What’s With The Name?
TFP gets its name from Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence, where “the frame problem” refers to a problem that cognitive agents like us solve all the time. In a given instance we face an infinite supply of potentially relevant and irrelevant information. If one were to consider every possible contingency behind an act, they would never do a thing. If they considered none of it, they would be highly vulnerable to unforeseen consequences. The task for a functional and adaptive cognitive system is to process relevant information exclusively, intelligently ignoring the rest. The problem of zooming in on the relevant information while leaving everything else unconsidered is the frame problem.
The issue of framing is highly relevant to considerations of politics, prudence, ethics, rationality, and wisdom. How one frames their life, particular situations and political issues has everything to do with the goals they set, how they respond to circumstances, how they learn from mistakes, and their value and pragmatic judgments. Our frames reflect and determine what we view as relevant and important; thus, they play a critical role in determining our thoughts, feelings, motivations, and actions. A cornerstone of wisdom and a stable and just society, thus, is the ability to attend to, compare and evaluate one’s frames and those of others (e.g., like-minded and differently-minded people, politicians, lobby groups, advertisers, media groups).