Mental Content: The Argument from Illusion

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Re: Mental Content: The Argument from Illusion

Postby BadgerJelly on December 30th, 2017, 8:31 pm 

Mitch -

I don't think I missed anything. I am pretty sure Asparagus will confirm what I said? If not then I guess we've been talking past each other.
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Re: Mental Content: The Argument from Illusion

Postby Asparagus on December 30th, 2017, 9:17 pm 

Dave_C wrote:For what it's worth, I personally would support indirect realism. I can't see how one can reject it to be honest. It seems like a well established fact. I'd also agree that once one suggests there is something other than objectively observable phenomena (ie: there are subjective phenomena) then I think we're stuck with dualism, which I also agree with. But there are far too many arguments on either side of the fence and it seems none of them have been able to convince the community at large (philosophy of mind community) what the correct answer is to all of those issues. There are simply too many issues (logical dilemmas) that have not been resolved.

Indirect realism has been the prevailing view of educated people for a few centuries. That doesn't mean that it's right, but it's pretty close to common sense for a lot of people. I think mental representation is a popular idea among philosophers of mind. That would be worth discussing down the line, along with neutral monism.
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Re: Mental Content: The Argument from Illusion

Postby Asparagus on December 30th, 2017, 9:20 pm 

Serpent wrote:Not at all. I'm saying places and things can exist perfectly well without you or me ever seeing them.

You'd say the same thing in a dream, though. Just sayin' :D
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Re: Mental Content: The Argument from Illusion

Postby Asparagus on December 30th, 2017, 9:31 pm 

BadgerJelly » December 30th, 2017, 8:31 pm wrote:Mitch -

I don't think I missed anything. I am pretty sure Asparagus will confirm what I said? If not then I guess we've been talking past each other.

I'm not sure what Mitch thinks about it.
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Re: Mental Content: The Argument from Illusion

Postby Serpent on December 30th, 2017, 10:41 pm 

Asparagus » December 30th, 2017, 8:20 pm wrote:
Serpent wrote:Not at all. I'm saying places and things can exist perfectly well without you or me ever seeing them.

You'd say the same thing in a dream, though. Just sayin' :D

Of course. I am being dreamed into existence, moment by moment, by a subtly philosophical chipmunk made out of stardust.
When he wakes up, Pufftt, I'll be gone and nothing I ever learned will matter.
Meanwhile, every day that I'm lucky enough to wake up, the same physical laws work in the same way I've grown accustomed to; I still got made by the universe of real matter and energy, rather than the other way around - and I'm surprisingly okay with that.
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Re: Mental Content: The Argument from Illusion

Postby mitchellmckain on December 31st, 2017, 1:05 am 

BJ & Asp -
I have no reason to doubt people when they express their own lack of knowledge and understanding about anything. However, when they try dictating what other people do not know or understand, there is good reason for skepticism about whether they know what they are talking about.
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Re: Mental Content: The Argument from Illusion

Postby BadgerJelly on December 31st, 2017, 1:49 am 

Mitch -

What I see is the "object" of perception here being the issue. It looks to me that there is a lot of talking past each other. If we've reached a point where no one else knows what the other is talking about it is a problem to be addressed right?

If the stick is half in the water it looks like it is bent. That I think you agree with, and it is that I think you're overlooking a little. Yeah, I might be wrong, but if your only reply is to play some political game where you accuse people of dictating what others know you can quite simply go dip a stick in some water and tell yourself it looks like it is straight when it looks like it is bent. Knowing it is not bent does not stop it looking bent, but it does alter your perception of it.

To start talking about the "object" as a physical thing is rather dubious on a nuts and bolts level I find.

What I find curious is we "know" objects because our understanding is necessarily limited. In reference directly to the OP and "visual" data, we know that blind people know things without seeing them. They are still susceptible to illusions as much as anyone else.

What grips me most of all is the idea of intellectual and aesthetic "illusions" and how we can appropriate such things. We can cu tup certain misinformation and confusions by calling them "hallucination", "illusion" or "delusion". The later has the most peculiar distinction because it can be regarded as delusional to believe something simply because it is not widley accepted and reasonable or concretely confirmed.

Nobody knows what they are talking about, that is why we talk about it. Those that think they know what they are talking about only know by way of sticking to set limits/rules. To know means to set a limit. There is a hell of a lot to be said about this and in general we adhere to what is general (what we all accept as workable by the evidences we have before us. This would be like some uneducated desert dweller thinking that the light comes on because the switch is flicked - they are not wrong, but it is far from being anything like an explanation.

