Monday, January 22, 2007

Explanation as orgasm

I just saw the greatest article title. It is in vol. 8 no. 1 of Minds and Machines. The article is "Explanation as orgasm" by Alison Gopnik, a great developmental psychologist at Berkeley. To copy her phrasing, her idea is that explanations are to understanding as orgasms are to reproduction. On her idea, phenomenologically, we make up theories and use our understanding to explain and we try reproduce to have orgasms. Evolutionarily, the order of explanation is reversed; on each side of the analogy, we do the former to acheive the latter.

I'm not going to go into the merits of the article cause I'm not going to read it (procrastination: woo!) but the title was too good to pass up a brief look. That and writing posts without content is too easy as procrastination to pass up once in a while (or when paper deadlines are looming).

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