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Discuss philosophical concepts and moral issues.
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ruby sparks
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Post by ruby sparks » Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:37 pm

[quote=""plebian""]the more I think about the whole eliminativism thing, the more it strikes me that the flaw of recursive level error is damaging. The intentional stance is a strategy but so is the design stance. Neither are 'wrong', they are strategies. This matters because the physical stance is also a strategy and I see no good reason to privilege it especially considering it is essentially useless in most of the cases we want to apply it to regarding people.

I deliberately chose the functional/design stance for my statement because it is useful in exactly the context of the op. When we think of subsystems as they relate to a larger system, we are using a design stance or else we are using the wrong stance.

Discuss. :) [/quote]


I think one reason that the PS may be argued to deserve privilege is because it has been so successful, not only in the physical sciences, which have by and large preferred, and come to treat as almost an axiom or a paradigm, that things (and thus explanations) can be reduced to underlying physical processes, but also in the sciences as they relate to humans. I'm thinking of medical science. Were it not for taking a PS in those, how many treatments and cures would we have? When I go to the hospital, I WANT the doctors to take the PS, because it does seem to go to the core of the issue, and I WANT drugs that will affect my bodily physics (aka my chemo/biology).

I have a sneaking suspicion that science has got it largely right, albeit there may also be room for less reductionist approaches. My sneaking suspicion extends to viewing higher level stances as more ...chimeric (if that's a word)..more like chimera, illusions, to do with appearances only, insubstantial and not 'the actual state of affairs or processes'.

One area in which science has yet to really gain significant traction is psychology, and mental health.

One question is whether, in the future, reductionist approaches in this area are likely to be more successful than higher level or more emergent or holistic ones. The science-fan in me optimistically thinks yes.

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Post by plebian » Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:49 pm

[quote=""ruby sparks""]
plebian;673039 wrote:the more I think about the whole eliminativism thing, the more it strikes me that the flaw of recursive level error is damaging. The intentional stance is a strategy but so is the design stance. Neither are 'wrong', they are strategies. This matters because the physical stance is also a strategy and I see no good reason to privilege it especially considering it is essentially useless in most of the cases we want to apply it to regarding people.

I deliberately chose the functional/design stance for my statement because it is useful in exactly the context of the op. When we think of subsystems as they relate to a larger system, we are using a design stance or else we are using the wrong stance.

Discuss. :)

I think one reason that the PS may be argued to deserve privilege is because it has been so successful, not only in the physical sciences, which have by and large preferred, and come to treat as almost an axiom or a paradigm, that things (and thus explanations) can be reduced to underlying physical processes, but also in the sciences as they relate to humans.
[/QUOTE]
all the stances have been successful in equal measure within their own domains. Maybe there's a non-overlapping magesteria of sorts going on here.

I'm thinking of medical science. Were it not for taking a PS in those, how many treatments and cures would we have? When I go to the hospital, I WANT the doctors to take the PS, because it does seem to go to the core of the issue, and I WANT drugs that will affect my bodily physics (aka my chemo/biology).

I have a sneaking suspicion that science has got it largely right, albeit there may also be room for less reductionist approaches. My sneaking suspicion extends to viewing higher level stances as more ...chimeric (if that's a word)..more like chimera, illusions, to do with appearances only, insubstantial and not 'the actual state of affairs or processes'.

One area in which science has yet to really gain significant traction is psychology, and mental health.

One question is whether, in the future, reductionist approaches in this area are likely to be more successful than higher level or more emergent or holistic ones. The science-fan in me optimistically thinks yes.

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Post by ruby sparks » Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:02 pm

[quote=""plebian""]
all the stances have been successful in equal measure within their own domains. Maybe there's a non-overlapping magesteria of sorts going on here.[/quote]

Maybe. You might need to convince me that anything has been anywhere near as successful historically and currently as the PS. I'm not saying you're wrong and I don't have a trenchant or dogged position to defend.

I'm not a big fan of the NOMA thing. It tends to get put in the 'insubstantial/superficial' pigeon-hole for me, a lot of the time.

Interesting question/topic. Thanks to you (and sub) for posting. I hope I'm not adding to the seepage and drift away from..whatever sub's specific purpose for posting was.

