Tuesday, August 5, 2014

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The Super Science of Philosophy and Some Confusions About it - continuation of the discussion on the "Strong Artificial Intelligence" thread at G+

On : ...

See the recent previous blog-posts from which it continues: ...

//By the way, I agree with some of your claims (but they should be elaborated with examples - grounds of reason, something that you do not do, unlike me - that's the purpose of the "many words", to build up images and context.)

So I actually do have "a theory" of intelligence and universe, which are going together, published prior to Hawkins' book, the trendy "Singularity" PR, the term "AGI", the "Deep Learning" popularity.

And one additional reason for people not understanding each other is our ape-character - social ranking. That's one reason why a few people would bother to check what the other has written, his theory etc., that is above comments of a few lines, unless he displays high social ranking.

One would read Kurzweil, or Hawkins, but not Todor Arnaudov - my theory is in some aspects "kindred " to Hawkins, however published prior to Hawkins' - who cares. There are even worse cases - see below.

"Randall Lee Reetz
10:02 AM
There is a big difference between philosophy and science. Philosophy only respects the thoughts we like to think. It's a mirror on self interest.
Randall Lee Reetz
10:04 AM
Science is what we have had to invent and work at because of philosophy's obvious blind spots."

Todor Arnaudov:

Sorry, the above shows that you don't have a clue about philosophy, especially the rigorous one. The "mirror of self interest" that's exactly the opposite of the systematic philosophy - it aims at being as objective as possible; even the term "objective" is used for "detaching from the Will" (in Schopenhauer terms, that process is related to Brahmanism and Buddhism terms, "losing yourself");
the motive to be as detached from the Will as possible.

The right philosophy aims for grounded, explained, starting from most basic and provable (as long as its possible) grounds - start with the dissertation "On the fourfold root..." which is exactly about the grounding of the truths as matching to the reality; as I mentioned earlier - 180 years prior a known as a seminal paper about that in the official "science" of AI. The line of Marx, Engels and Lenin is also about scientific method of philosophy and a tight correlation of philosophy and science (see especially Engels), unfortunately it's "polluted" with politics/ideology.

Finally "we" who first invented and worked at science methodologically were namely the philosophers... From the Greek ones to the Renaissaince ones. Of course practice and theory, and philosophy and science go and should go hand by hand, that's another word/way of talking about "sensory-motor grounding", related to the "Faculty of understanding" (Kant, Schopenhauer), the mapping between higher abstractions, lower abstractions and the lowest level data that's empty of intrinsic meaning. Good philosophy is on the top of the sciences.

As of the "many words" of mine - that's one of the problems of understanding - incompatibly different bandwidths. It's not only about time, it's about the size of the buffers at the lower levels - working memory capacity, the Faculty of judgment/top-bottom connection within the cognitive hierarchy; differences in the capacity/access to lower level sensory data in various modalities; capacity to imagine/trace the visualization/materialization of the words into images; and of course - simple knowledge when if missing, and also the attention span in time. (See the other comments for more details)


Philosophy is about higher generalization, higher cognitive span - it's steps above science in generality and scope, respectively it's harder to be grasped or held in mind by some scientists/engineers, whose subjects normally require shorter/smaller span - "out of memory"/"lacking grounding data"/"insufficient transitory-buffer-capacity" (see my other comment and the answer after it's published), and it requires to know to what the abstractions refer, so it's supposed that you know the concepts and "mechanics" of the special sciences as well.

The good philosophers are also scientists and engineers and artists in one way or another - you should understand the special sciences/domains and search for the general between them. If you are specialist only in one field (or a few) you can't notice or care about the association to the others, the causal chains between them, that your field is in fact the same as some other fields, how your own field came to existence and why is different, etc. The data to make this inference is missing. Most people suffer from multi-interdisciplinary blindness and multi-modal learning limitations.

That's why many people ask questions whose answer is otherwise obvious - they however scan the world with a spotlight in the darkness, instead of having a sun to enlighten the whole view at once, and if there's a lack of memory to keep the track while scanning - that might be a long journey of trial-and-error within the darkness, until reaching the obvious.

Regarding your claim - there are philosophers like that - it is the sophistry, perhaps some of the subjective idealists, perhaps also some servants of some ideological needs or just "immitators" - they mirror what the audience would like to hear, this is often blah-blah-sophy, not quality philosophy. Kant and Schopenhauer for instance were definitive AGI researchers, aiming at understanding intelligence and creativety completely, as much as the means and knowledge at the time allowed; unlike almost all of the official so called AI researchers for the most of the history, who were mere programmers or logicians or engineers or mathematicians, or combination of some of the above - but were missing the grounding "glue". I would name a few who did have a clue about the glue: Vladimir Turchin and Alan Kay.


So what's your knowledge or rather *understanding* of philosophy?

