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Evolutionary Psychology

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Posts

  • MorninglordMorninglord Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    MrMister wrote: »
    I mean, there's also the problem of people's intuitive definition of free will being nonsensical (not just philosophical formulations). The whole thing drives me nuts, especially when I see otherwise sensible analytic philosophers flipping out over it.

    The dominant position in contemporary analytic philosophy is compatibilism, aka the notion that free will and determinism are not mutually exclusive.

    I'm actually struggling with why this position is not fundamentally incoherent at the moment.

    Part of it is probably unfamiliarity with philisophical language, but I cannot see how an agent can be both causally influenced and then, at the very moment of choice, suddenly free.

    My Dark Souls 2 Diary Day 6 and 7 Updated
    (PSN: Morninglord) (Steam: Morninglord) I like to record and toss up a lot of random gaming videos here.
  • Chake99Chake99 Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I'm actually struggling with why this position is not fundamentally incoherent at the moment.

    Part of it is probably unfamiliarity with philisophical language, but I cannot see how an agent can be both causally influenced and then, at the very moment of choice, suddenly free.

    My understanding:

    With soft compatibilism (which is the only sort that makes sense) it comes down to the definition of 'free will.'

    The position is definitions of free will are basically A) either meaningless and/or incoherent or B) compatible with determinism (i.e. decisions made with "free will" are decisions made within a requisitely complex intellectual framework)

    Then there is the assertion that some definition of 'free will' belonging to the second category should be chosen. Because it is coherent, it conserves much of our intuitive understanding of decisions, and because it allows us to continue many of the discussions which assume the existence of some form of free will (e.g. crime and punishment)

    Hic Rhodus, Hic Salta.
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Most of our moral systems and all of our legal system is based around the idea of personal responsibility that only works if the individual is considered to have a choice.

    ...

    But I really hope that someone out there is thinking really hard about how to make a good moral system based on determinism that actually works and isn't terribad because digging in the heels isn't going to work forever.

    Actually, I've been considering making a thread on this for a while based on one compatibilist notion.

    I just don't feel like I have the firepower to battle a few possible counterarguments.

    Also, much <3 to Shivahn and MrMister and EM during this thread.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • MrMisterMrMister Valuing scholarship above all elseRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Part of it is probably unfamiliarity with philisophical language, but I cannot see how an agent can be both causally influenced and then, at the very moment of choice, suddenly free.

    The compatibilist takes freedom to not be mutually exclusive with being subject to causal influence. Which is just to say that we are always causally influenced, because determinism is true (or might as well be), but that doesn't mean that we aren't also free at the same time.

    also, <3 right back at Feral

  • MorninglordMorninglord Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    MrMister wrote: »
    Part of it is probably unfamiliarity with philisophical language, but I cannot see how an agent can be both causally influenced and then, at the very moment of choice, suddenly free.

    The compatibilist takes freedom to not be mutually exclusive with being subject to causal influence. Which is just to say that we are always causally influenced, because determinism is true (or might as well be), but that doesn't mean that we aren't also free at the same time.

    also, <3 right back at Feral

    I know this definition, and it is the one I'm having problems with.

    My Dark Souls 2 Diary Day 6 and 7 Updated
    (PSN: Morninglord) (Steam: Morninglord) I like to record and toss up a lot of random gaming videos here.
  • Chake99Chake99 Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    For it to work, "free" is given some definition other than "uncaused." The wikipedia page has more information.

    Hic Rhodus, Hic Salta.
  • MorninglordMorninglord Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Just for reference, I'm struggling with it because I'm doing an essay on motivation.

    Assume I have a higher level of functional understanding than I normally have on philisophical topics, ie I know the typical definitions.
    I'm having problems with the underlying conceptual meanings of these words. They're not always laid out clearly in the readings I have looked at.

