MIND

The Social Construction of Stories

Topic: 

  • MIND
https://vimeo.com/163413157

I went for dinner with a friend who spent the whole of the evening complaining about her job, her boss, her colleagues, and her commute. Everything about her day-to-day experiences was miserable. Then, at the end of dinner, she said, "I love where I work." That's quite common. She was working for an organization where she'd always wanted to work, her parents were proud, her friends were jealous. How could she not be happy when she thought about the story of how happy she was where she was working?

Inferring Trustworthiness From Moral Decision Making

Topic: 

  • MIND
https://vimeo.com/166046088

Daniel Kahneman:   The benefit that people get from taking a deontological position is that they look more trustworthy. Let's look at the other side of this. If I take a consequentialist position, it means that you can't trust me because, under some circumstances, I might decide to break the rule in my interaction with you. I was puzzled when I was looking at this. What is the essence of what is going on here? Is it deontology or trustworthiness?

Deontology Or Trustworthiness?

[6.16.16]

DANIEL KAHNEMAN:  The benefit that people get from taking a deontological position is that they look more trustworthy. Let's look at the other side of this. If I take a consequentialist position, it means that you can't trust me because, under some circumstances, I might decide to break the rule in my interaction with you. I was puzzled when I was looking at this. What is the essence of what is going on here? Is it deontology or trustworthiness? It doesn't seem to be the same to say we are wired to like people who take a deontological position, or we are wired to like people who are trustworthy. Which of these two is it?

MOLLY CROCKETT:  What the work suggests is that we infer how trustworthy someone is going to be by observing the kinds of judgments and decisions that they make. If I'm interacting with you, I can't get inside your head. I don't know what your utility function looks like. But I can infer what that utility function is by the things that you say and do.

This is one of the most important things that we do as humans. I've become increasingly interested in how we build mental models of other people's preferences and beliefs and how we make inferences about what those are, based on observables. We infer how trustworthy someone is going to be based on their condemnation of wrongdoing and their advocating a hard-and-fast morality over one that's more flexible.

MOLLY CROCKETT is an associate professor of experimental psychology, fellow of Jesus College, and distinguished research fellow at the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics, University of Oxford. Molly Crockett's Edge Bio Page

DANIEL KAHNEMAN is the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics (2002), and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2013). He is the Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology Emeritus, Princeton, and author of Thinking, Fast and Slow. Daniel Kahneman's Edge Bio Page

The Social Construction of Stories

How Narratives Can Get in the Way of Being Happier
[5.13.16]


I went for dinner with a friend who spent the whole of the evening complaining about her job, her boss, her colleagues, and her commute. Everything about her day-to-day experiences was miserable. Then, at the end of dinner, she said, "I love where I work." That's quite common. She was working for an organization where she'd always wanted to work, her parents were proud, her friends were jealous. How could she not be happy when she thought about the story of how happy she was where she was working? Her experiences—day-to-day and moment-to-moment—were telling her something quite different.

I'm interested in where these narratives come from, particularly those narratives that sometimes get in the way of us being happier. There's been a lot of psychological research on how stories are helpful for us; for example, in the case of experiencing adversity or trauma. If we look for explanation and reason through narrative, it helps us cope with the adverse consequences. There's been a lot of work on that. I'm interested more in the social constructions of the stories, in the things that evolution, society, our parents, or historical accident tell us about the lives that we ought to be leading, and in particular, how they might sometimes get in the way of us experiencing better lives.

PAUL DOLAN is a professor of behavioral science at the London School of Economics and Political Science and author of Happiness by Design. Paul Dolan's Edge Bio Page

THE REALITY CLUB: Elaine Pagels

A Characteristic Difference

Topic: 

  • MIND
https://vimeo.com/158255382

DANIEL KAHNEMAN:  We're at the nub of the question. You come from philosophy, so there are certain things that are of interest to you. You want to convey two things at once: that the question is exciting, and that you have something new to say about it. It is true that I, as a psychologist, would come to the same question and conclude that it's an impossible question. Those are two impossible questions, and I certainly would not expect people to answer them in any way that is coherent.                                  

A Characteristic Difference

Topic: 

  • MIND

Daniel Kahneman and Joshua Knobe from Edge Foundation on Vimeo.

KAHNEMAN:  We're at the nub of the question. You come from philosophy, so there are certain things that are of interest to you. You want to convey two things at once: that the question is exciting, and that you have something new to say about it. It is true that I, as a psychologist, would come to the same question and conclude that it's an impossible question. Those are two impossible questions, and I certainly would not expect people to answer them in any way that is coherent.                                  

A Characteristic Difference

When Experimental Philosophy Meets Psychology
[4.26.16]

DANIEL KAHNEMAN:  We're at the nub of the question. You come from philosophy, so there are certain things that are of interest to you. You want to convey two things at once: that the question is exciting, and that you have something new to say about it. It is true that I, as a psychologist, would come to the same question and conclude that it's an impossible question. Those are two impossible questions, and I certainly would not expect people to answer them in any way that is coherent.                                  

