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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