RE: Metarationality (was: JOIN: Alden Streeter)

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Mon Aug 26 2002 - 10:14:04 MDT

> > What if I succeeded, and you did not, largely because I were more
> > persistent? [Please note: this is just a hypothetical example, I am not
> > trying to say that you lack persistence in reality.] In your
> sense, this
> > persistence (a personality trait) would be an aspect of my rationality,
> > because it led me to overall effectiveness?
> Your persistence would be an aspect of your rationality if:
> 1) You consciously chose persistence because you had a correct
> expectation for correct reasons that this persistence would pay
> off, i.e.,
> you noticed that persistence had tended to pay off in the past, and
> hypothesized that it would pay off in the future. (This is a kind of
> hypothesis that humans tend to make because, evolutionarily, tending to
> make this class of hypotheses pays off often enough for it to be an
> evolutionary advantage. Or you might consciously reason about the
> similarity of {the past cases of persistence paying off} to the
> problem at
> hand.)

But now I am confused about what your perspective is.

Why would my persistence be an aspect of my rationality only if I
*consciously* chose persistence?

I thought that rationality, in your view, was "whatever worked", whether
conscious or unconscious.

If unconscious intuitions can be rational, then why not unconscious
personality features?

Some personality features may be innate, others may be adaptively
accumulated over time in a manner not that different from the accumulation
of deep intuitions about particular issues or subject areas

Ben G

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