Re: virus: Logical Beliefs

David McFadzean (
Fri, 06 Jun 1997 17:16:27 -0600

At 06:10 PM 06/06/97 -0400, Reed Konsler wrote:

>In 2), how would differentiate between something which "uses"
>logic and something which "obeys" logic. It seems like you
>need to invoke intentionality to do so.

If a system meets criteria 1) and 2) then it uses logic
as opposed to just obeying logic.

I'll try rewording the criteria to avoid intentional language:

1) Truth values about the system's environment are represented
within the system.
2) The results of logical operations on the truth values
influence the system's behavior.

An important consideration about #1 is there has to be a possibility
that the system misrepresents the state of the world.

Example: "The rock will fall if it is not supported."
You may think at first that the rock is using logic by my
criteria: if (not supported) then fall.

But the rock doesn't represent the truth value of (supported)
anywhere within the rock because it can't possibly be wrong about
whether it is supported (otherwise it could make a mistake and float :-).

>This same issue caused a problem earlier in your use of
>"rational". What is the difference between something "using"
>reason and something that appears to behave reasonably.
>There are two different "reasons" there, at least to my

The difference is only in how the behavior is determined
which I am claiming is irrelevant to the question of whether
the behavior is reasonable.

When you learn a new language with a different grammar you have
to think carefully about the grammar rules of the new language
in order to construct a grammatical sentence. As you become fluent
in the language you no longer have to think about it, you just
talk naturally.

Yes, there is a difference between speakers who "use" the grammar
(consciously follow grammatical rules) and speakers that appear
to talk grammatically. Does that mean there are two different
grammars here? If the question is whether one is speaking
grammatically correct sentences, does it really matter if they
have to think about it first?

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Church of Virus