06-26-2010 , 05:46 PM
Quote:
My definition is based on evaluated modeled actions. If it's not the action being modeled, then it doesn't fit my definition.
OK, what the heck do you mean by "modeling an action" then? Turning on a light is an action. If-then statements are used ALL THE TIME in programming and computer modeling.

Why is modeling a chess move (which is an action) different then modeling turning on a light (which is an action)?

Quote:
Not according to the definitions I've presented.
Yuh huh. I've shown this multiple times. (madnak's follow up: nuh uh, that's not what I meant with the words I used for the definition of the words in that other definition over there)

Quote:
Furthermore, it is not evaluating the actions. My definition is clear on this - the actions are what must be modeled, and these modeled actions are what must be evaluated. Your switch doesn't do that.
OK -- how do you model an action then? Turning on a light is an action. Everyone knows this. If-then statements are used all the time in computer modeling. So if I put the action of turning on a light IN a simple model, how am I NOT MODELING THE ACTION?

Quote:
I'm not using that sense of the word "evaluate."
No of course you aren't. And then when I use "weigh and rank" to analyze your arguments you didn't mean THAT sense of the words "weigh and rank".

Quote:
The actions must be modeled, then the actions must be enumerated and evaluated. The actions. Moving a knight to c3 is an action. Eating toast is an action. The state of a light bulb is not an action.
LOL. I love how you switch the wording around. The state of a light bulb is not an action. Check this out: if you change the wording to "turning on or turning off a light bulb" THAT is an action.

These word games are fun:

The state of a knight being on c3 isn't an action.
The state of having toast in your stomach isn't an action.

See? I can throw "the state" in the sentence and change the wording around and NOTHING is an action. Awesome!

Quote:
What the programmer does is irrelevant. The logic of the chess game is contained within the chess program (and within the memory of the actively running program).
The logic of my simplified chess game is contained within my circuit. It just happens to be hooked up to a couple light bulb rather than some computer monitor pixels.

Quote:
In particular, the program runs through each legal move, models each one in succession, and evaluates them in order to determine the move to actually make. Your circuit doesn't do these things.
If the chess game is simple enough, yes it does. Just take the game my chess circuit to be modeling to be an end game where there are only 2 legal moves. If you want it to model more complicated chess scenarios just add some circuit elements until you're done. It's choosing the moves in every instance according to your definition of choice.

Quote:
I don't know the terminology. I do know that the computer typically has a tactics "engine" that calculates the board permutations following from a position. It also has a "library" of recognized board positions that have been analyzed prior to play, and it can derive conclusions on the basis of those. Naturally, it has the logic of chess (winning conditions, legal moves, etc) programmed right inside it.

The program then evaluates moves - typically if it can do so, it will determine whether a particular move leads to a necessary win, a necessary draw, a necessary loss, or permutations resulting in multiple outcomes. Wins are preferred to draws are preferred to losses, and heuristics for determining the best move in a mixed scenario are written into the system. Among differing moves in a particular category, "ties" are won either by length of play (for example, the shortest possible win or the longest possible loss) or by a PRNG if there is no other difference - possibly even some kind of psychological algorithm, I don't know how advanced these things get.

Often, many permutations will lead to uncertain outcomes (ie the game will continue on beyond the computer's ability to calculate further). In these cases the computer can use a heuristic to rank the different moves (probably taking into account number of pieces remaining, general positional advantages, and so on).

You circuit, on the other hand, contains nothing resembling chess - it's a switch external to the chess board. And... that's it. It doesn't do the same things.
So if we restrict our chess game to a very simple instance where it can only model and evaluate and pick between two possible legal moves (and both result in the game ending within say, 2 moves), is it no longer choosing because it's not utilizing all these complex board permutations? Because my simple chess circuit + light bulb can do that; if not in its current state then definitely with some simple variation of it.

It sure sounds like you're basically saying the chess computer is choosing because the algorithms it runs (and thus the circuitry necessary to run those algorithms) are more complex. They're both based on fundamentally the same principles, though.

Quote:
Uh, no. The fact that they are both composed of circuits doesn't imply that they do the same things.
No, of course not. One circuit plays chess, the other turns on a light bulb. One chooses a chess move, the other chooses to turn on a light bulb.

