On 9/9/2011 11:35 AM, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:
On 06.09.2011 22:25 meekerdb said the following:
On 9/6/2011 12:43 PM, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:
I was talking about realism in a sense that universals exist (I am
not sure if this could be generalized for all things). My first
naive/crazy idea was that this could give some basis to produce
qualia related to notation. Neurons somehow distill universals from
things and report them.

On the other hand, if we are to write a program that should
classify objects, then this program should have some dictionary
with categories. That dictionary in some sense should exist.

Wouldn't those neural net face recognition programs be an example of
 this. They start out not knowing anyone's face. But then with
training they learn to recognize Brent and distinguish him from
Evgenii. Each instance of the Brent image is a little different from
the other instances but it assigned the same classification for
purposes of access or other action. In effect it has invented "Brent"
and "Evgenii" as universals. The 'dictionary' then exists as the
combined information of the program and memory. The persistent
patterns in memory are analogous to dictionary entries. The imaging
and actions provide the meaning of these entries.

I like more to take an example with a human being rather than with a name, so let me consider a term "a human being". So, after all a neural net is some map. It takes some visual, audio, tactile, etc. inputs, processes them and produces some token. What happens then? Presumably it puts this token to the dictionary that produces qualia for the homunculus in the brain (or whomever, this does not matter at this point). Now I would say that if that final qualia corresponded to "a human being" is the same in all brains, than this is realism. If different, then this is nominalism.


I don't think that's the distinction between realism and nominalism in their theory of universals. It's my understanding that the realist says that there really are human beings in an objective sense (where "objective" may really just refer to intersubjective agreement). While the nominalist says "human being" is just name we give to a category created arbitrarily and we could just as well have defined it as hairless bipeds and include ostriches and shaved kangaroos.


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