Metaphysics Part 2: Discussions and Lemon Loaf
Last Thursday we held class discussions on our metaphysics topics. Unfortunately, I missed the very beginning as I was late. To compensate, I distributed lemon loaf to my group members.
The first group discussion I was in was with Emma F., Katie, and Claire! Between eating lemon loaf we surmised about the way each of our topics related to each others. Katie began with talking about her topic and the questions it brings up: Emotions and what they are really made of, how do we define them, and how they relate to metaphysics and its questions of person-hood. Next, Claire began talking about her metaphysical questions related to existence; existing vs living, being vs Being, and the way we know ourselves through others. Emma was next, and we actually found out our topics were both inspired from the same show! Her questions were with regards to the component of memory in the self, and it’s necessity in the concept of ‘self’. How memory could possibly result in adaptation or change of the ‘self’.
I stated my metaphysical questions next, and we began to discuss Westworld and the questions Artificial Intelligence brings up. It was brought up how the self is generally considered to be a combination of memories, emotions, and intelligent thought. If AI could possess all of these, wouldn’t they then be Beings? Katie brought up that we don’t entirely understand emotions and thus can’t define the experience of having emotions. I found her point there to be extremely interesting as I hadn’t really thought about that before, how do we prove the AI are genuinely experiencing emotions rather than mimicking when we don’t entirely understand emotion? We also discussed how philosophy and metaphysics will influence future discussions of rights for artificial intelligence.
The second group discussion I was with Emma M., Megan, Ashlee, and Katherine. Katherine, Megan, and Emma discussed 1D fanfiction and Ashlee and I held one another, distraught. I can’t remember exactly which tangent brought that up. Our topics were broader in this group, Katherine discussed bundle theory and the way it relates to the self, whether or not we have any innate qualities that are not a result of our environment, Megan discussed religion as it relates to metaphysics.
Overall, I think I definitely learned a lot from hearing other people’s thoughts about metaphysics and their own questions and speculation on the topic! Metaphysics is one of those topics where you can’t really “prove” anything beyond a reasonable doubt.