Saturday Apr 09, 2022
Transhumanist David Pearce discusses consciousness
In this episode I continue my investigation into consciousness interviewing an advocate for artificial intelligence. He advocates for a form of physicalistic idealism that is both highly speculative and incredible, by his own words. He supports the equations of physics as a complete description of reality, and posits that minds arise in quantum superpositions of neurons. A quantum superposition is a non-intuitive situation that arises in the equations of physics where a system can seemingly exist in two different physical states at the same time as long as it is isolated from observation. This was highlighted in the famous Schrodinger’s Cat thought experiment where the cat was in a superposition of being both alive and dead as long as the box it was in was not opened.
David Pearce is author of the Hedonistic Imperative (1995), which advocates the use of biotechnology to abolish suffering throughout the living world. In 1998, he co-founded the World Transhumanist Association (H+) with Nick Bostrom. Transhumanists believe in the use of technology to overcome our biological limitations.
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