Tuesday, July 24, 2018

My New Book in Draft

Working title:

Jerks, Zombie Robots, and Other Philosophical Misadventures

[former working title: How to Be a Crazy Philosopher]

The book is composed of several dozen blog posts and popular articles, on philosophy, psychology, culture, and technology, updated and revised, selected from eleven hundred I published between 2006 and 2018.

The full draft is available here.

I will be revising it for the rest of the summer and into the fall, so feedback is appreciated! In addition to the usual content-level feedback, I also welcome feedback on: (a) alternative possible titles, (b) posts or articles that I should have included but didn't, (c) posts or articles that aren't up to the quality of the others and should be cut.

The book is divided into 61 chapters in 5 parts. Every chapter is free standing. No need to read them in order.

[a haphazard sample of the stacks of books in my office, consulted during revision]

Table of Contents:

Part One: Moral Psychology

1. A Theory of Jerks
2. Forgetting as an Unwitting Confession of Your Values
3. The Happy Coincidence Defense and The-Most-I-Can-Do Sweet Spot
4. Cheeseburger Ethics (or How Often Do Ethicists Call Their Mothers?)
5. On Not Seeking Pleasure Much
6. How Much Should You Care about How You Feel in Your Dreams?
7. Imagining Yourself in Another’s Shoes vs. Extending Your Love
8. Aiming for Moral Mediocrity
9. A Theory of Hypocrisy
10. On Not Distinguishing Too Finely Among Your Motivations
11. The Mush of Normativity
12. A Moral Dunning-Kruger Effect?
13. The Moral Compass and the Liberal Ideal in Moral Education

Part Two: Technology

14. Should Your Driverless Car Kill You So Others May Live?
15. Cute AI and the ASIMO Problem
16. My Daughter’s Rented Eyes
17. Someday, Your Employer Will Technologically Control Your Moods
18. Cheerfully Suicidal AI Slaves
19. We Have Greater Moral Obligations to Robots Than to (Otherwise Similar) Humans
20. Our Moral Duties to Monsters
21. Our Possible Imminent Divinity
22. Skepticism, Godzilla, and the Artificial Computerized Many-Branching You
23. How to Accidentally Become a Zombie Robot

Part Three: Culture

24. Dreidel: A Seemingly Foolish Game That Contains the Moral World in Miniature
25. Does It Matter If the Passover Story Is Literally True?
26. Memories of My Father
27. Flying Free of the Deathbed, with Technological Help
28. Thoughts on Conjugal Love
29. Knowing What You Love
30. The Epistemic Status of Deathbed Regrets
31. Competing Perspectives on One’s Final, Dying Thought
32. Profanity Inflation, Profanity Migration, and the Paradox of Prohibition (or I Love You, “Fuck”)
33. The Legend of the Leaning Behaviorist
34. What Happens to Democracy When the Experts Can’t Be Both Factual and Balanced?
35. On the Morality of Hypotenuse Walking
36. Birthday Cake and a Chapel

Part Four: Consciousness and Cosmology

37. Possible Psychology of a Matrioshka Brain
38. A Two-Seater Homunculus
39. Is the United States Literally Conscious?
40. Might You Be a Cosmic Freak?
41. Penelope’s Guide to Defeating Time, Space, and Causation
42. Choosing to Be That Fellow Back Then: Voluntarism about Personal Identity
43. How Everything You Do Might Have Huge Cosmic Significance
44. Goldfish-Pool Immortality
45. How Big the Moon Is, According to One Three-Year-Old
46. Tononi’s Exclusion Postulate Would Make Consciousness (Nearly) Irrelevant
47. What’s in People’s Stream of Experience During Philosophy Talks?
48. The Paranoid Jeweler and the Sphere-Eye God
49. The Tyrant’s Headache

Part Five: The Psychology and Sociology of Philosophy

50. Truth, Dare, and Wonder
51. Trusting Your Sense of Fun
52. Why Metaphysics Is Always Bizarre
53. The Philosopher of Hair
54. Kant on Killing Bastards, Masturbation, Organ Donation, Homosexuality, Tyrants, Wives, and Servants
55. Obfuscatory Philosophy as Intellectual Authoritarianism and Cowardice
56. Nazi Philosophers, World War I, and the Grand Wisdom Hypothesis
57. Against Charity in the History of Philosophy
58. Invisible Revisions
59. On Being Good at Seeming Smart
60. Blogging and Philosophical Cognition, or Why Blogging Is the Ideal Form of Philosophy!!! :-)
61. Will Future Generations Find Us Morally Loathsome?


Philebus said...

The .doc and PDF links don't work!

Arnold said...

Change--Part Four: Consciousness and Cosmology to--Part Four: Cosmology and...

That Cosmology's post modern all encompassing academic Meaning now is...
...the human intention toward observation of experience...

This suggestion is from a retired esoterically inclined person; I often checks encyclopedic and dictionary meanings of words, to see what, why and how their usages change in our daily lives...consciousness, awareness, mindfulness are pretty much just topics today...

Also, I hope you find an editor who appreciates and promotes your sense of humor through out this new book...

Eric Schwitzgebel said...

Philebus: Odd. They work for me (on a different computer in Luxembourg right now) -- but they are large files. Maybe that's the problem.

Unknown: Thanks for the comment and well-wishes!