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Old 2012-11-01, 11:23   Link #161
Cosmic Eagle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
You've missed the point. It's not that the bot is sentient, but rather that in the Psycho-Pass universe, humans are essentially treated like biological machines. This alternative society has adopted a very mechanistic, highly deterministic view of human behaviour. That is, it appears to believe that your every behaviour can be reduced to a set of chemical reactions that can be detected in advance, and thus prevented with the right medication.

Or, to put it another way, this society believes that sentience is an illusion. If that seems mind-boggling to you, consider for a moment the full implications of the Turing Test, that classic test of whether a machine has become a sentient entity.



I wonder how many people actually grasp the full implications of the above definition: that a machine can be essentially treated as sentient if it can trick an observer into thinking that it is as intelligent as a human being. It doesn't actually have to be capable of "free choice" like a human.

I've always wondered why the Turing Test is so easily accepted as the litmus test for sentience when it so cynically assumes that "free will" — that vital quality that many of us intuitively believe to be an essential ingredient of intelligent behaviour — is a trick.
That applies only if this world's bots are that adavanced. Whether you think you can reduce sentience down to equations or not, this is a remote drone here. What kind of assessment do you expect to make out of it other than "it's program is purely offense and thus a threat?" Using the Sibyl on it is overkill that's why I'm surprised that such a thing is even possible. Might as well just let the Enforcer freely pull the trigger on his own rather than waste the Sibyl's processing power on something as trivial as a machine puppet.

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That's the compatibilist view of free will and determinism and, indeed, the vast majority of thinkers today fall somewhere within this camp. Only a handful of outliers like Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins take a serious objection to the view. Harris, I'm aware, likened compatibilism to the arguments espoused by the apologists for religion, which he takes a very dim view of. In Harris' view, you either believe that free will is completely determined by our biology, or you don't. There is no in-between.

It's my hypothesis that the Sibyl System is more similar to Harris' views than those of compatibilism. It's clearly a system that takes determinism to the extreme, going so far as to definitively label a five-year-old as a potential criminal that has to be isolated from all other people, purely on the basis of the child's biological/psychological profile. "Free will" in this society is, in effect, a Hobson's choice. You don't really have a choice, in truth. If you're born diseased, you're doomed to be stuck with medication for life, or until someone finds a cure.
But that's the thing I said earlier....Your decision comes from you and you are physically comprised of your biological constituents. So what you want is reflected in your biological pathways. How can you say that's not an expression of free will? The way that person is saying, he's like saying your biology is not you, that the software that allows you to physically function is not part of you....

A mentally ill person is not an example that can be used here because his choices are limited by his condition. I speak of a normal person with the full range of options that would normally be available to a fully functioning individual of his age, open to him.


Now if you want to talk about metaphysical things like the soul and free will in relation to it that's another thing entirely....

But for normal everyday usage, the biological mechanism suffices.
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Old 2012-11-01, 11:34   Link #162
Dengar
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What about, you know, the Dominator SEEING these robots wreck all of the shit? Isn't that already a sufficient threat assessment to begin with?

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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
If you're born diseased, you're doomed to be stuck with medication for life, or until someone finds a cure.
On the contrary, if you are born diseased, you are blessed with means of dealing with said disease.
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Old 2012-11-01, 11:38   Link #163
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
You've missed the point. It's not that the bot is sentient, but rather that in the Psycho-Pass universe, humans are essentially treated like biological machines. This alternative society has adopted a very mechanistic, highly deterministic view of human behaviour. That is, it appears to believe that your every behaviour can be reduced to a set of chemical reactions that can be detected in advance, and thus prevented with the right pills, if so desired.

This society apparently believes that sentience is an illusion. If that seems mind-boggling to you, consider for a moment the full implications of the Turing Test, that classic test of whether a machine has become sentient.


I wonder how many people have actually grasped the full implication of the above definition: that a machine can be essentially treated as sentient if it can trick an observer into thinking that it is as intelligent as a human being. It does not actually have to be capable of "free choice" like a human. It just needs to appear as though it's capable of making a free choice.

I've always wondered why the Turing Test is so easily accepted as the litmus test for sentience when it so cynically assumes that "free will" — that vital quality many of us intuitively associate with intelligent behaviour — is a trick.