Consider a bent stick in the water. If it appears straight to your eye do you question it as quickly as you question the apparent bent stick in the water? Notice that no matter what you insist you cannot prove to me that you expect to question one more than the other. I merely hav eto take your word for it.
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Re: Mental Content: The Argument from Illusion

Postby mitchellmckain on December 31st, 2017, 4:40 am 

BadgerJelly » December 31st, 2017, 12:49 am wrote:If the stick is half in the water it looks like it is bent.

Actually, it really doesn't. Look closer. Except under special conditions, the discontinuity is too pronounced. So the truth is, there is only one thing it looks like, and that is a stick in the water. To the uneducated eye, it does not look bent at all, but learned from experience, it looks exactly like a stick partly in the water always looks, and even without any ripples you know the water is there because of the refraction. I think it takes a book on illusions to teach people to see the stick as bent when it really doesn't look like a bent stick at all.

BadgerJelly » December 31st, 2017, 12:49 am wrote: That I think you agree with, and it is that I think you're overlooking a little. Yeah, I might be wrong, but if your only reply is to play some political game where you accuse people of dictating what others know you can quite simply go dip a stick in some water and tell yourself it looks like it is straight when it looks like it is bent. Knowing it is not bent does not stop it looking bent, but it does alter your perception of it.

And I think you are just like people who push things like the ontological argument for the existence of God, insisting that it has objective validity when it doesn't have anything close to that. You know what you believe and you overlook the flaws in the the argument because it supports your belief.

BadgerJelly » December 31st, 2017, 12:49 am wrote:Nobody knows what they are talking about, that is why we talk about it. Those that think they know what they are talking about only know by way of sticking to set limits/rules. To know means to set a limit. There is a hell of a lot to be said about this and in general we adhere to what is general (what we all accept as workable by the evidences we have before us. This would be like some uneducated desert dweller thinking that the light comes on because the switch is flicked - they are not wrong, but it is far from being anything like an explanation.

Like I said, speaking for yourself, I will not disagree with you. But this comes to an abrupt end when it comes to dictating what other people know and understand.

BadgerJelly » December 31st, 2017, 12:49 am wrote:Consider a bent stick in the water. If it appears straight to your eye do you question it as quickly as you question the apparent bent stick in the water? Notice that no matter what you insist you cannot prove to me that you expect to question one more than the other. I merely hav eto take your word for it.

Take someone who knows what things look like in nature and then present them with a picture of a stick without any refraction and they are going to know something is wrong -- eventually figuring out what it is. Straight sticks in water don't look like that.
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Re: Mental Content: The Argument from Illusion

Postby BadgerJelly on December 31st, 2017, 8:55 am 

Mitch -

And again you miss/ignore/overlook the point being made. Why I have no idea? Of course I am using limited rules and you are using other rules. I can accept the position you are positing, but you're leaving me hanging when it comes to you accepting my perspective. Is this because you cannot see it or you refuse to think about it? I don't know.

Again, I say if the stick appears to be bent it doesn't mean I think it is only that it appears to be bent. I don't see how that is very hard to grasp?

And am also quite puzzled why you insist on suggesting that I think this or that about the objective existence of God? You clutching at straws it seems.

What flaws in my argument? What argument? I am simply saying that I a stick in water looks as if it is bent. It makes no difference to me whether or not I insist that it is or is not bent; my knowledge and experience of being in the world changes my phenomenological horizon, but it doesn't alter the raw data.

All I am saying is you see something there and it appears distorted from it's usual condition. It is not a spectacular statement, but I find it extraordinary that you think I am saying something otherworldly here?

Knowing what something is, and sensible experience of what it is, are different, similar, or opposed? What are you saying? I honestly don't know what you are saying and it appears you don't have much idea what I am saying and insist I am "dictating" the rules for everyone for some reason.

I don't understand the direction your coming from. I am puzzled. Even in a book of optical illusions I may very well know that the nothing is moving, but I still see the phenomenon as if moving. There are certain "faults" in my vision I cannot over ride with knowledge to change the processing of the sensible data - I simply understand the illusion without altering my sensible perception of it, but by altering my disposition towards it.

Is that clearer?

To paraphrase ... If you, or I, or anyone, see something that appears to be bent, we see something that appears to be bent. That is why we say that it "appear to be bent."

