[hist-analytic] 'Wobbly'

steve bayne baynesrb at yahoo.com
Sat Dec 18 07:01:43 EST 2010

I think it was the AI guy, Pat Hayes, who mentioned the problem of 'wobbles' in puter programming. It's an interesting idea. Here are a couple of half-baked thoughts.

A table may wobble because the floor is uneven; thus the table may wobble without being a wobbly table. Nor do we care to say that being wobbly, the property, may receive a dispositional analysis: being so disposed that when bumped things on it fall off. Nor do we say "A wobbly chair jiggles but only at a point" (at one leg). Being wobbly may have a physical explanation without being a property connected in a lawlike way with other properties, physical or otherwise. But being wobbly does have a physical explanation; still there is no property of matter that corresponds or is identical to being wobbly. There is no anamolousness to 'wobbly'. Why not?

A mental property is a property that depends on the there being minds; not all mental properties are psychological. Some mind dependent properties, such as evaluative properties, are not psychological. 'Good' is not a psychological property, even though it may be subjective.

Note, also, that a table may wobble without being wobbly; a man can kill and in a sense not be a "killer." The contrast introduces evaluation, not a norm.


STeve Bayne

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