We take it on faith that we have free will. We never try to prove it, and how would we even go about it anyway?
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Old 2012-11-01, 11:43   Link #164
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Eagle View Post
Might as well just let the Enforcer freely pull the trigger on his own rather than waste the Sibyl's processing power on something as trivial as a machine puppet.
That may well be the point. Maybe the idea here is that humans are as much a puppet as a machine, and are as easy to evaluate as a threat as a machine, to the point that the Enforcer is not even trusted to exercise his judgment on whether or not to pull the trigger. The action has to be approved by remote first. We shouldn't blindly trust a machine, you know.

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Originally Posted by Cosmic Eagle View Post
But that's the thing I said earlier....Your decision comes from you and you are physically comprised of your biological constituents. So what you want is reflected in your biological pathways. How can you say that's not an expression of free will?
What if I've pumped some pheromones into the air, inducing your body to make you think a certain way. Was your resultant action truly an expression of your "will", or merely the result of my tampering with your biology?

How "free" do you really think you are?

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Originally Posted by Cosmic Eagle View Post
A mentally ill person is not an example that can be used here because his choices are limited by his condition. I speak of a normal person with the full range of options that would normally be available to a fully functioning individual of his age, open to him.
The above is why Sam Harris and his peers dislike compatibilism. It leads to messy thinking. Why do we make special exceptions for people who are mentally ill? If "free will" is so fragile that the mere disabling of just a few neural pathways could potentially turn you into a completely different person, how "real" is "free will", actually?

To take a truly mechanistic view of human behaviour is then to reject all possibility of free will. It's an illusion that prevents us from seeing ourselves as we truly are: machines in constant need of maintenance.
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Old 2012-11-01, 11:52   Link #165
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post


What if I've pumped some pheromones into the air, inducing your body to make you think a certain way. Was your resultant action truly an expression of your "will", or merely the result of my tampering with your biology?

How "free" do you really think you are?
But then that becomes a result of your action. I did say a normal person with full range of options.

I don't see why it should be surprising that someone becomes something not what he can potnetially be if he were tempered with.

Quote:
The above is why Sam Harris and his peers dislike compatibilism. It leads to messy thinking. Why do we make special exceptions for people who are mentally ill? If "free will" is so fragile that the mere disabling of just a few neural pathways could potentially turn you into a completely different person, how "real" is "free will", actually?

To take a truly mechanistic view of human behaviour is then to reject all possibility of free will. It's an illusion that prevents us from seeing ourselves as we truly are: machines in constant need of maintenance.
"Free will" is basically the ability to decide something for yourself and make your own choice.

It is a complex operation. How fragile it is due to its complicity should have no bearing on how real its outcomes are or how real its process is.

Do you say a stirring piece of music is not real because of how just one single instrument out of tune ruins the whole thing? Does its impact towards you lessen any in light of that?

In the extreme, you know how easy it is to kill someone? Would you say then that life is not real too?
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Old 2012-11-01, 11:59   Link #166
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Eagle View Post
But then that becomes a result of your action. I did say a normal person with full range of options.
I think you're confusing cause-and-effect with free choice. If I tampered with your biology to make you behave in a way you normally wouldn't, how can you still say that your new behaviour was the result of your conscious choice? I made you behave that way, not you.

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Originally Posted by Cosmic Eagle View Post
"Free will" is basically the ability to decide something for yourself and make your own choice.
Exactly. But in my example, I made your choice for you. You, on the other hand, are none the wiser and remain trapped in an illusion.

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Originally Posted by Cosmic Eagle View Post
It is a complex operation. How fragile it is due to its complicity should have no bearing on how real its outcomes are or how real its process is.
Oh, but of course. The outcomes of your actions are real enough, but they were not actually a result of your conscious choice. If you were to trace the cause-effect chain backwards, you will see that you have been manipulated by Evil Genius MeTM. But you won't, because I will make sure it never occurs to you to check.

