Archive for ‘Artificial Intelligence’


Łukasz Łazarz DRAFT “Cognitve Theory of Norms. Normative schemas”

DRAFT. Cognitive Theory o f Norms. Normative schemas.W załączeniu tekst. Niestety dopiero wczoraj przyjechalem z “wakacji” i tekst jest under contruction. Dlatego prosze o wyrozumialosc za bledy. Abstrahujac od nich, a takze braku rysunkow, tekst w czesci kognitywistycznej jest w zasadzie gotowy. Niekompletne jest zakonczenie, przenoszace pojecia kognitywistyczne na “siatke pojeciowa” filozofii prawa. Poniewaz dyskurs pierwszej czesci najprawdopodobniej sprowadzi sie do takiej samej dyskusji jak przy poprzednich moich tekstach (mozliwosci aplikacji roszcacych sobie prawa do “obliczalnosci” teorii kognitywistycznych do caloscwioej wizji czlowieka, w szczegolnosci problemow na gruncie normatywnym), szczegolnie wdzieczny bede za uwagi i sugestie dotyczace drugiej czesci tektu, na razie otwartej.



Smith, E. E., Shoben, E. J. & Rips, L. J. (1974). Structure and process in semantic memory: A featural model for semantic decisions. Psychological Review, 1, 214-241.


 Smith, E. E., Shoben, E. J. & Rips, L. J. (1974). Structure and process in semantic memory: A featural model for semantic decisions. Psychological Review, 1, 214-241.


 According to the probabilistic view concept is a summary description of features of all objects representing the given concept. The given object described by the concept may have the given feature of this concepts with a given probability. In other words the probabilistic view assumes the concepts are the sets of some features associated with the probability of their occurrence.

 Smith, Shoben, Rips following their researches assumed that the critical features may be specified among all features of the given concept. Critical features are fundamental for recognition of the object belonging to the given concepts (categorization) because they constitute a “core” of the concepts and all objects belonging to the given concepts may be characterized with those critical features. Authors assumed also existence of the characteristic features indicating how typical object is.

 The second issue raised by the authors is the problem of the comparison  between the category and a particular specimen. According to authors such comparison is made within two steps. In the first step the category and the specimen are compared entirely. It means that all features: critical and characteristic are taken into account. If the specimen has all or almost all critical features and more of characteristic once then the positive answer is given for the question on similarity. In the second step assumes detailed comparison consisting in comparison of the critical features only. The idea of this step is to check the proportion of critical features of the specimen towards all critical features of the category compared.


The article is the classic one on the grounds of cognitive psychology. The most valuable point of the article is observation on definitions of the categories, as consisting in set of features. Probabilistic view underline one more important thing, probabilistic relations between the category and its features. That symbolic version of connectionist or semi-connectionist  weights between chunks is just those probabilistic relations.

The early work described above in perceptual and conceptual categorization assumed that categories had critical features and that category membership could be determined by logical rules for the combination of features. More recent theories have accepted that categories may have an ill-defined or “fuzzy” structure and have proposed probabilistic or global similarity models for the verification of category membership. It was difficult to believe that there is any biological distinction between some features describing object indeed.


What Is Mind and How It Exists?

Marcin Miłkowski, Robert Poczobut

Diametros 3/ 2005


The paper is a brief but comprehensive review of current philosophical ideas of the nature and existence of mind. It begins with quite obvious observation on various sources of our knowledge on mind’s functions and processes: common, philosophical and scientific. Each approach has its own value and cannot be dismissed. However the scientific knowledge should be the main context within which philosophy of mind should be practiced. The natural consequence of that (according to the authors) is, that at present no one takes the ideas like substantial dualism, epiphenomenalism or psychophysical parallelism seriously. Following those assumptions the conception of mind is further unfolded. However the reader will not find the simple answer on questions in title. Instead some criteria and mid-conceptions are proposed: what states of mind can be observed, what kind of minds can be distinguished, and what kind of mind’s models are being proposed at present in cognitive sciences and in philosophy. In the next part, on the existence of mind, the inter-levels relations are analyzed in terms of upward and downward causation. The mind is envisaged as a complex structuralized system which constitutes the basis for the realization of complex mind’s functions. At the end the idea of emergence monism is supported with some specification.


The paper was meant to be an introduction to the discussion on the mind’s nature and existence. Both authors present very wide and comprehensive knowledge on the topic. The assumed objective has been fulfilled. It is in fact a good introduction. It must be noticed however, that the ideas which are not consistent with authors views are very easily dismissed and the reader, which presents opposite point of view can be disappointed, not finding any arguments for that.


