Re: Reason, intuition, and AI (was: Metarationality)

From: Gordon Worley (
Date: Sat Aug 24 2002 - 19:12:55 MDT

On Saturday, August 24, 2002, at 06:25 PM, Cliff Stabbert wrote:

> "Rationality" cannot, of itself, supply
> 1) motives and goals
> 2) creative ideas and original hypotheses
> 3) low- to medium-level cognition
> re 1) Given motives and goals, the rational process is invaluable in
> achieving them. Note that it is still not /sufficient/ -- one still
> needs to create and test hypotheses:

As I have stated, creativity by no means requires irrational thought.
You can use it as a crutch if you want to, but you don't have to use it.

> 2) Given a hypothesis, testing it is a rational process. At least,
> once you've abstracted your perceptions into some sort of language
> (i.e., one amenable to symbolic logic operations):

Creating a hypothesis is not an irrational process. When doing an
experiment, I take what I know and use Bayesian reasoning to arrive at
some likely hypothesis. If that one fails, I'll try the next most
likely hypothesis. Before I run out of probabilities, I'll probably
look at the test and see if it has any errors in it.

Of course, hypothesis testing should not be necessary. In theory, you
can think everything through in your mind and arrive at the correct
answer, but due to the reality of a particular rational thinkers
imperfect rationality, in some cases hypothesis testing becomes

> 3) Perception/cognition is itself a non-/sub-rational and at times
> creative process.

Sure, normally. It does not have to stay that way.

Also, some thought is arational. For example, vision is an arational
process. What you do with that information can be either rational or

> "We are all greater artists than we realize"
> -- Nietzshe

Most people are not honest with themselves. Not news to me.

> Saturday, August 24, 2002, 4:40:26 PM, James Rogers wrote:
> JR> My objection to this is primarily that most intuition
> JR> that is worth anything CAN be resolved through
> JR> introspection and thought. People can usually piece
> JR> together the reasons for their intuition if they think
> JR> about it hard enough.
> Nonsense. If this were even close to the truth, creating AI would be
> dead simple.

I agree. The results of this `introspection' are going to be
rationalized reasons (re Randian example). For some thought processes,
the brain is simply not wired for you to get feedback on how you thought
the idea up.

Gordon Worley                     `When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty            said, `it means just what I choose                it to mean--neither more nor less.'
PGP:  0xBBD3B003                                  --Lewis Carroll

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