Wednesday, June 28, 2017

On the distinction between number and quality when talking about ourselves (for Summer A class)

Because of our discussion yesterday and some of the comments put forward just before the class ended. We talked about how a white person is not qualified to talk for a black person (and viceversa), a man for a woman (and viceversa), a heterosexual for a homosexual (and viceversa), a non-transgender for a transgender and viceversa). At first, these qualifications may seem limiting, indeed overbearing. After all (as Roberto pointed out), even amongst blacks, a black person may say (referring to another black person) "this black person is not qualified to talk for me."

discussion continues here.

Student assistants for Summer A class

Athenais Acquaviva
Emily Mader
Julio Cesar Leyva

Thursday, June 15, 2017

watson: the smartest machine ever built!

as part of our conversation about functionalism & AI (see the discussion about hypothesis and the talk about "corpus" around 4:00).

also, read this article, by ray kurzweil.

to proper understand what Watson does you should be proficient in these areas:

natural language processing, which includes

morphological linguistics,
lexical semantics (a promising subfield of the intersection between syntax and semantics)

machine translation,
natural language understanding (this is where the name AI comes from)
sentiment analysis (I love this, where the psychology intersects para-logical processes) 
discourse analysis,

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Topics for Exam #1 (Summer A)

Chapter 1

1- Necessary and sufficient conditions (think of some examples as we did in the Homeworks):

"X" is nec. for "Y", iff Y cannot exist w/o "X," or if "X" is not present, "Y" will not occur.
"X" is suf. for "Y", iff "X" cannot exist w/o "Y," or if "X" is present then "Y" will happen.

2- Logical impossibility, i.e. if it violates a law of noncontradiction (something cannot both be and not be at the same time), causal impossibility (i.e. if it violates a law of nature).
Example: Levitating is logically possible, but causally impossible. QUESTION: If something is logically impossible, can it be causally possible?

3- Argument A set of premises and a conclusion.

4- Deductive arguments: valid (if the conclusion necessarily follows from the premises); sound (a valid argument with true premises).
REMEMBER: There are valid arguments which are unsound.

5- Inductive arguments: strong (an argument that would establish its conclusion with a high degree of probability if the premises were true), cogent: a strong argument with true premises.

6- IBE (or Inference to the Best Explanation) also known as Hypothetical Induction: Hypothesis, which if true, would provide the BEST EXPLANATION for the evidence.7- Criteria of adequacy: Simplicity, consistency, fruitfulness, conservatism and scope.

8- Thought experiment, counterexample, test implication

9- The difference between conceivability and possibility

10- Fallacies. These are the fallacies I want you to know: Begging the question, Appeal to the person (Ad Hominem), Appeal to Ignorance, Appeal to Authority, Appeal to Tradition, Appeal to Fear, Appeal to the Masses, Hasty Generalization, False Dilemma.

Chapter 7

1- All boxes in 537, 539, 541.

Belief: A mental state of acceptance (a belief could be false).
Justification: The reasons why one holds a belief (there are good and bad justifications).
Truth: Correspondence, Pragmatic and Coherence.
Suspension of belief. Neither accept nor reject a belief.
Theories of truth: Correspondence: Truth is a fact (example: "Snow is white.") 
Pragmatic Theory: Truth is what best does the job at hand. (example: "Dom Perignon is a good champagne.")
Coherence Theory of Truth: Truth is what best coheres with the rest of my knowledge.

Think of examples of each of these and their differences. When we don't have all the evidence, or when we're dealing with complicated problems, we may use the pragmatic criteria: With history, forensics, matters of opinion and taste we are more likely to deal with truth as pragmatic than as factual. How can you tell the difference? With the Correspondence Theory I have the facts: "It's raining outside". However, the question: "Is democracy a good system of government?" demands a more pragmatic investigation. In the soft sciences "truth" is obtained more with the pragmatic method.
Have handy the following concepts: performative knowledge, knowledge by acquaintance.

Section 7.1 & Section 7.2 are summarized here.

Section 7.3

1- Standard Account of Knowledge: K= JTB / Counterexample: Gettier's Guy in Barcelona.
2- Defeasibility Theory: K = UJTB /Counterexample: Lehrer's demented Mrs. Grabbit.
3- Causal Theory: K = SCTB / Counterexample: Goldman's Fake Barns.
4- Reliability Theory: K = RPTB / Counterexample: Lehrer's Human Thermometer.    

5- Virtue Perspectivism: K = AB (apt belief). Also K= AK (animal knowledge) + RK (reflective knowledge

According to Sousa, knowledge is a kind of performance, because it has a goal: true belief. So, knowledge needs aptness = accuracy +adroitness  
accuracy ---> goal seeking
adroitness--> exhibiting skill 

Sosa believes there are two kinds of knowledge: Animal and Reflective. Animal Knowledge is externalist in nature. The animal is not aware of its knowledge. It relies exclusively on its sense (what I call "antennas"). 

On the other hand, Reflective Knowledge (RK) is internal in nature: It's a second-order knowledge that is acquired by reflecting on the principles and processes that underlie Animal Knowledge (AK, a first order of knowledge). 

This is the picture. If you have AK you can know without being aware you know. If you have RK you basically know that you know.   

6- This is how Sousa's theory (Virtue Perspectivism) solves each of the preceding counterexamples:  

1. in the case of Gettier's Guy in Barcelona, Smith doesn't have AK, nor does he have RK that "Jones owns a Ford" or "Brown is in Barcelona."    
2. In the Mrs. Grabbit thought experiment, the librarian has both AK and RK that Tom Grabbit stole the book. 
3. In Goldman's Fake Barns thought experiment, Henry has AK that he sees real barns, but he doesn't have RK that he doesn't see fake ones. So, in a sense he doesn't know he knows. 
4. In Lehrer's Human Thermometer thought experiment, Mr. Truetemp has AK of the temperature (he has a thermometer attached to his skull), but he doesn't have RK (he doesn't know why he knows). 

These answers prove that Virtue Perspectivism is a better theory than the previous ones. It can tell us what the issue is, and what needs to get fixed.