Tuesday, March 11, 2008

More Rough Notes on Tracking and Tracking Systems

At least two kinds of tracking – plotting and (semantic) fix maintenance. Talk of ‘tracking time’ here used in the second sense.
Two kinds of maintenance tracking – dynamic state and static state. Dynamic state tracking involves producing a succession of representations which is meant to reflect how things are with what is being tracked at the very time of the tokening (so if tracking A’s height, might token ‘A is 5’6”’ to reflect A’s height at the time of the tokening).
Static state – static state tracking involves using a single representation which (or part of which) has a succession of extensions or propositions expressed to reflect how things are with what is being tracked at the very time of the tokening (so ‘now’ refers to a different time at each time but without itself changing). First person thought may be a limiting case of static state tracking where the succession of extensions of the first person aspect of the representation (within a given a system) are identical (e.g., as used by a single subject, the referent of ‘I’ is going to be identical – the subject using it – across moments). Fully explicit indexical thought will be static state thought since explicit indexicals will be static state trackers of whatever they are meant to refer to.
Past/future tense thoughts may be either ‘n units before now’/ ‘n units after now’ (perhaps to a certain diminishing precision) or ‘before now’/ ‘after now’ and so track what came before or after a time.For the first-person tracking system (the system for tracking me), we don’t need a system which changes states over time – merely such that it can take us from representations to action (e.g., gets me to run away when tokening ‘IS is being chased by a bear’). As far as 3rd person representations go, it chooses which ones are relevant for action. Two ways: Fixed choice of first person representations (which are static state trackers of the agent deploying them) and can then use those and their connections to 3rd person ones (that is, it acts on all 1st person representations and 3rd person representations connected to those – e.g., ‘I am IS’ plus ‘IS is being chased by a bear’ gets me to run), or directly chooses the 3rd person ones somehow (e.g., makes me act on all decisions about what IS ought to do).

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