Last edited by Matt R.; 06-26-2010 at 06:02 PM.
06-26-2010 , 05:54 PM
Quote:
Heh, bull****. You know exactly what I mean by "model." What you're doing is looking for details that appear inconsistent so that you can jump on technicalities.
Is your conception of "model" supposed to be "self-evident" as well?

Quote:
Sorites talk is inane. It doesn't matter where the exact line between "red" and "orange" is. Some shades are clearly red, others clearly orange, and others in-between. If you want to start a thread on "whoa dude, like, where do you draw the line?" then go right ahead. But don't insult me with a thousand questions in the vein of "what about this color, is it red?" "How about this other one here? Red, or orange?" "Oh, trick question, this one was actually purple." That's bull**** designed to drag down the debate so you can keep it on a rhetorical footing.
I just need a basic example of a model. Something concrete. Something where you can't wave your magic "emergence" wand and pretend like the details you're ignoring aren't there.

You start with 4 beans in a pile. There are two players. The first player can take 1 or 2 beans. Then the second player does the same. The game continues until there are no beans left. The player who takes the last bean wins.

Yes or no, can you work with this example?
06-26-2010 , 07:18 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by smrk
Do you have a view on the fairness of (ultimate) punishment given a least damage compatibilist view?
Not sure what you mean here by "ultimate" punishment. Generally speaking, though, I think that punishment for immorality can be justified on compatibilist grounds.

Quote:
Perhaps you can help me understand the metaphilosophy of the free will debate because I'd rather be wrong than naive about what's going on (also if you recall, I have hangups about the lack of progress in philosophy)
<snip>
.

I was being serious when I said I am not very familiar with the literature on this topic, so I don't know how helpful I can be. I've read up through Frankfurt and Watson, but don't know Fischer or Kane's work, or that of contemporary incompatibilists very well at all. That being said, your summary seems like a fair statement of the problems facing each view except, I suppose, your own. The problem is that people do very strongly believe in moral responsibility. Furthermore, as pointed out by P. Strawson, it becomes difficult to make sense of much more of our emotional life if we don't believe in some form of free will. Seems to me that these things need as much explanation as anything else and the pessimist fails to do so.

I suppose what the pessimist (by the way, where does this term come from?) can do is accept something like an error theory regarding morality. But that is only a promissory note, not a theory...
06-26-2010 , 11:15 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron W.
I have no idea what you're talking about. I'm on the topic of madnak's definition of "emergence." You cut out most of my post and said that I was saying something or another about not knowing:
Actually, I included the important parts of your post. I hate overquoting. You had a long-winded rant that some things are not empirical. I summarized this as "something or other about not knowing."

Quote:
And I'm reiterating the point that it's not epistemological. That is, there's nothing to "figure out" regarding madnak's* concept of "emergence."

Knowing or not knowing how many parts we can remove from the brain before it ceases to function isn't particularly important when talking about what madnak means by "emergence."
I made the obvious mistake of arguing against your argument against madnak's viewpoint. I honestly didn't know that you were only arguing against "the specific viewpoint of madnak* on emergence" as opposed to arguing against emergence.

Quote:
It seems as if you're looking for an empirical answer to a non-empirical question.
Nuh uh. Emergence (as far as consciousness goes) is not a non-empirical question. To the point, there is a body of research (still in the baby stage - maybe 15 years of research) trying to address the nature of consciousness in terms of brain activity. Madnak's* view might be non-empirical, but his writing is so unorganized that I can interpret it as meaning quite a few different, and contradictory things.

I put in the *s because I am tempted to try to prove lack of freedom in Durka and Aaron W (specifically) purely through an inability to "choose" to cease carrying on a conversation, despite stated desire to do so.

Back to what I think is a meatier discussion: Do you think that either emergence or dualism is necessary for free will? Would either one suffice in and of itself? In other words, would dualism be sufficient? Would emergence be sufficient? Or is emergence (or dualism) + <insert something here> sufficient?

