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Joe Fisher: on 3/16/17 at 15:40pm UTC, wrote Dear Hugo Pérez Ramírez, Please excuse me for I have no intention of...

Simon DeDeo: on 3/15/17 at 5:38am UTC, wrote Dear Hugo, I appreciated your unconventional approach to the problem. ...

Hugo Pérez Ramírez: on 3/13/17 at 22:44pm UTC, wrote Essay Abstract Are there Explanations in terms of desires and...


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March 23, 2017

CATEGORY: Wandering Towards a Goal Essay Contest (2016-2017) [back]
TOPIC: Are There Personal Explanations whitout Persons? by Hugo Pérez Ramírez [refresh]
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This essay's rating: Community = 4.3; Public = 3.0

Author Hugo Pérez Ramírez wrote on Mar. 13, 2017 @ 22:44 GMT
Essay Abstract

Are there Explanations in terms of desires and reasons without referring to persons? I argue that there are. Events which refer to desires and reasons without persons are not only possible, but also there are instantiated in every system that tend to order and process information.

Author Bio

Hugo Pérez Ramírez as a postgraduate student of philosophy in the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile has researched several field as Philosophy of Physics, Logic, Philosophy of language, Metaphysics, and Philosophy of Religion.

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Simon DeDeo wrote on Mar. 15, 2017 @ 05:38 GMT
Dear Hugo,

I appreciated your unconventional approach to the problem.

The question of when a system has not just goals or desires, but also "reasons for", seems particularly interesting. I think most would accept that the fitness function in an evolutionary model provides the (illusion of) a goal for a population, or at least a signal of differential goal-achievement.

But it is certainly the case that evolution doesn't give organisms "reasons for" doing something. They do them, or do not, and thrive accordingly. Your rational choice example of there being reasons-for is nice; yet it's not directly applicable because it's a model we build ourselves. We're using rational choice to determine reasons for doing something, but that's because we're interested in reasons. How does that reason-making itself arise? I think you punt a bit on this one, cramming it into the last two paragraphs.

Years ago I was at a lecture where speaker suggested that the neutron "calculated its mass every X nanoseconds" (or something). We (a roomful of physicists) were all mystified about what he meant--he was trying to make a too-cute point about how long it took *us* to calculate the mass using computers. In the end I think he was wrong: it is one thing to be X, or have property X; another to infer, calculate, or compute it. I think you make a similar slip in the last two paragraphs.

Perhaps I'm missing something here. You've taken an approach that reminds me of my data with the analytic philosophers. One of their great virtues, in addition to high alcohol tolerance, is to take a non-scientific idea like "having a reason for doing something" and just relentlessly refusing to cash it out in scientific terms.



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Joe Fisher wrote on Mar. 16, 2017 @ 15:40 GMT
Dear Hugo Pérez Ramírez,

Please excuse me for I have no intention of disparaging in any way any part of your essay.

I merely wish to point out that “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955) Physicist & Nobel Laureate.

Only nature could produce a reality so simple, a single cell amoeba could deal with it.

The real Universe must consist only of one unified visible infinite physical surface occurring in one infinite dimension, that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light.

A more detailed explanation of natural reality can be found in my essay, SCORE ONE FOR SIMPLICITY. I do hope that you will read my essay and perhaps comment on its merit.

Joe Fisher, Realist

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