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Originally Posted by Cosmic Eagle View Post
Do you say a stirring piece of music is not real because of how just one single instrument out of tune ruins the whole thing? Does its impact towards you lessen any in light of that?
Don't understand what you're trying to say here. You don't seem to be comparing like with like.
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Old 2012-11-02, 00:17   Link #167
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Originally Posted by Terizent View Post
I believe that the hue may actually be an indicator of personality types. Similar to the blood type personality tests that the Japanese are so fond of, but actually correct because Sibyl "calculates" the color using the person's brain scan data.
Ha! We came to the same conclusion
I'd like to expand on the matter, so here it goes (I posted this in Ep. 4 discussion but I guess it is more fitting here):

Speaking on the connection between CC and Hue, based on what we've seen in these 4 episodes, I'd say that both can fluctuate wildly after certain stimulations. However, I also think that what really counts in PP's society is the base-level CC and Hue someone has. From what I gathered, the Hue is a representation of one's personality :



the color itself doesn't matter (I'm guessing it just represents one's inclinations or ideals), however how clear or dark it is does. I think it's pretty obvious the more you get near pure white or pure black the more "good" or "evil" (or maybe "sane" or "insane") you are at the moment. However, I think this alone isn't enough to entail extreme measures such as lethal force.
This is where the CC comes into play. The CC is a measure of somebody's likeness to commit a crime, and I think it could be pretty much compared to the "Law Vs Chaos" axys in D&D (while Hue would be the "Good vs Evil" one): if the system indeed works this way, latent criminals should be people with high base-level CCs and normal Hues, while people bound for treatment should be ones with a dark Hue and low-mid CC. The really dangerous types would of course be the ones who BOTH have a dark Hue and a high CC (Chaotic Evil), while I guess Inspectors have both a clear Hue and a low CC (Lawful Good).
Despite being managed by a computer(Sibyl), this whole system is obviously not deterministic, as we've seen with the girl who reached a dark hue + high cc in a matter of minutes in episode one. That's why the ultimate decisions are entrusted to Inspectors and other Lawful Good people.
The main contradictions, which will probably be discussed in later episodes, come to mind when questioning the criteria the system uses to determine people's alignment. Also who devised this system and what were their moral standards? Of course this is a dystopia so these kind of stuff is to be expected, but I'm pretty sure (since it's Urobuchi) sooner or later Psycho-Pass will tackle these themes.
Now the only thing that isn't clear is how work affiliation is calculated. Maybe that's where the actual color comes into play?
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Old 2012-11-02, 04:34   Link #168
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
I think you're confusing cause-and-effect with free choice. If I tampered with your biology to make you behave in a way you normally wouldn't, how can you still say that your new behaviour was the result of your conscious choice? I made you behave that way, not you.


Exactly. But in my example, I made your choice for you. You, on the other hand, are none the wiser and remain trapped in an illusion.


Oh, but of course. The outcomes of your actions are real enough, but they were not actually a result of your conscious choice. If you were to trace the cause-effect chain backwards, you will see that you have been manipulated by Evil Genius MeTM. But you won't, because I will make sure it never occurs to you to check.


Don't understand what you're trying to say here. You don't seem to be comparing like with like.

You are saying the ability to make choices for yourself is an illusion because it is fragile and can be tampered with without much difficulty right?

I'm saying it is not something that cannot exist and that it is real.

You manipulated someone in one instance but in a million other instances there are people making conscious decisions for themselves. Even if those are the minority (which isn't something I intend to debate over here since it's damn long) Those million cases are real.

That's why I used life as an example. Lives are so easily snuffed out but they are no less real. IE you can't dismiss something as false just because it is fragile

And your decision to make others behave that way? Where did that decision come from...did it not originate from yourself, your own desires in the end?

Free will is not an impossibility or a lie or an illusion.

And if you take it that free decision is something done without any external stimuli at all....well, I'd say that's not free will.....that's being brain dead. Thus that's not even a proper definition
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Old 2012-11-02, 07:22   Link #169
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Precisely!

It's the fundamental basis of all philosophy, the need to always consider the assumptions, both implicit and explicit, that lead us to the conclusions we make. To always confront our own biases before we criticise those of others.
I did think that that's what you've been trying to point out for a while - I just hadn't had the time to respond properly.