Just to make sure I understand you and Durka, it seems that you are not against the idea of emergence, just madnak's depiction of it, right?
06-26-2010 , 11:26 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTheMick
I made the obvious mistake of arguing against your argument against madnak's viewpoint. I honestly didn't know that you were only arguing against "the specific viewpoint of madnak* on emergence" as opposed to arguing against emergence.
I've made the mistake too many times with madnak trying to argue against "general" concepts, because madnak reserves the right to define "general" concepts how he chooses. So whenever discussing anything with madnak, it's always with the perspective that I'm arguing against the madnakian version of the thing, and not necessarily the thing itself.

Quote:
Nuh uh. Emergence (as far as consciousness goes) is not a non-empirical question. To the point, there is a body of research (still in the baby stage - maybe 15 years of research) trying to address the nature of consciousness in terms of brain activity.
Which conception of "consciousness" are they using and how are they attempting to demonstrate "emergence" (as opposed to demonstrating "existence" or some other property of consciousness)?

Quote:
Madnak's* view might be non-empirical, but his writing is so unorganized that I can interpret it as meaning quite a few different, and contradictory things.

I put in the *s because I am tempted to try to prove lack of freedom in Durka and Aaron W (specifically) purely through an inability to "choose" to cease carrying on a conversation, despite stated desire to do so.
Honestly, I think I derive quite a bit of entertainment arguing with madnak. In sort of that intellectual-frustrating sort of way.

Quote:
Back to what I think is a meatier discussion: Do you think that either emergence or dualism is necessary for free will? Would either one suffice in and of itself? In other words, would dualism be sufficient? Would emergence be sufficient? Or is emergence (or dualism) + <insert something here> sufficient?
Emergence? It depends on what you mean. I suspect it's not necessary because it's not at all clear that complex structures are necessary for "will" to exist.

Dualism? No. It's conceivable that there is a physical choice mechanism. I haven't the slightest idea what it would look like, but it's not outside the realm of possibility.

Quote:
Just to make sure I understand you and Durka, it seems that you are not against the idea of emergence, just madnak's depiction of it, right?
I don't really know because I don't think I have a clear sense of what "emergence" really is (if it's supposed to be a non-trivial concept).
06-27-2010 , 02:53 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Original Position
Not sure what you mean here by "ultimate" punishment. Generally speaking, though, I think that punishment for immorality can be justified on compatibilist grounds.
I just mean that if hell were real do you think the compatibilist account of freedom would be compatible with sending evil people to it as punishment?

Quote:
Furthermore, as pointed out by P. Strawson, it becomes difficult to make sense of much more of our emotional life if we don't believe in some form of free will. Seems to me that these things need as much explanation as anything else and the pessimist fails to do so.
That was a good paper but at the risk of making a facile analogy, it becomes difficult to make sense of much more of our spiritual life if we don't believe in some form of God, but that's not an argument for the existence of God.

Quote:
I suppose what the pessimist (by the way, where does this term come from?) can do is accept something like an error theory regarding morality. But that is only a promissory note, not a theory...
Pessimism about free will or pessimistic incompatibilism; P. Strawson's son Galen has his "Basic Argument" against moral responsibility, here's a summary http://www.rep.routledge.com/article/V014SECT3 I don't think this is the optimal argument but it's close. Some Nietzsche there that you've probably heard before.
06-27-2010 , 03:37 AM
The origin or popularization of the term might actually be from Freedom and Resentment, "Some philosophers say they do not know what the thesis of determinism is. Others say, or imply, that they do know what it is. Of these, some — the pessimists perhaps — hold that if the thesis is true, then the concepts of moral obligation and responsibility really have no application, and the practices of punishing and blaming, of expressing moral condemnation and approval, are really unjustified."

Although this might be read as grouping libertarians with the pessimists. I'd say pessimistic incompatibilism is just the view that free will is incoherent regardless of the truth of determinism.

