Re: virus: Logical beliefs

Robin Faichney (
Wed, 4 Jun 1997 10:14:00 +0100

David McF wrote:
>At 07:00 PM 03/06/97 +0100, Robin Faichney wrote:
>>>I think that instincts
>>>*do* use logic.
>>Not "in thinking", they don't!
>True, but that is precisely the point of contention...

That wasn't clear to me. I might have come in late on this
thread. But to drop "in thinking" is either to depart from the
dictionary defn (#1) or to equivocate between defn #1 and
#2 or #3, isn't it?

>>But isn't there a qualitative difference between genetically
>>transmitted information and the learned or logically deduced
>>sort? You see, seems to me the genetic sort only accords
>I don't think so. There is a continuum between these types of
>information. Obviously there is a quantitative difference, otherwise
>adaptive intelligence would not have evolved.

OK, we're not going to reach agreement on this without
getting into *much* more detail, and very likely not even
then. Basically, I would say that in such cases there is
no absolutely clear distinction between qualitative and
quantitative. You choose which suits your purposes.
So I say there's a significant difference between these
different types of system, and you say that difference
isn't significant to you. We have different agendas.

>I am not using the term "rational" as a synonym for "realistic".
>I do not think the earth is behaving rationally by orbiting the sun.
>The term only applies when talking about intentional agents, i.e.
>systems that can be attributed beliefs and goals for predictive

But that's a subjective attribution! I can say "the tree intended
to drop the apple", and there's no way you can disprove it!

>Anything that is hardwired to
>use logic (organism or artifact) uses logic.

But I don't think you can define "hardwired to use logic"
to include instincts while excluding apple trees and solar
systems. Can you?