    Although I have to say one of my favourite arguments against the traditional free will argument (not relevant here) was this pair of lines. "In my life so far I have never known a single event to lack an explanation in the fundamental sense, and no doubt your life has been the same. No spoon has mysteriously levitated at breakfast."

    I suspect because this was the only clear and lucid line in that entire paper that I could easily comprehend.
    I lolled.

    My Dark Souls 2 Diary Day 6 and 7 Updated
    (PSN: Morninglord) (Steam: Morninglord) I like to record and toss up a lot of random gaming videos here.
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    MrMister wrote: »
    Part of it is probably unfamiliarity with philisophical language, but I cannot see how an agent can be both causally influenced and then, at the very moment of choice, suddenly free.

    The compatibilist takes freedom to not be mutually exclusive with being subject to causal influence. Which is just to say that we are always causally influenced, because determinism is true (or might as well be), but that doesn't mean that we aren't also free at the same time.

    also, <3 right back at Feral

    I know this definition, and it is the one I'm having problems with.

    I can't speak for MrMister, but the discussons of compatibilism I'm sympathetic to focus on the definition of "free."

    Basically, to me the most coherent definition of "free" is "guided by intellectual thought (including moral principles)." We want to believe that if we think through a choice, we'll come to a rational/logical conclusion, and follow that conclusion. If you break down most layperson discussions of determinism, that's eventually where it falls - people don't want to feel like their actions are being caused by forces baser than thought such as emotion or instinct or raw hormones. It's not so much whether our behavior is determined by other causes, but which causes have dominance.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • LoserForHireXLoserForHireX Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Is the dominant position in physics (everyone's favorite science to reduce to!) that the world is deterministic? I thought that it was still a pretty hot issue in physics, what with some people thinking that Quantum Physics blows away the deterministic universe away while others (like Einstein, if I understand correctly) believing that while there may be an epistemic issue surrounding whether it is possible to ever be able to understand the universe deterministically, that it's not an ontological issue.

    I myself think that the universe isn't deterministic, but that's because I think that people are making a huge leap and asserting that there are facts in existence that cannot be known (nor their content be known). I think that Quantum Physics destroys the deterministic universe.

    Though I know far less about physics than most people hanging around this debate.

    "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give into it." - Oscar Wilde
    "We believe in the people and their 'wisdom' as if there was some special secret entrance to knowledge that barred to anyone who had ever learned anything." - Friedrich Nietzsche
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Is the dominant position in physics (everyone's favorite science to reduce to!) that the world is deterministic? I thought that it was still a pretty hot issue in physics, what with some people thinking that Quantum Physics blows away the deterministic universe away while others (like Einstein, if I understand correctly) believing that while there may be an epistemic issue surrounding whether it is possible to ever be able to understand the universe deterministically, that it's not an ontological issue.

    I myself think that the universe isn't deterministic, but that's because I think that people are making a huge leap and asserting that there are facts in existence that cannot be known (nor their content be known). I think that Quantum Physics destroys the deterministic universe.

    Though I know far less about physics than most people hanging around this debate.

    Even if the universe isn't deterministic at the quantum level, there's no reason to suspect that decision-making happens on the quantum level.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • HachfaceHachface Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    And even if decision-making is somehow influenced by random quantum events, is that really free will in the most radical definition of the term?

  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    WhatTheBleepDoWeKnow.jpg

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • LoserForHireXLoserForHireX Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Feral wrote: »
    WhatTheBleepDoWeKnow.jpg

    Oh god is this a terrible terrible terrible movie of terrible terribleness.

    I don't think that the universe is deterministic on any level. Now, I'm used to philosophical language here, so I'm used to deterministic meaning "with knowledge of the the state of the universe at time t and the laws of nature the state of the universe at time t1 can be deduced."

    Some people quibble with the epistemic condition, saying that no one could ever have that knowledge, but to them I say "then what reason do you have to think that such knowledge exists?"

    If the universe isn't deterministic it doesn't destroy causality, it just makes things influences on decisions, which really anyone is fine with.