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Yet don't you already inwardly recoil at our current society? The way how there's a "greater good at the expense of what may be morally right" governing the greater core of it. Doesn't everyone recoil somewhat against it but just bear with it due to lack of ability to do anything about it?
If you mean 'societies' rather than 'society', then I do, at many things in quite a number of them.

But I think you miss my point, which is that, no matter what we think (including what you've pointed out above), it's conditioned to a certain extent by the structures and institutions of the societies that we live in, by the values that are celebrated and the ones that are dismissed in each of them.

On a related note, I don't think TinyRedLeaf is arguing that we don't have any choice at all, because it's all an illusion. Rather, we have less choice than we like to think, because our options are in some way constrained by structures and institutions that most of us aren't really aware of anymore, because they're such an integral part of our lives.

I think it's important to be aware of these things, because they frame the way that we think. To extend further, such knowledge then allows us to accept difference (even if we debate and argue over it), because we'd realise that how others think and act may be framed by structures and institutions that differ from our own, that what might not be logical for us may actually be logical for them, even if we don't agree.
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Old 2012-11-02, 07:43   Link #170
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
It's not far-fetched at all. You just need to recast your perspective of biology, and think of your brain as a complex computation machine. We don't think of our brains in that fashion today only because neuroscience is still very much in its infancy. But even so, we're already at a stage where brain scans can reliably predict how we would answer yes/no questions split seconds before we can even articulate an answer. It's on this basis, after all, that Sam Harris argues strongly that free will is an illusion, that what we perceive as a conscious decision made of our own free will is in fact nothing more than the result of a complex chemical reaction that can be scientifically measured, and hence predicted.
I was just reading through the argument about freewill being an illusion or not, and I found it quite interesting..so..

Well, just my opinion but freewill isn't really deterministic but rather, probabilistic. So it seems to me that what the Dominators are measuring might actually be the probability wave-function of the target based on his psychological state and assigns it a value, that is the crime coefficient. And it takes no chances after it passes a certain threshold value, eliminating/incapacitating the threat, effectively removing the chances of a future incident.

Instead of looking at the fact that the choices we make is a result of complex chemical reactions and whatnot, I think that it's more like...an electron cloud. It doesn't give us the exact location of the electron, but the probability of where it is. Applied to human behaviour, we have the possibility of making every single choice available to us based on the probability wave-function of our freewill, the so-called 'electron cloud'. When we make a choice, all other possible choices collapse into that one choice, and though we may know the likely outcome, we cannot predict what actually happens in the end. There is no one choice, but a more likely choice. Someone who might be likely to do something in a certain way is also likely to do something unexpected and collapse into the choice with lower probability. Our choices can be predicted, but predicted to what extent? We can only predict the probability wave-function of our actions, not the actions themselves; as with the uncertainty principle - the more precise we get to finding the location of an election, the less precise we get at finding it's momentum. No matter what happens or what situation a human being is in, you can't predict with certainty the results of his free will. What the computer predicts to the human's yes/no answers might just be it detecting the choice before the action occurs, however, that choice might have already been made.
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Old 2012-11-02, 22:50   Link #171
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Eagle View Post
You are saying the ability to make choices for yourself is an illusion because it is fragile and can be tampered with without much difficulty right?

I'm saying it is not something that cannot exist and that it is real.

You manipulated someone in one instance but in a million other instances there are people making conscious decisions for themselves. Even if those are the minority (which isn't something I intend to debate over here since it's damn long) Those million cases are real.

That's why I used life as an example. Lives are so easily snuffed out but they are no less real. IE you can't dismiss something as false just because it is fragile

And your decision to make others behave that way? Where did that decision come from...did it not originate from yourself, your own desires in the end?

Free will is not an impossibility or a lie or an illusion.

And if you take it that free decision is something done without any external stimuli at all....well, I'd say that's not free will.....that's being brain dead. Thus that's not even a proper definition
You've unwittingly described two different philosophical concepts that, surprisingly, are still a matter of debate even today.

Firstly, what is "life"?

Secondly, what is the "mind"?

Both questions are far from trivial. As karice67 said, they may seem like common sense, but that's only because we've become so oblivious to the "structures" in which life and mind exists that we no longer consciously think about the fundamental miracle that makes possible the existence of both life and mind.

