MIND

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
 

The Crusade Against Multiple Regression Analysis

Topic: 

  • MIND
https://vimeo.com/148280165

A huge range of science projects are done with these multiple regression things. The results are often somewhere between meaningless and quite damaging. ...                             

I hope that in the future, if I’m successful in communicating with people about this, that there’ll be a kind of upfront warning in New York Times articles: These data are based on multiple regression analysis. This would be a sign that you probably shouldn’t read the article because you’re quite likely to get non-information or misinformation.

The Crusade Against Multiple Regression Analysis

[1.21.16]

A huge range of science projects are done with multiple regression analysis. The results are often somewhere between meaningless and quite damaging. ...                             

I hope that in the future, if I’m successful in communicating with people about this, that there’ll be a kind of upfront warning in New York Times articles: These data are based on multiple regression analysis. This would be a sign that you probably shouldn’t read the article because you’re quite likely to get non-information or misinformation.

RICHARD NISBETT is a professor of psychology and co-director of the Culture and Cognition Program at the University of Michigan. He is the author of Mindware: Tools for Smart Thinking; and The Geography of Thought. Richard Nisbett's Edge Bio Page


THE CRUSADE AGAINST MULTIPLE REGRESSION ANALYSIS

The thing I’m most interested in right now has become a kind of crusade against correlational statistical analysis—in particular, what’s called multiple regression analysis. Say you want to find out whether taking Vitamin E is associated with lower prostate cancer risk. You look at the correlational evidence and indeed it turns out that men who take Vitamin E have lower risk for prostate cancer. Then someone says, "Well, let’s see if we do the actual experiment, what happens." And what happens when you do the experiment is that Vitamin E contributes to the likelihood of prostate cancer. How could there be differences? These happen a lot. The correlational—the observational—evidence tells you one thing, the experimental evidence tells you something completely different.

L.A. Paul: "The Transformative Experience"

HeadCon '14
[11.18.14]

We're going to pretend that modern-day vampires don't drink the blood of humans; they're vegetarian vampires, which means they only drink the blood of humanely farmed animals. You have a one-time-only chance to become a modern-day vampire. You think, "This is a pretty amazing opportunity, do I want to gain immortality, amazing speed, strength, and power? But do I want to become undead, become an immortal monster and have to drink blood? It's a tough call." Then you go around asking people for their advice and you discover that all of your friends and family members have already become vampires. They tell you, "It is amazing. It is the best thing ever. It's absolutely fabulous. It's incredible. You get these new sensory capacities. You should definitely become a vampire." Then you say, "Can you tell me a little more about it?" And they say, "You have to become a vampire to know what it's like. You can't, as a mere human, understand what it's like to become a vampire just by hearing me talk about it. Until you're a vampire, you're just not going to know what it's going to be like."


[48:42 minutes]

L.A. PAUL is Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Professorial Fellow in the Arché Research Centre at the University of St. Andrews. L.A. Paul's Edge Bio page


THE TRANSFORMATIVE EXPERIENCE

My name is Laurie Paul, and I'm a professor of philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I'm a metaphysician. I'm especially interested in metaphysics and philosophy of mind. I have been developing what I think of as formal phenomenology. In other words, I'm especially interested in looking at formal techniques engaging with the nature of experience, and I've paid special attention to temporal experience. One thing I've been thinking a lot about lately is the notion of transformative experience, which I'll tell you a little bit about today.

The questions that have been occupying me involve questions that come up when we as individuals think about making big life decisions. Metaphorically, it's when we think about making decisions when we're at life's crossroads. As we live our lives, all of us experience a series of these crossroad-style big decisions.

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore: "The Teenager's Sense of Social Self"

HeadCon 14
[11.18.14]

The reason why that letter is nice is because it illustrates what's important to that girl at that particular moment in her life. Less important that man landed on moon than things like what she was wearing, what clothes she was into, who she liked, who she didn't like. This is the period of life where that sense of self, and particularly sense of social self, undergoes profound transition. Just think back to when you were a teenager. It's not that before then you don't have a sense of self, of course you do.  A sense of self develops very early. What happens during the teenage years is that your sense of who you are—your moral beliefs, your political beliefs, what music you're into, fashion, what social group you're into—that's what undergoes profound change.


[36:22 minutes]

SARAH-JAYNE BLAKEMORE is a Royal Society University Research Fellow and Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London. Sarah-Jayne Blakemore's Edge Bio


THE TEENAGER'S SENSE OF SOCIAL SELF

I'm Sarah-Jayne Blakemore from University College London. Today I'm going to be talking about the adolescent brain, which is the focus of my lab's research. I'm going to talk about the history of this young area of science, and I'll also tell you about some of the current questions for the future in this area.

I did my PhD on schizophrenia, and I also did a post-doc on schizophrenia. I became interested in the fact that schizophrenia is a devastating psychiatric disease that has its onset right at the end of adolescence. Normally people develop schizophrenia, on average, between about 18 and 25 years. This is interesting because it's a developmental disorder, but it develops much later than most developmental disorders. I became interested in whether that might be something to do with brain development during the teenage years going wrong in people who go on to develop schizophrenia.

This was about 12 years ago. Back then, I delved into the literature and, to my surprise, there was little known about how the human teenage brain develops. There were a handful of studies back in the year 2002, a small handful, but they were intriguing because even though there were only a few of them, they all pointed to significant and protracted development of the brain right throughout adolescence and into the 20s. This was an interesting finding because, prior to those papers, most neuroscientists would have assumed, and the dogma at the time I was an undergraduate and a graduate, was that the human brain stops developing some time in childhood and doesn't change much after mid to late-childhood.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - MIND