On 18/08/07, [EMAIL PROTECTED] <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote: > > Objective values are NOT specifications of what agents SHOULD do. > They are simply explanatory principles. The analogy here is with the > laws of physics. The laws of physics *per se* are NOT descriptions of > future states of matter. The descriptions of the future states of > matter are *implied by* the laws of physics, but the laws of physics > themselves are not the descriptions. You don't need to specify future > states of matter to understand the laws of physics. By analogy, the > objective laws of morality are NOT specifications of optimization > targets. These specifications are *implied by the laws* of morality, > but you can understand the laws of morality well without any knowledge > of optimization targets. > > Thus it simply isn't true that you need to precisely specify an > optimization target ( a 'goal') for an effective agent (for instance > an AI). Again, consider the analogy with the laws of physics. > Imperfect knowledge of the laws of physics, doesn't prevent scientists > from building scientific tools to better understand the laws of > physics. This is because the laws of physics are explanatory > principles, NOT direct specifications of future states of matter. > Similarly, an agent (for instance an AI) does not require a precisely > specified goal , since imperfect knowledge of objective laws of > morality is sufficient to produce behaviour which leads to more > accurate knowledge. Again, the objective laws of morality are NOT > optimization targets, but explanatory principles. > > The other claim of the objective value sceptics was that proposed > objective values can't be empirically tested. Wrong. Again, the > misunderstanding stems from the mistaken idea that objective values > would be optimization targets. They are not. They are, as explained, > explanatory principles. And these principles CAN be tested. The test > is the extent to which these principles can be used to understand > agent motivations - in the sense of emotional reactions to social > events. If an agent experiences a negative emotional reaction, mark > the event as 'agent sees it as bad'. If an agent experience a > positive emotional reaction, mark the event as 'agent sees it as > good'. Different agents have different emotional reactions to the > same event, but that doesn't mean there isn't a commonality averaged > across many events and agents . A successful 'theory of objective > values' would abstract out this commonality to explain why agents > experienced generic negative or positive emotions to generic events. > And this would be *indirectly* testable by empirical means.
This all makes sense if you are referring to the values of a particular entity. Objectively, the entity has certain values and we can use empirical means to determine what these values are. However, if I like red and you like blue, how do we decide which colour is objectively better? > Finally, the proof that objective values exist is quite simple. > Without them, there simply could be no explanation of agent > motivations. A complete physical description of an agent is NOT an > explanation of the agent's teleological properties (ie the agent > motivations). The teleological properties of agents (their goals and > motivations) simply are not physical. For sure, they are dependent on > and reside in physical processes, but they are not identical to these > physical processes. This is because physical causal processes are > concrete, where as teleological properties cannot be measured > *directly* with physical devices (they are abstract) . > > The whole basis of the scientific world view is that things have > objective explanations. Physical properties have objective > explanations (the laws of physics). Teleological properties (such as > agent motivations) are not identical to physical properties. > Something needs to explain these teleological properties. QED > objective 'laws of teleology' (objective values) have to exist. You could make a similar claim for the abstract quality "redness", which is associated with light of a certain wavelength but is not the same thing as it. But it doesn't seem right to me to consider "redness" as having a separate objective existence of its own; it's just a name we apply to a physical phenomenon. > What forms would objective values take? As explained, these would NOT > be 'optimization targets' (goals or rules of the form 'you should do > X'). They couldn't be, because ethical rules differ according to > culture and are made by humans. > > What they have to be are inert EXPLANATORY PRINCIPLES, taking the > form: 'Beauty has abstract properties A B C D E F G'. 'Liberty has > abstract properties A B C D E F G' etc etc. None the less, as > explained, these abstract specifications would still be amenable to > indirect empirical testing to the extent that they could be used to > predict agent emotional reactions to social events. -- Stathis Papaioannou --~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~ You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED] To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED] For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---