Something cropped up. I'll expand on the points later. I'll just say that the philosophical discussion on "life" is not an area that I've delved much into. The question of "mind", on the other hand, I've explored quite a bit more, as it is closely related to the issue of whether "free will" is possible.
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Old 2012-11-02, 23:28   Link #172
zarqu
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Secondly, what is the "mind"?
Whatever the brain does. Consciousness is a process. Consciousness is self-refential information processing. Definition of consciousness is the easy part. Memory, perception etc. are the hard parts.

Btw, has "free will" even been defined in the course of this thread? I'll go look for it now. I'm skeptical, though.

But I'm with Dennett when it comes to the illusion of free will and punishing people: Even if people would not ultimately (ie. "philosophically") be responsible for their actions, we punish them because this has proven to be a succesful strategy in the past to make people behave in an acceptable way.

Holding people responsible only works if people have been informed that they're being held responsible and respond to this by controlling their behaviour to avoid punishment. People have the right to come toghether to improve their condition by creating rules and enforcing them. It's an argument from utility and, as per Dennett, we would be worse off if we did not do so.

All this is feels like philosophical gibberish thusfar. Has there been any discussion about my real life example: James Fallon the neuroscientist who has the neurological and genetic correlates of psychopathy?

This is evidence that "nurture" does matter. Flagging "latent criminals" should encourage the state to create optimal conditions for these individuals to overcome their genetic vulnerabilities.
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Old 2012-11-03, 00:28   Link #173
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Whatever the brain does. Consciousness is a process. Consciousness is self-refential information processing. Definition of consciousness is the easy part. Memory, perception etc. are the hard parts.
Right, and can the "mind" exist independently from the body? The body can exist without the mind, but does the reverse apply? In that sense, how real is the mind? Is it something that can be physically identified, measured and quantified?

In what sense, therefore, is the "mind" real? Or is it perhaps the "ghost in the machine"? Which is to say, is the mind merely a by-product of bodily functions, or is it a physical entity in its own right?

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Btw, has "free will" even been defined in the course of this thread?
Nope.

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Originally Posted by zarqu View Post
All this is feels like philosophical gibberish thus far. Has there been any discussion about my real life example: James Fallon the neuroscientist who has the neurological and genetic correlates of psychopathy?
I'm aware of him from here: Neuroscientist uncovers dark secret.

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This is evidence that "nurture" does matter. Flagging "latent criminals" should encourage the state to create optimal conditions for these individuals to overcome their genetic vulnerabilities.
Philosophically, that isn't different from what Sam Harris argues for. It's just that his view of "nurture" is more mechanistic than what we normally regard as "nurture".
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Old 2012-11-03, 00:55   Link #174
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Right, and can the "mind" exist independently from the body?
No. To put is rather simply and vulgarly: whatever the brain does = "mind". No one has come back from the dead yet. Harm the brain = harm the individual.

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The body can exist without the mind, but does the reverse apply? In that sense, how real is the mind? Is it something that can be physically identified, measured and quantified?
Something can surely be measured when we scan people's brains.

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is the mind merely a by-product of bodily functions, or is it a physical entity in its own right?
Well. First of all, I think consciousness = "mind". It's not an entity or a subject. It's a process. It's what the brain does. "The self" is only a part of what the brain does at any given moment. I think this is well documented. I can't provide sources at the moment, though.

I'm not sure how well versed you are in the philosophy of the mind, but I can say that Descartes set philosophy of the mind back many... centuries. My thoughts are somewhat in line with those of Douglas Hofstadter.

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Philosophically, that isn't different from what Sam Harris argues for. It's just that his view of "nurture" is more mechanistic than what we normally regard as "nurture".
I think Harris argues for a variation of consequentialism based on "scientific", that is to say, "rational" reasoning for the well-being of conscious creatures. That is something I can agree with. Harris' problem is with creating an universal moral framework that we can all identify and converge with.

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I'm aware of him from here: Neuroscientist uncovers dark secret.
I do think the case of James Fallon is rather interesting when considering the Sibyl system in Psycho Pass. I do hope that the creators give us a more comprehensive view of the society our protagonists live in. After that we could actually start measuring real life evidence against this hypothetical system.

