and real : demystifying paradoxes from physics to ethics
Kirjailijat:Gary L. Drescher
Info:Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, c2006.
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
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Good and Real: Demystifying Paradoxes from Physics to Ethics (Bradford Books) (tekijä: Gary L. Drescher)

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'Ambitious' does not do justice to the scope of this book's project of explaining no less than all of reality and dispelling the most beguiling of modern philosophical paradoxes. Drescher's title 'Good and Real' alludes to the is/ought dichotomy of what there 'is' and how moral agents 'ought' to act. He presents solutions to both using reasonable assumptions based on modern scientific evidence and then extrapolating those into cleverly simplified toy models.

Underlying all of Drescher's thinking is a foundational construction of the 'real' or what 'is' and can be summarized as a deterministic quantum-mechanical configuration space based on Everett's many-worlds interpretation that sits statically and timelessly representing the possibility space of spacetime. Using this foundation, he offers a theory of the 'good' or what 'ought' to be done and can be summarized as following the rule of subjunctive reciprocity, which is the use of acausal counterfactual reasoning to justify following Kant's categorical imperative. In reaching this conclusion, Drescher spends time reconciling notions of free-will with a deterministic universe and puts forth arguments for using acausal counterfactual reasoning as the preferred way of thinking about means-end relations that is more general than causal relationships but also more strict than mere evidential relationships.

I found Drescher's arguments sound and consistent, and his assumptions more than reasonable, and thus can agree with his general conclusions for the most part without much reservation. It goes much further than other recent attempts at grounding ethics within a naturalistic framework, such as Sam Harris' failed attempts in his recent book 'The Moral Landscape', but I fear the necessarily more technical style of Drescher's book will impede it from receiving the popular attention it deserves. ( )
  haig51 | Sep 26, 2011 |
It's now available as an ebook on the MIT press portal http://mitpress-ebooks.mit.edu/product/good-real
  ipublishcentral | Aug 12, 2009 |
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Examining a series of provocative paradoxes about consciousness, choice, ethics, and other topics, Good and Real tries to reconcile a purely mechanical view of the universe with key aspects of our subjective impressions of our own existence. In Good and Real, Gary Drescher examines a series of provocative paradoxes about consciousness, choice, ethics, quantum mechanics, and other topics, in an effort to reconcile a purely mechanical view of the universe with key aspects of our subjective impressions of our own existence. Many scientists suspect that the universe can ultimately be described by a simple (perhaps even deterministic) formalism; all that is real unfolds mechanically according to that formalism. But how, then, is it possible for us to be conscious, or to make genuine choices? And how can there be an ethical dimension to such choices? Drescher sketches computational models of consciousness, choice, and subjunctive reasoning--what would happen if this or that were to occur? --to show how such phenomena are compatible with a mechanical, even deterministic universe. Analyses of Newcomb's Problem (a paradox about choice) and the Prisoner's Dilemma (a paradox about self-interest vs. altruism, arguably reducible to Newcomb's Problem) help bring the problems and proposed solutions into focus. Regarding quantum mechanics, Drescher builds on Everett's relative-state formulation--but presenting a simplified formalism, accessible to laypersons--to argue that, contrary to some popular impressions, quantum mechanics is compatible with an objective, deterministic physical reality, and that there is no special connection between quantum phenomena and consciousness. In each of several disparate but intertwined topics ranging from physics to ethics, Drescher argues that a missing technical linchpin can make the quest for objectivity seem impossible, until the elusive technical fix is at hand.

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