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Post by plebian » Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:04 pm

[quote=""ruby sparks""]
plebian;673047 wrote: all the stances have been successful in equal measure within their own domains. Maybe there's a non-overlapping magesteria of sorts going on here.
Maybe. You might need to convince me that anything has been anywhere near as successful historically and currently as the PS.

I'm not a big fan of the NOMA thing.[/QUOTE]

Any linear system is a design stance model. Tell me engineering hasn't been successful. Gould's NOMA regarding religion is, well, regarding religion. I repurposed the term for strategic stance choice.

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Post by ruby sparks » Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:15 pm

[quote=""plebian""]
ruby sparks;673048 wrote:
plebian;673047 wrote: all the stances have been successful in equal measure within their own domains. Maybe there's a non-overlapping magesteria of sorts going on here.
Maybe. You might need to convince me that anything has been anywhere near as successful historically and currently as the PS.

I'm not a big fan of the NOMA thing.
Any linear system is a design stance model. Tell me engineering hasn't been successful. Gould's NOMA regarding religion is, well, regarding religion. I repurposed the term for strategic stance choice.[/QUOTE]

Speaking as a 'type of engineer' and someone who works with 'proper engineers', I would never tell you engineering hasn't been successful. As a mid-level stance which borrows from, leans on and is arguably heavily based on a lower level stance for its foundations, it doesn't give me as many 'issues'. My stance and my priorities are bottom-up, most of the time. :)

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Post by subsymbolic » Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:15 pm

[quote=""plebian""]the more I think about the whole eliminativism thing, the more it strikes me that the flaw of recursive level error is damaging. The intentional stance is a strategy but so is the design stance. Neither are 'wrong', they are strategies. This matters because the physical stance is also a strategy and I see no good reason to privilege it especially considering it is essentially useless in most of the cases we want to apply it to regarding people.

I deliberately chose the functional/design stance for my statement because it is useful in exactly the context of the op. When we think of subsystems as they relate to a larger system, we are using a design stance or else we are using the wrong stance.

Discuss. :) [/quote]

And from what stance should we look at the brain? When I say mind/brain I am deliberately reminding myself that they are the same, but different. The brain certainly is unaware of the mind and indeed everything else, it's been designed and honed by billennia of physical evolution and millennia of cultural evolution so that tending towards the lowest energy state delivers all the behaviour that keeps us alive and breeding in nature and the user illusions that delivers the behaviour that potentially transcends all that living and breeding so we can enjoy the illusion while pissing away our vast evolutionary advantage arguing the toss on a forum that doesn't even feature watches.

So lowest energy state it is. That, correct me if I'm wrong, is the design stance?

And I'm certainly not an eliminativist. I just recognise that while all stances are equal, some are more equal than others. If I could go back ten thousand years or so and stop the widespread adoption of folk psychology, I would. However, we've been invaded by the body snatchers and its way too late to escape from this local minima even if there is a global minima just across the search space of possible ways to be. It's too late to still the chattering monkey mind and all that.

Still, this might raise a wry smile:

http://idiotphilosophy.blogspot.co.uk/2 ... deans.html

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Post by ruby sparks » Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:20 pm

[quote=""subsymbolic""]The brain certainly is unaware of the mind and indeed everything else, it's been designed and honed by billennia of physical evolution and millennia of cultural evolution so that tending towards the lowest energy state delivers all the behaviour that keeps us alive and breeding in nature and the user illusions that delivers the behaviour that potentially transcends all that living and breeding so we can enjoy the illusion while pissing away our vast evolutionary advantage arguing the toss on a forum that doesn't even feature watches.[/quote]

Nicely put-together sentence there, and 9 out of 10 for getting this far without having mentioned watches.

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Post by subsymbolic » Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:30 pm

[quote=""ruby sparks""]
subsymbolic;673052 wrote:The brain certainly is unaware of the mind and indeed everything else, it's been designed and honed by billennia of physical evolution and millennia of cultural evolution so that tending towards the lowest energy state delivers all the behaviour that keeps us alive and breeding in nature and the user illusions that delivers the behaviour that potentially transcends all that living and breeding so we can enjoy the illusion while pissing away our vast evolutionary advantage arguing the toss on a forum that doesn't even feature watches.
Nicely put-together sentence there, and 9 out of 10 for getting this far without having mentioned watches.[/QUOTE]

I've probably been reading Flan O'Brian or that other guy. Either way I'm off to bed as tomorrow I intend to stay up and watch the dawn of a socialist utopia unfold on the telly while eating unwholesome snack food and drinking sweet coffee.

