X-Message-Number: 10242
From: "Timur Rozenfeld" <>
Subject: Reason
Date: Sat, 15 Aug 1998 10:43:20 -0600

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>To Timur Rosenfeld: No. Logic is NOT the means by which we integrate new

>knowledge. While there is room for argument about the exact means by which our 
>work, they very clear do not work by using logic, symbolic or other. It is
>true that we may use logic to explain how they work, but that is a
>different issue. Basically, our brains (when their structure and operation
>is examined) seem to consist of a set of neural nets connected together,
>with one single sequential computer (our awareness) having a kind of
>overall guiding role. I do not believe anyone has even shown that the
>different neural nets work by the same principles, though for at least
>our cerebral cortex that seems plausible. Lower brain centers may operate
>differently. The fact that we have several different kinds of memories, 
>if anything, suggests different operation of the neural nets involved.

You are talking about how the brain works which as you say may or may not be 
true, but I am talking at the epistemological level, not the =

scientific which comes after. How do you know something is true or not? You test
it against reality and see if there are contradictions, etc. If =

it passes within the current context of your knowledge, you add it to your 
existing knowledge. This is what I mean by using logic. You can =

describe it any way you like, as you did below, at the lower level, but that 
comes after the fact that you have gained knowledge of how the =

brain works, which was through your faculty to integrate information provided by
the senses (reason). How do you tell if something should  be =
true or not, should become knowledge or not, through logic.

>As for symbols as constructions, I note the proliferation of
>languages and now the similar proliferation of computer languages.

Different languages use different audio-visual concretes for the concepts they 
denote within the appropriate context

>As to just why we come up with such similar constructions of reality,
>there is both our common history and our common brain anatomy. It
>remains an interesting question as to whether or not simply a different
>history might lead a hypothetical human society to come up with an
>equally technological but wildly different view of the world. If we
>suppose different brain anatomies, then that possibility becomes even
>more likely... but still not certain. The only answer to that question
>may come from finding some other civilization among the stars --- but
>then the Fermi paradox suggests that such civilizations will be
>few and far between. We might have to look as far as the next Local
>Group of galaxies to get any good chance of finding one... and perhaps
>not even THAT close.

The phrase constructions of reality presumes that we create reality as we go, 
but I am not sure that is what you meant. I certainly agree that =

a different species would perceive reality differently: would perceive different
aspects of reality. For example, we hear sounds, see visible =

light, but another species might perceive infrared as we see light, and feel 
vibrations like we hear sound. Their different sense organs would =

make for a radically different society, etc., but they would still be perceiving
the same reality.

Timur Rozenfeld

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