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Pinky
11827.  Sun Dec 05, 2004 4:39 am Reply with quote

Hi Raindancer!

I like your 'bullet point' style, you bring into my mind rather a gangster with a thompson sub machine gun having at (so to speak) the matter at hand! Umm, not to say (hasten, hasten) that you are indelicately spraying bullets at the target, merely a playful image you understand. (Set simper mode to off).


raindancer wrote:
Is this a third kind or does it fit into one of the two kinds above?

This is knowledge gained from experience.


Is there any *other* kind? I remain dubious that there is, unless we turn experience off, and what the heck is experience?

Quote:
Dualism is a position on the nature of mind-body (and reality of course) that holds them apart as two different kinds of stuff.

I've never held with this. There's energy and matter. Matter itself is energy, so there's only one kind of stuff!


Poor Rene of course, given his historical circumstances, wasn't so enlightened by such knowledge of physics, and so I feel we can forgive him for his position. Besides, if you look at what physicists are saying about information transmission at the quantuum level it is all rather strange and, dare I say it, other-worldly. Rene and his 'animal spirits' seems quite mild in comparison to quantum theories of particles somehow knowing instantly where they are in relation to one another under certain conditions of spacetime don't you think?

Quote:
'you cannot teach people knowledge..you can only help them find it within them'

Absolutely. Even then, it depends on them.

reality is either really out there

No, it's not 'out there'. Reality 's everything that exists, inwardly and outwardly - not that there's any dividing line. It's all one thing.


Ah touche! Well here's a fine pickle. On one hand I'm being imprecise and I shall forgive myself for my imprecision and just let it fly. I would point out that if it *is* all one thing, why do we deem it necessary as human beings to carve it up as 'inwardly' and 'outwardly' as you put it? If there is no dividing line then why do we as part of folk psychology draw the line at our inward experience as being at the skin, and the outward as everything beyond that? If we could (a la eliminative materialism - sounds of people scurrying to philosophy resources online and tapping merrily away at outre search engines) understand everything about ontology in reductionist terms would our perhaps naieve experience of inward and outward be exchanged for a real (sic) experience of everything being interconnected? That is would experience (or rather qualia) be fundametally changed in a paradigmatic shift? (I privately refer to this as the Dirk Gently effect).

Quote:
I cannot 'acknowledge' or 'register' information *as* information (possibly in a utilitarian sense) without having some kind of referential or representing relationship with the extended object in reality

Quite. In the world of reality, everything is related to everything else.


Beyond that blanket statement, if so does it not behoove (umm spelling anyone?) us to clarify to what degree everything might be related to everything else? Is me sipping my lemon tea tapping at this computer replying to your post very closely related to my wife sleeping merrily in a (possibly) slightly inebriated state after last night's soiree?

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Do we have any originality?

What? (I'm not saying we don't).


Quite. I continue to grapple with this.

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Our mental capacities restrict us to knowing so little.

Quite. WHY?


Good question and well shouted I say! Possibly because acquring knowledge is like an ever increasing realisation of the growing sphere of our ignorance (lightbulb in the dark theory). Our mental capacities are involved in not only gleaning information but also imputing structure upon that information. Maybe this restriction is a chaos limiter or some similar safety device. Faugh! I shall read more, know less and revisit that one quite infrequently given that it is a question tinged with fear for me. (Cowers philosophically behind large shield and prods at question tentatively with toothpick praying it doesn't burst all over him). I'll go with safety mechanism after that bit of introspection.

Quote:
Indeed, we are all very confused individuals. The key is to find what is real from what is not.

Hooray! I think this is the whole point of it all.


Well confused or not, I still have my naieve psychology or folk psychology that tells me that this is a cup of tea and my keyboard seems pretty darn real to me. So do my thoughts and all kinds of things. My functionalist psychology may well be telling me other things that are fuzzy and implausible and harder to pin down and pretty strange at times. What I can say with some authority is that more questions pop up from asking these questions than answers. Good philosophy of mind should do that, so it strikes me that we are doing some good questioning here. As for coming up with some neat solutions - don't bank on it, because in my years of investigation to various professional degrees (there are various levels of pun there, but I leave it to you to have fun in teasing them out), I've come up with, oooh, about one useful answer. And that turned out to be somebody else's anyway!

