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Evolution, generative entrenchment and the bounds of rationality

Evolution, generative entrenchment and the bounds of rationality

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Evolution, generative entrenchment and the bounds of rationality

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  1. Evolution, generative entrenchment and the bounds of rationality KonradTalmont-Kaminski Marie Curie-Sklodowska University

  2. Two issues • Bounded rationality theory claims all reasoning heuristic in nature • Why should this be the case? • Hume’s problem of induction defines the field of possible epistemic processes, both for reasoning & evolution • What about development of new heuristics? • Hume’s problem of induction forces development of new heuristics to proceed by broadly evolutionary means

  3. Bounded rationality

  4. Heuristics all the way up • Herbert Simon The Sciences of theArtificial 3rd ed. 1996 • Perfect rationality a bad model • Satisficing not optimising • Heuristics • Rules-of-thumb • Heuristics all the way up • Adaptations to scientific theories • Simple heuristics used outside bounded rationality • Kahneman & Tversky • Dual process accounts of reason

  5. Fast, frugal, etc. • Bill Wimsatt Re-engineering Philosophy of Limited Beings 2007 • Broad characterisation of heuristics • Fallible • Frugal (and fast, too) • Systematically biased • Problem transforming • Have specific uses • Developed from other heuristics (Exapted) • Is it heuristics all the way up?

  6. Hume & heuristics

  7. Exaptation & heuristics • Jerry-built products of evolution • Evolutionary history • Building a Ferrari from a Morris MM • Developmental pathways • Exaptation • Using existing traits for new functions • Feathers in dinosaurs and birds • Human reason • Typical product of evolution • Kahneman & Tversky studies • Collection of heuristics • Is human reason bounded because of evolution?

  8. Dual process accounts • Jonathan Evans & others • Heuristics • System 1 • Evolutionarily old • Logical Thinking • System 2 • Evolutionarily new • Problem • People do use logic • Human reasoning is bounded • How does system 2 work?

  9. Humean ‘dualism’? • Hume’s 2 ‘systems’ • Habits – heuristics • Reasons – System 2 • Hume – the original dual process theorist? • No • Problem of induction • 250 years of looking for solution • Problem affects deductive reasoning, also • System 2, either • Runs into problem of induction • Heuristics that use logical features of environment

  10. A naturalist Hume • A different view of the problem of induction • Not a problem • A basic epistemic limit • Hume’s fact of reasoning • Heuristics are the response • Heuristics wherever Hume’s ‘Problem’ • Relevance to evolution?

  11. Heuristics all the way down • Evolution is back-ward looking • Adaptations suit previous environments • Not necessarily future ones • Environmental changes may lead to extinction • Arms races (cheetahs & gazelles) • Evolution short-sighted due to problem of induction • Adaptations are also heuristics • Hume’s problem is the fundamental epistemic limit • Determines what evolutionary processes possible • Determines what cognitive processes possible

  12. Open-endedness andgenerative entrenchment

  13. Evolution & engineering • Contrast between • Evolutionary processes • Small changes • Every step must be satisficing • Engineering projects • Novel solutions • Only end product satisfices • Evolutionary landscape • Wheel • Evolutionary products more limited? • In one sense, yes • Most limits due to • Evolutionary histories • Developmental paths

  14. Open-ended bounded rationality • Human reason bounded but open-ended • Develops and obtains new abilities • Consists of a set of heuristics but • Develops new heuristics • Exapts existing heuristics to novel functions • Open-endedness makes it possible to transcend particular limitations • While still remaining bounded • Open-endedness key trait of evolution & cognition • Engineered systems either • Closed ‘end-products’ and of little interest • Open-ended

  15. Step-wise development & GE • Hume’s problem forces • Open-ended systems to develop in step-wise manner • Generative entrenchment (GE) • Existing heuristics make new heuristics possible • Wheel required for automobile • The more connections the more entrenched • New transport systems & existing infrastructure • Human pyramid • GE results from open-ended development • History/development paths significant for all open-ended systems • Development of open-ended engineered systems will have basic traits of evolutionary change

  16. Evolution & artificiality • Artificial systems • Etymological root - artifice • Adapted to their environment • By evolution • By engineers • Some traits explained in terms of environment • Atrophy of eyes in cave animals • Structure of the tire

  17. Conclusions • Hume’s ‘problem’ of ‘induction’ • The basic epistemic limit • Applies to all artificial systems • Forces the use of heuristics • Limits how open-ended artificial systems can develop • Forces the use of evolutionary processes

  18. One more pyramid konrad@talmont.com http://deisidaimon.wordpress.com