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

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Sun Aug 25 2002 - 10:20:11 MDT

> 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*.

But according to Eliezer's definition of rationality, all these creative
processes that we call "nonrational" processes are actually rational because
they work, because they are effective at achieving system goals.

So by his very broad definition of "rational", he's largely right....
Rational is DEFINED as all that is workable, therefore by definition,
whatever is nonrational is unworkable.

Of course, I could do something similar by defining GODLY as "whatever

I then would have proved that only godly thought is valuable.

Hey, maybe I can get a big research grant from the Pope ;-)

-- Ben

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