Last edited by smrk; 06-27-2010 at 03:47 AM.
06-27-2010 , 10:02 AM
No, the pessimist only applies to incompatibilists IF the deterministic thesis is true. Basically, it's some rhetorical word for the incompatibilist. Calling them a pessimist is unfair. They'd call themselves realists.
06-27-2010 , 07:13 PM
Quote:
No, the pessimist only applies to incompatibilists IF the deterministic thesis is true. Basically, it's some rhetorical word for the incompatibilist. Calling them a pessimist is unfair. They'd call themselves realists.
I was just saying that Strawson's phrasing in the quoted remark might lead one to be confused about what pessimism is.

edit: actually, no, what you said is not fully correct. Pessimistic incompatibilism is the view that compatibilism does not give us the kind of moral responsibility we want or think we have (essentially because people do not have ultimate control over what they do) and libertarianism doesn't give us a coherent account of how indeterminism gives us the right kind of ultimate control (the point about randomness that we've touched on already). Or, put more directly, pessimism is that free will/moral responsibility are incoherent regardless of the truth of determinism. So it's not just pessimism about the possibility of free will given determinism, it's pessimism about the possibility of free will given indeterminism.

Last edited by smrk; 06-27-2010 at 07:26 PM.
06-27-2010 , 07:37 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by smrk
I was just saying that Strawson's phrasing in the quoted remark might lead one to be confused about what pessimism is.

edit: actually, no, what you said is not fully correct. Pessimistic incompatibilism is the view that compatibilism does not give us the kind of moral responsibility we want or think we have (essentially because people do not have ultimate control over what they do) and libertarianism doesn't give us a coherent account of how indeterminism gives us the right kind of ultimate control (the point about randomness that we've touched on already). Or, put more directly, pessimism is that free will/moral responsibility are incoherent regardless of the truth of determinism. So it's not just pessimism about the possibility of free will given determinism, it's pessimism about the possibility of free will given indeterminism.
What I said was correct. There are two incompatibilist positions: libertarianism and hard determinism. Both hold that if determinism is true, then responsibility is impossible. That's not "pessimistic." Using that word is just rhetorical. There's nothing to distinguish between an incompatibilist and a "pessimistic incompatibilist": they're the same thing! Adding "pessimist" or "pessimistic" is merely rhetorical and doesn't distinguish a separate position.

What you really want to point to is more like a "pessimist" position in general separate from incompatibilism/compatibilism. If someone holds that free will is incoherent whether determinism is true (or not) then they're not coextensive with incompatibilists.

A "pessimistic" incompatibilist is silly (superfluous). This suggests that there are pessimistic compatibilists (which clearly there are not). ducy?
06-27-2010 , 07:58 PM
Quote:
What I said was correct. There are two incompatibilist positions: libertarianism and hard determinism. Both hold that if determinism is true, then responsibility is impossible. That's not "pessimistic." Using that word is just rhetorical. There's nothing to distinguish between an incompatibilist and a "pessimistic incompatibilist": they're the same thing! Adding "pessimist" or "pessimistic" is merely rhetorical and doesn't distinguish a separate position.
No. First, I didn't make up the term and it's not a rhetorical term. It's a label for a philosophical view. Google the term "pessimistic incompatibilism" and see where it turns up before you say demonstrably false things like "using that word is just rhetorical". Second, this part you have correct - libertarians are incompatibilists and hard determinists are incompatibilists, since both camps contend that determinism is not compatible with fw/moral responsibility. However, (and this is where you are making your mistake) while hard determinists think fw/moral responsibility are not possible if determinism is true, that doesn't mean they have explicitly committed to a position about the possibility of free will given indeterminism; they could just think that indeterminism is false. Pessimistic incompatibilism is the view that the truth of indeterminism does not help libertarians. Now, perhaps you meant to say there's not much of a difference between "hard determinists" and "pessimistic incompatibilists", but again I think the difference there would be hard determinists might just think that determinism is true and not have a view about the possibility of fw given indeterminism.

Quote:
A "pessimistic" incompatibilist is silly (superfluous). This suggests that there are pessimistic compatibilists (which clearly there are not). ducy?
No, it doesn't suggest that at all. Pessimistic qualifies incompatibilism because there are incompatibilists who believe in free will.

edit: fixed a sentence in first paragraph

Last edited by smrk; 06-27-2010 at 08:16 PM.
06-27-2010 , 08:13 PM
I know you didn't make it up; that doesn't mean it's not rhetorical.

Look, the pessimistic meta-induction in science makes sense to use 'pessimistic.' But it doesn't here. There's nothing 'pessimistic' in any of these positions. I think that you have a very hard time separating descriptive from prescriptive statements.