Is that unreasonable?
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Re: Mental Content: The Argument from Illusion

Postby mitchellmckain on December 31st, 2017, 6:39 pm 

BadgerJelly » December 31st, 2017, 7:55 am wrote:And again you miss/ignore/overlook the point being made.

And I continue to think this claim is absurd. I am not overlooking the point being made, I simply disagree.

BadgerJelly » December 31st, 2017, 7:55 am wrote:I can accept the position you are positing, but you're leaving me hanging when it comes to you accepting my perspective. Is this because you cannot see it or you refuse to think about it?

I comment on every position I see being made.
1. You claim I am missing the point. I disagree.
2. The claim has been made that illusions mean sensory data exists. I agree that sensory data exists.
3. The claim has been made that illusions mean the object of perception is not a real physical object. I disagree.
4. The claim has been made that the brain constructs a model of what it perceives. I agree.
5. The claim has been made that this mental construct is the object of perception. I disagree.

If you have some other point which you wish a comment on then state what it is.

BadgerJelly » December 31st, 2017, 7:55 am wrote:Again, I say if the stick appears to be bent it doesn't mean I think it is only that it appears to be bent. I don't see how that is very hard to grasp?

Yes I agree that it can appear so but this is just as much a matter of interpretation as other perceptions. Furthermore I have argued that this perception is largely a product of studying illusions rather than the usual development of perception of things in the water.

BadgerJelly » December 31st, 2017, 7:55 am wrote:And am also quite puzzled why you insist on suggesting that I think this or that about the objective existence of God? You clutching at straws it seems.

I am also quite puzzled why you insist on treating my comparison of your belief in the argument from illusion with an argument for the existence of God as being a comment only your thoughts about God. You are clutching at straws it seems.

BadgerJelly » December 31st, 2017, 7:55 am wrote:What flaws in my argument? What argument? I am simply saying that I a stick in water looks as if it is bent. It makes no difference to me whether or not I insist that it is or is not bent; my knowledge and experience of being in the world changes my phenomenological horizon, but it doesn't alter the raw data.

The argument from illusion is the topic of the discussion, right in the title of the thread. "Looks like it is bent" is not raw data but an interpretation of the data.

BadgerJelly » December 31st, 2017, 7:55 am wrote:All I am saying is you see something there and it appears distorted from it's usual condition. It is not a spectacular statement, but I find it extraordinary that you think I am saying something otherworldly here?

I don't see my comments as being spectacular, but I find it strange that you think I am saying you are saying something otherworldly.

BadgerJelly » December 31st, 2017, 7:55 am wrote:Knowing what something is, and sensible experience of what it is, are different, similar, or opposed? What are you saying?

They are different. However, this does not alter the object of perception to something other than the physical object out in the world.

BadgerJelly » December 31st, 2017, 7:55 am wrote:I honestly don't know what you are saying and it appears you don't have much idea what I am saying and insist I am "dictating" the rules for everyone for some reason.

When you insist that I am missing the point, then you are dictating what I understand. When you insist that nobody knows what they are talking about, then you are dictating what other people know. Of course, it probably doesn't help that our definitions of the word "know" appears to be different. More than once I have stated my rejection of the definition of knowledge as "justified true belief," for the reason that nobody believes things which they think are untrue or unjustified -- and thus this definition is rendered meaningless. The definition I have put forward is that knowledge consists of those beliefs we live by. I adapt this to science by saying that scientific knowledge consists of those claims which science now uses as tools for scientific inquiry.

BadgerJelly » December 31st, 2017, 7:55 am wrote:I don't understand the direction your coming from. I am puzzled. Even in a book of optical illusions I may very well know that the nothing is moving, but I still see the phenomenon as if moving. There are certain "faults" in my vision I cannot over ride with knowledge to change the processing of the sensible data - I simply understand the illusion without altering my sensible perception of it, but by altering my disposition towards it.

Is that clearer?

If you want to be more clear then I suggest telling us what you think the argument from illusion consists of, what you think the existence of illusions prove and what they do not. I hope you are aware that I have done this already.
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Re: Mental Content: The Argument from Illusion

Postby BadgerJelly on December 31st, 2017, 10:40 pm 

Mitch -

I don't see any light at the end of tunnel here so I've decided not to bother anymore. I'll try and discuss this with Asparagus instead.
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Re: Mental Content: The Argument from Illusion

Postby mitchellmckain on January 1st, 2018, 5:11 pm 

BadgerJelly » December 31st, 2017, 9:40 pm wrote:Mitch -

I don't see any light at the end of tunnel here so I've decided not to bother anymore. I'll try and discuss this with Asparagus instead.