Short review: Anderson, J. R., Matessa, M. & Douglass, S. (1995). The ACT-R theory and visual attention. In Proceedings of the Seventeenth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 61-65). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates


Anderson, J. R., Matessa, M. & Douglass, S. (1995. The ACT-R Theory of and visual attansion. Proceedings of the Seventeenth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 61-65). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates


The article shows how the ACT-R system, which is a general system for modeling a wide range of higher level cognitive processes, has been extended to include a theory of visual attention (synthesis of the spotlight metaphor of Posner, feature synthesis model of Treisman and attentional model of Wolfe). Production rules can direct the attention to primitive visual features in the visual array. When attention is focused on a region, features in that region can be synthetised into declarative chunks. Assuming a time to switch attention of about 200 msec., this model proves capable of simulating the results from a number of the basic studies of visual attention. The ACT-R model  has been extended  to complex problem solving like equitation solving where we have shown that an important component of learning is acquiring efficient strategies for scanning the problem.


The above paper may seem to be irrelevant for the problem of biological foundations of law. However I strongly believe that the there is no fundamental differences between different kind of choices we make, independently from their complexity and their genesis. I strongly believe there are solid and common basis of any decision making. One of the fields where decision making is made within human architectures is field of visual attention. The problem of decision making and its nature is consequently connected with decision making regularity what is almost a normative problem already.


Short review: M. Mahlmann , J. Mkhail, Cognitive Science, Ethics, Law



M. Mahlmann , J. Mkhail, Cognitive Science, Ethics, Law,



The above short paper is a good start on cognitive science perspective on ethics and law. The author shows how views on human mind developed within history, underlining moments where stronger stimulus had been given by scientific accelerations. One of this moments was a cognitive revolution of 1950s-1960s of XX century.

In the light of developments the author asks the following questions: what about morality? Wasn’t Hume correct to locate it in the capital he meant to conquer? Does not the existence of the language faculty and the modular view of the mind it helped spawn lend plausibility to the view that human beings likewise possess a distinct moral faculty? Can postulating such a faculty help explain the facts of moral development and the phenomenology of moral judgment?

Besides relevance of cognitive science for philosophy of mind, morality (ethics) the author also tries to answer shortly on question of relevance of cognitive science for law. On practical level it may have a serious implications for our understanding of fields such as a crime, tort, contract, evidence, agency, mens rea, insanity, culpability in general.



The paper is not very full of new ideas or theses. However I find valuable as it shows a new perspective for moral, ethics or legal researches. This new cognitive science perspective started in 1950s-1960s of XX century, however more and more often it „attacks” the most conservative corners of philosophy connected with normativism.


Hayeka teoria umysłu i jej antynaturalistyczne implikacje

Szanowni Państwo,

pozwoliłem sobie bez wiedzy i zgody autora (!!!) na pewne modyfikacje niniejszego postu. Otóż, tekst Marcina Gorazdy stanowiący polemiczną odpowiedź na wcześniejsze prace Łukasza Łazarza można odnaleźć tutaj. Wydaje się, że ten sposób umieszczania naszych prac jest bardziej przyjazny dla odbiorców.

Na koniec nie zostaje mi nic innego jak tylko polecić lekturę tekstu Marcina!

Tags: ,

The Use of Knowledge in the Society – Hayek’s philosophy

Na piątkowe seminarium polecam uwadze następujące teksty:

1) The Use of Knowledge in Society

2) Economics and knowledge

i najważniejszy tekst dot. filozofii umysłu Hayeka zawartej w książce “Sensory Order” – niestety nie jest dostępny w Internecie wiec niniejszym go załączam:

G. R. Steele – Hayek’s Sensory Order

Postaram się do środy przygotować krótkie zestawienie najważniejszych tez, które umieszczę na stronie.


Tags: ,

Is the Universe a Universal Computer (2002)

M. Mitchell,

Science vol 298, 4 October 2002, pp 65 – 68


The text is a critical review of a book written by Stephen Wolfram, A New Kind of Science, published in 2002 by Wolfram Media. The book itself is available for free (in a digital version) on Stephen Wolfram’s website and it constitutes a kind of author’s credo on what is the nature of the world and in consequence how science should be practiced. In the first part of her article Melanie Mitchell briefly makes the reader familiar with Wolfram’s books main thesis, what is not easy as the book counts 1200 pages. The main Wolfram’s idea can be however described quite simply: The structure of the physical world bases upon the theory of cellular automata, originally proposed by two mathematicians, Stanislaw Ulam and John von Neumann. Any other mathematical structures, discovered by the scientists are accidental and very rare in nature. The main feature of some cellular automata, is that they are able to product very complex structures, hard to decipher and to discover any regularity, on the basis of the very simple instructions (programs) originally encoded in the automaton. Wolfram claims that science should be practiced so that, we would rather look for those “simple programs” in nature, then effortlessly try to describe the observed regularity in terms of standard mathematical equations. The key phrase is “computational equivalence” which is the new law of nature according to Wolfram and this new principle can illuminate many aspects of natural phenomena as well as fundamental philosophical questions.

Melanie Mitchell is not totally critical towards Wolfram’s proposals. She thinks that in general he is on the right track. It seems like simple computer models can sometimes better explain the complex structures then traditional approach. It doesn’t however constitute any “new kind of science”. Wolfram simply continues to develop the very significant work of the pioneers of computer age and computability, Neumann, Turing, Wiener. The works of those scientists are often disregarded in Wolframs book.

