Combining Philosophers

Ideas for Avicenna (Abu Ibn Sina), Georges Rey and Carlo Rovelli

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6 ideas

18. Thought / B. Mechanics of Thought / 3. Modularity of Mind
Children speak 90% good grammar [Rey]
     Full Idea: Ninety percent of most young children's utterances are grammatical.
     From: Georges Rey (Contemporary Philosophy of Mind [1997], 4.2.4)
     A reaction: This is good evidence for some sort of innate element in the grammar of language. But the accurate grammar is not in a particular language. Good communication must be the driving force in all this.
Good grammar can't come simply from stimuli [Rey]
     Full Idea: Grammatical sensitivity is in no way a physical property of the stimulus, and we can't imagine how to build a device which would produce grammatical structures in response to the environment.
     From: Georges Rey (Contemporary Philosophy of Mind [1997], 4.3)
     A reaction: You could try to program it with a set of (say) Aristotelian categories, and mechanisms to sort the environment accordingly. It then has to query its database, in response to practical needs. A doddle.
18. Thought / B. Mechanics of Thought / 4. Language of Thought
Animals may also use a language of thought [Rey]
     Full Idea: The language of thought need not only be confined to creatures which speak a natural language.
     From: Georges Rey (Contemporary Philosophy of Mind [1997], 10.1.1)
     A reaction: I take it as axiomatic that our brains are no different in principles and fundamental mechanics from the lowliest of creatures. See Idea 7509.
We train children in truth, not in grammar [Rey]
     Full Idea: Very young children have been shown (Brown and Halon 1970) to be 'reinforced' not for their grammar but for the informational content of what they say.
     From: Georges Rey (Contemporary Philosophy of Mind [1997], 4.2.1)
     A reaction: This is what you would expect. It doesn't follow that the grammar comes from innate mechanisms, because the pressure to get the information right could impose increasing accuracy in grammar.
18. Thought / B. Mechanics of Thought / 6. Artificial Thought / a. Artificial Intelligence
Images can't replace computation, as they need it [Rey]
     Full Idea: Processing of images and mental models seems to require, and therefore is unlikely to replace, computation and representation.
     From: Georges Rey (Contemporary Philosophy of Mind [1997], 10.1.2)
     A reaction: A good point. If you are a fan of mental imagery, you still have to explain how we can hold an image, or recall it, or manipulate it. I always, I don't know why, wince at the thought of 'computations' among neurons.
CRTT is good on deduction, but not so hot on induction, abduction and practical reason [Rey]
     Full Idea: The computational/representational theory of thought has given a good account of deduction, but mechanical theories of induction, abduction and practical reason are needed in order to make a machine which could reason.
     From: Georges Rey (Contemporary Philosophy of Mind [1997], 8.5)
     A reaction: This is the best analysis of rationality that I have found (four components: deduction, induction, abduction, practical reason). I can think of nothing to add, and certainly none of these should be omitted.