So what my point is? I do tend to side with Triple_R when it comes to the moral implications of this system. Currently, I'm highly suspicious of this society and especially of the state within. Not that the science behind this system is wrong or misguided, per se. Rather, the role of the state in this society does invite some obvious skepticism.

Last edited by zarqu; 2012-11-03 at 01:21.
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Old 2012-11-03, 01:24   Link #175
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Something can surely be measured when we scan people's brains.
Right, and that something is what you would call a "process". Is the "process" the "mind"? My feeling is, no. I think it's just a part of what we call the "mind". Meaning to say, we haven't yet begun to fully describe what the "mind" actually is, and are at best able to postulate its "existence" based on the parts of it that suggest it exists.

Or, it may as well not even exist at all. It's just a philosophical concept that we use to overlay the set of biological processes that add up to what we call the "mind". Hence, in that sense, it's possible to say that the "mind" is not real. It's just an a posteriori figment of our imagination.

This sort of echoes the parable about the three blind mind trying to figure out what an elephant is. Each could describe a part of the elephant — its tusk, its legs and its trunk — but, yet, at the same time, none of the them could be said to know what the elephant actually is. Something exists, true, but it's not what each blind man thinks it is.

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I'm not sure how well versed you are in the philosophy of the mind, but I can say that Descartes set philosophy of the mind back many... centuries. My thoughts are somewhat in line with those of Douglas Hofstadter.
Oh, I wouldn't be so harsh on Descartes. His famous "I think, therefore I am" did at least spur epistemology in many interesting directions, even if he was fundamentally wrong about the concept of "existence". As for Douglas Hofstadter, no, I've never heard of him. Care to elaborate his views on the mind?

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I do think the case of James Fallon is rather interesting when considering the Sibyl system in Psycho Pass. I do hope that the creators give us a more comprehensive view of the society our protagonists live in. After that we could actually start measuring real life evidence against this hypothetical system.
The link I provided is just the first of a three-part NPR story on the criminal mind and its implications for legal philosophy. The second-part of the series is fascinatingly relevant to Psycho-Pass.

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Kent Kiehl has studied hundreds of psychopaths. Kiehl is one of the world's leading investigators of psychopathy and a professor at the University of New Mexico. He says he can often see it in their eyes: There's an intensity in their stare, as if they're trying to pick up signals on how to respond. But the eyes are not an element of psychopathy, just a clue.

Officially, Kiehl scores their pathology on the Hare Psychopathy Checklist, which measures traits such as the inability to feel empathy or remorse, pathological lying, or impulsivity.

"The scores range from zero to 40," Kiehl explains in his sunny office overlooking a golf course. "The average person in the community, a male, will score about four or five. Your average inmate will score about 22. An individual with psychopathy is typically described as 30 or above. Brian scored 38.5 basically. He was in the 99th percentile."

"Brian" is Brian Dugan, a man who is serving two life sentences for rape and murder in Chicago. Last July, Dugan pleaded guilty to raping and murdering 10-year-old Jeanine Nicarico in 1983, and he was put on trial to determine whether he should be executed. Kiehl was hired by the defence to do a psychiatric evaluation.

...This argument troubles Steven Erickson, a forensic psychologist and legal scholar at Widener University School of Law. He notes that alcoholics have brain abnormalities. Do we give them a pass if they kill someone while driving drunk?

"What about folks who suffer from depression? They have brain abnormalities, too. Should they be entitled to an excuse under the law?" he asks. "I think the key idea here is the law is not interested in brain abnormalities. The law is interested in whether or not someone at the time that the criminal act occurred understood the difference between right and wrong."

NPR
The text is blue brings to mind (irony fully intended) a prototype Psycho-Pass number, does it not?
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Old 2012-11-03, 01:47   Link #176
zarqu
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Or, it may as well not even exist at all. It's just a philosophical concept that we use to overlay the set of biological processes that add up to what we call the "mind".
I'm certainly of this opinion. And I don't call that process "the mind". I call it "consciousness". I've long set aside the mind-body problem. The mind is what the brain does.

Quote:
Something exists, true, but it's not what each blind man thinks it is.
Like I said above, I don't think something exists. I think "the self" (the mind) is a process created by the brain. Only one of several processes we are actually conscious of.