Or give up in disgust at about midnight...

Have a watch I just built out of crap:

Image

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Post by ruby sparks » Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:37 pm

And I thought Certina was a make of car. :(

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Post by ruby sparks » Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:48 pm

[quote=""subsymbolic""]..I'm off to bed as tomorrow I intend to stay up and watch the dawn of a socialist utopia unfold on the telly while eating unwholesome snack food and drinking sweet coffee.[/quote]

Come on Jeremy! I forgive you for the dodgy IRA stuff.

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Post by ruby sparks » Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:54 pm

By the way, have you ever read Manturana and Varela? Biologists, but they had theories that spread into cognition and so on. I only heard of them not long ago (I think they're flavour of the month in some ways, neglected since the '70's and all that spin) and I won't claim to fully understand what they're on about (not sure anyone really does) but they tried to find a new/different way of describing stuff, living stuff.

Some nice new words, such as the very sexy 'autopoeisis'. Well, new to me I mean.

Someone at another forum pointed me in their direction.

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Post by plebian » Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:37 pm

[quote=""subsymbolic""]
plebian;673039 wrote:the more I think about the whole eliminativism thing, the more it strikes me that the flaw of recursive level error is damaging. The intentional stance is a strategy but so is the design stance. Neither are 'wrong', they are strategies. This matters because the physical stance is also a strategy and I see no good reason to privilege it especially considering it is essentially useless in most of the cases we want to apply it to regarding people.

I deliberately chose the functional/design stance for my statement because it is useful in exactly the context of the op. When we think of subsystems as they relate to a larger system, we are using a design stance or else we are using the wrong stance.

Discuss. :)
And from what stance should we look at the brain? When I say mind/brain I am deliberately reminding myself that they are the same, but different. The brain certainly is unaware of the mind and indeed everything else, it's been designed and honed by billennia of physical evolution and millennia of cultural evolution so that tending towards the lowest energy state delivers all the behaviour that keeps us alive and breeding in nature and the user illusions that delivers the behaviour that potentially transcends all that living and breeding so we can enjoy the illusion while pissing away our vast evolutionary advantage arguing the toss on a forum that doesn't even feature watches.

So lowest energy state it is. That, correct me if I'm wrong, is the design stance?[/QUOTE]

Depends I guess. Do keep in mind that this isn't something I've deeply thought through. Yes though. When we look at system states and outputs, I think we are generally using the design stance. My point is that there is some clear benefit to using each stance appropriately and avoiding privileging a certain stance or worse, conflating two or more stances.

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Post by plebian » Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:40 pm

For example, saying the brain is designed to be right may be saying the same thing as seeking a lowest energy state. That would be useful if it could be demonstrated. And, I think it might be demonstrable.

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Post by subsymbolic » Thu Jun 08, 2017 6:26 am

Meaning just ain't in the head. Right or wrong are context dependent states. Check out Putnam 's twin earth or Demnett's wandering two bitser. There's no wrong or right at the level of energy states. Ponds don't end up flat in a search for truth.

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Post by subsymbolic » Thu Jun 08, 2017 6:29 am

[quote=""subsymbolic""]Meaning just ain't in the head. Right or wrong are context dependent states. Check out Putnam 's twin earth or Demnett's wandering two bitser. There's no wrong or right at the level of energy states. Ponds don't end up flat in a search for truth.[/quote]

Ooh, that's a good line!

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Post by plebian » Thu Jun 08, 2017 6:49 am

[quote=""subsymbolic""]Meaning just ain't in the head. Right or wrong are context dependent states. Check out Putnam 's twin earth or Demnett's wandering two bitser. There's no wrong or right at the level of energy states. Ponds don't end up flat in a search for truth.[/quote]

I didn't say anything about a search for truth. And the system has feedback loops which could make the lowest energy state be the one where it has predicted best.