    "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give into it." - Oscar Wilde
    "We believe in the people and their 'wisdom' as if there was some special secret entrance to knowledge that barred to anyone who had ever learned anything." - Friedrich Nietzsche
  • MorninglordMorninglord Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Feral wrote: »
    MrMister wrote: »
    Part of it is probably unfamiliarity with philisophical language, but I cannot see how an agent can be both causally influenced and then, at the very moment of choice, suddenly free.

    The compatibilist takes freedom to not be mutually exclusive with being subject to causal influence. Which is just to say that we are always causally influenced, because determinism is true (or might as well be), but that doesn't mean that we aren't also free at the same time.

    also, <3 right back at Feral

    I know this definition, and it is the one I'm having problems with.

    I can't speak for MrMister, but the discussons of compatibilism I'm sympathetic to focus on the definition of "free."

    Basically, to me the most coherent definition of "free" is "guided by intellectual thought (including moral principles)." We want to believe that if we think through a choice, we'll come to a rational/logical conclusion, and follow that conclusion. If you break down most layperson discussions of determinism, that's eventually where it falls - people don't want to feel like their actions are being caused by forces baser than thought such as emotion or instinct or raw hormones. It's not so much whether our behavior is determined by other causes, but which causes have dominance.

    Have you read any Maze? Specifically Maze, J. (1983) The meaning of behavior. London: Allen & Unwin.
    Chapters 1-3 are great shakedowns of teleological explanations, causal explanations and agency.
    The real meat of the book is chapter 6, where he gives an example of a possible causal mechanism for motivation that I do not personally feel I understand well enough to explain here. Suffice to say there isn't a peep of agency anywhere near it.

    My Dark Souls 2 Diary Day 6 and 7 Updated
    (PSN: Morninglord) (Steam: Morninglord) I like to record and toss up a lot of random gaming videos here.
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Have you read any Maze? Specifically Maze, J. (1983) The meaning of behavior. London: Allen & Unwin.
    Chapters 1-3 are great shakedowns of teleological explanations, causal explanations and agency.
    The real meat of the book is chapter 6, where he gives a causal mechanism for motivation that I do not personally feel I understand well enough to explain here.

    Haven't read it, but you have me intrigued, sir.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • MorninglordMorninglord Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I personally think that it's a great idea but necessarily incomplete given that nobody seems to accept causal explanations for motivations in psychology and so nobody really seems to be picking it up and running with it.

    It's definitely both doable and explicable based on what we know of neurophysiology. I think it's a pretty damn cool idea.

    Come to think about it, you'd probably need to read chapter 4 as well before you hit up 6.

    My Dark Souls 2 Diary Day 6 and 7 Updated
    (PSN: Morninglord) (Steam: Morninglord) I like to record and toss up a lot of random gaming videos here.
  • Chake99Chake99 Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Is the dominant position in physics (everyone's favorite science to reduce to!) that the world is deterministic?

    As I'm aware: The dominant position is that it is impossible to know. There are interpretation of quantum physics that maintain determinism (or causality) and are known as hidden variable theories. They (e.g. bohmian mechanics) are able to predict all the observations of quantum theory, but do so while positing the existence of hidden environmental variables (which we cannot measure) in order to maintain causality. Such theories also violate the principle of locality.

    Shrodinger's cat was originally given as a defense of this sort of 'deterministic' thinking. I.E. hidden variables must exist because the idea that the cat is both alive and dead is ridiculous.

    Quantum physics as it stands however does tend to suggest an indeterministic universe - indetermistic explanations for quantum physics are significantly more conceptually parsimonious.

    That said, what that means in terms of free will is also an interesting question. If the universe is guided by quantum randomness do we really have free will in the colloquial sense? If whether I decide to eat chocolate or vanilla ice cream comes down to a random determination of whether an electron is or isn't in a certain region of space in my brain (yes, that's not quite how it works) it is difficult to see how any sort of free choice was made that is more 'meaninful' than a deterministic 'free' choice.

