Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Recursion, theory of science, philosophy: recursion is a certain form in which rules are formulated, and which makes it possible to produce infinitely many possible cases from the application of a finite system of rules. See also inserting, embedding, infinity, systems, models, theories.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

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Marvin Minsky on Recursion - Dictionary of Arguments

I 161
Recursion/Artificial Intelligence/Minsky: the Recursion Principle: When a problem splits into smaller parts, then unless one can apply the mind's full power to each subjob, one's intellect will get dispersed and leave less cleverness for each new task.
The best way to solve a hard problem is to break it into several simpler ones, and break those into even simpler ones. Then we face the same issue of mental fragmentation. Happily, there is another way. We can work on the various parts of a problem in serial order, one after another, using the same agency over and over again. Of course, that takes more time. But it has one absolutely fundamental advantage: each agency can apply its full power to every subproblem!
The need to recall our recent states is why our short-term memories are short-term memories! In order to do their complex jobs so quickly and effectively, each micromemory-device must be a substantial system of machinery, with many intricate and specialized connections. If so, our brains cannot afford to make too many duplicate copies of that machinery, so we must reuse what we have for different jobs.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Minsky I
Marvin Minsky
The Society of Mind New York 1985

Minsky II
Marvin Minsky
Semantic Information Processing Cambridge, MA 2003

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2021-06-17
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