RE: Metarationality (was: JOIN: Alden Streeter)

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Fri Aug 23 2002 - 23:28:53 MDT


> Personally, I have problems with the implied premise that
> rationality is the end and be all of human consciousness. I
> believe it is very important and foundational but I do not
> believe it is penultimate.

FYI, the word "penultimate" means "second to last" .

Not to nitpick or anything ;->

>I usually find the way people speak
> of it and defend it and especially defend against any notion
> that it might not be the hightest end-good of sentience,
> decidely circular. It looks a bit like another memeset defended
> vigourously against all others. It cannot integrate with other
> memes easily unless it can dominate or consume them into itself.

Integrating rationality with a-rational intuitive, largely-emotion-guided
creativity has been one of the big challenges of my life...

> I don't distrust rationality. I distrust the near-worship of
> rationality as if it were more than it is.

That's an elegant formulation of what i was trying to say in my previous

However, I wonder if there isn't a definitional confusion here. Maybe what
you and I mean by "rationality", Samantha, is different in some way from
what Eliezer and Greg mean by "rationality." Maybe that is part of the

I must remind myself over and over that human language words are
intrinsically ambiguous. A beautiful but sometimes frustrating fact!

-- ben

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