RE: Friendliness and blank-slate goal bootstrap

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Tue Oct 07 2003 - 07:13:52 MDT


If truly nothing experienced internally is open to science then it is
immediately obvious that not everything that is important or true is within
the realm of science. I would prefer saying that there is not general
agreement today how to treat all aspects of qualia, including the
experential, scientifically.

- s

I suspect that, indeed, not everything that is important is within the realm
of science.

Also, we should distinguish mathematics from science --- some things that
are important and true are within the domain of mathematics, which is a
different domain from either subjective experience OR empirical science.

For example, mathematical truth has a problematic and subtle relationship
with scientific truth. Truth is cleanly and easily definable in
mathematical logic. It can be defined probabilistically in science, but one
faces the Humean problem of induction -- the zero-frequency problem, etc.
Of course, these problems with defining scientific truth can be overcome in
a pragmatic way, but one winds up with a semantics of truth quite different
from what one has in mathematics.

Regarding qualia and experience, I guess that there are fundamental reasons
why these are not fully scientifically comprehensible. Science depends on
"the same" experiment being runnable by many different observers (the famous
"reproducibility of results"), and yet my experience cannot be had by you,
can it? Some aspects of experience are common to many people and may be
brought into the domain of science, yet others may be more individualized
and unique, and not well suited to comprehension via reproducible

-- Ben G

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