Re: second-order and third-order
[From Martin Taylor 2008.03.17.23.32]
(2008.03.17 1543 EDT)]
Martin Taylor 2008.
Perhaps we think of
Ah, yes, you’ve
identified some equivocation. I distinguish belief from imagined
perception of what the other perceives. By this standard, I’m misusing
the term belief equivocally to refer to both. as you
What distinction am
I making and is it valid? One could say that “imagined perception
of what the other perceives” is a particular case of
In my equation of belief with peception rather than with
reference, I don’t think of imagination. When I engage in dialogue I
perceive – perhaps foggily, perhaps non-veridically – what the other
perceives. I am not imagining. I am using what data I can get from
observation to determine the state of the other. Some other time and
place, I may imagine what the other might perceive if I were to say
something, but if I am truly engaged in a dialogue, I am controlling
my perception of what the other is perceiving.
Martin Taylor 2008.
I think of “belief” as
equivalent to “perception” rather than as equivalent to
Are all perceptions
beliefs, then? Wouldn’t you limit the term to controlled perceptions,
No. I have lots of beliefs about states of the world I am not
controlling, and often could not control. I believe there are over 6
billion people in the world, but I don’t control that by going around
murdering millions (my reference value for that belief is well under
one billion). But after reading Bill P’s contribution, I might limit
“belief” to perceptions that are less certain than
perceptions to which I would give the term “immediate”, such
as the perception of “blue”.
If so, then
isn’t the preferred value the belief, and the range of possible other
values not the belief? To believe something is to have an expectation
that it is so.
To have an expectation that X has the value x is not to have a
reference for X to have a value x. My preferred value for the name of
the President of the United States is not and never has been George W.
Bush, but my belief is that this is the name of the current
But here I refer to
beliefs in general, the other thread topic, and you have in mind the
narrow case of dynamically constructing imagined perceptions of what
the other is perceiving,
Cut out “imagined” when we are talking about the second
and third order beliefs that occur in dialogue. And, as you see above,
I don’t accept your interpretation of “belief” as reference
value, even for beliefs in general.
Martin Taylor 2008.
I would like a window to be open and it
isn’t; I don’t believe the person near the window is currently about
to open it, and I wish to believe that he is.
I hope you will
forgive me when I say that is a tortured use of the word
“believe”. You don’t wish merely to believe that he is about
to open the window. You could have abundant faith that he will open
Actually, in the cited example, I have no belief that he would
open it unless I disturbed some perception in such a way that his
action would result in him opening it. In fact, as stated, I believe
that he will NOT open it, but I wish to believe that he will. My
reference state for my belief differs from my current belief.
or not your belief corresponds to reality may very likely remain
unaffected by any of your behavior precisely because of that confident
expectation. (Why should you do anything about it? You believe he’s
going to open it.)
If I believed he would be about to open it, I would probably do
nothing, although I might act to give him data that would allow him to
perceive that I would be pleased by that action. I’m presuming that
one of his controlled perceptions (beliefs) is my state of happiness,
and I would help his control of that perception by giving him data on
its current state.
No, you perceive
that he is currently not opening the window and you wish to perceive
that he is opening the window.
You mean “Yes”, not “No.”
instrumentality of communication to bring that wish to fulfillment
depends upon your correctly imagining that he is controlling some
variable(s) whose states you can influence, and then influencing the
states of those variables by your control actions.
Exactly. One possible control action might be to say “Would
you mind opening the window”. Another might be to say “Isn’t
it awfully hot in here”. Another might be to say nothing but to
keep wiping my brow. All of these (I would hope) would disturb his
controlled perception of my happiness and give him a clue as to what
action he could take to bring that perception to what I hope is its
reference value of perceiving me to be happy with the situation. The
main point of using langauge is that it eases his job of determining
what action would make me happy. Language tends to be more specific
than gesture in most circumstances.
If those don’t work, just as with any other control at moderately
high levels, I would try something else. Depending on whether the
perception I am controlling is simply to have the window open, or to
have that person open the window (controlling my perception of my
ability to control him), the alternate actions might differ
It is not the
particular actions (linguistic, gestural, or anything at all) that
makes them communicative acts, rather, it is the successful alignment
of your imagination of what he is controlling with what he is in fact
controlling, and a corresponding alignment the other way as he
(controlling disturbances due to your influencing of the states of
some of those variables) comes to imagine in turn what you are
Yep. I might even tolerate your use of “imagination” in
line 3, even though I think it is more a perception based on real data
gathered over some probably long period of time. If you know the
person, it is based on your prior interactions, and if you don’t (here
we impinge on 'social control") it is based on past interactions
with others of a character that this person seems to have.
induces an interlock of the respective purposes of those
Yes. That’s the core of LPT.
Martin Taylor 2008.
If the Turing tester is to see the
machine in order to have a non-verbal interaction with it, then if it
doesn’t look human, it won’t be judged to be human, no matter how
human-like its behaviour. Perhaps we might allow interaction through
Second-Life avatars, or something along those lines.
Yes, that is what
was reported in the article. I suppose nonverbal aspects of these cgi
avatars might get pretty sophisticated in time. (But this is yet
another thread topic.)
Sorry, I missed that bit.