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On (i) mechanizability of human mind versus consideration regarding meta problem, problem of complexity and chance/randomness (ii) defence of utilitarian model of human behavior (decision making).
Cognitive Science deals with rules on cognitive processes (or : how the brain/mind works or: how the nervous system works). The very first generalized meta question coming to anybody minds is the question regarding character of rules governing with cognitive processes. In particular the question regards degree of dependency of any our activity on our free will/intentionality or some kind of mechanism that is beyond our control. The above made the most fundamental question within First Cognitive Revolution; the question whether human minds act as simple, logical computers which turned within Second Cognitive Revolution to a more sophisticated wider question; whether human minds act some kind of mechanically (intuitevely independently from our free will).
There are plenty of less or more serious arguments against the thesis that human minds work mechanically. However only few (I will try to indicate that all of them are reducible to one in the end) are really meaningful. In particular I do not want to focus on commonly raised arguments on existence of qualia or some variations on Searle’s Chineese Room argument regarding existence of semantics1. In both of them existence of some irreductive phenomena is stressed, what for many proves unmechanical character of modus operandi of human mind.
In fact the clue of the debate is much deeper. The one can admit that there are many irreductive mental emergent phenomenas connected with activity of human mind. In the same time the one can still claim that it does not say anything about potential mechanizability of human mind and some limited possibilities of its reduction. Deeper clue of the debate is connected with the most crucial philosophical questions problems: meta problem, complexity and chance/randomness.
At the beginning we have also to observe that independently from answer on the question on mechanizability of human mind (what may be understood as a contradiction of free will and intentionality) first of all we have to admit that the concept of free will is necessary for human socialites. Rejection of the concept of phenomenal free will would almost automatically trigger collapses of any normative systems (ethics, moral, legal). So such rejection would finally turn against these human societies by jeopardizing their fundamental need of safety. Human being simple cannot afford the above. Being aware of limits of our understanding, explanation and prediction we do not have to give up with a phenomena of free will. However if we really want to explore in scientific way any human cognitive processes (also any higher cognitive processes: moral, ethical or legal) we have to consider most accurate interpretation of scientific facts: any free will is realized by unpredictable effects embodied in chance/randomness of “reality”. Because the concept of chance/randomness is more meaningful that the concept of free will from descriptive efficiency perspective (however for any other practical purposes as guarding normative systems we may find the concept of free will more efficient) so we should at least take into considerations the consequences resulting from AI description perspective of such problems of human level intelligence as moral, ethical or legal actions. This is also a defence of utilitarian point of view within normative disciplines. This is a fundamental aim of this paper.
Meta problem in general, having its source in philosophy, epistemology, logic, mathematics and even linguistics often recognized in problem of metaphysics, frame problem, ceteris paribus clause, regressum ad infinitum, Wittgenstein (Kripke) argument, liar paradox and mainly most prominent examples of Gödel limitation theorems and Turing stop problem clearly shows limits of scientific exploration connected with any finite formalization of way of description.2
We will never create a theory based on any axioms of any given formal system being complete and not contradictory, because of lack of knowledge contained in some meta system. There is an infinitive meta knowledge over the knowledge represented by the given formal system. This meta knowledge may be represented by any number having algorithmic contents of information grater then complexity of given N formal system.3
Problem of complexity originally raised from classical physics (recognized in effects of deterministic chaos), quantum physics and evolutionary biology disciplines also indicates limits of exploration connected with the need of the use of probabilistic methods and consequently the need of explanation with the use of the concept of chance/randomness.4 Randomness of systems in classical physics is connected with their great sensitivity on errors of measurement of initial conditions with regard to their non linearity and in quantum physics and evolutionary biology disciplines chance/randomness is understood as a structural part of explained “reality”. The problem of complexity is also the essence in classical problem of Cognitive Science: mind/brain problem or the concepts of emergence or supervenience (which are often overused by many philosophers).
Need of the use of concept of chance/randomness in classical physics may be understood as arising with regard to axiomatization by way of measurement process and setting initial conditions5.
When we assume some axioms we formalize them- so according to meta problem we contain in description system incompletness/contradiction which is equal to some fault - according to hilbertian model of complete and not contradictory cognition. When we want to describe the subject phenomena in such a faulty way, we can expect that description of process of complication of this phenomena (by way of adding impact to some other phenomenas or by way of evolution of the phenomena in time) triggers (i) propagation of faultiness of the description and consequently need of the use of the concept of chance/randomness in prediction of activity of the subject pheneomena and generally its final unpredictability from one side , and (ii) irreducibility (some meaning of this word) of some post and complex phenomenas arisen from the subject phenomena to thereof. The chance/randomness may be simply and consequently understood in classical physics as some meta data over the interpretation frame of measurement process and setting initial conditions (axioms) - numbers having algorithmic contents of information grater then complexity of given N system of description. 6
In conclusion we may observe that meta problem and problem of complexity in classical physics regard the same phenomena, but both problems describe its different consequences: (i) meta problem – the consequence of incompletness/contradiction of the description and (ii) problem of complexity – the consequence of limited predictability of subject phenomena/irreducibility of post and more complex phenomenas according to such description.