    And one can still end up going back to the compatibilist definition of free will cause its just so much more sexy.

    Hic Rhodus, Hic Salta.
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    nobody seems to accept causal explanations for motivations in psychology.

    what?

    You're gonna have to explain what "causal" means in this sentence.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • MorninglordMorninglord Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Feral wrote: »
    nobody seems to accept causal explanations for motivations in psychology.

    what?

    You're gonna have to explain what "causal" means in this sentence.

    Most psychologists seem to run with an agent centric explanation of motivation, which describes behavior in the form A did B because A intended/desired/needed to bring about X. Another common form is that A performed B because A was orientated towards a goal, which is the same argument in different words.

    This is a teleological argument, because X is doing double duty as effect and cause.

    Many psychologists will try to place the motivational concept in the form of a belief or cognition about behavior, but cognitions and beliefs are policy neutral. They cannot cause behavior. Wether or not A believes that performing B will bring about X has no bearing on wether or not X will occur.

    It's either a teleological argument (ruh roh) or a belief is being incorrectly labelled as causal.

    A third argument that seems to be implicitly believed in by many theorists is that 1). agency is necessary and 2). that agency being necessary suffices as an explanation because an agent can be said to "intend, desire, need, have purpose or orient towards goals". (Whoops is that a circle?)
    They don't provide very much proof of why though and just kind of trot out the standard arguments such as "causal mechanisms seem different in people than physical mechanisms" and so on.
    The trouble is, agency is not an explanation, it's merely a redescription of the problem. You can strip agency out of a great many psychological theories and you are left with something you can conceivably rehabilitate by positing a decent causal mechanism, such as Maze has done with his drives. So agency is considered necessary when in reality it's irrelevant.

    I mean I'm sure many psychologists believe they are positing causal explanations. It's just that if they really want to run with that, they need to take a good hard look at what they are actually damn well saying.

    Social psychology and cognitive psychology are basically stuffed to the gills with papers whose authors clearly have no idea what the folk psychological terms they are using to back up their arguments actually mean and are babbling on about agency, intentions, causes and so on without realising they are frequently contradicting themselves and repeating historical mistakes philosophy figured out ages ago.

    Yay for scientism! Who needs logical analysis when you can just scramble around measuring stuff!

    *grumble grumble*

    My Dark Souls 2 Diary Day 6 and 7 Updated
    (PSN: Morninglord) (Steam: Morninglord) I like to record and toss up a lot of random gaming videos here.
  • surrealitychecksurrealitycheck you must go on i cant go on ill go onRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    As I'm aware: The dominant position is that it is impossible to know. There are interpretation of quantum physics that maintain determinism (or causality) and are known as hidden variable theories. They (e.g. bohmian mechanics) are able to predict all the observations of quantum theory, but do so while positing the existence of hidden environmental variables (which we cannot measure) in order to maintain causality. Such theories also violate the principle of locality.

    Most hidden variable theories have more subtle problems - and none are really taken seriously. In fact I believe recently several of them were actually ruled out by a series of rather ingenious experiments!

    The position that QM events are non-deterministic is pretty safe, I think.

    But then again, this version of free will was tried (with infamous failure) by Roger Penrose :(

    A man controlled by unpredictable dice is no more free than one controlled by anything else.
    Basically, to me the most coherent definition of "free" is "guided by intellectual thought (including moral principles)." We want to believe that if we think through a choice, we'll come to a rational/logical conclusion, and follow that conclusion. If you break down most layperson discussions of determinism, that's eventually where it falls - people don't want to feel like their actions are being caused by forces baser than thought such as emotion or instinct or raw hormones. It's not so much whether our behavior is determined by other causes, but which causes have dominance.