"Pessimistic" incompatibilist still doesn't pick out a unique position. What you're trying to pick out is someone who thinks that whether determinism or indeterminism is the case, neither are sufficient for free will. That's not pessimistic in any sense. That's a claim about the incoherence of free will period.
06-27-2010 , 08:37 PM
Quote:
I know you didn't make it up; that doesn't mean it's not rhetorical.
Is the "hard" in "hard determinism" rhetorical?

Quote:
Look, the pessimistic meta-induction in science makes sense to use 'pessimistic.' But it doesn't here. There's nothing 'pessimistic' in any of these positions. I think that you have a very hard time separating descriptive from prescriptive statements.
I think you have a very hard time admitting that you are demonstrably wrong if the person doing the demonstrating is your academic peer. Pessimistic means pessimistic with respect to the coherence or existence of free will, that's all it means.

Quote:
"Pessimistic" incompatibilist still doesn't pick out a unique position. What you're trying to pick out is someone who thinks that whether determinism or indeterminism is the case, neither are sufficient for free will. That's not pessimistic in any sense. That's a claim about the incoherence of free will period.
Ok, you're saying that it's not "pessimistic" in any sense when it is exactly pessimistic with respect to whether free will is coherent or not. Of course it's a claim about the incoherence of free will period, that's the verbatim thesis of pessimistic incompatibilism.
06-27-2010 , 09:02 PM
http://www.bu.edu/law/central/jd/org...ments/KANE.pdf

last paragraph

"In conclusion, I am not what Dworkin calls a “pessimistic incompatibilist” –
one who believes free will is incompatible with determinism, but who thinks
that incompatibilist free will is impossible, so that no one is ultimately
responsible for doing what they do."

That's Robert Kane and Dworkin, I imagine you will man up and accept that you're acutely mistaken about what the term means.
06-27-2010 , 10:10 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by smrk
I just mean that if hell were real do you think the compatibilist account of freedom would be compatible with sending evil people to it as punishment?
This seems to depend on many things extraneous to this debate. So, first of all, if you mean the conception of hell as eternal punishment, then no, I don't. But that is not because of my views about moral responsibility, but because I think that is an unjust punishment--the punishment exceeds the crime.

On the other hand, many utilitarians will claim that punishment can only be justified because it leads to better consequences, not just for past sins. On this account, I don't see how punishment in hell can be justified (unless you are an escapist about hell I suppose).

But on the retributive view of punishment, then yes, I would say that punishment in hell (more properly purgatory) is justified on compatibilist grounds.

Quote:
That was a good paper but at the risk of making a facile analogy, it becomes difficult to make sense of much more of our spiritual life if we don't believe in some form of God, but that's not an argument for the existence of God.
On the contrary. It is really not that difficult to make sense of spiritual life without believing in God. We can see this because even many people who have highly developed spiritual lives don't believe in God.

On the other hand, I'm not sure it is possible for us to act as if we or those around us are completely controlled by prior, purely physical or psychological causes. I'm not sure it is impossible, but I don't see how it would be done.

I think a better analogy is consciousness. Many people are very hesitant to give up a belief in consciousness because it seems so central to our experience of the world, so how are we to make sense of theories that seem to deny the real existence of consciousness?
Quote:
Pessimism about free will or pessimistic incompatibilism; P. Strawson's son Galen has his "Basic Argument" against moral responsibility, here's a summary http://www.rep.routledge.com/article/V014SECT3 I don't think this is the optimal argument but it's close. Some Nietzsche there that you've probably heard before.
06-27-2010 , 10:31 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Original Position
But on the retributive view of punishment, then yes, I would say that punishment in hell (more properly purgatory) is justified on compatibilist grounds.
Right, this is the view I'm asking about. So how do you think that works? If a person could not have done otherwise than he did, it seems impossible to me to justify retributive punishment.

Quote:
On the contrary. It is really not that difficult to make sense of spiritual life without believing in God. We can see this because even many people who have highly developed spiritual lives don't believe in God.

On the other hand, I'm not sure it is possible for us to act as if we or those around us are completely controlled by prior, purely physical or psychological causes. I'm not sure it is impossible, but I don't see how it would be done.
Well, I assume you agree that theistic spirituality is not possible without the belief in God, and if spirtuality without God nevertheless requires a belief in something extraphysical, then I still dispute that needing to make sense of that kind of spiritual life is any kind of reason to believe in something extraphysical.