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As for Douglas Hofstadter, no, I've never heard of him. Care to elaborate his views on the mind?
Well. Somewhat hard to summarize him in one sentence. His book Gödel, Escher, Bach is a classic when it comes to consciousness. In the book, he tries to show how cognition and thinking emerge from well-hidden neurological mechanisms. In his book, I Am a Strange Loop he demonstrates how the properties of self-referential systems can be used to describe the unique properties of minds.

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The text is blue brings to mind (irony fully intended) a prototype Psycho-Pass number, does it not?
True, it does. But we don't apply group averages to individuals in our society. Just think of the Bell curve. Not to say we should or should not. Individuality is just such a strong belief that it overrides any simplified utilitarian concepts.

edit: Oh. Descartes does deserve the harshest treatment possible. He is pretty much responsible for the misleading language of "mind and body" when it comes to philosophy of mind and western thought in general.

Last edited by zarqu; 2012-11-03 at 02:06.
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Old 2012-11-03, 03:01   Link #177
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but in the beginning of the making psycho pass must be created with some kind of criteria and average too so it kind of valid...
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Old 2012-11-03, 14:20   Link #178
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The easiest assumption is that they found out through a gradual calibration process. Like 99% of people who had X reading would perform some kind of crime at some point in their lives. Those with higher CC readings would commit either more crimes or more severe crimes. Eventually the calibration went thus that the readings become close to 100% accurate.
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Old 2012-11-04, 11:47   Link #179
Cosmic Eagle
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
You've unwittingly described two different philosophical concepts that, surprisingly, are still a matter of debate even today.

Firstly, what is "life"?

Secondly, what is the "mind"?

Both questions are far from trivial. As karice67 said, they may seem like common sense, but that's only because we've become so oblivious to the "structures" in which life and mind exists that we no longer consciously think about the fundamental miracle that makes possible the existence of both life and mind.
What seems like common sense? I did not type anything talking about common sense whatsoever. Common sense is the one concept I absolutely detest anyway. Also, nowhere do I ignore in your words "the miracle of life and mind." I don't know if you have, in your quieter moments, been aware of your own heart that could fail any time and realized that your physical existence flies in the face of physics when entropy eats away at you every second. Nor do I know if that concept forms one of the central tenets of your life.

Second....yeah, life in its entirety is far more complex than mind. But I raised it anyway because it's still a transient, fragile thing easily snuffed out nonetheless, which seems to be the main drive of your stand on the illusion of free will.

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Originally Posted by karice67 View Post

If you mean 'societies' rather than 'society', then I do, at many things in quite a number of them.

But I think you miss my point, which is that, no matter what we think (including what you've pointed out above), it's conditioned to a certain extent by the structures and institutions of the societies that we live in, by the values that are celebrated and the ones that are dismissed in each of them.

On a related note, I don't think TinyRedLeaf is arguing that we don't have any choice at all, because it's all an illusion. Rather, we have less choice than we like to think, because our options are in some way constrained by structures and institutions that most of us aren't really aware of anymore, because they're such an integral part of our lives.

I think it's important to be aware of these things, because they frame the way that we think. To extend further, such knowledge then allows us to accept difference (even if we debate and argue over it), because we'd realise that how others think and act may be framed by structures and institutions that differ from our own, that what might not be logical for us may actually be logical for them, even if we don't agree.
Yes, they form the entire way we live our lives. I don't disagree with you that such is essential for learning though. As I said above, common sense as generally defined does not exist so that question I asked you was more of me wondering how many else felt the way I felt but are all part of the silent majority
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Last edited by Cosmic Eagle; 2012-11-04 at 11:59.
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Old 2012-11-05, 18:09   Link #180
TinyRedLeaf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmic Eagle View Post
What seems like common sense? I did not type anything talking about common sense whatsoever. Common sense is the one concept I absolutely detest anyway. Also, nowhere do I ignore in your words "the miracle of life and mind." I don't know if you have, in your quieter moments, been aware of your own heart that could fail any time and realized that your physical existence flies in the face of physics when entropy eats away at you every second. Nor do I know if that concept forms one of the central tenets of your life.

