The Fabric of Reality: The Science of Parallel Universes--and Its Implications

Author: David Deutsch
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by kodheaven   2019-11-17

Submission Statement: On November 2016, David Deutsch and Sam Harris did a podcast together. The purpose of that podcast was for David Deutsch to attempt to explain where Sam Harris went wrong or could improve upon his The Moral Landscape idea.

David is a Popperian and has built upon Popper’s work in his two books The Fabric of Reality and The Beginning of Infinity. This podcast sparked my interest in Popper and at the time I did not understand the disagreement between David and Sam. I asked the question and Brett Hall who is an expert (doubt he’d enjoy that label) on Popper and Deutsche was kind enough to make a video explaining their differences.

The reason I decided to transcribe this video is that I have found that comparing and contrasting Sam’s epistemology to that of Popper’s has been super helpful in better understanding Critical Rationalism, which is what Popper called his Philosophy. I have read Popper and Deutsch for a year since and have barely scratched the surface.

You do not necessarily need to listen to the Podcast to get the meat of this content, Brett does a great job presenting both their ideas clearly and their differences as well.

Anyway, here are some interesting bits from the video.

>The majority of people who have an alternative epistemology, something other than what Karl Popper views knowledge as for example, they think that knowledge is about justified true belief. They think that you need to begin with the foundation and on that foundation then you accumulate knowledge, you build it up. And this is an anti critical vision about how knowledge is created. In the Popperian view, you simply have problems, you can start anywhere at all and you attempt to solve those problems when you have them. When you have ideas that are in conflict with one another by using a critical method, it's a completely different vision.

On What Morality is,

>So instead, just to preface, what morality really consists of, it's about solving moral problems. And in order to solve moral problems, we have to conjecture explanations about what might improve things. And they can always be false. We can always criticize them.

There is no need for bedrock,

>Okay. So again, David says that moral theory should be approached like scientific theories. They don't need foundations. They don't need foundations. There are a lot of theories out there, a lot of moral theories like, Kant's categorical imperative, or Rawl's fairness or stuff that comes out of the Bible the golden rule et cetera, et cetera. Whatever your moral theory happens to be or indeed Sam's wellbeing of conscious creatures. All of these, these principles, these ideas, these theories should be seen as critiques, as critiques of each other or as critiques of any other theory that someone proposes or as a critique of a solution that someone proposes.
>
>They shouldn't be seen as foundations from which you begin to build up everything else.

There is a lot of great information in here not just about morality, there’s a bit about politics, creativity, and perhaps most groundbreaking in my estimation, David’s explanation of what a person is.

I hope this is helpful!

Other Links:

  • David Deutsch and Sam Harris Podcast
  • Brett Hall's essay critique of The Moral Landscape for "The Moral Landscape Challenge"
  • Artificial Creativity Podcast
by kodheaven   2019-11-17

Submission Statement: On November 2016, David Deutsch and Sam Harris did a podcast together. The purpose of that podcast was for David Deutsch to attempt to explain where Sam Harris went wrong or could improve upon his The Moral Landscape idea.

David is a Popperian and has built upon Popper’s work in his two books The Fabric of Reality and The Beginning of Infinity. This podcast sparked my interest in Popper and at the time I did not understand the disagreement between David and Sam. I asked the question and Brett Hall who is an expert (doubt he’d enjoy that label) on Popper and Deutsche was kind enough to make a video explaining their differences.

The reason I decided to transcribe this video is that I have found that comparing and contrasting Sam’s epistemology to that of Popper’s has been super helpful in better understanding Critical Rationalism, which is what Popper called his Philosophy. I have read Popper and Deutsch for a year since and have barely scratched the surface.

You do not necessarily need to listen to the Podcast to get the meat of this content, Brett does a great job presenting both their ideas clearly and their differences as well.

Anyway, here are some interesting bits from the video.

>The majority of people who have an alternative epistemology, something other than what Karl Popper views knowledge as for example, they think that knowledge is about justified true belief. They think that you need to begin with the foundation and on that foundation then you accumulate knowledge, you build it up. And this is an anti critical vision about how knowledge is created. In the Popperian view, you simply have problems, you can start anywhere at all and you attempt to solve those problems when you have them. When you have ideas that are in conflict with one another by using a critical method, it's a completely different vision.

