Mind Projection Fallacy

Overcoming the mind projectprojection fallacy requires realizing that our minds are not transparent windows unto veridical reality; when you look at a rock, you experience not the the rock itself, but your mind's representation of the rock, reconstructed from photons bouncing off its surface. Sugar in and of itself is not inherently sweet; the sugar itself only has the chemical properties that it does, which your brain interprets as sweet.

Applied to Notes on Empathy by David Gross at 9mo
Applied to Is LessWrong dead without Cox’s theorem? by [anonymous] at 1y
Applied to Hope Function by Multicore at 2y

Overcoming the mind project fallacy requires realizing that our minds are not transparent windows unto veridical reality; when you look at a rock, you experience not the the rock itself, but your mind's representation of the rock, reconstructed from photons bouncing off its surface. Sugar in and of itself is not inherently sweet; the sugar itself only has the chemical properties that it does, which your brain interprets as sweet.

History

Physicist and Bayesian philosopher E.T. Jaynes coined the term mind projection fallacy to refer to this kind of failure to distinguish between epistemological claims (statements about belief, about your map, about what we can say about reality) and ontological claims (statements about reality, about the territory, about how things are). In particular, the concept was applied in the critique of frequentist interpretation of the notion of probability as a property of physical systems rather than an epistemic device concerned with levels of certainty, Bayesian probability.

Notable Posts

See Also

Applied to A List of Nuances by abramdemski at 2y
Applied to Detached Lever Fallacy by Multicore at 3y
Applied to Chaotic Inversion by Multicore at 3y