George Noah Fitzgerald


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Making Beliefs Pay Rent (in Anticipated Experiences)

Perplexed, I'm not sure I understood what you meant by

you can't have a theory of meaning which deals only with consequences of statements being true but not with what actions put the universe into a state in which the statement becomes true.

Or if I agree with it at all. Wouldn't statements about what actions make certain statements true simply be part of the first category? I don't see a problem with only having statements and their consequences. I see you've made this comment 12 years ago, so I don't know how you would stand on this today.

The Martial Art of Rationality

Sounds great. Loving this so far.

I'd recommend to others to keep philosophy of science in mind. Philosophy of biology doesn't have the nicest things to say about evolutionary psychology (at least relative to other scientific disciplines). It's not about throwing evopsych out, it's about understanding its limitations in informing us about human nature.

Also, keep in mind an interesting truth I've noticed: you might feel in some cases that you're "in the truth." But that itself is qualitatively a culture like any other. If you justify a hierarchy based on, say, evopsych, you're not "in the truth", you're in yet another a culture that justifies its inequalities through a story (even if that story is scientific and truthful).

Edit: Adding the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on evolutionary psychology:

What Do We Mean By "Rationality"?

I'd say you shouldn't force yourself to believe something (epistemic rationality) to achieve a goal (instrumental rationality). This is because, in my view, human minds are addicted to feeling consistent, so it'd be very difficult (i.e., resource expensive) to believe a drug works when you know it doesn't.

What does it even mean to believe something is true when you know it's false? I don't know. Whatever it means, it'd have to be a psychological thing rather than an epistemological one. My personal recommendation is to only believe things that are true. This is because the modern environment we live in generally benefits rational behavior based on knowledge anyway, so the problem doesn't need to surface.