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Fragile Purposes


… “Fragile Purposes” abstracts from human cognition and evolution to the idea of minds and goal-directed systems at their most general. These essays serve the secondary purpose of explaining the author’s general approach to philosophy and the science of rationality, which is strongly informed by his work in AI.


  1. Belief in Intelligence
  2. Humans in Funny Suits
  3. Optimization and the Intelligence Explosion
  4. Ghosts in the Machine
  5. Artificial Addition
  6. Terminal Values and Instrumental Values
  7. Leaky Generalizations
  8. The Hidden Complexity of Wishes
  9. Anthropomorphic Optimism
  10. Lost Purposes