On What Morality is,

>So instead, just to preface, what morality really consists of, it's about solving moral problems. And in order to solve moral problems, we have to conjecture explanations about what might improve things. And they can always be false. We can always criticize them.

There is no need for bedrock,

>Okay. So again, David says that moral theory should be approached like scientific theories. They don't need foundations. They don't need foundations. There are a lot of theories out there, a lot of moral theories like, Kant's categorical imperative, or Rawl's fairness or stuff that comes out of the Bible the golden rule et cetera, et cetera. Whatever your moral theory happens to be or indeed Sam's wellbeing of conscious creatures. All of these, these principles, these ideas, these theories should be seen as critiques, as critiques of each other or as critiques of any other theory that someone proposes or as a critique of a solution that someone proposes.They shouldn't be seen as foundations from which you begin to build up everything else.

There is a lot of great information in here not just about morality, there’s a bit about politics, creativity, and perhaps most groundbreaking in my estimation, David’s explanation of what a person is.

I hope this is helpful!

Other Links:

  • David Deutsch and Sam Harris Podcast
  • Brett Hall's essay critique of The Moral Landscape for "The Moral Landscape Challenge"
  • Artificial Creativity Podcast
by kodheaven   2019-11-17

Submission Statement: On November 2016, David Deutsch and Sam Harris did a podcast together. The purpose of that podcast was for David Deutsch to attempt to explain where Sam Harris went wrong or could improve upon his The Moral Landscape idea.

David is a Popperian and has built upon Popper’s work in his two books The Fabric of Reality and The Beginning of Infinity. This podcast sparked my interest in Popper and at the time I did not understand the disagreement between David and Sam. I asked the question and Brett Hall who is an expert (doubt he’d enjoy that label) on Popper and Deutsche was kind enough to make a video explaining their differences.

The reason I decided to transcribe this video is that I have found that comparing and contrasting Sam’s epistemology to that of Popper’s has been super helpful in better understanding Critical Rationalism, which is what Popper called his Philosophy. I have read Popper and Deutsch for a year since and have barely scratched the surface.

You do not necessarily need to listen to the Podcast to get the meat of this content, Brett does a great job presenting both their ideas clearly and their differences as well.

Anyway, here are some interesting bits from the video.

>The majority of people who have an alternative epistemology, something other than what Karl Popper views knowledge as for example, they think that knowledge is about justified true belief. They think that you need to begin with the foundation and on that foundation then you accumulate knowledge, you build it up. And this is an anti critical vision about how knowledge is created. In the Popperian view, you simply have problems, you can start anywhere at all and you attempt to solve those problems when you have them. When you have ideas that are in conflict with one another by using a critical method, it's a completely different vision.

On What Morality is,

>So instead, just to preface, what morality really consists of, it's about solving moral problems. And in order to solve moral problems, we have to conjecture explanations about what might improve things. And they can always be false. We can always criticize them.

There is no need for bedrock,

>Okay. So again, David says that moral theory should be approached like scientific theories. They don't need foundations. They don't need foundations. There are a lot of theories out there, a lot of moral theories like, Kant's categorical imperative, or Rawl's fairness or stuff that comes out of the Bible the golden rule et cetera, et cetera. Whatever your moral theory happens to be or indeed Sam's wellbeing of conscious creatures. All of these, these principles, these ideas, these theories should be seen as critiques, as critiques of each other or as critiques of any other theory that someone proposes or as a critique of a solution that someone proposes.They shouldn't be seen as foundations from which you begin to build up everything else.

There is a lot of great information in here not just about morality, there’s a bit about politics, creativity, and perhaps most groundbreaking in my estimation, David’s explanation of what a person is.

I hope this is helpful!

Other Links:

  • David Deutsch and Sam Harris Podcast
  • Brett Hall's essay critique of The Moral Landscape for "The Moral Landscape Challenge"
  • Artificial Creativity Podcast
by lisper   2018-08-16
Explaining what an explanatory theory is won't fit in an HN comment. I'll have to refer you to David Deutsch [1] (or Karl Popper) for that.

[1] https://www.amazon.com/Fabric-Reality-Parallel-Universes-Imp...