Many of his claims are rather speculations or suspicions which are not supported by any evidences. Especially, although we can observe in nature the structures which seems to be a product of simple programs, we cannot say, as Wolfram would like to do, that such structures are common as well as common is the ability to support the universal computation. On the contrary the analytical approaches to illuminating complexity in nature has been much more successful so far then cellular automata.


Melanie Mitchell is doubtless specially competent to write a critical review of the Stephen Wolfram’s work. She dedicates most of her scientific researches to complexity and how to cope with it. As the specialist in complex systems she is aware that in order to illuminate them and to decipher the rules that govern the behavior of complex systems in nature we probably have to look for entirely different methods then the traditional mathematical linear equations. The direction of Wolfram’s researches seems to be right. But it is not Wolfram who put  mathematicians, physics, biologists and even economists on that track. Even if the direction is correct we have to be critical towards ourselves in our courageous ideas. Especially as the cellular automata are surely not the only way to cope with complexity, and not even the most effective. It is far too early to bury the old methods. They still work in many areas much better then cellular automata.


Re: Uwagi do tekstu: “L.Lazarz, Ignorance is bless. Ograniczenia wpływu nauk poznawczych na dziedziny normatywne.”

Jeszcze przed spotkaniem chciałbym odnieść się do głównego zarzutu wobec tekstu. Jak rozumiem chodzi o zarzut związany charakterystyką wiedzy i przypisaniem jej deterministycznego charakteru. Chciałbym rozróżnić wstępnie dwie kwestie.

(1)   Recenzent płynnie zamienia wywody o charakterze wiedzy na wywody dotyczące sposobu funkcjonowania umysłu. Specjalnie staram się pisać o wiedzy a nie o świecie jakim on jest, ponieważ są to dwie różne rzeczy. Nie piszę o funkcjonowaniu umysłu, czy szerzej świata (przypisując mu deterministyczny charakter) tylko o charakterystyce wiedzy, a postrzegam te dwie rzeczy jako zupełnie różne. Nie przesądzam w tej pracy jaki świat jest (deterministyczny czy nie) tylko o tym jak nam się ten świat jawi w tym co nazywamy wiedzą o świecie. Czyli nie traktuje o (świecie) tylko o (świecie + sposób ekstrakcji uogólnionej informacji o świecie z perspektywy poznawczych mechanizmów budowania wiedzy = reprezentacja świata w naszych umysłach). TO ostatnie jest ntak naprawdę jedynym dostępnym nam światem. Od poznawczej soczewki nie ma ucieczki.

(2)   Po drugie nieudolnie unikam pojęcia determinizmu (staram się pisać gdzie tylko  możliwe o STOPNIU WYMUSZANIA STANÓW RZECZY) ponieważ nawet jeśli traktuję nie o świecie a tylko o jego umysłowej reprezentacji to niekoniecznie używam terminu determinizm w klasycznym rozumieniu tego słowa. Nie chcę tracić miejsca na wywodu związane z determinizem, ale tak jak klasycznie go rozumiem, bardziej dotyczy koncepcji, z którą wiąże się przypisanie danym przyczynom jednoznacznych skutków. Np. Spinoza wykluczył w świecie istnienie przypadku i wolności. Używając pojęcia determinizm mam na myśli sytuację, w której dopuszczam, że nie potrafimy przewidzieć określonego skutku, ale jeśli posiadamy jakąś wiedzę to przynajmniej potrafimy szacowac pradopodobieńśtwo jego wystąpienia. W tym znaczeniu fundamentalne znaczenia ma właśnie przypadek, co stoi w sprzeczności z poglądami głoszonymi przez wielu deterministów (przynajmniej ich część)  a nie stoi w moim przekonaniu z interpretacjami wynikającymi z mechaniki kwantowej (zasad nieoznaczoności Heisenberga). Konia z rzędem dla tego kto poda mi przypadek uogólnionej wiedzy, które nie będzie mówiła, że pewien stan rzeczy wymusza (w takim czy innym stopniu) na inny stan rzeczy.

Taka interpretacja wiedzy powoduje, że jeśli mówimy o wiedzy o umyśle, to wiemy, że jakieś stany rzeczy określają przynajmniej prawdoponieńśtwo wystąpienia innych stanów rzeczy (np. zachowania). CO się dzieje między tymi „widełkami”, czy w ramach tych widełek jest wolna wola to sprawa wtórna, ale jeśli mamy wiedzę o mechanizmach podejmowania decyzji to jest ona (w świetle posiadanej wiedzy) jakoś tam determinowana (przynajmniej w części). Konkluzją artykułu jest stwierdzenie, że nawet taka sytuacja jest dla nas nie do zaakceptowania z przyczyn stojącących u podstaw systemów normatywnych. Nie stać nas na takie rozmycie kwestii wolnejwoli (ale niekoniecznie jej wykluczenie) bo prowadziłoby to to rozmycia min. kwestii odpowiedzialności.



L.Lazarz, Extremes meet each other. Artificial General Intelligence versus Philosophy of law.

Extremes meet each other. Artificial General Intelligence versus Philosophy of law.