    I dunno, people tend to reject intuitively any definition of free will that is simple deduction and rejects "feelings".

    obF2Wuw.png
  • ArchArch HELLO YES THIS IS BUG Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Shivahn wrote: »
    jothki wrote: »
    I remember seeing that baby macaques play with their "gender-appropriate" toys for longer when they are, er, appropriate. IE female babies played with dolls for longer than male dolls, and vice versa with trucks. Think it was Simon Baron-Cohen though, so not sure how long ago it was.

    Which is probably a significant flaw right there. How is someone supposed to know what a truck is and how it would be played with without anyone explaining it to them? And once you introduce instruction into the matter, you introduce the biases of the instructors.

    You can just drop the toy in without doing anything. But unless the observer is not actually present, there's going to be feedback. People spend more time with male than female babies, for example, without realizing that they're doing it.

    This, to me, seems ridiculous and I will explain why.

    MrMister (and feral) posted this earlier in the thread, and it contains some very interesting things, at least to me.
    The SEP wrote:
    In a recent presentation of evolutionary psychology's theoretical tenets Tooby and Cosmides provide the following list (2005):
    Spoiler:

    I take serious issue with number 4 on this list, and it is the biggest "flaw" I see in the arguments concerning this science. Number 4 ALSO explains my problem with the "gender-appropriate" toy question (besides the terrible phrasing of that statement).

    IF the cognitive programs of the human brain are still "adapted" to the ancestral environment, how then does a brain instinctively carry a schema for gender constructs before those things are made apparent by society? Not specifically "men hunt women make babby" but things like playing with trucks versus dolls, liking blue versus pink, and other such constructs. The problem with this question is that the REAL question it is examining is NOT simply "are there evolutionary roots for gender constructs?" but rather "Is there some inherent gender essence in certain objects, that humans and other animals can inherently pick up on?"

    That is: they are actually investigating the inherent "maleness" of gender-appropriate toys. There is no way the "ancestral human" could have evolved some sort of instinctive response to a truck (using the argument in number four on the list above) given that (as Melkster also pointed out with his train example) trucks didn't exist in the ancestral environment.

    Which brings me to my OTHER criticism, which again draws from number four above.

    Firstly, we cannot conclusive determine the behaviors and society of our ancestral state, and thus claiming any behavior was adaptive in that context in is an argument in futility. Not only that, but to which ancestral state are they referring to? Do they mean the rise of H. sapiens around 50,000 years ago? Do they mean the EMERGENCE of archaic H. sapiens around 400,000 years ago? Do they mean Homo erectus from around two MILLION years ago?

    Not only that- but once you have that ironed out (say you chose the first, and are giving it a VERY liberal date, 50,000 years ago) are you then making the claim that number four seems to imply- that certain traits that WERE adaptive a half a million years ago, but are no longer adaptive are still around? Are you claiming that the 10,000 (at minimum) that we have had a cohesive culture was not enough time to evolve away certain behaviors? To put it in semi-reductionist terms= Use it or lose it. (Not entirely accurate in the light of evolutionary mechanisms, but still applicable)

    Because, in that light it seems to me that evolutionary psychology is attempting to explain vestigial behavior patterns. To me, it is an attempt to explain and validate the psychological appendix.

    Also To ego- yes my answer was DECIDEDLY snarky. I realize you did not mention the triune brain at all. However, you cited information from the book and presented it in debate. I am not trying to discredit Sagan (as there is no way I can) but the ideas in that particular book are extremely dated, as I pointed out. Which you would have realized had you done additional reading on it.

  • Chake99Chake99 Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    As I'm aware: The dominant position is that it is impossible to know. There are interpretation of quantum physics that maintain determinism (or causality) and are known as hidden variable theories. They (e.g. bohmian mechanics) are able to predict all the observations of quantum theory, but do so while positing the existence of hidden environmental variables (which we cannot measure) in order to maintain causality. Such theories also violate the principle of locality.

