On Wed, Dec 21, 2005 at 04:07:28PM +0100, Bruno Marchal wrote:
> (*) Well, I'm certainly interested in that naming issue, and perhaps I 
> could ask you right now what expression do you find the less shocking:
> "Physics is derivable from machine psychology", or
> "Physics is derivable from machine theology"  ?
> 'course, you can put "computer science" or "number theory" instead of 
> machine psycho or theology, but then the reference to a soul or a 
> person is eliminated, and giving the current tendency of many scientist 
> to just eliminate the person from the possible object of rational 
> inquiry, I prefer to avoid it. Note that in "conscience and mechanism" 
> I have used the expression "theology", and in "computability, physics 
> and cognition", I have been asked to use "psychology" instead. I find 
> "theology" much more correct and honest, but then I realise 
> (empirically) that it it could seem too much shocking for some people 
> (especially the atheist). What do you think?
> I have already avoid "metaphysics" because it is confusing in the 
> metamathematical (Godelian) context, and also I'm in a country where 
> the word "metaphysics" already means "crackpot". Does the word 
> "theology" means "crackpot" in some country ? I don't think so, but 
> please tell me if you know about such practice.
> Bruno

My preference is for machine psychology. This is shocking enough, but
amerliorated by the prefix "machine". Theology, on the other hand does
not seem justified. In my mind, and I suspect for most people,
theology means the study of God. A study of atheism would probably be
included in this also, however, I fail to see what the study of the
limits to machine intelligence has to do with something as nebulous as


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A/Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 8308 3119 (mobile)
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