I presented the following at University of Maryland, College Park, 30 Oct 2017. It summarises three papers with constructive feedback on where to improve their methodology.
The bottom line is simple: we know memory is fallible and that we evolved this sort of memory mechanism rather than just a purely rigidly veridical mechanism — the question is why evolve a seemingly imperfect mechanism?
Abstract: The following three approaches show that updating information in novel situations (rather than a well-defined niche) differentiates the distinctly human form of memory from that which non-human agents possess: we need to update information as time passes and as social arrangements change (not so much the environment in which we must survive and reproduce, but rather, in the uniquely human terrain or social landscape, ie. regarding what is “due” others as well as, or, more importantly, what is “due” us in particular). Rigid memory serves us well (and we seem to possess this just as non-human animals do, in cases such as locating resources ); but it breaks down in social interactions when we must perform so-called moral book-keeping to disentangle our ever-changing social obligations (and, more saliently, what others owe us — as human memory has an ego-driven, self-knowing, meta-representational character).
Continue reading “Talk: Evolution of Memory” →
Gareth Evans, in The Varieties of Reference, described “thought” in functional and structural terms. He called this the generality constraint. This small article shall gather some formulations of the generality constraint that offer some suggestions on where it can be used elsewhere in and outside of Philosophy.
- Evans’ definition.
- Carruthers’ weak&strong formulations.
- Some considerations such as Camp’s claim that categorial restrictions are not allowed; and my own counter-claim that a basic notion of extensibility does away with the need for such restrictions.
- Lastly, how to actually use the generality constraint beyond argue over what Evans meant. This includes future directions and applying generality constraint elsewhere outside of Philosophy: type theory for computation, natural language processing, X-Phil tests, cross-cultural associations, cog sci (autism, developmental psych) and so on.
From The Varieties of Reference:
Generality Constraint (Unrestricted): If an agent can think the thought “A is an F,” and the agent can think the thought “B is a G,” then the agent can think the thoughts “B is an F” and “A is a G.”
Two interpretations of the constraint, via Peter Carruthers in “Invertebrate Concepts Confront the Generality Constraint (and Win)” are as follows:
Strong Generality Constraint: If an agent possesses the concepts A and F (and is capable of thinking “A is an F”), then for all (or almost all) other concepts B and G that the agent could possess, it is metaphysically possible for the agent to think “A is a G,” and in the same sense possible for it to think “B is an F.”
Weak Generality Constraint: If an agent possesses the concepts A and F (and is capable of thinking “A is an F”), then for some other concepts B and G that the agent could possess, it is metaphysically possible for the agent to think “A is a G,” and in the same sense possible for it to think “B is an F.”
(as a work in progress, this will be updated as time permits)
This site encompasses some of my research as a graduate student in Logic, Computer Science, and Mathematics. My interests include computational mathematics, conceptual modeling, feature engineering, and explainable/ethical artificial intelligence.
As time permits I shall publish research material and works in progress. This may include topics in Cognitive Systems (Organic and Machine Learning), Model Theory, and Computational Complexity, but I may also share some anecdotes about methodology as my lab work progresses. Additionally, my previous and forth-coming publications/collaborations shall reside here.