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Re: [ontolog-forum] Triangles and meanings.

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: Rick Murphy <rick@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 01 Sep 2010 22:27:59 -0400
Message-id: <4C7F0BAF.3080200@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
oops, hold that last one, I was just sketching out some thoughts, should 
have something ready in a few days ...    (01)

Rick    (02)

On 9/1/2010 10:25 PM, Rick Murphy wrote:
> On 8/24/2010 7:10 PM, Pat Hayes wrote:
>> The basic question is, where do the meanings come from?
> Non Mind consciousness, meaning without consciousness
> v. problem of self reference and bootstrap,
> If I recall correctly, you disagree with for minds meaning comes from
> associating a predicate with a subject ,
> We can also fail to understand meaning
> for machines meaning come from us.
> does this require mind?
> When I say experience I mean more than perceiving external stimuli.
> Though that's the most obvious, we'd probably all agree, we experience
> meaning when we dream. Experience also includes our subconscious and
> collective unconscious. Each of these cases includes mind,
> avoid soul, hofstader
> mind as unit of reference, paradox
> When I say for machines they come from us.
> chalmers hard problem
> experience without meaning
> subject, predicate
> [[]]
>> That is, the theories of meaning appeal to the notion of a
>> mind as part of the account of meaning.
> And I have not been able to read Strange Loop yet, but this
> http://tal.forum2.org/hofstadter_interview
>> The pithiest phrase is Searle's
>> "original intentionality", a basic property of human minds which
>> accounts for meaningfulness but is not itself reducible (except possibly
>> to biology in some future extension of biological and psychological
>> science.) Original intentionality plays the same kind of role in
>> semiotic theory, in this view, that mass or electromagnetism play in
>> physics: a basic 'force' to which other phenomena can be reduced but
>> which itself has to be simply accepted as one of the building blocks of
>> the fundamental theory.
>> But now turn to modern cognitive science (CS), which is the only part of
>> science that can claim to have even modest success at accounting for the
>> cognitive functions which exhibit intentionality. CS treats the human
>> mind as essentially dynamic information processing in the brain, viewed
>> (at a suitably high level of abstraction) as a kind of biological
>> computer. Not a Von Neumann machine, to be sure, but still an
>> information processor which operates upon internal representations in
>> some way. Now, on such an account of intentionality, the mind itself is
>> made up of signs. Where do these signs get their meaning from? If we
>> turn to the triangular tradition, we need another mind to provide the
>> meaningfulness of these internal signs, and we are immediately in a
>> vicious regress involving nested homunculi. Aristotle through Searle
>> appeal to a mind to explain meaningfulness of signs: CS uses meaningful
>> signs to explain how the mind works. Their explanatory arrows go in
>> reverse directions, and if we use them both, they form a loop. So if CS
>> is even sketchily right - and I repeat, no other account of mentality
>> comes anywhere close to being adequate - then something other than the
>> traditional triangular accounts of meaning must be used to account for
>> how the internal signs - the mental representations which constitute the
>> mind's inner ontology, the machinery of thought - get their meaning, if
>> indeed they have meaning. There is no other mind to appeal to.
> In the very wordy Evolution, Error and Intentionality, Dennet suggests
> an alternative to
> http://ase.tufts.edu/cogstud/papers/evolerr.htm
> Reading this paper made me truly appreciate my time recently reading
> symbolic notations.
>> I don't know how to resolve this problem. For myself, it amounts for me
>> to a refutation of the traditional views of meaning, or at any rate a
>> reduction of them to triviality. So, sorry, but Aristotle and Pierce and
>> Searle and a whole lot of other very distinguished minds were all wrong.
>> Searle obviously thought that it was a refutation of modern cognitive
>> science (I use the past tense as I havn't spoken with him on this topic
>> for a long time.) Either way, it is a serious theoretical problem for
>> folk in our profession who are busily using both the formal techniques
>> and the ideas of CS while relying upon the traditional triangular view
>> of meaning and intentionality.
> One value of the meaning triangle is in differentiating object,
> representation and concept.
> I have come to appreciate how
> Benjamin Pierce defines meaning in terms of denotational, operational
> and axiomatic semantics. John Reynolds discusses both internal
> (non-typed) and external (typed) semantics. In fact, Reynolds introduces
> the notation [[]] to designate meaning as
> My experience with Haskell has
> Here's an example of
> [[]]
> Value of signs
> self referential problem
> And your old friend Rob Burstall, suggests
> David Chalmers, hard problem
> I still find Alan Watts' view authentic and compelling.
> can use to explain, web denotational semantics,
> The URI your browser de-referenced to render this page is not me.
>> Pat Hayes
>    (03)

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