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Post by ruby sparks » Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:31 am

[quote=""subsymbolic""]Meaning just ain't in the head. Right or wrong are context dependent states. Check out Putnam 's twin earth or Demnett's wandering two bitser. There's no wrong or right at the level of energy states. Ponds don't end up flat in a search for truth.[/quote]

This, incidentally, is a way of looking at stuff (living stuff) which Manturana and Varela got into, and partly why I mentioned them. I think, if I recall correctly, that they used the words gradients and tendencies towards equilibrium (which may well be similar or equivalent to 'lowest energy state'). So, using a very simple biological example, taking in nutrients, an organism automatically acts to restore biochemical equilibrium, because it is autopoietic (self-maintaining). We call it 'hungry'.

There's also an emphasis on the dialectic between an organism and its environment, which might fit nicely with externalism, amongst other things. They talk of 'structural coupling', 'societies of biological agents within one organism', 'embeddness' and 'bio-logic'.

Regarding your pond, I am also reminded of Douglas Adam's sentient puddle. Even though that analogy was originally applied to the fine-tuning argument.
Last edited by ruby sparks on Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:30 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by ruby sparks » Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:53 am

[quote=""plebian""]Depends I guess. Do keep in mind that this isn't something I've deeply thought through. Yes though. When we look at system states and outputs, I think we are generally using the design stance. My point is that there is some clear benefit to using each stance appropriately and avoiding privileging a certain stance or worse, conflating two or more stances.[/quote]

You guys use the stance thing a LOT. :)

I'm not offering a better lens, and I'm not saying the stances aren't useful, and I've been trying to use the same model in order to avoid speaking in a different language, but sometimes (and like you I haven't thought this through) if feels as if dividing things into various stances may be...artificial, especially if, as seems the case, you say we can't interoperably interchange them, or can only explain stuff in one but not the other.

To think of another way of looking.....might lead us to..dissolve some of the boundaries between perspectives, and we might end up applying the words cognition and rationality/agenthood down at very low levels, such as for instance to a living cell, or a thermostat, respectively. It does seem counter-intuitive, perhaps, but it starts to think of everything, all the way up, as being on a continuum.

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Post by ruby sparks » Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:15 am

Anyhows maybe we should get back to the OP. Apart from anything else, I'm getting out of my own depth. What particular aspect of the article were you intending to highlight, sub? That we are not as rational as we like to think we are?
Last edited by ruby sparks on Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by subsymbolic » Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:59 pm

[quote=""ruby sparks""]
plebian;673059 wrote:Depends I guess. Do keep in mind that this isn't something I've deeply thought through. Yes though. When we look at system states and outputs, I think we are generally using the design stance. My point is that there is some clear benefit to using each stance appropriately and avoiding privileging a certain stance or worse, conflating two or more stances.
You guys use the stance thing a LOT. :)

I'm not offering a better lens, and I'm not saying the stances aren't useful, and I've been trying to use the same model in order to avoid speaking in a different language, but sometimes (and like you I haven't thought this through) if feels as if dividing things into various stances may be...artificial, especially if, as seems the case, you say we can't interoperably interchange them, or can only explain stuff in one but not the other.

To think of another way of looking.....might lead us to..dissolve some of the boundaries between perspectives, and we might end up applying the words cognition and rationality/agenthood down at very low levels, such as for instance to a living cell, or a thermostat, respectively. It does seem counter-intuitive, perhaps, but it starts to think of everything, all the way up, as being on a continuum.[/QUOTE]

I'm not sure stances are a 'lens' in the sense that they this word is usually used here.

The physical stance is simply the bottom level of description for physics. individual units modified by exceptionless laws.

The intentional stance is, if you don't want to see it as a theory, simply a language game:

You assume that a system has beliefs, That is that the content in their head can be cleanly expressed as simple declarative statements (or propositions) such as 'it is raining'.

you also assume that they have attitudes towards these beliefs, again expressed as clear cut declarative statements(or propositions): 'fears it is raining' 'wants it to rain' and so on. This is why IST is sometimes called Propositional Attitude Talk, The propositional attitudes or even, in shorthand, The Attitudes

So to play this game you decide, discover or theorise what the system believes. Then you decide, discover or theorise what the system desires, what attitudes it has to those beliefs.

