Re: My top-down strategy is now 100% complete.

From: Marc Geddes (
Date: Thu Mar 17 2005 - 21:02:46 MST

 --- Tennessee Leeuwenburg <>

> I posited an interaction between an intuition and a
> formal system. I
> thought of these as being a lot like the
> relationship between the ego
> and the id, but different in important ways also.
> You here talk about the interaction between a
> "non-linear" inductive
> mode of thinking which interacts with the deductive
> mode to create
> metaphors/analogies, which I interpreted as being
> cognitive objects like
> ideas or thoughts.
> Now, I am not talking about idea formation, but
> rather about how choices
> are made. I don't separate reasoning process by
> function, which is a key
> difference. I think we have intuitive beliefs about
> physics in the same
> way that we have intuitive beliefs about emotion,
> and that we are
> equally able to reason logically about both.
> However, both of us have identified that there are
> two kinds of ways in
> which ideas get affected by mental processes - one
> way is relatively
> formal, involving the kind of deduction one could
> describe with logic,
> and another which is less formal.
> Unless, of course, you want to say that you meant
> your "non-linear
> inductive" mode to still be formalisable.

My system of reasoning about morality is not meant to
be any less formal than the system reasoning about
physics. I think the non-linear inductive mode is
totally formalisable as well. My values/physics split
is NOT a split between intuition and formal reasoning.

> | The mind as a whole is a complex system which can
> be
> | decomposed into sub-system ?Rationality? (lower
> | sub-level) and sub-system ?Morality? (higher
> | sub-level). The key is the interaction between
> the
> | two, which is *the ability of the mind to form
> | metaphors which enables it to understand models of
> | physical processes in terms of models of it?s own
> | internal value systems*! (Bridging the physical
> and
> | mental worlds through metaphors ? similarities
> between
> | moral laws and physical laws).
> This seems to me to be very similar to a dialectic
> process between the
> two kinds of thinking in my model.

Nope. See above. I was NOT suggesting an
intuition/formal reasoning split. Both my system of
reasoning about morals/values and my system of
reasoning about physics are meant to be totally
rational and formalisable.

I have pairs of functions which are synergistic, NOT
pairs of functions which are opposites (dialectic).

> You clearly regard moral laws as the exclusive
> domain on the non-linear
> mode you identify,

Not at all! Don't forget the recursive nature of my
idea! I had meant for there to be many different
*kinds* (levels) of inductive. Only from the point of
view of the highest level of coarse graining is moral
reasoning inductive. I am talking about many
different levels of organization here O.K? I think
only high level reasoning about morality is inductive.
 Lower levels of reasoning about morality involve
linear deduction as well.

>whereas I think it is clear that
> we reason in a
> linear fashion about moral ideas.

Of course. In fact I think we reason in both an
inductive and a linear fashion about moral ideas, just
like everything else we reason about. Probably you
were confused because I was using the words
'inductive' and 'deductive' to refer to many different
levels of reasoning.

> The same logic that we use in
> regards to physics (laws
> of non-contradiction, implication, transitive and
> intransitive relations
> etc) applies to moral ideas also.

Well, kind of. But be careful! I think reasoning
about morality is a higher level form of reasoning. I
do not believe that the logic used for physics can be
directly used for morality as well. That is the
mistake being made by the Yudkowksy's and Goertezel's
 of this world. They are trying to squeeze all of
moral reasoning into the strait jacket of current
probability theory. But I strongly suspect that
current probability theory is not up to task!

I suspect some kind of major generalization of
probability theory will be needed to properly handle
moral reasoning.


THE BRAIN is wider than the sky,  
  For, put them side by side,  
The one the other will include  
  With ease, and you beside. 
-Emily Dickinson
'The brain is wider than the sky'
Please visit my web-site:
Mathematics, Mind and Matter
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