Whose moral compass is right? What presupposition makes it so? What ideological needs are served?
Parrots use tools. they scrape the edge of a shard of shell against the shell’s cup. the shard is crumbled and the crumbs fall into the plate of the shell, from which the parrot licks it up. the use of tools is shocking because we privilege the *idea* of “the use of tools”. as a matter of course, animals use their environment, just as all organisms do.
“the use of tools” is itself a tool. it is an idea that is used in our imaginations. i can think of “using a tool”. but, whether or not i think (imaginatively), “i can use this tool”, i DO (in reality) use the tool. Except, in the reality version, if you can imagine a world without imagination, there is no such thing as the idea of “using this tool”. there is no such thing as the idea of “using”. there is no such thing as AN IDEA! ideas supervene on imagination. reality exists with or without ideas. though of course, ideas and imagination ARE a part of reality, and certainly do affect the system.
The idea that “the idea of ‘using a tool'” can be talked about suggests that there could exist an alternate universe where such an idea never occurred. where NO idea occurred. if that is the way we recognize reality, then it is no wonder we are surprised that parrots use tools! We assume that parrots exist in that “alternate universe where no idea ever occurred”! We assume parrots are idea-less. We make an ass out of u and me.
If we recognize that ideas are part of reality. and that we are not the ones who put ideas in the realm of reality, that parrots, too, have ideas. then all life (and maybe even non-life) has ideas! These ideas would not be referred to as “ideas” or reflected on as “ideas”. In the reality where they exist they exist as they are, not as they are thought of. That’s the nature of reality, it is what is.
Parrots use tools because humans are able to describe it that way. Whether or not we describe it, parrots eat. (Except they don’t call it eating.)
According to …
Hui Yang, Alistair Willis, Anne De Roeck, and Bashar Nuseibeh. 2010. Automatic detection of nocuous coordination ambiguities in natural language requirements. In Proceedings of the IEEE/ACM international conference on Automated software engineering (ASE ’10). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 53-62.
Willis, A., Chantree, F., & Roeck, A. (2008). Automatic Identification of Nocuous Ambiguity. Research on Language and Computation, 6(3-4), 355-374.
The authors distinguish between nocuous and innocuous ambiguity. And they propose a system to identify occurrences of nocuous ambiguity, ultimately to target and reduce sources of misunderstanding for readers of requirements documents. Their work is different from other research in semantic disambiguation techniques because these authors do not focus on surface syntactic or structural ambiguities that are inherent in the text; instead they focus on ambiguity as it is perceived by readers of the text.
To distinguish between nocuous and innocuous ambiguity, consider the following two sentences (authors’ examples):
E1. They support a typing system for architectural components and connectors.
E2. It is described the size of vector-based input and output.
At a structural level, both E1 and E2 contain “coordination ambiguity”, where a modifier can apply to one or more parts of the text.
E1 contains nocuous ambiguity: 7 of 17 readers read “architectural components” and “connectors”, while another 7 readers read it as “architectural components” and “architectural connectors”. In this case, different readers disambiguate the coordination ambiguity differently.
E2 contains innocuous ambiguity: 16 out of 17 judges read E2 as “vector-based input and vector-based output” (perhaps because of the semantic similarity between “input” and “output”). This case of coordination ambiguity is less severe: different readers disambiguate it the same way.
While the authors value unambiguatious technical documents, they acknowledge that “ambiguity is an intrinsic phenomenon of natural language”. By leveraging heuristics from human readings of ambiguous sentences, the researchers have developed a machine learning algorithm that can identify ambiguous sentences as nocuous or innocuous, ultimately, so that developers of written communication can minimize the more relevant ambiguities. In other words, the goal is to eliminate ambiguities that generate misunderstandings. The authors strive to tolerate ambiguities that do not cross the threshold into nocuousness.
Solomon on Becker – “we live in a world of meaning, and we need to feel valuable in the world of meaning to which we subscribe”
According to Sheldon Solomon (Youtube, part 2, 8:30)…
“According to Becker, culture consists of humanly constructed beliefs about the nature of reality that we share with people in groups, the primary function of which is to reduce the anxiety engendered by the awareness of death, by giving each of us a sense that we are persons of value in a world of meaning. So, for Becker, meaning and value and tremendously important psychological constructs.”