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Understanding

  1. Mar 7, 2005 #1
    "Understanding"

    First, let me state my conjecture:

    "To understand a statement means only to be fully aware of it's implications."

    Do you think understanding means something more? After all, it is possible in principle to teach a computer (by outright listing) the implications to any (and all?) statements. By my definition, I would accept that a computer can "understand" things (and therefore admit the computer is some kind of mind in the functionalist sense).

    Do you know when it was realized that the heart was a pump? Not in any works of the classical anatomists; It took the invention of the pump (which revolutionized mining). Draw the analogy between computers and minds.

    I don't think understanding means anything more than the definition I have offered, which applies from understanding love to understanding calculus. Von Neuman said:

    "In mathematics you don't understand things. You just get used to them."

    Upon reflection, I feel that this is true of life. If you have a concrete counter example (a type of understanding that is not encapsulated by my definition) or a alternate definition of "understanding", I would like to hear it (because I don't know how to prove my conjecture).
     
  2. jcsd
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