[lit-ideas] Re: view of names, or in ginocchio da te

  • From: John McCreery <john.mccreery@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 5 Sep 2013 08:49:15 +0900

Omar beat me to it. No reason why a machine with intentions can't be programmed 
to make mistakes. A simple random number generator when choosing between 
competing heuristics will do the trick.

But that first thought opened the way to another, perhaps more interesting 
thought. What, philosophically speaking, counts as a mistake? 

Seeking enlightenment.


In Taiwan I studied magicians.
In Japan I joined the guild.

On 2013/09/05, at 2:22, Omar Kusturica <omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Well, chess programs make mistakes as well, it's just that these days they 
> are so much better than us that we don't see it unless we analyze it with 
> another program. The so-called centaur or cyborg players regularly use 3-4 
> programs to compare.
> O.K.
> From: Walter C. Okshevsky <wokshevs@xxxxxx>
> To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx; Robert Paul <rpaul@xxxxxxxx> 
> Sent: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 7:08 PM
> Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: view of names, or in ginocchio da te
> I like Robert's conclusion here, but I fear there may be a few premises
> missing for a sound argument. We need more justification, and articulation, of
> the claim that intentionality is not a capacity machines possess. At first
> glance, this premise is false as machines can direct their "attention" to all
> sorts of (noematic) objects and configurations. Think of the chess programme
> that keeps beating you at level 7. Machines can also be programmed to attend 
> to
> their own functioning (noetic awareness, meta-cognition) and alter their
> initial
> programmed "behavior." 
> Attempts to argue that machines cannot think because they lack a "background
> horizon of meaning" necessary for "aboutness" (Dreyfus) or because they lack a
> capacity for "inferentialism" (Brandom) necessary for cogent and intelligible
> intentionality, are flawed I believe since such capacities can be programmed
> into the machine. If the argument is that humans think and behave
> "autonomously," independent of any programming, then it needs be shown that
> determinism is false and free will is possible. Not even Kant dared to claim
> that we know that humans possess free will.
> My theory of choice is that machines can't think
> because they are incapable of making a mistake. The true mark of thought on 
> this
> view is fallibility and machines ain't got it. Machines can be dysfunctional 
> or
> broken, but they are incapable of making a mistake. Hence they cannot think.
> Cheers, Walter
> Quoting Robert Paul <rpaul@xxxxxxxx>:
> > Donal wrote (in a long and interesting post)
> > 
> > > If this accurately reflects Searle's view (or if Searle thinks machines
> > > can have 'intentionality') then his argument and position are very
> > > different from Popper's - on Popper's argument 'intentionality'
> > > transcends any physical or mechanical principle, and machines cannot
> > think.
> > 
> > Searle does not believe that machines 'think,' or that they can have 
> > intentional states. Quite the opposite
> > 
> > 'Intentionality,' is a Medieval concept introduced into modern 
> > philosophy in 1874 by Franz Brentano, in Psychology from an Empirical 
> > Standpoint CPsychologie vom empirischen Standpunkt).
> > 
> > Intentionality concerns the directedness or ‘aboutness’ of 'many, if not 
> > all,' conscious states. No state of a machine has such a relation to 
> > anything else; this would seem to entail, more broadly, that machines 
> > can't think.
> > 
> > Robert Paul
> > 
> > 
> > 
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