Re[2]: Metarationality (was: JOIN: Alden Streeter)

From: Cliff Stabbert (
Date: Sun Aug 25 2002 - 05:12:54 MDT

Sunday, August 25, 2002, 3:35:05 AM, Gordon Worley wrote:

GW> See Eliezer's recent e-mails. He explains much better than I have been
GW> why this insistence on random thought is getting the reaction from me
GW> that it is.

More obfuscation, IMO. Nobody in this thread is insisting on "random
thought" or "irrationality".

What is being pointed out is that the mind is a rich and complex
system of which the verbalizing, symbol-manipulating "rational" level
is merely the surface. It evolved from and arises from a complex of
other processes. These other processes are arational or non-rational
(language consistently used by Goertzel and others here), not
_irrational_ (language incorrectly implicitly attributed to them).

"Where" do new ideas come from? Take the scientific process. A naive
view would see this as purely rational. But there are aspects of the
scientific process that are creative, generative, and not easily
amenable to rational analysis. For instance, *what* data -- out of an
infinity of data -- do you select for inspection? *What* hypotheses
do you put forward?

Rationality, I repeat, cannot *generate* ideas. It can test them, it
can analyze them, but it cannot create them. Rationality has no
motive force. It has no goals. It is a method that can only be applied
once you have those.

Look into the history of scientific discoveries and you'll find a lot
of creative moments. That these creative moments are not rationally
directed does not at all mean they are *random*.


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