On 7/21/2010 4:12 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
On 20 Jul 2010, at 12:43, Allen Rex wrote:
On Sun, Jul 18, 2010 at 4:01 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be>
Are you saying that the book provides evidences that we are not Turing
As far as I know, Cooper doesn’t state his position on this question.
Or that the prime character of the number 17 evolves in time/space?
So I don’t think this part of the debate is going too far. I’m
primarily interested in defending my position.
I’m not as interested in defending Cooper’s position. :)
If I remember well, your position is that consciousness is the
I tend to appreciate that (religious) position, and I think mechanism
somehow can give credit to such a view, or to a rather related view.
We have already talked about that. The TOE is given by the elementary
arithmetic, or the SK combinators, or any universal system. We could
take a universal unitary transformation, but this would prevent the
simultaneous derivation of a theory of qualia with the quanta (given
that the quanta have to be first person sharable qualia, like with
However, I will quote the passages that made me think he was probably
not in sympathy with your views. Also, see the quotes in my initial
response to Brent.
"Today, in the general drift of scientific thought, logic is treated
as though it were a central stillness. Although there is ambiguity in
current attitudes, for the most part the laws of logic are still taken
as fixed and absolute, much as they were for Aristotle. Contemporary
theories of scientific methodology are logicocentric. Logic is seen
common as an immutable, universeal, meatscientific framework for the
sciences as for personal knowledge. Biological evolution is
acknowledged, but it accorded only an ancillary role as a sort of
biospheric police force whose duty it is to enforce the lgoical law
among the recalcitrant. Logical obedience is rewarded and
disobedience punished by natural selection, it is thought. [...]
Comfortable as that mindset may be, I believe I am not alone in
suspecting that it has things backward. There is a different, more
biocentric perspective to be considered. In the alternative scheme of
things, logic is not the central stillness. The principles of
reasoning are neither fixed, absolute, independent, nor elemental. If
anything it is the evolutionary dynamic that is elemental. Evolution
is not the law enforcer, but the law giver.
The Principles of pure Reason, however pure an impression they may
give, are in the final analysis propositions about evolutionary
processes. Rules of reason evolve out of evolutionary law and nothing
else. Logic is a life science.
‘How do humans manage to reason?’ Since the form of this question is
the same as that of the first, it would be natural to attack it in a
similar two-pronged fashion. One part of the answer, with might
naturally be placed at the beginning of a treatise on the question,
would consist of logical theory. the different kinds of logic -
deductive, inductive, mathematical, etc. - would be expounded and
derived from first principles, perhaps in the form of axiomatizations
of the various logical calculi. These ideal systems would be taken to
define the rules of correct reasoning. The explanation of how humans
evolved in ways that exploit these principles would come later on.
The stages of adaptation to the rules of logic would be discussed,
including some consideration of how well or poorly the human mind
succeeds at implementing the fundamental logical principles set forth
in the first part. [...] There would again be two parts to the
exposition, a first part explaining the laws of logic and a second the
laws of evolution. All this seems, on the surface at least, in good
analogy with the explanation of bird flight.
What the Reducibility Thesis proposes is that it is a *false* analogy.
There are no separable laws of logic. It is tempting to think of the
power of reasoning as an adaptation to separate principles of logic,
just as flying is an adaptation to separate laws of aerodynamcis. The
temptation should be resisted."
"logic" is a confusing term. Informally "non logic" = error, madness,
To fight against logic is dramatic when you see how people accept so
easily conclusion of invalid inference (like in the political health
Cooper seems unaware of the branch of math called logic, which
illustrates that there is many logics. There is almost as much logic
as they are mathematical structures.
Then classical logic is the most simple and polite logic to describe
all those different logics.
Cooper is well aware of that. But he proposes non-classical logics
different from modal extensions.
SO...taken with the quotes I provided in my initial response to Brent,
how friendly do you think he sounds to your position?
I think he sounds friendlier to mine!
Cooper's position is non sense. I'm afraid. He is the one stuck on
He is interested in logic as a component of reason, by which he means
decision theory as well as inference. But he notes that decision theory
needs to be expanded to consider temporal relations. He proposes to
extend logic by finding evolutionarily stable logics. His program is
fairly radical - not at all stuck in classical logic.
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