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Is the orthogonality thesis at odds with moral realism?

I agree with vallinder's point, and would also like to add that arguments for moral realism which aren't theistic or contractarian in nature typically appeal to moral intuitions. Thus, instead of providing positive arguments for realism, they at best merely show that arguments for the unreliability of realists' intuitions are unsound. (For example, IIRC, Russ Shafer-Landau in this book tries to use a parity argument between moral and logical intuitions, so that arguments against the former would have to also apply to the latter.) But clearly this is an essentially defensive maneuver which poses no threat to the orthogonality thesis (even if motivational judgment internalism is true), because the latter works just as well when you substitute "moral intuition" for "goal."

Causation, Probability and Objectivity

If I scratch my nose, that action has no truth value. No color either.

The proposition "I scratched my nose" does have a truth value.

Bayesian epistemology maintains that probability is degree of belief. Assertions of probabilities are therefore assertions of degrees of belief, which are psychological claims and therefore obviously have or can have truth-value. Of course, Bayesians can be more nuanced and take some probability claims to be about degrees of belief in the minds of some idealized reasoner; but "the degree of belief of an idealized reasoner would be X given such-and-such" is still truth-evaluable.

See the distinction. Don't hand wave it with "it's all the same", "that's just semantics", etc. You started saying that this is more of a question. I've tried to clarify the answer to you.

The question was primarily about the role of probability in Pearl's account of causality, not the basic meaning of probability in Bayesian epistemology.

Causation, Probability and Objectivity

Nope, I wasn't familiar. Very interesting, thanks!

Causation, Probability and Objectivity

Probability assignments don't have truth value,

Sure they do. If you're a Bayesian, an agent truly asserts that the (or, better, his) probability of a claim is X iff his degree of belief in the claim is X, however you want to cash out "degree of belief". Of course, there are other questions about the "normatively correct" degrees of belief that anyone in the agent's position should possess, and maybe those lack determinate truth-value.

Causation, Probability and Objectivity

I don't see the relation between the two. It seems like you're pointing out that Jaynes/people here don't believe there are "objectively correct" probability distributions that rationality compels us to adopt. But this is compatible with there being true probability claims, given one's own probability distribution - which is all that's required.

Causation, Probability and Objectivity

That statement is too imprecise to capture Jaynes's view of probability.

Of course; it wasn't intended to capture the difference between so-called objective Bayesianism vs. subjective Bayesianism. The tension, if it arises at all, arises from any sort of Bayesianism. That the rules prescribed by Jaynes don't pick out the "true" probability distributions on a certain question is compatible with probability claims like "It will probably rain tomorrow" having a truth-value.

Causation, Probability and Objectivity

I don't understand where the tension is supposed to come in.

It just seems really weird to be able to correctly say that A caused B when, in fact, A had nothing to do with B. If that doesn't seem weird to you, then O.K.

The idea that causation is in the mind, not in the world is part of the Humean tradition

I think that's unclear; I side with those who think Hume was arguing for causal skepticism rather than some sort of subjectivism.

Evolutionary psychology: evolving three eyed monsters

No considerations are given for the strength of the advantage

I wish this were stressed more often. It's really easy to think up selective pressures on any trait and really hard to pin down their magnitude. This means that most armchair EP explanations have very low prior probabilities by default, even if they seem intuitively reasonable.

Cult impressions of Less Wrong/Singularity Institute

The word "cult" never makes discussions like these easier. When people call LW cultish, they are mostly just expressing that they're creeped out by various aspects of the community - some perceived groupthink, say. Rather than trying to decide whether LW satisfies some normative definition of the word "cult," it may be more productive to simply inquire as to why these people are getting creeped out. (As other commenters have already been doing.)

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