Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Distinctions, philosophy: the question here is, among other things, what must be distinguished in objects in order for them to be counted as separate objects. A distinction by specification of properties is only useful if all properties are completely determined. An object, however, does not become a different object by giving different descriptions of it. If levels (e.g., physical and psychological) are to be differentiated, these levels must be unambiguously described. One way of distinguishing is the specification of space-time coordinates. See also identity, temporal identity, similarity, partial identity, overlapping, counting, determinateness, indeterminacy, description levels, steps, four-dimensionalism, world lines.

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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 Distinctions - Dictionary of Arguments

I 105
Distinctions/word meaning/adverbs/adjectives/learning/development/Artificial Intelligence/Minsky: E.g. More colorful. More loud. More swift. More valuable. More complicated.
Instead of assuming that our children come to crystallize a single concept of quantity, we must try to discover how our children accumulate and classify their many methods for comparing things.
Problem: (…) what prevents the child from inventing senseless concepts such as being Green and Tall and having recently been touched? No child has the time to generate and test all possible combinations to find which ones are sensible. Life is too short to do that many bad experiments!
Solution: (…) always try to combine related agents first. [Software agents may be named like this]: Tall, Thin, Short, and Wide - [they] are all closely related, because they are all concerned with making comparisons between spatial qualities.
In fact, they probably involve agencies that are close to one another in the brain and share so many agents in common that they'll naturally seem similar. ((s) For contemporary research cf. >Brain/Deacon, (T. Deacon: The symbolic Species, 1997). >Information/Minsky.
I 121
Essential Information/distinctions/differences/environment/Artificial Intelligence/Minsky: Should we learn to exploit all the information we can get? No! There are good reasons not to notice too much, for every seemingly essential fact can generate a universe of useless, accidental, and even misleading facts.
Most differences are redundant. Most of the rest are accidents.
But how can we judge which facts are useful? On what basis can we decide which features are essential and which are merely accidents? Such questions can't be answered as they stand. They make no sense apart from how we want to use their answers. There is no single secret, magic trick to learning; we simply have to learn a large society of different ways to learn!


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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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