Second....yeah, life in its entirety is far more complex than mind. But I raised it anyway because it's still a transient, fragile thing easily snuffed out nonetheless, which seems to be the main drive of your stand on the illusion of free will.
First of all, there is no need to be defensive. I asked general questions to probe the extent to which you've thought about your position, and I was not questioning your ability to discern "common sense". Secondly, you still have not addressed what I asked: What do you mean by the "mind"? In what sense is it real to you?

I did not give a statement about what I think is the "mind", and was merely presenting what others have said, which is that the "mind" is an illusion. zarqu addressed the question head on and gave a clear, well-thought-out answer: the "mind" is what the brain does (and clarified that he thinks of it as "consciousness" rather than the "mind"). We can measure some of the processes that make up the "mind", but a single process out of many does not make the "mind". It is made up of many different neurological processes, and we are conscious of only some of them.

In effect, the "mind" as we classically know it does not exist. It does not have an independent existence — kill the body, and the mind dies with it. It is not something we can know in its entirety, much less something we can objectively measure, the way we can measure our bodies. In this sense, the "mind" is not real. It has nothing to do with whether or not the "mind" is fragile, which was not what I claimed — that's merely a misunderstanding on your part.
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Originally Posted by zarqu View Post
I'm certainly of this opinion. And I don't call that process "the mind". I call it "consciousness". I've long set aside the mind-body problem. The mind is what the brain does.
So, I ask again of you, Cosmic Eagle, what is the "mind" to you? You insist it has a reality. Well then, what kind of reality?

EDIT:
I'll push the discussion one step further. I'm deeply concerned about the reality of the "mind" because clearly, without it, it's meaningless to talk about "free will". Our ability to make conscious decisions based on imbibed values is clearly dependent on our mental health.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmic Eagle View Post
"Free will" is basically the ability to decide something for yourself and make your own choice.

It is a complex operation. How fragile it is due to its complicity should have no bearing on how real its outcomes are or how real its process is.
With that above statement in mind (again, the irony is fully intended) consider this passage from the NPR documentary I had linked above:
Quote:
"Brian" is Brian Dugan, a man who is serving two life sentences for rape and murder in Chicago. Last July, Dugan pleaded guilty to raping and murdering 10-year-old Jeanine Nicarico in 1983, and he was put on trial to determine whether he should be executed. Kiehl was hired by the defense to do a psychiatric evaluation.

In a videotaped interview with Kiehl, Dugan describes how he only meant to rob the Nicaricos' home. But then he saw the little girl inside.

"She came to the door and ... I clicked," Dugan says in a flat, emotionless voice. "I turned into Mr. Hyde from Dr. Jekyll."

On screen, Dugan is dressed in an orange jumpsuit. He seems calm, even normal — until he lifts his hands to take a sip of water and you see the handcuffs. Dugan is smart — his IQ is over 140 — but he admits he has always had shallow emotions. He tells Kiehl that in his quarter century in prison, he believes he's developed a sense of remorse.

"And I have empathy, too — but it's like it just stops," he says. "I mean, I start to feel, but something just blocks it. I don't know what it is."

Kiehl says he's heard all this before: All psychopaths claim they feel terrible about their crimes for the benefit of the parole board.

"But then you ask them, 'What do you mean, you feel really bad?' And Brian will look at you and go, 'What do you mean, what does it mean?' They look at you like, 'Can you give me some help? A hint? Can I call a friend?' They have no way of really getting at that at all," Kiehl says.

Kiehl says the reason people like Dugan cannot access their emotions is that their physical brains are different. And he believes he has the brain scans to prove it.
We have a disturbing situation above, where an individual is clearly able to tell right from wrong, and yet he went ahead to do what was wrong anyway. Dugan, in this case, was exercising his "free will" to kill. Or was he? The science suggests that he is, in effect, mentally disabled, and therefore cannot be held fully responsible for his crime. The legal term is "diminished responsibility". But what does that even mean, because as a legal scholar would observe in the same documentary, all of us are prone to various kinds of brain abnormalities. Can we claim to have diminished responsibility because of brain abnormalities arising from alcohol consumption?

What are the implications of assuming that "free will" exists, in this case?

Last edited by TinyRedLeaf; 2012-11-05 at 18:40.
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