[ExI] The Reality of Categories

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Mon Jul 16 15:36:27 UTC 2007

On 16/07/07, Russell Wallace <russell.wallace at gmail.com> wrote:

> > What
> > would you actually say to an alien who thought you were crazy to
> > assert that the rock was the same rock as yesterday?
> Say? But the very act of saying anything, presupposes that the listener can
> understand that the words are part of the same utterance, spoken by the same
> person. It's easy to imagine - indeed, to implement in a computer program -
> a very precise and pedantic being which does not regard anything as being
> the same thing unless it is *exactly* the same thing, but such a being could
> not be intelligent; intelligence is the ability to solve (certain kinds of)
> problems, which such a being could not do.

Such a being would merely have to be precise about the changes from
moment to moment, and accept that for practical purposes near enough
is good enough. For example, it wouldn't get very far in engineering
if it insisted on a tolerance of 10 decimal places when 3 decimal
places would do.

Stathis Papaioannou

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