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from Marvin Minsky

VTR on Society of Mind

11 Apr 2021 01:24 - 11 Apr 2021 02:13

    • They are mostly quite positive, seeing a lot of connections between SoM and their own Buddhist/phenomenologist/embodied theories. That surprised me a bit, although I think they are right.
    • Here's the big However though:
    • Minsky's work is an extended reflection on cognitive science and human experience, one that is committed to the "sub-personal" but does not wish to lose sight for too long of the personal and experiential. At certain points, Minsky even senses the kinship between some of his ideas and those of the Buddhist tradition... Minsky does not follow the lead that his own citations suggest, however. He argues instead that although there is no room for a truly existing self in cognitive science, we cannot give up our conviction in such a self. At the very end of The Society of Mind, science and human experience simply come apart. And since we cannot choose between the two, we are ultimately left with a condition of schizophrenia, in swhich we are "condemned" (by our constitution) to believe in something we know not to be true (our personal selves).
      • p 107
    • Man I would have liked to see a dialog between Minsky and Varela. I remember an episode in grad school where I tried to convince Marvin that all this embodiment stuff was worthwhile and a good fit with his own approach, but I didn't get anywhere. Probably the decades-old enmity between MIT-AI and Hubert Dreyfus had something to do with that.