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Cog­ni­tive Reduction

TagLast edit: 24 Mar 2021 0:44 UTC by riceissa

A cognitive reduction is a form of reductive analysis where, rather than reducing something to physical phenomena, we reduce something to the cognitive machinery which give rise to the idea.

For example, Bayesian probability (ie subjective probability, or credence) can be seen as a cognitive reduction of randomness: rather than seeking physical causes of randomness in the world, we seek the impression of randomness in the mind. We then assert that randomness exists in the map, not the territory.

In other cases, we may still think the phenomenon exists in the territory, but nonetheless seek a cognitive reduction. For example, while we may think “apples” are a real thing that exists, we might be confused about borderline cases (such as a hypothetical fruit which has 90% apple genes and 10% pear genes). A cognitive reduction of “apple” helps us understand what it even means to assert one thing or another about borderline cases, while not necessarily giving up the claim that apples are real things which exist.

See also

How An Al­gorithm Feels From Inside

Eliezer Yudkowsky11 Feb 2008 2:35 UTC
211 points
82 comments4 min readLW link

My cur­rent take on the Paul-MIRI dis­agree­ment on al­ignabil­ity of messy AI

jessicata29 Jan 2017 20:52 UTC
21 points
0 comments10 min readLW link

Words as Hid­den Inferences

Eliezer Yudkowsky3 Feb 2008 23:36 UTC
72 points
22 comments3 min readLW link

The Ho­muncu­lus Problem

abramdemski27 May 2021 20:25 UTC
39 points
36 comments5 min readLW link

The Ul­ti­mate Source

Eliezer Yudkowsky15 Jun 2008 9:01 UTC
68 points
80 comments8 min readLW link

Pass­ing the Re­cur­sive Buck

Eliezer Yudkowsky16 Jun 2008 4:50 UTC
41 points
17 comments4 min readLW link

Neu­ral Categories

Eliezer Yudkowsky10 Feb 2008 0:33 UTC
50 points
12 comments4 min readLW link

Empty Labels

Eliezer Yudkowsky14 Feb 2008 23:50 UTC
40 points
7 comments2 min readLW link

Wrong Questions

Eliezer Yudkowsky8 Mar 2008 17:11 UTC
63 points
133 comments2 min readLW link

In­tro to Nat­u­ral­ism: Orientation

13 Feb 2022 7:52 UTC
142 points
18 comments7 min readLW link