Re: R: Science and human morality

From: Brent Meeker <>
Date: Fri, 05 Jul 2002 11:24:02 -0700

On 05-Jul-02, Bruno Marchal wrote:
> Biggie (in the FOR list):

>> In some cultures, the pschologists, being in sync with
>> conservative religous and political forces, would
>> probably turn her in to the authorities if she
>> "violated" their "psychologically sound" moral agenda,
>> right? No, to the extent psychology is constued as a
>> hard science is the extent to which human liberties
>> are at peril, in my view.

> I will not insist because what I want to say is admittedly
> subtil especially for those not familiarised with Godel,
> Lob or other incompleteness theorems. But I really believe
> the contrary. For exemple the Lobian "psychology of
> machine" I work with, which belongs to Hard Science (it is
> a purely mathematical theory, even embedable in
> arithmetic) is not only non normative at all, but is even
> vaccinated against *ANY* normative approach in psychology.
> In some sense the first theorems of that psychology say
> that any certitude in psychology, and any normative use of
> that psychology is inconsistent.

How do you mean that, Bruno. Simply that certitude is
impossible (something most people realize anyway) or that
"good" and "bad" lose their meaning?

Remember that the comp
> hypothesis can be shown essentially (sorry for the word!)
> hypothetical. If you meet a surgeon proposing you an
> artificial brain/body, and telling you that science has
> found our correct level of description, machine's
> psychology suggest you better run away!

Are you saying that there is no correct level or that it is
unknowable or that it is unknowable with certainity?

Descartes was
> *only* 99% correct, we cannot expect any certainty, beyond
> actual feeling, from a psychological point of view. The
> human liberties are at peril with vague psychological
> theories especially when they are accompagnied by
> "idolatry for the master" like it happens with most school
> of therapeutic psychology. (Especially some Lacanian and
> freudian school). We will fear tomorow exact (machine)
> psychology: not because it lead to normative axiomatic,
> but because we will slowly but surely understand how
> *very* large is machine potential free will.

What do you mean by free will in this context?

Brent Meeker
The freedom of the will consists in the fact that future
cannot be known now.
      --- Ludwig Wittgenstein
Received on Fri Jul 05 2002 - 11:20:09 PDT

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