Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

Lee_B comments on How to Convince Me That 2 + 2 = 3 - Less Wrong

53 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 27 September 2007 11:00PM

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (390)

Sort By: Old

You are viewing a single comment's thread.

Comment author: Lee_B 28 September 2007 07:38:37PM 0 points [-]

This sentence of Eliezer's is where the action is:

I'm suspicious of claims that supposedly do not require justification and yet seem to be uniquely preferred within a rather large space of possibilities.

"There are no married bachelors" gets us to nod our heads because we uniquely prefer English syntax and semantics. We pick it out of the rather large space of possible languages because it's what everyone else is doing.

If Eliezer went around earnestly saying, "there are some married bachelors," I would guess he had entangled himself with an environment where people go around saying such things, with a different possible language.

Eliezer insists that he could be entangled with evidence such that he believes "there are some married bachelors" is true in English as we know it. I don't think he could; that proposition is unthinkable in good English.