Friday, March 13, 2009

The Sophistication of (Some) Common Sense

In thinking about juries, jurors, lay knowledge, and lay participation in the legal process, it is worth thinking about the implications of insights such as the following:
Men are in a more difficult intellectual position than Life robots. We don't know the fundamental physics of our world, and we can't even be sure that its fundamental physics is describable in finite terms. Even if we knew the physical laws, they seem to preclude precise knowledge of an initial state and precise calculation of its future both for quantum mechanical reasons and because the continuous functions needed to represent fields seem to involve an infinite amount of information.

This example suggests that much of human mental structure is not an accident of evolution or even of the physics of our world, but is required for successful problem solving behavior and must be designed into or evolved by any system that exhibits such behavior.

John McCarthy, "Ascribing Mental Qualities to Machines" (1979)" (with updates by author here & there)

the dynamic evidence page

coming soon: the law of evidence on Spindle Law

Post a Comment