My first assumption, coming to it as a psychologist, is that there is no coherence. You agree with me that there is no coherence. What makes it exciting from the point of view of philosophy is that there is no coherence. Whereas, as a psychologist, I take it for granted that there is no coherence, so it's less exciting. That could be one of the differences.               

JOSHUA KNOBE:  That's really helpful. The thing we showed is not just that it is incoherent but along which dimension it is incoherent. It seems like there was evidence already that there's something pulling us towards one side and something pulling us to the other side, and we want to know which thing is pulling us towards one side or the other. We suggested that it's this difference between abstract thinking and concrete thinking.... 

JOSHUA KNOBE is an experimental philosopher and professor of philosophy and cognitive science at Yale University. Joshua Knobe's Edge Bio Page

DANIEL KAHNEMAN is the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics (2002), and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2013). He is the Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology Emeritus, Princeton, and author of Thinking Fast and Slow. Daniel Kahneman's Edge Bio Page

Verena Huber-Dyson

May 6, 1923—March 12, 2016
[3.13.16]

In 1997, my son George Dyson handed me a batch of comments dated Oct. 29, 1998—Edge #29 ("What Are Numbers, Really? A Cerebral Basis For Number Sense"), by Stanislas Dehaene and Nov. 7—Edge #30 (the subsequent Reality Club discussion) by a group of Edge researchers. I read it all with great interest, and then my head started spinning.

Anyone interested in the psychology (or even psycho-pathology) of mathematical activity could have had fun watching me these last weeks. And now here I am with an octopus of inconclusive ramblings on the Foundations bulging my in "essays" file and a proliferation of hieroglyphs in the one entitled "doodles." It is so much easier to do mathematics than to philosophize about it. My group theoretic musings, the doodles, have been a refuge all my life.

VERENA HUBER-DYSON, mathematician and logician, died yesterday in Bellingham, Washington, at the age of 92. She was Emeritus Professor of the Philosophy Department, University of Calgary, Alberta. 

Born in Naples and raised in Athens until 1940, she joined the Institute for Advanced Study as a visiting member of the School of Mathematics in 1948 after obtaining her PhD from the University of Zürich with a thesis in finite group theory under Andreas Speiser in 1947. After teaching positions at Cornell University, Goucher College, San Jose State University, Adelphi University, UCLA, Mills College, and UC Berkeley (where she was a member of Tarski's Group in Logic and the Methodology of Science), she obtained tenure as an associate professor in the Mathematics department of the University of Illinois.  

From 1973 to 1988, she was a professor in the Philosophy department of the University of Calgary, Alberta Canada, where she taught graduate courses on the Foundations of Mathematics and the Philosophy and Methodology of the sciences. Her research, on the interface between Algebra and Logic, (Tarski and Novosibirsk Style) is concerned with undecidability in Group theory.

She is the author of a monograph, Gödel's theorems: a workbook on formalization (Teubner, 1991) based on her experience of teaching graduate courses and seminars on mathematical logic, formalization and its limitations to mathematics, philosophy and interdisciplinary students at the Universities of Calgary, Zürich and Monash. Verena Huber-Dyson's Edge Bio page

VHD on Edge:

GÖDEL IN A NUTSHELL
By Verena Huber-Dyson [ 5.13.06 ]

The essence of Gödel's incompleteness theorem is that you cannot have both completeness and consistency. A bold anthropomorphic conclusion is that there are three types of people; those that must have answers to everything; those that panic in the face of inconsistencies; and those that plod along taking the gaps of incompleteness as well as the clashes of inconsistencies in stride if they notice them at all, or else they succumb to the tragedy of the human condition. (Continue...)

GÖDEL AND THE NATURE OF MATHEMATICAL TRUTH II
A Talk with Verena Huber-Dyson [ 7.26.05 ]                   

KM MacAir HD:Users:khm:Dropbox:VHD:vhd300.jpg
[self-portrait, 1954]

I doubt that pure philosophical discourse can get us anywhere. Maybe phenomenological narrative backed by psychological and anthropological investigations can shed some light on the nature of Mathematical Truth.

As to Beauty in mathematics and the sciences, here speaks Sophocles' eyewitness in Antigone:

"... Why should I make it soft for you with tales to prove myself a liar? Truth is Right." (Continue...)

VERENA'S LAW (The 2004 Edge Annual Question)
Verena's Law of Sane Reasoning

Hone your Hunches, Jump, then backtrack to blaze a reliable trail to your Conclusion. But avoid reductions; they lead to mere counterfeits of truth. (Continue...)

ON THE NATURE OF MATHEMATICAL CONCEPTS: WHY AND HOW DO MATHEMATICIANS JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS?
By Verena Huber-Dyson [ 2.15.98 ]

It is so much easier to do mathematics than to philosophize about it. (Continue...)

../../../../../../../Dropbox/BI-Files/VHD
Verena Huber-Dyson—New Jersey, 1949
 

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