Re: virus: Maxims: the universe and truth

Dan Plante (
Thu, 20 May 1999 16:20:09 -0700

>At 03:55 PM 20/05/99 -0600, David McFadzean wrote:
>>At 12:59 PM 5/20/99 -0700, Dan Plante wrote:

>>I might as well chime in with my $0.02 worth on this topic. I agree in
>>essence and detail, with David's remarks above. As a matter of fact, when I
>>analyse how I think, and why I think of certain things, I find that my mind
>>uses coherence and correspondence as tools.

>Evaluating the truth of a representation by checking for correspondence is
>not possible, at least not directly.

No, I don't use correspondence to evaluate truth. I just notice that the pattern matching aspect of my intellect uses correspondence when it "notices" things during periods of observation and reflection. It's kind of like a mental dialogue, only correspondence happens at a level slightly below full concious awareness: ("Hmmm... this is cool...... this isn't......I don't know what the hell this is..... heh, I'd forgotten about this .... hey, wait a minute, what's this? It seems vaguely familiar, almost like this model over there near the prefrontal cortex; I wonder.....). This is where coherence (conciously searching the thing for a pattern I dub "internal consistency" takes over. That's the sequence and nature of mental events I was trying to convey.

Maybe we're using the term "correspondence" differently?

>We can only infer correspondence by
>checking for coherence. Even apparently direct perception has to be
>interpreted in order to translate it into a representation.

Okay, I see what you mean. At a greater level of analytical detail, the process includes evaluating the pattern, then checking for correspondence again, then if necessary, rechecking the perception step of the pattern/model for errors of analysis (omission, misinterpretation, etc), then handing it off to be checked for correspondence again, itteratively, until the model is coherent (internally consistent) AND it still corresponds to the other pattern, or the train of thought is uncerimoniously dropped (unless the result still gives you a warm, squishy feeling, then you keep it). I guess I was equating the correspondence - coherence dynamic you put forth, as being essentially the description of the same process as, say, Dawkins would have gone through mentally, when he first noticed a pattern in his mind (the behavioural dynamic of ideas) as corresponding with another model already in his mind (genetics). He then used coherence, then correspondance, itteratively, until he came to the conclusion, by way of correspondence (after excluding extraneous details and errors of interpretation from the emerging model of the meme), that the essential behavioural natures (the patterns) of the two were the same, and made a significant discovery about the nature of reality.

>For example consider the statement "these two pieces of paper in front of
>me are the same colour of blue". Initially it would seem that you would
>check the truth of the assertion by directly checking for correspondence,
>but you are still using coherence. To understand why you only have to
>realize that there is always the possibility of being mistaken. Does that
>make sense?

Yes. Most of what I think about is pre-digested, scientifically speaking, and therefore act as axioms or assertions; as raw material for logical deduction and inference. If I were to work at the "blue paper" level of detail, though, I still might "see something that catches my eye", so to speak (correspondence), but the itterative process detailed above would necessarily include physical examination as part of the coherence checking in the loop.

This is the dynamic I thought you were refering to with the "correspondence - coherence" paradigm. I just don't like typing a lot. I don't have much free time.