Re: Metarationality (was: JOIN: Alden Streeter)

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Sun Aug 25 2002 - 05:23:13 MDT

Cliff Stabbert wrote:
> 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.

Verbal thought is not rationality! Human verbal thought is a single,
imperfect implementation of rationality, which supports many irrational
thoughts as well as rational ones.

> 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).

They are neither arational nor nonrational; they are *rational*.

Or rather they are arational processes which, insofar as they work, work
because they sometimes happen to implement something which roughly
resembles rationality - we *are* thinly modded chimps hacked to support
general intelligence, after all. But the point is that, insofar as these
processes work, they work because they are rational and are rational
because they work.

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky                
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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