    Most hidden variable theories have more subtle problems - and none are really taken seriously. In fact I believe recently several of them were actually ruled out by a series of rather ingenious experiments!

    The position that QM events are non-deterministic is pretty safe, I think.

    My understanding is that all local hidden variable theories have been dismissed - but that later non-local ones work. They aren't taken seriously because they are bad science : i.e. the only differences between them and conventional quantum mechanics are 'metaphysical' (cannot be measured) and their greater complexity would require a greater burden of evidence.

    The position that QM events are non-deterministic is stronger scientifically, but determinism remains a possibility.

    Hic Rhodus, Hic Salta.
  • surrealitychecksurrealitycheck you must go on i cant go on ill go onRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    That is: they are actually investigating the inherent "maleness" of gender-appropriate toys. There is no way the "ancestral human" could have evolved some sort of instinctive response to a truck (using the argument in number four on the list above) given that (as Melkster also pointed out with his train example) trucks didn't exist in the ancestral environment.

    No, but he could have evolved an instinctive response to "things-that-are-like-people", and "things-that-are-like-tools". The point of the Baron-Cohen study was, I think, one about the tendency to enjoy systematising versus the tendency to enjoy empathising.

    obF2Wuw.png
  • hippofanthippofant Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Arch wrote: »
    The SEP wrote:
    In a recent presentation of evolutionary psychology's theoretical tenets Tooby and Cosmides provide the following list (2005):
    Spoiler:

    I take serious issue with number 4 on this list, and it is the biggest "flaw" I see in the arguments concerning this science. Number 4 ALSO explains my problem with the "gender-appropriate" toy question (besides the terrible phrasing of that statement).

    I'd also take issue with #3; the idea that all such programs are adaptations is converse to how we understand evolution to work with physiological characteristics, where many are not adaptations but randomly phenotypes. There are non-adaptive traits, vestigial organs, genetic drift, etc.. Furthermore, it suggests a guiding intelligence for the evolution of cognitive traits, since apparently all of them are adaptations, they must initially generated as adaptations.

    Also, #5 seems to be rather unfounded. But the three statements together seem essential for supporting what they want to do, which is try to explain the existence of current cognitive traits via evolutionary mechanisms. Their individualities are determined by statement #5 so as to simplify the problem; the evolutionary link is determined by statement #3; and statement #4 roots these traits in the historical past, such that they can ignore the problems posed by the complexities of modern culture and society. They're statements of necessity, rather than statements of fact, which is, again, putting the cart before the horse and then just filling in the blanks with whatever's required to make their conclusions viable.

  • RasmusRasmus Registered User
    edited May 2010
    hippofant wrote: »
    Arch wrote: »
    The SEP wrote:
    In a recent presentation of evolutionary psychology's theoretical tenets Tooby and Cosmides provide the following list (2005):
    Spoiler:

    I take serious issue with number 4 on this list, and it is the biggest "flaw" I see in the arguments concerning this science. Number 4 ALSO explains my problem with the "gender-appropriate" toy question (besides the terrible phrasing of that statement).

    I'd also take issue with #3; the idea that all such programs are adaptations is converse to how we understand evolution to work with physiological characteristics, where many are not adaptations but randomly phenotypes. There are non-adaptive traits, vestigial organs, genetic drift, etc.. Furthermore, it suggests a guiding intelligence for the evolution of cognitive traits, since apparently all of them are adaptations, they must initially generated as adaptations.

    Also, #5 seems to be rather unfounded. But the three statements together seem essential for supporting what they want to do, which is try to explain the existence of current cognitive traits via evolutionary mechanisms. Their individualities are determined by statement #5 so as to simplify the problem; the evolutionary link is determined by statement #3; and statement #4 roots these traits in the historical past, such that they can ignore the problems posed by the complexities of modern culture and society. They're statements of necessity, rather than statements of fact, which is, again, putting the cart before the horse and then just filling in the blanks with whatever's required to make their conclusions viable.

