Appendix: Further reading | Meaningness

Wow – a lot of good stuff, well summarised – e.g. the Winograd and Flores piece below…

via Appendix: Further reading | Meaningness

Winograd and Flores

In the late 1960s, Terry Winograd designed SHRDLU, perhaps the most impressive AI system of all time. In the mid-’80s, he recognized that Dreyfus’ critique was mainly correct.

The first half of his Understanding Computers and Cognition, written with Fernando Flores, is a short, clear meta-rational account of human activity. It is written for the STEM-educated, and may well be the best overall introduction if that’s you. For some readers, it may be a bit too short, with not quite enough detail to enable you to grasp meta-rationality.

(The second half of the book is based on speech act theory, a rationalist account of language that seems to clash with the meta-rationalism of the first half.)

I took the title of my book In the Cells of the Eggplant from a dialog in Understanding Computers and Cognition:

A. Is there any water in the refrigerator?
B. Yes.
A. Where? I don’t see it.
B. In the cells of the eggplant.

Was “there is water in the refrigerator” true?

That question can only be answered meta-rationally: “True in what sense? Relative to what purpose?”