Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Runeson's EP and FAPs 3

The third thing I wonder regarding EP and FAPs is this idea that agents, such as fish, perceive affordances.  But, it looks like what the fish perceive is red spot, not male stickleback.  But,  red spots are not "meaningful" to the fish; male sticklebacks are "meaningful" to the fish.

On this topic, tomorrow I'll jump to an example (or maybe two) of sharks from Turvey, Shaw, Reed, & Mace, 1981 ....


  1. Trying to mate with that red spot certainly sounds like an 'opportunity for behaviour' is being perceived.

  2. Isn't it true that anytime something perceives X one will also perceive an opportunity for behavior?

    So, it looks like this move saves EP by moving to the trivially true.

  3. I meant 'as opposed to simply perceiving the colour red'. How the fish gets to the meaning of red is, of course, up for grabs and the point of the difference. The FAP thing certainly sounds like it has direct access to the meaning, although you might want to simply treat the colour red as an input to a system that can only do one thing. I don't know enough fish physiology to argue to other way for sure.

  4. I think this FAP might be what Runeson has in mind by a smart mechanism that exploits some feature of the environment or situation, but I also thought that the upshot of this exploitation was the deliverance of something that is "meaningful" to the perceiver, e.g. male stickleback (which seems not to be the actual case). This is in the spirit of the EP denial that we see points and distance. Nor, one might think, do we perceive colors. We perceive mate-ables, fight-ables, etc.