I frankly don't see that you have made very much effort... at least, not in your responses to me personally. However, there are still your responses to others that I can dig into and see if that explains anything.
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Re: Mental Content: The Argument from Illusion

Postby dandelion on January 1st, 2018, 7:34 pm 

This seems an interesting thread from what I’ve read and could be a pity if it became more about discussing ppersonalities than content, so perhaps the terminology here may help distinguish some thoughts at least? http://www.nyu.edu/gsas/dept/philo/cour ... etske.html
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Re: Mental Content: The Argument from Illusion

Postby Asparagus on January 2nd, 2018, 11:50 am 

Well, let me try again: what part does judgment play in perception? And: how do we determine accuracy?
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Re: Mental Content: The Argument from Illusion

Postby Serpent on January 2nd, 2018, 2:51 pm 

Asparagus » January 2nd, 2018, 10:50 am wrote:Well, let me try again: what part does judgment play in perception? And: how do we determine accuracy?

How do those questions relate to producing art?
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Re: Mental Content: The Argument from Illusion

Postby Asparagus on January 2nd, 2018, 3:19 pm 

In much the same way that Little BIg Planet 3 relates to Neil Degrasse Tyson Explains Everything (which I doubt.)
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Re: Mental Content: The Argument from Illusion

Postby Serpent on January 2nd, 2018, 4:31 pm 

Asparagus » January 2nd, 2018, 2:19 pm wrote:In much the same way that Little BIg Planet 3 relates to Neil Degrasse Tyson Explains Everything (which I doubt.)

If I could perceive that as helpful, it probably would be. Thank you.
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Re: Mental Content: The Argument from Illusion

Postby Asparagus on January 2nd, 2018, 4:47 pm 

Serpent » January 2nd, 2018, 4:31 pm wrote:
Asparagus » January 2nd, 2018, 2:19 pm wrote:In much the same way that Little BIg Planet 3 relates to Neil Degrasse Tyson Explains Everything (which I doubt.)

If I could perceive that as helpful, it probably would be. Thank you.

Well, I perceived that you were making fun of me, so you must have been.
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Re: Mental Content: The Argument from Illusion

Postby Dave_C on January 2nd, 2018, 10:36 pm 

dandelion » January 1st, 2018, 6:34 pm wrote:This seems an interesting thread from what I’ve read and could be a pity if it became more about discussing ppersonalities than content, so perhaps the terminology here may help distinguish some thoughts at least? http://www.nyu.edu/gsas/dept/philo/cour ... etske.html

Thanks dandelion. I haven't gotten past page 6 of the reference, so was wondering if you could help me out. I guess Fred is trying to dispel (2) which I think is worded poorly - seems like broken English:
(2) Nothing existing inside a person has (or needs to have2) the properties one is aware in having these experiences.

But he does seem to explain more clearly as he continues:
The experience I have when I see (dream of, hallucinate) a large orange pumpkin is certainly inside me. Why else would it cease to exist when I close my eyes, awaken, or sober up? Yet, nothing inside me - certainly nothing in my brain - has the properties I am aware of when I have this experience. There is nothing orange and pumpkin shaped in my head.

He then goes on to explain various types of awareness including object, fact and property awareness. We get down to the bottom of page 5 and Fred says, "Armed, as we now are with the distinction between object, property and fact awareness, though, we are in a position to understand what goes wrong in traditional arguments for indirect realism."

It's like, aha! Fred is now going to get to the point... he continues:
The mistake in traditional arguments lies in failing to distinguish between [fact] awareness of experience, that it has phenomenal character ... on the one hand and on the other, property awareness of the qualities that give it this character. Failing to distinguish these forms of awareness, one concludes, mistakenly, that awareness of what it is like to see (experience) pumpkins must be awareness of the properties (ie [phenomenal character]) of these experiences. That is the first mistake - the mistake of inferring p-awareness of the properties of experience from f-awareness of the fact that experience has those properties. The second mistake (this is optional; the major damage has already been done)...


At this point, he clearly feels that he's nuked the problem with issue (2) and we no longer have to worry ourselves with the issue. But I've lost him here. Do you understand what he's trying to say? I will continue to read Fred's paper, but I would very much appreciate if you can clear up my confusion here, or at least provide some clue as to what Fred believes is this powerful message he's just delivered.
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Re: Mental Content: The Argument from Illusion

Postby BadgerJelly on January 3rd, 2018, 1:34 am 

Dave C -

This is the obvious flaw for me:

When an object is moving, I can be aware of: (A) the moving object; (B) the fact that it is moving; (C) the movement; (D) all of the above; (E) none of the above.


