Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Causal Mind (part II)

thoughts by Jordan Munroe

The "Cog" Syllogism

Many people, myself included, are uncomfortable thinking of themselves as causal. Many think that causality limits the control they have over themselves. I call this the "Cog" syllogism, because it leads many to feel that they are just a cog in some ultimate machine. This idea comes from the fact that a machine is a common example of a simple causal system. Though it is correct, it is not a complete allegory of human decision making. Machines and computer systems are not self aware. They perform the functions they are designed to perform unless they malfunction. People perform functions in a similar way, but they also have the ability to change the outcome of their process because they are aware of what they are doing and the implications thereof. I believe this awareness is what separates us from purely causal systems. Though we are causal, we are separated from it in an abstract sence because we are aware of ourselves.

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