Finally, assume the system is rational (uses logic to work through the implications of these beliefs) and will follow the consequences of the logic.

The game can be played in reverse - you can observe a behaviour and ask what beliefs and desires could be in play to cause such behaviour.

So IST can be applied top down or bottom up and just like the eye trying to make sense of an image, the reality is that it is usually a dynamic interplay between the two refining predictions and explanations on the fly in response to what is actually happening.

However, and this is important. IST only needs to take account of behaviour. nothing else. It is utterly neutral about the physical stuff that makes up the system in question. In this way, if there is any regularity at all in behaviour, then IST gets traction on it. However, given this anyone who actually thought that these beliefs were real would be entirely missing the point.

So predictions from the intentional stance and the design stance are not merely the result of handy levels of descriptions or different lenses. They are entirely different games with almost entirely unrelated ontologies and barely the same subject matter.

As for the design stance, while it looks simple it's actually the most easy to get lost in for one simple reason: it's a bastard halfway house kluge - on the one hand it just looks like something that is entirely reducible to the physical stance. However, this is misleading, because what makes something a design is the intentions of the designer. to say something is working properly is to say it is working properly relative to the intentions of the designer. The same problem with 'faulty' 'malfunctioning' and so on.

This is problematic enough, when faced with man made artifacts, but when faced by evolved things then the idea of design becomes hugely problematic and the idea that something has malfunctioned has to be met with the question 'relative to what?' The whole issue of design is actually a sub issue of the question of intentions. Without a designer or a design then things are just what they are, no more no less. Things don't go wrong, they just change.

This opens up into a real problem about the status of (just for a start) psychological explanation: against what background can we talk of mental illness, or indeed illness? There's no design or designer against which malfunction can be grounded.

You'd want to say both are just the wrong way of looking at something, but it's a bit late...

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Post by subsymbolic » Sat Jun 10, 2017 1:01 pm

[quote=""ruby sparks""]Anyhows maybe we should get back to the OP. Apart from anything else, I'm getting out of my own depth. What particular aspect of the article were you intending to highlight, sub? That we are not as rational as we like to think we are?[/quote]

https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/minimal-rationality

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Post by plebian » Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:37 pm

[quote=""subsymbolic""]
ruby sparks;673074 wrote:
plebian;673059 wrote:Depends I guess. Do keep in mind that this isn't something I've deeply thought through. Yes though. When we look at system states and outputs, I think we are generally using the design stance. My point is that there is some clear benefit to using each stance appropriately and avoiding privileging a certain stance or worse, conflating two or more stances.
You guys use the stance thing a LOT. :)

I'm not offering a better lens, and I'm not saying the stances aren't useful, and I've been trying to use the same model in order to avoid speaking in a different language, but sometimes (and like you I haven't thought this through) if feels as if dividing things into various stances may be...artificial, especially if, as seems the case, you say we can't interoperably interchange them, or can only explain stuff in one but not the other.

To think of another way of looking.....might lead us to..dissolve some of the boundaries between perspectives, and we might end up applying the words cognition and rationality/agenthood down at very low levels, such as for instance to a living cell, or a thermostat, respectively. It does seem counter-intuitive, perhaps, but it starts to think of everything, all the way up, as being on a continuum.
I'm not sure stances are a 'lens' in the sense that they this word is usually used here.

The physical stance is simply the bottom level of description for physics. individual units modified by exceptionless laws.

The intentional stance is, if you don't want to see it as a theory, simply a language game:

You assume that a system has beliefs, That is that the content in their head can be cleanly expressed as simple declarative statements (or propositions) such as 'it is raining'.

you also assume that they have attitudes towards these beliefs, again expressed as clear cut declarative statements(or propositions): 'fears it is raining' 'wants it to rain' and so on. This is why IST is sometimes called Propositional Attitude Talk, The propositional attitudes or even, in shorthand, The Attitudes

So to play this game you decide, discover or theorise what the system believes. Then you decide, discover or theorise what the system desires, what attitudes it has to those beliefs.

Finally, assume the system is rational (uses logic to work through the implications of these beliefs) and will follow the consequences of the logic.