    The "the brain is a computer!"-analogy by itself is bad enough to be honest, and opens up a very big can of worms.

  • MorninglordMorninglord Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    The brain is a computer is actually solipsism. Computers are representationalist. Most cognitive theories are representationalist and assume people "decode encoded representations". Essentially there is a representation between you and the world and you somehow extract the information out of it.

    Knower -> Encoded Mental Representation -> World

    Knower decodes Mental Representation of the World

    The question is, obviously, how the fuck does this knower manage to decode that information without already having knowledge of the world?

    You can't just crack a code out of nothing. You have to already know something about the world.

    If you absolutely claim that you can't know anything about the world and are magically decoding internal representations, then you are a solipsist and are completely trapped in your own head. Locked in the same cage as Locke.

    The best "I haven't thought about this very clearly but believe it anyway" argument is that computers manage to deal with the world despite being representationalist.

    No they don't dumbasses we put information in them they don't generate it from scratch

    My Dark Souls 2 Diary Day 6 and 7 Updated
    (PSN: Morninglord) (Steam: Morninglord) I like to record and toss up a lot of random gaming videos here.
  • surrealitychecksurrealitycheck you must go on i cant go on ill go onRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    The brain is a computer is actually solipsism.

    Depends what you mean by computer.
    Most cognitive theories are representationalist and assume people "decode encoded representations". Essentially there is a representation between you and the world and you somehow extract the information out of it.

    That is because they are almost all implicitly dualist, and they do this by passing the problem of consciousness and understanding further up the chain and focusing on their little module :<

    obF2Wuw.png
  • MorninglordMorninglord Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    The brain is a computer is actually solipsism.

    Depends what you mean by computer.
    Most cognitive theories are representationalist and assume people "decode encoded representations". Essentially there is a representation between you and the world and you somehow extract the information out of it.

    That is because they are almost all implicitly dualist, and they do this by passing the problem of consciousness and understanding further up the chain and focusing on their little module :<

    No it doesn't mean what you mean by computer, at all. All computers are representationalist.

    End of story.

    Else they're a calculator. Nobody argues people are calculators. They want to use information theory. That requires a certain conception of calculating device, which isn't an abacus.

    Also please do not quote certain lines within my argument out of context. It's an argument and it all links to each other. Some of your points were covered by other points.

    My Dark Souls 2 Diary Day 6 and 7 Updated
    (PSN: Morninglord) (Steam: Morninglord) I like to record and toss up a lot of random gaming videos here.
  • hippofanthippofant Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Rasmus wrote: »
    hippofant wrote: »
    Arch wrote: »
    The SEP wrote:
    In a recent presentation of evolutionary psychology's theoretical tenets Tooby and Cosmides provide the following list (2005):
    Spoiler:

    I take serious issue with number 4 on this list, and it is the biggest "flaw" I see in the arguments concerning this science. Number 4 ALSO explains my problem with the "gender-appropriate" toy question (besides the terrible phrasing of that statement).

    I'd also take issue with #3; the idea that all such programs are adaptations is converse to how we understand evolution to work with physiological characteristics, where many are not adaptations but randomly phenotypes. There are non-adaptive traits, vestigial organs, genetic drift, etc.. Furthermore, it suggests a guiding intelligence for the evolution of cognitive traits, since apparently all of them are adaptations, they must initially generated as adaptations.

    Also, #5 seems to be rather unfounded. But the three statements together seem essential for supporting what they want to do, which is try to explain the existence of current cognitive traits via evolutionary mechanisms. Their individualities are determined by statement #5 so as to simplify the problem; the evolutionary link is determined by statement #3; and statement #4 roots these traits in the historical past, such that they can ignore the problems posed by the complexities of modern culture and society. They're statements of necessity, rather than statements of fact, which is, again, putting the cart before the horse and then just filling in the blanks with whatever's required to make their conclusions viable.