Best, Pinky

 
raindancer
11831.  Sun Dec 05, 2004 8:26 am Reply with quote

Pinky

Hello.

what the heck is experience?

Experience is the past responding to the present.

Rene and his 'animal spirits' seems quite mild in comparison to quantum theories of particles somehow knowing instantly where they are in relation to one another under certain conditions of spacetime don't you think?

Well, as you say, he was not of these times.

Incidentally, he also said 'I think, therefore I am'. I've never liked that much, either. We don't exist because we think; we exist in any case!

why do we deem it necessary as human beings to carve it up as 'inwardly' and 'outwardly'

It's probably easier to understand. It's OK to analyse things down, but one shouldn't lose sight of the overall reality. Anything can be broken down, but one doesn't necessarily see the whole picture that way. The danger comes when one sees all the parts clearly, but doesn't see what they mean!

Is me sipping my lemon tea tapping at this computer replying to your post very closely related to my wife sleeping merrily in a (possibly) slightly inebriated state after last night's soiree?

Oh, definitely :)

Maybe this restriction is a chaos limiter or some similar safety device.

Now there you may well have a point. I also think it's because, as a species, we are still growing in understanding. Knowledge is never complete, thank God. In any case, we don't really use all our mental capacities fully.

 
Pinky
11835.  Sun Dec 05, 2004 11:19 am Reply with quote

raindancer wrote:
Pinky

Hello.

what the heck is experience?

Experience is the past responding to the present.


I like that. Not only because it is sexily punchy but because some non-linear neural network systems with feedback loops do very funky things in terms of integrating past experience with present. I might modify it slightly to read - experience is past speaking to present. Although on further reflection this does only capture some of what experience is no doubt. However, our curves must not tangentilise overly. (Gag).

Quote:
Rene and his 'animal spirits' seems quite mild in comparison to quantum theories of particles somehow knowing instantly where they are in relation to one another under certain conditions of spacetime don't you think?

Well, as you say, he was not of these times.

Incidentally, he also said 'I think, therefore I am'. I've never liked that much, either. We don't exist because we think; we exist in any case!


I believe he said 'I am thinking therefore I am' which is somewhat different, but point taken. Your comment on existence regardless of thought points to a negative stance with regard to more constructivist perspectives. Point taken!

Quote:
why do we deem it necessary as human beings to carve it up as 'inwardly' and 'outwardly'

It's probably easier to understand. It's OK to analyse things down, but one shouldn't lose sight of the overall reality. Anything can be broken down, but one doesn't necessarily see the whole picture that way. The danger comes when one sees all the parts clearly, but doesn't see what they mean!


Well quite ;-)

Quote:
Is me sipping my lemon tea tapping at this computer replying to your post very closely related to my wife sleeping merrily in a (possibly) slightly inebriated state after last night's soiree?

Oh, definitely :)


Heh heh.

Quote:
Maybe this restriction is a chaos limiter or some similar safety device.

Now there you may well have a point. I also think it's because, as a species, we are still growing in understanding. Knowledge is never complete, thank God. In any case, we don't really use all our mental capacities fully.


I would prefer to leave God out of this, seems to me he has enough to be doing what with the dice and all, or being blamed for, without shoving this upon the kindly old bearded gentleman!

Anyway, seems I have more tea that needs some attention. Nice talking to you.

 
Jenny
11838.  Sun Dec 05, 2004 11:44 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Experience is the past responding to the present.


I like that. Not only because it is sexily punchy but because some non-linear neural network systems with feedback loops do very funky things in terms of integrating past experience with present.


This relates amazingly well to the book I've just been reading, They F*** you up, your mum and dad, by Oliver James, where he discusses how our brain and body biochemistry is formed (or rather, deformed) by the way we were cared for in our earliest weeks and years, and how this feeds back on itself to create the person we become in adult life.

 
raindancer
11855.  Mon Dec 06, 2004 4:04 am Reply with quote

Pinky

I would prefer to leave God out of this

God also, I expect!

