Fumbling Towards the Meaning of Life
jbone at place.org
jbone at place.org
Mon Oct 20 22:43:39 PDT 2003
Mostly for Turpin, but please lay in.
In my fumbling towards a definition of "personhood" that encompasses
something beyond survival instinct, here's what's holding me up: if
it's only self-preservation, then all animals qualify. What I'm
looking for is strategic decision-making encompassing self-detrimental
but strategically-viable behavior beyond that.
First, the test individual has to be / express some notion of "self."
Second, necessarily, there has to be some notion --- some instinct to,
some urge for --- self-preservation.
Third, there has to be some ability to project from immediate
circumstances to an eventual desired goal.
Fourth, that desired goal has to be --- possibly under some
hypotheticals, but acceptably transitively --- beyond
Fifth, there has to be a way to plan from current situation to future
situation that doesn't involve self.
Sixth, there has to be a method for evaluating strategies for goal
fulfillment that doesn't ultimately weight self-preservation.
Seventh, there (reflexively) has to be some mechanism to weight
ultimate "self" goal more than the value for self-preservation.
Eighth, "ultimate goal" has to be something other than axiomatic. It
has to be existentially self-determined.
Ninth: per Turing, the "person" in question has to be unrecognizable
vs. a biological human in an unbounded but (inherently, unavoidably)
time-limited verbal interaction with a human. (That is: despite the
number or durations of all interactions between the candidate and a
single human, the human can never decide...)
There's more to this amateur "Asimov's Laws" or Turing test than this,
but I'm not sure where it is.
I'm probably missing in this the necessity for the individual to both
form meta-models of its own goals, axioms, and behavior and to
reverse-engineer axiomatic, goal-specific, and behavioral models of
those it encounters.
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