The game can be played in reverse - you can observe a behaviour and ask what beliefs and desires could be in play to cause such behaviour.

So IST can be applied top down or bottom up and just like the eye trying to make sense of an image, the reality is that it is usually a dynamic interplay between the two refining predictions and explanations on the fly in response to what is actually happening.

However, and this is important. IST only needs to take account of behaviour. nothing else. It is utterly neutral about the physical stuff that makes up the system in question. In this way, if there is any regularity at all in behaviour, then IST gets traction on it. However, given this anyone who actually thought that these beliefs were real would be entirely missing the point.

So predictions from the intentional stance and the design stance are not merely the result of handy levels of descriptions or different lenses. They are entirely different games with almost entirely unrelated ontologies and barely the same subject matter.

As for the design stance, while it looks simple it's actually the most easy to get lost in for one simple reason: it's a bastard halfway house kluge - on the one hand it just looks like something that is entirely reducible to the physical stance. However, this is misleading, because what makes something a design is the intentions of the designer. to say something is working properly is to say it is working properly relative to the intentions of the designer. The same problem with 'faulty' 'malfunctioning' and so on.

This is problematic enough, when faced with man made artifacts, but when faced by evolved things then the idea of design becomes hugely problematic and the idea that something has malfunctioned has to be met with the question 'relative to what?' The whole issue of design is actually a sub issue of the question of intentions. Without a designer or a design then things are just what they are, no more no less. Things don't go wrong, they just change.

This opens up into a real problem about the status of (just for a start) psychological explanation: against what background can we talk of mental illness, or indeed illness? There's no design or designer against which malfunction can be grounded.

You'd want to say both are just the wrong way of looking at something, but it's a bit late...[/QUOTE]

That's a good way of putting it. I've always called the stances different logics since they use different axiomatic rules but it's better to call them different games. That goes ahead and puts everything into intentional systems. But it does seem a little close to an idealism perspective though since the physical stance is also just a different game.

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Post by subsymbolic » Sat Jun 10, 2017 6:04 pm

[quote=""plebian""]
subsymbolic;673189 wrote:
ruby sparks;673074 wrote:
plebian;673059 wrote:Depends I guess. Do keep in mind that this isn't something I've deeply thought through. Yes though. When we look at system states and outputs, I think we are generally using the design stance. My point is that there is some clear benefit to using each stance appropriately and avoiding privileging a certain stance or worse, conflating two or more stances.
You guys use the stance thing a LOT. :)

I'm not offering a better lens, and I'm not saying the stances aren't useful, and I've been trying to use the same model in order to avoid speaking in a different language, but sometimes (and like you I haven't thought this through) if feels as if dividing things into various stances may be...artificial, especially if, as seems the case, you say we can't interoperably interchange them, or can only explain stuff in one but not the other.

To think of another way of looking.....might lead us to..dissolve some of the boundaries between perspectives, and we might end up applying the words cognition and rationality/agenthood down at very low levels, such as for instance to a living cell, or a thermostat, respectively. It does seem counter-intuitive, perhaps, but it starts to think of everything, all the way up, as being on a continuum.
I'm not sure stances are a 'lens' in the sense that they this word is usually used here.

The physical stance is simply the bottom level of description for physics. individual units modified by exceptionless laws.

The intentional stance is, if you don't want to see it as a theory, simply a language game:

You assume that a system has beliefs, That is that the content in their head can be cleanly expressed as simple declarative statements (or propositions) such as 'it is raining'.

you also assume that they have attitudes towards these beliefs, again expressed as clear cut declarative statements(or propositions): 'fears it is raining' 'wants it to rain' and so on. This is why IST is sometimes called Propositional Attitude Talk, The propositional attitudes or even, in shorthand, The Attitudes

So to play this game you decide, discover or theorise what the system believes. Then you decide, discover or theorise what the system desires, what attitudes it has to those beliefs.

Finally, assume the system is rational (uses logic to work through the implications of these beliefs) and will follow the consequences of the logic.

The game can be played in reverse - you can observe a behaviour and ask what beliefs and desires could be in play to cause such behaviour.

So IST can be applied top down or bottom up and just like the eye trying to make sense of an image, the reality is that it is usually a dynamic interplay between the two refining predictions and explanations on the fly in response to what is actually happening.

