Tautologous

From A conversation about the brain
Jump to: navigation, search

Every action a person makes must be based on their current sensory information about the external environment and their current motivational state which includes information about the internal state of the body. If so, it may at first appear that the claims made here are purely tautologous: of course actions (or an equivalent output) are determined by the current sensory+motivational state.

One important factor that distinguishes the key idea here from a statement of the obvious is the claim that sensory and motivational information is concatenated into a long vector that is compared to a large store of vectors in the same space. This suggestion may turn out to be incorrect and hence is not tautologous. Second, the proposal is the processes at two different time scales and of quite different types contribute to the preparation of an action: simple ‘reflex’ loops and long twisting paths through sensory+motivational space (see here for more details). This, too, could be quite wrong.

Back to objections.