Jenny

Makes you wonder if parents can ever do anything right, dunnit? :)

 
Jenny
11860.  Mon Dec 06, 2004 7:44 am Reply with quote

I have resigned myself to failure, raindancer :-)

I left a message on your answerphone, by the way - get in touch before Thursday?

 
raindancer
11862.  Mon Dec 06, 2004 12:23 pm Reply with quote

Jenny

I have resigned myself to failure, raindancer :-)

Good! Independent little beggars, are they? :) :)

PS. Don't overdo things, BTW. We want you in one piece!

 
Pinky
11876.  Mon Dec 06, 2004 11:52 pm Reply with quote

raindancer wrote:
Pinky

I would prefer to leave God out of this

God also, I expect!

Jenny

Makes you wonder if parents can ever do anything right, dunnit? :)


Heh heh. Marvellous 'no blame' title that ;-)

Pinky

 
raindancer
11878.  Tue Dec 07, 2004 4:42 am Reply with quote

Pinky, what I like about you is that you're always so jolly!

 
JumpingJack
12036.  Thu Dec 09, 2004 2:59 pm Reply with quote

Yes, it's very pleasant, isn't it?

Cheerfulness is a really brilliant quality altogether.

It took me ages to realise that.

Although, as GK Chesterton rather brilliantly pointed out:

Quote:
Cheerfulness without humour is a very trying thing.


Fortunately, Pinky doesn't fit that description. {:o)

 
Pinky
12372.  Sun Dec 19, 2004 10:14 am Reply with quote

JumpingJack wrote:
Yes, it's very pleasant, isn't it?

Cheerfulness is a really brilliant quality altogether.

It took me ages to realise that.

Although, as GK Chesterton rather brilliantly pointed out:

Quote:
Cheerfulness without humour is a very trying thing.


Fortunately, Pinky doesn't fit that description. {:o)


Ahem, steps from behind curtain to discover people talking about him. [Stage directions]

Having been away (as it were) for a couple of weeks from the board, it's gratifying to discover some pleasant comments upon my character!

I like that Chesterton thing. He sounds like somekind of heavy sofa.

Pinkers.

 
Massingberd
12484.  Thu Dec 23, 2004 12:39 pm Reply with quote

I'm not sure I'm asking anything meaningful here, but is it possible to understand constructionism-reductionism wholly or partly as nature v nurture?

This seems to fit with the illustration of the despressive (Jenny's point about causation notwithstanding); biological dispositon v social agency.

Am I just conflating labels of convenience?

 
Gray
12489.  Thu Dec 23, 2004 5:02 pm Reply with quote

Constructionism and reductionism are methods of examining a phenomenon, with a view to seeing how it arises. Is it possible to take a phenomenon apart, inspect each component, and so understand the whole (reductionism), or is it more revealing to attempt to build a simulation from tiny components with simple rules, and see if the higher-level behaviour is similar to the phenomenon (constructionism)?

Nature and nurture are broad terms that attempt to classify a phenomenon as either wholly caused by genetics, or wholly caused by social apsects. You might attempt to use either contructionism or reductionism to explore which classification you think any particular phenomenon is caused by, but there are many other methods. (In nearly every case it's likely that it's a mixture of the two, simply because they both affect each other, according to Ridley et al.)

So they're not really the same sort of creatures: C-R are both methods for exploring phenomena, whereas N-N are classifications of causes for phenomena. Think of C-R as tools, and N-N as labels.

Is this anywhere near useful?

 
Massingberd
12491.  Thu Dec 23, 2004 5:22 pm Reply with quote

As ever, Gray! I'm very grateful.

I was prompted to ask by my umpteenth attempt to get into Dennett's admirably uncompromising "Darwin's Dangerous Idea".

 
Gray
12493.  Thu Dec 23, 2004 5:58 pm Reply with quote

And what a fantastic book that is! I've got his Freedom Evolves staring menacingly at me from the bookshelf, daring me to have some free time...

 

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