There is no depth of investigation here. Where is the investigation of "object" or what "moving" entails? IS being aware of something moving any different to "the movement"? It is poorly thought out and poorly written.
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Re: Mental Content: The Argument from Illusion

Postby BadgerJelly on January 3rd, 2018, 2:50 am 

To add ...

There is the continual bias of vision applied to these investigations and people take the visual as "proof" of something being there.

To return to the stick on water, it looks like it is bent/distorted from the usual form we'd expect of it. Yet a blind person would not be bothered by this and using their hands they would not be aware of any illusion and simply touch the stick and know of no discernable difference when it is in or out of water. In the reverse situation it could be that the sound of an animal is bounced around and sounds as if it is coming from your right instead of your left, but with vision this illusion would be apparent to the sighted yet the blind person would believe the object producing the sound was to their right.

Notice that the "object" is not a visual or a auditory "object" in some disassociated form apart from other sensible experience.

The bird flying in the sky is nothing of note to the blind person. In a world of blind people the discovery of birds flying high in the sky beyond the range of their hearing would be a social breakthrough. For vision we use telescopes and microscopes to expand our visual understanding of the world. We can imagine that blind people would refine touch and hearing through the construction of devices (amplifying sound and training our VERY amazing and accurate sense of touch - we are capable of feeling ONE molecule!)

Perception is of something separated from the immediate. In this case we can even perceive ourselves as future directed and past directed, the overpowering function vision plays for the majority of humans is, ironically, blinding to our perception of being and what we declare as being an "object". For a magnetic field we wouldn't call it as much of an object as a ball in everyday language.
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Re: Mental Content: The Argument from Illusion

Postby BadgerJelly on January 3rd, 2018, 5:44 am 

To add again ...

If I shoot an arrow and the wind blows it off course do I think the arrow moves of its own accord or by my lack of ability to make it stay on course? Do we not will things to go this way or that when they are beyond our physical reach. I say we do this and have always done this. If you play any sport you'll see yourself trying to "be the ball" and direct it away or towards this or that person/target. This is a common feature of the human condition. We attempt at every opportunity to extend our field of influence. We will shout at the ball, or curse the wind, because we know that sentient creatures react to such utterances and so find ourselves embedded in this habit toward all experience.

We can, as I am doing now, direct thoughts and ideas within the head of another. The written word extends our field of influence through time.

Back to the arrow in the wind. Upon experience of firing arrows a short distance in good weather what is there to express to us the affect of a slight breeze on the arrow over a longer distance? Would we ever be in a position so as to see the shifting in the air of the arrow as an "illusion"? For if I shoot straight and the arrow goes off to the left, by no obvious external force acting upon it, do I assume "illusion" or an unseen force acting upon the arrow?

What should be clear enough is the weight of recognition on knowledge. If something is seen to happen under certain circumstances and then seen again to act in a reasonably similar way under the same circumstances, then we take this up as knowledge. We do no question whether or not a ball will fall to the ground when we let go of it - in fact we possess this knowledge and implant it directly into language and simply say "drop".

How about imagining what it would be like if you had never seen nor heard of writing. Say you then saw people sitting around with some object looking at it. What would you think? Maybe they would be smiling and laughing, or look very sad.

What is there you could say about this phenomenon other than "these people sit around and seem to partake in a similar activity. They stare intently and examine some object and seem quite amused by it, yet they all act in different ways as if having some silent conversation. Are they mad? Or this something like 'dancing for the brain'? An act of worship/meditation?

How would you explain to this kind of person what a book was? Imagine trying to do this if the person didn't speak your language. How would you go about expressing what a book was to this person. Do you think it would be an easy task and how would you know you'd achieved communicating the general meaning of "book" and its use?
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Re: Mental Content: The Argument from Illusion

Postby mitchellmckain on January 3rd, 2018, 2:15 pm 

Asparagus » January 2nd, 2018, 10:50 am wrote:Well, let me try again: what part does judgment play in perception? And: how do we determine accuracy?