However, and this is important. IST only needs to take account of behaviour. nothing else. It is utterly neutral about the physical stuff that makes up the system in question. In this way, if there is any regularity at all in behaviour, then IST gets traction on it. However, given this anyone who actually thought that these beliefs were real would be entirely missing the point.

So predictions from the intentional stance and the design stance are not merely the result of handy levels of descriptions or different lenses. They are entirely different games with almost entirely unrelated ontologies and barely the same subject matter.

As for the design stance, while it looks simple it's actually the most easy to get lost in for one simple reason: it's a bastard halfway house kluge - on the one hand it just looks like something that is entirely reducible to the physical stance. However, this is misleading, because what makes something a design is the intentions of the designer. to say something is working properly is to say it is working properly relative to the intentions of the designer. The same problem with 'faulty' 'malfunctioning' and so on.

This is problematic enough, when faced with man made artifacts, but when faced by evolved things then the idea of design becomes hugely problematic and the idea that something has malfunctioned has to be met with the question 'relative to what?' The whole issue of design is actually a sub issue of the question of intentions. Without a designer or a design then things are just what they are, no more no less. Things don't go wrong, they just change.

This opens up into a real problem about the status of (just for a start) psychological explanation: against what background can we talk of mental illness, or indeed illness? There's no design or designer against which malfunction can be grounded.

You'd want to say both are just the wrong way of looking at something, but it's a bit late...
That's a good way of putting it. I've always called the stances different logics since they use different axiomatic rules but it's better to call them different games. That goes ahead and puts everything into intentional systems. But it does seem a little close to an idealism perspective though since the physical stance is also just a different game.[/QUOTE]

That's not quite what I meant. I'm explicitly leaning on the Wittgenstinian idea of a language game. The physical stance very much isn't a game.

Purely physical stuff from the physical stance is subsymbolic; it is just what it is and nothing more. Symbolic stuff has additional meanings beyond itself. This could be as simple as an evolved signalling system - when fruit changes colour when it is ripe, on the one hand it is a simple chemical reaction, while on the other hand it is becoming designed as a signal to the world that it is ready to eat. The, say, redness begins to mean something to other creatures and they respond accordingly. It becomes symbolic.

When a community agree on a meaning for a newly minted word, say 'covfefe' then that denotes that, but also connotes American winning and so on. It is symbolic, it becomes a move in a language game.

Atoms and rules are not a move in anything, they just are.
Last edited by subsymbolic on Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ruby sparks
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Post by ruby sparks » Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:20 pm

[quote=""subsymbolic""]
ruby sparks;673075 wrote:Anyhows maybe we should get back to the OP. Apart from anything else, I'm getting out of my own depth. What particular aspect of the article were you intending to highlight, sub? That we are not as rational as we like to think we are?
https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/minimal-rationality[/QUOTE]

Thanks. The text of that seems to be available here:
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/5f08/d ... 35a3da.pdf

I found it interesting if somewhat dry and, well, it seemed to make a very simple and obvious point (we are not as rational as we think we are) and then proceeded to try to be somewhat idealistically rational in seeking to categorise and define the imperfect rationality in principle, almost as if the main premise (of rationality) was still being assumed....... :)

Given the OP article, I sort of thought that if you were going to elaborate, it would be to cite the dazzling array of ways, in particular, in which we are not as rational as we like to think:

Image

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases
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Post by ruby sparks » Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:28 pm

[quote=""subsymbolic""]You'd want to say both are just the wrong way of looking at something, but it's a bit late...[/quote]

Do you mean both stances (design & intentional) as opposed to the one I appear to favour (physical)?

I would never say that the first two are wrong and the last right. They're all models, taxonomies, descriptions. None will be all right or all wrong. All will be useful/pragmatic/instrumentalist models in certain contexts.

One question I have...what is the supposed role of the stances (particularly the IS) in non-conscious thinking?

It seems to me that the main focus for the IS is on person-person* and perhaps person-group (if the group is a relatively modest size) interactions, and generally of the conscious/deliberated type.

*Essentially brain-brain (or mind - mind if preferred).
Last edited by ruby sparks on Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:44 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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