In quantum physics chance/randomness becomes structural part of the reality. In opposition to the above some claims the hypothesis of hidden parameters7, what seems to harmonize with the above mentioned meta problem and problem of complexity in classical physics. However it must be underlined that philosophical dispute between those who want to save hypothesis of hidden parameters and those who claims that randomness is a structural part of quantum reality is meaningless because they only differ with argue whether unpredicitibility is because of lack of some existing meta knowledge or because of fact that unpredictability is a structural part of “reality”. The most important is to observe that in both cases we still deal with unpredictability, which may be consequently identified with a numbers having grater contents of information then complexity of M system representing the one’s interpretational frame of these numbers. Because we shall never confound conception of description of the world even if it seems so natural with reality itself, which is beyond of any conceptions 8 we shall really be abstemious with claiming that something is “reality” or its structural part. It seems only lack of humility only determines one to distinguish two kinds of unpredictability or randomness.
In evolutionary biological disciplines chance/randomness allows to explain (in frames of evolutionary explanation) emergence of variety of pieces of “reality”. Independently whether we use a concept of chance/randomness within frames of evolutionary biological disciplines, quantum physics, classical physics we describe unpredicitibility with this concept of chance/randomness. With regard to the above I find all the above problems (meta problem and problem of complexity) the same kind in the end I consider all of them may be interpreted as one and the same problem of chance/randomness (or meta problem).9
There are plenty of arguments build in connection to the above fundamental problems claiming moderation before coming to serious philosophical conclusions (especially regarding higher cognitive processes as moral, ethical, legal actions) basing on analogy of human mind and its description from perspective of contemporary Cognitive Science (in particular Artificial Intelligence). All of them, the same as problems themselves, are reductive to one problem of understanding the chance/randomness and some intuition that we will never be able to understand with mind the mind itself.
The assumption that human minds does not regard limitations connected with finite formalization of way of description triggers belief of many that we are not mechanical . The conclusion is accompanied with the next assumption: intuitively mechanizability shall be formalized and consequently any system of description of the subject mechanism is limited with limitations resulting from Godel’s theorems10.
It seems to be observed that predominant interpretation of the above indication is that meta problem points only limitations of our cognition and says nothing on mechanizability of human mind or any other physical processes.11 Both assumptions: (i) the assumption that human mind or any other physical processes do not regard problem of incompletness/contradiction and (ii) the assumption that mechanical means ability to be describable with use of any symbolic, formalized means are too profound.
First assumption may be questioned with indication that (i) within mathematics thesis of its incompletness was odd at the beginning even when it was already proved and (ii) results of quantum physics clearly show that we shall take more seriously possibility of fact “reality” is some how incomplete or contradictory.
The second assumption may questioned with indication that independently from source of our ignorance we always have ability to some (worse) explanation. The use of probabilistic methods freely allows us to include in such description any unpredictable/unknown factors12, so also those which are not describable with the use of any symbolic, formalized means (if such exist). The above may be modeled even theoretically13 and executed practically with use of biological or physical components (cell automats, quantum effects).
In the end the running debate is reduced to some theological understanding of concept of chance and randomness. I indicated the very first differences discussing point Chance/randomness (complexity in quantum physics and evolutionary biological disciplines). The question is especially here about whether (i) we deal with just simple chance and randomness the same which is effectively used in any explanation of practical physical processes and later modeled practically - so in the end we understand it as mechanical (ii) or we deal with some another kind of unpredictability which is “responsible” for emergence of many recognized extraordinary phenomena, what proves existence of extraordinary meta “reality” and finally triggers caution with calling this unpredictability mechanical.
As already said, finally meta problem is a wider problem of Philosophy of Science, and indicates limits of any formalization. However the debate on philosophical consequences showed in the questioned assumptions that the essence of the problem with explanation and modeling of human mind is its openness and dependency on evolution and learning processes allowing by the use of chance/randomness for available free selfmodification.
Problem of complexity may be simple presented as an argument against mechanizability by questioning (i) predictability of mental or biological states of mind or brain because of its mechanical complexity and evoluating character in time. Moreover (ii) impossibility of reduction of mind (as emergent structure) to brain is often stressed. It is worth to observe that the open (properties: chance/randomness, selfmodification abilities) and dynamic system in conditions of mechanical and evolutionary (selfmodificating in time) complexity naturally leads to emergence of irreducive phenomenas and its limited predictability. We have to stress that independently from the above indications we still can give some kind of evolutionary/learning explanation of the emergent phenomenas. More reductive explanation we want make more irregularities we have to include in description with chance/randomness. However the most static frame theory of the system (which does not have to selfmodify to be able to explain the subject phenomena effectively) still gives us many information on its properties. In conclusion we also may acknowledge possibility of partial reduction in frames of evolutionary/learning mechanism perspective (independently from impossibility of full reduction and predictability of the system). So if we accept the fundamental fact that science really says us something about described reality - we can ask about the most static frame theory of human mind (basic knowledge on properties of any human cognition), especially human behavior?
In the second part of the paper I want to show how models of human cognitive processes/mind deal with meta problem and problem of complexity by modeling them with different scale of openness (basing on greater or lesser axiomatic power) what in terms of representation is described with symbolic, subsymbolic and connectionistic methods. In particular I want to show the above on the grounds of disciplines dealing with problem of: (3.2.) representation having its source in linguistics, philosophy, logic, computer sciences, psychology, artificial intelligence, neurobiology (3.3.) choice making having its source in mathematics (in particular game theory), psychology, economics, computer science, artificial intelligence, neurobiology and (3.4.) data processing systems having its source in logic, computer science, artificial intelligence, neurobiology what may be also understood as generalization of the above problems of representation and choice making. I also indicate (3.5.) that all the above problems from neurobiological (connectionistic) perspective are de facto one and the same thing, defined with the way how just neural networks work. Such perspective is currently described in Cognitive Science as an “embodied” perspective.
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