Concenring your second point, I agree that it becomes very difficult to make sense of our prephilosophical emotional life if one thinks moral responsibility is incoherent (what would then 'explain' emotional life would just be cognitive science), but that doesn't make the argument against the possibility of moral responsibility theoretically weaker.
06-27-2010 , 10:57 PM
PS If you are going to answer the first question, no Frankfurt on the rejection of the PAP unless you really think it's a good argument
06-27-2010 , 11:57 PM
Needed clarification: Durka's and (I think) Aaron W.'s "responsibility" means specifically "the ultimate cause of an event." (correct if I am misinterpreting you, Durka).

In other words, "I am a slut because my step-daddy done touched me in a wrongful way," is not meaningful, given free will.*

Free will negates any "because" statement for all free beings.

*I made the worst possible strawman available for you to attack.
06-28-2010 , 12:28 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron W.
Which conception of "consciousness" are they using and how are they attempting to demonstrate "emergence" (as opposed to demonstrating "existence" or some other property of consciousness)?
Good catch. The current research is working on explaining how people work, as opposed to how neurons work. As to which conception of consciousness is most likely to be shown more likely to be true, I really am smart enough to realize that I am not smart enough to know.

Quote:
Honestly, I think I derive quite a bit of entertainment arguing with madnak. In sort of that intellectual-frustrating sort of way.
Sounds causal enough for me j/k

Quote:
Emergence? It depends on what you mean. I suspect it's not necessary because it's not at all clear that complex structures are necessary for "will" to exist.
Emergence to me is just the notion that stuff seems to exist that is not a pile of other stuff. Neither one of us is smart or dumb enough to go further.

Quote:
Dualism? No. It's conceivable that there is a physical choice mechanism. I haven't the slightest idea what it would look like, but it's not outside the realm of possibility.
I couldn't disagree more, given your definition of choice (especially your dislike of including randomness).

Quote:
I don't really know because I don't think I have a clear sense of what "emergence" really is (if it's supposed to be a non-trivial concept).
We could get into some madnak vs. aaron w. stuff here. However, it is a question of "is the whole more than the sum of it's parts stuff" and nothing more. It seems intuitive to me that this is the case. Some research supports my view. None of it is definitive though.
06-28-2010 , 06:46 AM
I've very specifically said that the agent is never the 'ultimate' cause of acts for which they're responsible (if you mean it in the Strawson sense).

The agent is like a kayaker in rapids: they have only some control over their direction but not 'ultimate' control.
06-28-2010 , 11:25 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt R.
OK, what the heck do you mean by "modeling an action" then? Turning on a light is an action. If-then statements are used ALL THE TIME in programming and computer modeling.

Why is modeling a chess move (which is an action) different then modeling turning on a light (which is an action)?
It's not. But you aren't modeling either with your circuit. A switch is not a model of the action of turning on a light bulb - there is nothing in a switch that significantly resembles or corresponds to that action.

Quote:
OK -- how do you model an action then? Turning on a light is an action. Everyone knows this. If-then statements are used all the time in computer modeling. So if I put the action of turning on a light IN a simple model, how am I NOT MODELING THE ACTION?
The action of turning on a light is not contained within your circuit. You haven't "put that action in" the circuit.

Quote:
No of course you aren't. And then when I use "weigh and rank" to analyze your arguments you didn't mean THAT sense of the words "weigh and rank".
My definition is explicit about what is being weighed and ranked (the modeled action) - if that wasn't clear to you, work on reading comprehension.

Quote:
LOL. I love how you switch the wording around. The state of a light bulb is not an action. Check this out: if you change the wording to "turning on or turning off a light bulb" THAT is an action.
Yes. And the switch is not a model of that.

Quote:
The state of a knight being on c3 isn't an action.
The state of having toast in your stomach isn't an action.

See? I can throw "the state" in the sentence and change the wording around and NOTHING is an action. Awesome!
A model of the state of a knight being on c3 is not sufficient for choice. A model of moving a knight from b1 to c3 is necessary. There's a big difference between the two.

