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The approximate character of tex2html_wrap_inline835


Using the situational fluent tex2html_wrap_inline835 in formulating the conditions under which strategies have given effects has two advantages over the tex2html_wrap_inline471 of part 2. It permits more compact and transparent sentences, and it lends itself to the application of the mathematical theory of computation to prove that certain strategies achieve certain goals.

However, we must recognize that it is only an approximation to say that an action, other than that which will actually occur, leads to a definite situation. Thus if someone is asked, `How would you feel tonight if you challenged him to a duel tomorrow morning and he accepted?' he might well reply, `I can't imagine the mental state in which I would do it; if the words inexplicably popped out of my mouth as though my voice were under someone else's control that would be one thing; if you gave me a long-lasting belligerence drug that would be another.'

From this we see that tex2html_wrap_inline835 should not be regarded as being defined in the world itself, but only in certain representations of the world; albeit in representations that may have a preferred character as discussed in part 2.

We regard this as a blemish on the smoothness of interpretation of the formalism, which may also lead to difficulties in the formal development. Perhaps another device can be found which has the advantages of result without the disadvantages.

John McCarthy
Mon Apr 29 19:20:41 PDT 1996