Re: Are First Person prime?

From: Brent Meeker <>
Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2006 18:37:05 -0700

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> Brent meeker writes (quoting SP):
>>> Every physical system contains if-then statements. If the grooves on the
>>> record were different, then the sound coming out of the speakers would also be
>>> different.
>> That's not a statement contained in the physical system; it's a statement about
>> other similar physical systems that you consider possible. You could as well
>> say, (print "Hello world.") contains an if-then because if the characters in the
>> string were different the output would be different.
> I don't see how you could make the distinction well-defined.

That's my point. Counterfactuals are defined relative to some environment/data/input
which we suppose to be possibly different. It's not so much that it's not well
defined, but that it's aribtrarily defined. So I think lz's point about intelligence
requiring counterfactuals is the same as saying intelligence is relative to some
environment - a view with which I agree. In the case of reproducing organisms the
organism/environment distinction is clear. In a simulation it's not.

Brent Meeker

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Received on Tue Aug 22 2006 - 21:38:57 PDT

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