    The "the brain is a computer!"-analogy by itself is bad enough to be honest, and opens up a very big can of worms.

    /installs Windows Vista on Rasmus

  • MorninglordMorninglord Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    If cognitive science is to be believed we obviously all run Windows Me.


    Gettit.

    gettit.

    im funny

    not really...

    My Dark Souls 2 Diary Day 6 and 7 Updated
    (PSN: Morninglord) (Steam: Morninglord) I like to record and toss up a lot of random gaming videos here.
  • surrealitychecksurrealitycheck you must go on i cant go on ill go onRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    No it doesn't mean what you mean by computer, at all. All computers are representationalist.

    Why do you believe this?
    /installs Windows Vista on Rasmus

    Oh man don't even REMIND me

    obF2Wuw.png
  • MorninglordMorninglord Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    No it doesn't mean what you mean by computer, at all. All computers are representationalist.

    Why do you believe this?

    Do computers represent information on the hdd that they use to interact with the world?

    Or do they interact with the world without storing any information? Not a pc here, that's just a glorified word processor. It's visual recognition systems and such that are referred to when psychologists argue about these things.

    I believe this because I did most of a course in computer science with a particular focus on information systems before I started doing psychology.

    I've never thought the computer analogy was anything but retarded.

    My Dark Souls 2 Diary Day 6 and 7 Updated
    (PSN: Morninglord) (Steam: Morninglord) I like to record and toss up a lot of random gaming videos here.
  • surrealitychecksurrealitycheck you must go on i cant go on ill go onRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Oh I see what you mean, in that sense. I thought you meant that (no computer system, including a neural network) could simulate the operation of a brain.

    EDIT: Was speedreading and had a bad Searle flashback

    obF2Wuw.png
  • MorninglordMorninglord Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Simulating neural connections isn't anything I have a problem with. Simulating something isn't the same as wanting to use information theory.

    I have a specific problem with a specific kind of cognitive theory.

    My Dark Souls 2 Diary Day 6 and 7 Updated
    (PSN: Morninglord) (Steam: Morninglord) I like to record and toss up a lot of random gaming videos here.
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    If cognitive science is to be believed we obviously all run Windows Me.


    Gettit.

    gettit.

    im funny

    not really...

    The brain is a piece of crap that constantly crashes?

  • surrealitychecksurrealitycheck you must go on i cant go on ill go onRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Nono I'm completely on board with the idea that a computer with Von Neumann structure is not good as a brain analogue.

    obF2Wuw.png
  • hippofanthippofant Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Couscous wrote: »
    If cognitive science is to be believed we obviously all run Windows Me.


    Gettit.

    gettit.

    im funny

    not really...

    The brain is a piece of crap that constantly crashes?

    I thought the joke was "Me" not "ME".

    And man, I had no problems with Windows ME at all. In fact, I remember it fondly for having a green theme as opposed to same ol' blue.

  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Couscous wrote: »
    If cognitive science is to be believed we obviously all run Windows Me.


    Gettit.

    gettit.

    im funny

    not really...

    The brain is a piece of crap that constantly crashes?

    Well...yes?

  • hippofanthippofant Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    Couscous wrote: »
    If cognitive science is to be believed we obviously all run Windows Me.


    Gettit.

    gettit.

    im funny

    not really...

    The brain is a piece of crap that constantly crashes?

    Well...yes?

    Are you rebooting every 24 hours? That should prevent crashing, even though it does take 8 hours to boot up.

  • MorninglordMorninglord Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Couscous wrote: »
    If cognitive science is to be believed we obviously all run Windows Me.


    Gettit.

    gettit.

    im funny

    not really...

    The brain is a piece of crap that constantly crashes?

    You didn't get it.
    Spoiler:

    My Dark Souls 2 Diary Day 6 and 7 Updated
    (PSN: Morninglord) (Steam: Morninglord) I like to record and toss up a lot of random gaming videos here.
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