Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Murphy - Frankish's 'Mind And Supermind'

"The overall picture distinguishes what Frankish calls either the strand 1 mind or the basic mind from the strand 2 mind, or supermind. (The book would be easier to follow if it consistently used just one of these pairs of neologisms.) The basic mind is non-conscious and contains passively formed beliefs that come in degrees, cannot be actively controlled, and do not involve language. As a reasoning system, it is well described by Bayesian decision theory. The supermind, on the other hand, is conscious, and its beliefs can be actively formed and controlled, expressed in a natural language, and are held or not without qualification. As a reasoning system, it is "classical". (This term is not defined, but it seems to mean syllogistic or otherwise subject to logical, rather than probabilistic, appraisal.) The supermind is realized in the basic mind, in the sense that generalizations about states of the supermind are made true by generalizations about underlying basic states. The result is a very strong commitment not just to the idea that folk psychology quantifies over real entities, but that folk psychology, properly understood, is correct in almost every particular about the nature of those entities, and that the nature of belief is a conceptual, rather than an empirical, matter." - NDPR.

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