In fact the modern scientifical methods were first understood, proposed and formalized by philosophers - start with that fact; they knew better than the "scientists" what one had to do; many of the typical scientists are rather "pedants", performers of what's prescribed (initially by an authority - the "biological" method of the social ranking of the apes which humans are); most people are like that, and that's why science in Europe was dead for a millenium in the middle ages.

It was dead due to bad philosophy and because, let's call them "scientists" (empiricists), the more "practical ones" couldn't make up a way to understand the facts given the low resolution high generality data they started with and due to too much of obedience to the bullshit of the autorities (and perhaps the more limited amount of working memory, compared to the quality philosophers who then came).

"Angels" and "deamons" ruled the world - it was empirically proven - if you were bad, the sacred forces of Good moved you to the stake and you got burned in order to save your soul! People were bad and sinful, they didn't follow the Commandments, that's why they got ill and died! Who ever needed a better explanation - it was proven empirically.

Then science was revived not without the impulse of good philosophers, who are not pedants, they broke the existing fake dogmas, started to break the obedience to the authority and started to apply and suggest rigorous methods, instead of sophistry and pleasing or serving the religious authorities: Francis Beacon had important works on the inductive method in science, Descarthes paved the way of Calculus and started the idealists school of thought, which reached to Kant and Schopenhauer - their philosophy is a theory of how to build an AGI, so long as you understand it and have enough of working memory to keep their sentences in mind.

Indeed, I would claim that Kant was also an abstract mathematician. "Turing machine" is some 150 years late to Kant's true early definition of a computer - namely the Kant's emphasizing of the appropri conceptions of time, space and causality. This is the most abstract definition of a programmable computer: it needs a clock generator ("time") - there must be changes, and at the lowest level they should be expressible in 1D (the lowest possible dimension, the simplest hardware); it needs memory (state, "matter") and causal laws for the changes to happen in predictable manner, rather than having a random number generator* - that's the computer architecture, the instruction set, the most basic "physical laws", upon which higher forms are built.

* in fact random numbers are also not "random" and follow the law of their distribution; the probabilistic laws are also laws

Schopenhauer extended and made it even more clear - and that's all of the above: a Universe model, a model of a computer, a model of simulation of scientific simulations.

Also, just to mention regarding the talk on evolution here - his otherwise philosophical theory is about the Evolution, which in the beginning was such (that is: more abstract/general/higher science than the direct, purely empirical zoology). He discuss about the evolution (development, emergence, "generatio aequivoca") of the live and of the Universe and mind - and is several decades prior to Darwin - "the scientist".

- He induces his theory from the sciences, strongly refers and supports his claims with biology - zoology and botany - and all other scientific knowledge, available at the time;
- he defines the "anthropic principle" (not using the term);
- the "struggle" between the species, the crude forces of nature (the Will) that care more for the survival of the genus rather than the species and even less for the individual beings - however the individual objectivation of the Will, the individuals, struggling for their own surviving and fighting with the other forms of the Will;
- the fitness of the species to their surroundings and that they are mutually correlated and by the peculiarities of the environment one may induce what kind of animals would live there, and that in different places with similar climate and conditions live similar species, even though they were not exactly the same - because the evolution have lead the Will through similar obstacles and they had to survive in similar conditions);
- respectively that infers the survival of the fittest;
- the humans as higher than animals only in the extent and of the level of "the objectivation of the will", but qualitatively the same (something radical for 19-th century, where the egoistical humans were trained by the Western religions that animals "didn't have a soul");
- that the apes and other of the smartest animals are just one step below humans, they have similar "Understanding", but don't have "Reason";
- that the first human was probably born from the womb of an ape (i.e. not a human);
- that the first humans should have been black-skinned or dark, not white.
Etc. etc.

Let's visit also Marx. He is the proto-father of systematic Sociology, modern Economix; his thought, as with Kant, Schopenhauer and Nietsche is also related to Systems sciences, Cybernetics and together with Engels and Lenin they constantly searched and displayed correlations between the more abstract and the more specific (where honestly, where ideologically).

Notice also one other detail. Only Kant among the above was an academical, but as Schopenhauer mentions - he was an exception, because he lived in time of an enlightened monarch, who was a philosopher as well.

All the others were dissidents out of the universities, "non scientific"/according to the adopted values, some of them were viewed as "cranks" - Schopenhauer or "insane" - Nietsche.

That's it with the "bad" and "self-interested" philosophy, which is in fact a higher level of science and a "spawner" of other special sciences, because it sees more of the landscape**, which allows it to understand, explain and forsee things that normal scientists notice or "prove" decades or centuries later with their pocket spotlights and the smaller scope of view. The latter are driven more of the "blind will", the evolution that doesn't understands its aims and just "works". If they had a clue and understood the "bad" and "non-objective" philosophy they may have made the same "new" discoveries much earlier.

** Multi and interdisciplinary researchers are kind of philosophers as well, they are "meta-scientists". Theoretical physics is also close to philosophy, it's speculative and the most general/abstract of its "sisters".

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