Quote:
The logic of my simplified chess game is contained within my circuit. It just happens to be hooked up to a couple light bulb rather than some computer monitor pixels.
No, it isn't. There are no winning conditions, criteria for legal moves, or other logical elements of the game contained in your circuit.

Quote:
If the chess game is simple enough, yes it does. Just take the game my chess circuit to be modeling to be an end game where there are only 2 legal moves. If you want it to model more complicated chess scenarios just add some circuit elements until you're done. It's choosing the moves in every instance according to your definition of choice.
A branching decision tree isn't necessarily a model.

Quote:
So if we restrict our chess game to a very simple instance where it can only model and evaluate and pick between two possible legal moves (and both result in the game ending within say, 2 moves), is it no longer choosing because it's not utilizing all these complex board permutations? Because my simple chess circuit + light bulb can do that; if not in its current state then definitely with some simple variation of it.
It's no longer choosing because it's not modeling anything. It doesn't need to utilize "all these complex board permutations" in this case - it only needs to utilize the two outcomes, the values of those outcomes, and the actions of arriving at those outcomes. Your circuit utilizes none of these.

Quote:
It sure sounds like you're basically saying the chess computer is choosing because the algorithms it runs (and thus the circuitry necessary to run those algorithms) are more complex. They're both based on fundamentally the same principles, though.
Is the difference between map one and map two solely a difference of complexity?

If yes, then okay, by that definition "complexity" is the difference between your circuit and my computer. I wouldn't call it complexity, but if that's what we're doing, then your circuit is not complex enough to model an action such as turning on a light bulb.
06-28-2010 , 11:27 AM
Quote:
No, it's not.

Solipsism: we can't know that other minds exist.

Monism: all there is is 'mental' stuff (which is basically Berkeley-ish).

Totally different to go from "all I can know is what is present to my consciousness" to "all there is is my consciousness."
Not so different in my case.

What happens if we include the premise "if I can't know of it, even in theory, then it does not exist?"
06-28-2010 , 11:33 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron W.
Is your conception of "model" supposed to be "self-evident" as well?
No, but it seems like you get the picture. Maybe not.

Quote:
I just need a basic example of a model. Something concrete. Something where you can't wave your magic "emergence" wand and pretend like the details you're ignoring aren't there.
If this was the point, then I don't like using the spin of a particle as a model because it's not very detailed. Can the spin of a particle be considered a model of the outcome of a coin flip? Probably. But that's stretching the term awfully far, I can see no reason to use "model" in that context most of the time. Maybe if particle spin is used to represent a "bit" in memory. In terms of whether it's "really" a model, in philosophic terms, yes, I'd say that technically it is.

Quote:

You start with 4 beans in a pile. There are two players. The first player can take 1 or 2 beans. Then the second player does the same. The game continues until there are no beans left. The player who takes the last bean wins.

Yes or no, can you work with this example?
I'm not sure where you're going with the example, but yes, it seems fine to me.
06-28-2010 , 12:10 PM
Quote:
No, but it seems like you get the picture. Maybe not.
This all depends on whether the concept of a "model" is arbitrary. That is, if there's nothing that makes it a model (or prevents it from being a model) other than your declaration that it is or is not a model.

If the model concept is arbitrary, then I "get the picture" because there's nothing to get. There's nothing of value to say against fiat. If it's not arbitrary, then somewhere I should be able to find what the essential features of a "model" are, and then take it back to your definition and see whether I think it says anything meaningful.

Quote:
I'm not sure where you're going with the example, but yes, it seems fine to me.
Consider the following pseudo-programming code:

If there are four beans, then take one bean.
If there are three beans, then take one bean.
If there are two beans, then take two beans.
If there is one bean, then take one bean.

If a computer is programmed in this manner, does it count as having modeled the game?
06-28-2010 , 12:42 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron W.
Consider the following pseudo-programming code:

If there are four beans, then take one bean.
If there are three beans, then take one bean.
If there are two beans, then take two beans.
If there is one bean, then take one bean.

If a computer is programmed in this manner, does it count as having modeled the game?
Yes, it has modeled the game. I think the model could stand to be more complete, but it's still a model.

As a model of the actions themselves, no.

m