Can You Live Forever?

I read the other day that Microsoft has plans to “resurrect” people from their “social data”. This resurrection would draw on such things as “images, voice data, social media posts, electronic messages, and written letters”, which would all be used…

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A Brief History of Hell

There is an interesting little connection between the Greek philosopher Aristotle’s account of the various reasons for immoral behaviour, and the Christian notion of Hell. Firstly, according to Aristotle, a moral action must be deliberately chosen, involving conscious knowledge of…

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Who Am I?

The other day I came across a book on Tibetan Buddhism and the topic of lucid dreaming. I’ve long been interested in Buddhism, primarily perhaps because it is a very philosophical religion, especially in relation to philosophy of mind, and…

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Are We Rational Beings?

One of my favourite novels is Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. It is a real doorstop of a tome – some 800 pages, though somehow it actually feels longer. If you don’t know it, it can perhaps best…

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Can a Machine Think?

Can a machine think? In his famous paper addressing this question, mathematician Alan Turing argued that if a machine could perform all the tasks that a human intellect could (and more), then why wouldn’t you consider this to be “thinking”?…

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