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Doug_S. comments on Explaining vs. Explaining Away - Less Wrong

46 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 17 March 2008 01:59AM

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Comment author: Doug_S. 17 March 2008 08:29:17PM 2 points [-]

Doug S., we get the point, nothing that Ian could say would pry you away from your version of reductionism, there's no need to make any more posts with Fully General Counterarguments. "I defy the data" is a position, but does not serve as an explanation of why you hold that position, or why other people should hold that position as well.

Sorry. :(

Anyway, my own introspection seems to tell me that, although I can "choose the choice that I want", my ability to choose the preferences that provide the underlying reasons for the choice are far more limited. For example, it would be extremely difficult for me to consciously change which flavors of ice cream I like. On some level, I feel that I'm similar to that chess playing program; I make decisions, but there's a level on which the decisions really don't seem to be "freely chosen."

That's where introspection gets me, anyway, and it doesn't seem incompatible with "reduction to atoms." Your mileage may vary.