Damien Broderick wrote:
> At 10:16 PM 4/10/99 -0500, Eliezer wrote:
> >> You're using the word "anthropomorphic" in a manner quite different from
> >> how I normally see it used. Could you flesh that out a little more?
> >Anthropomorphic: Shaped by man. Any pattern caused by features which
> >are unique to humanity
> This is a contrary usage, Eli, almost the opposite of the standard.
Your definition is better, anyway, but let me try to explain mine: There are some cases where anthropomorphic explanations - explanations caused by features which are unique to humanity - are correct; for example, an anthropomorphic explanation of human culture. In other cases, where the forces are presumably preexisting to and external from humanity, such as the laws of physics, "anthropomorphism" is a legitimate criticism. You're probably right in that something needs to be added about anthropomorphism referring to perceptions or mental constructs rather than realities.
> Anthropomorphic: `Shaped like man'. Any pattern deformed by a human
> percipient into a construct that resembles something human. E.g., imposing
> the face of Jesus on a bean or a biscuit and declaring this a miracle. E.g.
> (maybe, maybe not) Sagan and Druyan telling the story of an ape troop in
> terms appropriate to a bunch of feeble-minded gangsters (in SHADOWS OF
> FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS).
> Anthropocentric? Still not quite right...
> Damien Broderick
-- email@example.com Eliezer S. Yudkowsky http://pobox.com/~sentience/tmol-faq/meaningoflife.html Running on BeOS Typing in Dvorak Programming with Patterns Voting for Libertarians Heading for Singularity There Is A Better Way