Table of contents:
- 1. "The Conscious Mind" by David Chalmers
- 2. "Types of Mind: Towards Understanding Consciousness" by Daniel Dennett
- 3. "Creative Evolution", Henri Bergson
- 4. "The Man Playing" by Johan Huizinga
- 5. “Discipline and punish. The birth of a prison ", Michel Foucault
2023 Author: Malcolm Clapton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-22 06:26
You watched "The World of the Wild West" with gusto, but surely something remained beyond your understanding. This collection of books will not only shed light on the questions that have arisen, but will also help you dig deeper.
The first season of the acclaimed TV series "Westworld" has ended. Big names - Jonathan Nolan, JJ Abrams, Anthony Hopkins - and the topic of artificial intelligence could not leave viewers indifferent.
AI is good and a win-win for the cash register, but it is also important to deploy this topic correctly. There are definitely no complaints about the scriptwriters and the film crew: they skillfully juggle philosophical problems. The creators of the series turned out to be a real show. A bunch of androids involved in a massive western story; the same bunch of business uncles and aunts in white coats who rule the whole process upstairs, as if acting as the gods of the Wild West world - even without watching the released episodes, it sounds cool.
And those who have already watched the series should have paid attention to things that lie outside the plot.
How to relate to thinking machines? Are any moral standards applicable to them? Can they be conscious? Can we be in their place? What if our personal life story is also the imagination of the behind-the-scenes programmers? Why are you so sure that everything that happens around is reality?
Here are some books that will surely satisfy your curiosity or, conversely, whet it!
1. "The Conscious Mind" by David Chalmers
David Chalmers is a living classic of modern philosophy of mind. The book "The Conscious Mind" is still his only work translated into Russian, but in it one can get acquainted with almost all popular approaches to solving the riddle of consciousness. The author criticizes the position of materialism, and then carefully and unobtrusively offers his solution.
Do robots have consciousness? What happens to a person who is replaced by a brain with a computing processor? Do I need to have consciousness in order to talk about it? The book contains answers to these questions.
2. "Types of Mind: Towards Understanding Consciousness" by Daniel Dennett
Just like David Chalmers, Dennett is a living classic. He, along with Richard Dawkins, fights all over the world with religion, and at the same time with all sorts of mystifications in the matter of consciousness.
In Types of Psyche, Dennett discusses whether vegetarians should worry about the existence of consciousness in a chicken or an egg, why we are all so sure that other people are conscious, and what a laser printer and a horse have in common. And, of course, you can answer the question of what is going on in the head of an android from Westworld park.
3. "Creative Evolution", Henri Bergson
1927 Nobel laureate Henri Bergson writes about life, time, memory, creativity and evolution. Makes it so that the book is read in one go.
In Creative Evolution, Bergson insists that the highest point in the evolution of life is man. He is the only one who can be called living and creating freely. According to the thinker, life is an impulse that was lost by many animals, for example, our closest neighbors in the evolutionary tree - chimpanzees.
But Bergson then did not think that a person can create a thinking machine in his image and likeness. And we see how in the "World of the Wild West" some of these machines took a vital impulse … What place will they take in the evolution of life? Dead end? Or create a new branch? With examples from the show, you can answer these questions yourself.
4. "The Man Playing" by Johan Huizinga
In Wild West, all visitors are avid gamblers. Give them freedom, time and money, they would take part in all the stories of the park. But why do visitors behave this way? Thanks to the efforts of the park's marketers? Or is the desire for play the basis of human culture?
The Dutch philosopher Johan Huizinga in his book "The Man Playing" analyzes the game in detail and comes to the conclusion that the whole human culture is based on it. He studied the place play occupies in the life of animals, what character it had in Antiquity and how it changed throughout history. An extremely informative book! I am sure that after reading it, it will be twice as interesting to play.
5. “Discipline and punish. The birth of a prison ", Michel Foucault
The Westworld park has a clear system: there are cars that operate according to certain rules, and there are overseers who monitor the implementation of these rules. If the car breaks the rules, then it is written off and replaced with a new one. But in the plot there are visitors who in most cases consider themselves powerful heroes of the park who have the right to “supervise and punish”.
The French philosopher Michel Foucault in his book "Discipline and Punish" discusses the phenomenon of power and what was necessary in different eras to possess it. The events taking place in Westworld make you wonder how thin the line is between the supervisor and the one being watched.