A marble head of Socrates in the Louvre

Epistemology and Ethics


Further editing my conversation for Transmediale, I was thinking about what does it mean to make a decision based on the future.    I originally drew a parallel to augery and divination.  But is this really correct? How do I know what to do? I am going look at the entrails of birds and reading those signs I will determine what to do.  This is not really about telling the future, but looking for predictive signs and pattern matching. Now if I were to go to to the delphic oracle and ask what to do, the oracle may be able to look into the future. Likewise, if I am practice astrology I can look up future astrological charts and use this to tell the future. Perhaps this last example is closest to predicting the future from looking into the future.

So what happens in a simulation. I have a model of the world or problem and I run through the problem – I execute the problem.  Now not all the aspects of the model are isomorphic with the world, so there will be some error associated with the results. Also there may be unknown variables, or incorrect assumptions. But the model will attempt to predict the future by executing a program like the world.

I am reminded of (early Plato) Socrates and all those damn dialogues – where everything boils down to well if you just knew what X is you would be X. Like if you just knew what justice was you/we would be just.  This is sort of essentialist or idealist – fits in nicely with Plato’s theory of Forms.  It also conflates ethics to epistemology.  We would act if we only knew more. (This completely ignores the unconscious but lets roll with it).

Now what is the assumption with simulation. We would know what to do if only we knew how everything would work out in the future -or how everything would go.

Again ethics is reduced to epistemology, but it is not a knowledge of something, but a knowledge of the future or a knowledge through computation. It is a knowledge through doing.  I am not sure yet we have a language yet to discuss this