10 December 2022

Of interest: an example of an AI's answer to a historico-philosophical question

Here's an example of a question I asked and the answer of the AI chatbot ChatGPT, which is free to try. This is impressive, particularly realizing that there really is no conscious or self-aware "mind" involved in the creation of this answer. (Which started appearing in less than 1 sec. and appeared at a fast, but not lightning speed... slower than what would be limited by bandwidth. It did take the computer on the other end a small, but appreciable, amount of time, to come up with this answer. 

Me: In what ways does the totalitarian ideology of Nazism distort the ideas of Hegel, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche?

ChatGPT: The totalitarian ideology of Nazism distorted the ideas of Hegel, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche in a number of ways. While all three philosophers had complex and evolving views on a wide range of philosophical topics, the Nazis selectively appropriated certain elements of their thought in order to support their own political agenda.

For example, the Nazis distorted Hegel's philosophy of history by interpreting it as a justification for their own aggressive expansionist policies. Hegel had argued that history is the story of the development of human consciousness, and that this development occurs through a series of dialectical conflicts and contradictions. The Nazis took this idea and twisted it to mean that their own aggressive expansion was the natural and inevitable outcome of historical progress.

Similarly, the Nazis distorted Schopenhauer's philosophy by selectively emphasizing his pessimistic view of human existence and his belief in the primacy of the will. While Schopenhauer had argued that human suffering is inevitable and that the only way to achieve happiness is to transcend our desires and will, the Nazis used this idea to justify their brutal and ruthless policies.

Finally, the Nazis distorted the philosophy of Nietzsche, who had argued that traditional moral values are oppressive and that individuals should strive to overcome them in order to become "supermen." While Nietzsche had rejected authoritarianism and the worship of power, the Nazis twisted his ideas to support their own ideology of racial superiority and the glorification of violence.

Overall, while the ideas of Hegel, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche were complex and nuanced, the Nazis selectively distorted and appropriated certain elements of their thought in order to support their own totalitarian ideology.

"If you want the present to be different from the past, study the past."
― Spinoza

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