By saying "bravery/courage", we implicitly mean a hard task that we wouldn't do it in daily life, and we have to sacrifice something to get it - we are scared. It is, after all, just a cost-benefit analysis, but what make it distincts from a regular analysis (e.g. should I buy a car now) is that our attachments to what we are having is too much that our calculation/rationality is distorted.

To overcome that distortion/maintain our rational, we need to question ourself why we should detach to it, and why we should spend our time and energy to questioning ourself. Doing all of this requires cognitive efforts. So I guess we can give a rough function of braverity like this:

braverity = time and energy to question yourself and question why you should question yourself

Since time and energy are physical entities, with suitable equipment, we can objectively measure braverity I suppose.

Is this correct?

Related discussion: What is bravery? Is it even really possible to tell?

  • Bravery usually means taking risks for a "righteous" reason, your "braverity" seems more like reflectiveness or deliberativeness than courage. "Energy" of mental "effort" is an intuitively attractive idea, but its correlation to something like physical energy is questionable. And both time and "energy" vary individually and are poor indicators of the quality of the effort (as e.g. time or sweat spent on solving math problems by different people suggests), so your measuring proposal does not seem to get at what you are trying to get at.
    – Conifold
    Commented Apr 14, 2019 at 23:40
  • This is a why solving math problems is not brave, because it does not involve questioning yourself/your self. I'm quite sure that there is application of the least action principle in cognitive science, especially in decision-making.
    – Ooker
    Commented Apr 15, 2019 at 1:21
  • 1
    The physical correlate of "mental effort", if any, is an interesting issue in its own right. However, in the case of computers there is little correlation between complexity of computations and expending energy. If you are right, it will be bad news for your proposal, since the physical correlate will not discriminate between your braverity and solving math puzzles.
    – Conifold
    Commented Apr 16, 2019 at 18:24
  • So do you think it's a problem of the nature of information, since we can't really differentiate a question about yourself and a question about, say, topology?
    – Ooker
    Commented Apr 17, 2019 at 1:24
  • I am not sure, I was quite surprised to find out that one could (theoretically) create computers with near zero energy expenditure. Even physical or semantic information are too blunt notions since they are content neutral. You may need a combo where the intent of mental effort is determined independently, and then something like computational complexity is measured for the singled out activity, if it is possible to isolate it.
    – Conifold
    Commented Apr 17, 2019 at 17:53


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