I believe it is an established fact, demonstrated by experimental psychologists that not only conscious judgment but background (even unconscious) beliefs have a rather large effect on perception. That is a point I frequently make myself. It is simply my point that the arguments from illusion frequently go too far in their conclusions from such facts to say that we have no access to reality outside of ourselves as a result of it. Just because perception is indirect or even flawed does not mean that there is no access to information coming from things outside ourselves. Nor have I sought to defend empiricism, though I have and will continue to defend science itself (and an effective scientific realism).
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Re: Mental Content: The Argument from Illusion

Postby Asparagus on January 3rd, 2018, 3:28 pm 

@mitchellmckain

That's a pretty reasonable perspective.
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Re: Mental Content: The Argument from Illusion

Postby Dave_C on January 3rd, 2018, 10:00 pm 

Hi BJ. I appreciate that you may be trying to clear up my confusion with the paper but I don't even know if that's your objective or if perhaps you're attempting to explain your own ideas. I don't understand your post because those words, strung in that particular order, doesn't produce any kind of explanation in my mind. Why does a bird's perception matter at all and I have no idea what this means: "Perception is of something separated from the immediate. In this case we can even perceive ourselves as future directed and past directed, the overpowering function vision plays for the majority of humans is, ironically, blinding to our perception of being and what we declare as being an "object"."

Unfortunately, as an engineer, I'm anal-retentive when it comes to logic. I believe I have a very different view than yours and also of some philosophers though I do attempt to understand what they're getting after. I perceive the problem discussed in the OP (indirect realism and the argument from illusion) as more of a logical dilemma and logic is needed to understand it. That logic has to tie into what we know about nature. I get the object/fact/property definitions, but your explanation is not helping I'm afraid, because to me, the problem isn't in defining things, the problem has to do with the fact we can't calculate qualia and we don't know what it even is. Phenomenal experiences don't belong in this world as far as I can tell. An account of phenomenal experiences has to explain why they should belong in this world. Non-reductive accounts for example are a good start, but they require downward causation which violates classical mechanics.

I think of it this way as a mechanical engineer - interactions between neurons are classical in nature which is why neuroscientists use compartment models for neurons and neuron interactions. Consider for example, the Blue Brain Project. Those models are fundamentally identical to and use the same basic philosophy as engineering and other scientific models such as FEA, CFD, multiphysics tools, weather models, models of galaxies, etc... They're all based on the same philosophy, that of classical mechanics being separable. You break up a system into bits and apply numerical equations to the bits that resolve the nonlinear differential equations. But none of that calculating will EVER define or determine what phenomenal character is experienced. So if Fred (the paper's author), or any philosopher of mind, is ever able to resolve the problem of indirect realism, he needs to produce some solid logic. Once he/she does that, they're only just started. One also has to overcome all the problems phenomenal consciousness entails, problems with epiphenomenalism, downward causation and emergence, non-reductive accounts, symbol grounding problem, etc... How can we logically show that phenomenal experience belongs in this world?
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Re: Mental Content: The Argument from Illusion

Postby BadgerJelly on January 3rd, 2018, 11:06 pm 

Dave C -

We don't need to "show" it? We experience.

I would also suggest you be cautious in delineating "qualia" from "phenomenon" if that is what you're suggesting? They are synonymous. If they are not synonymous then you'd need to define how they are different (I have not seen anyone able to do so yet.)

If you're holding to classical mechanics and looking at "qualia" what the hell do you expect to reveal that way? You cannot measure "qualia." What I quoted shows the simple flaw in his reasoning. He thinks movement and something moving are two different entities of experience - it is plain nonsense. He is trying to be cute, but merely slips into a hermeneutic quagmire.

Before we can deal with anything here we have to deal with the illusion of language rather than simply reconstruct the illusion to suit our needs. Just like in mathematics if a problem doesn't fit the mathematical language a new one is made to tackle the problem.

The language of philosophy is a much more delicate operation when it comes to creating a new set of rules to cope with the problem (or rather, to surplant the problem completely with a new one.)

note: I never said anything about a birds perception. Try and avoid reading your expectation of what will be written (not easy and takes considerable effort.)
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Re: Mental Content: The Argument from Illusion

Postby Braininvat on January 4th, 2018, 12:33 am 

What is a "hermeneutic quagmire"? Lost in your jargon.
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Re: Mental Content: The Argument from Illusion

Postby BadgerJelly on January 4th, 2018, 2:27 am 

Braininvat » January 4th, 2018, 12:33 pm wrote:What is a "hermeneutic quagmire"? Lost in your jargon.


he shifts the language to a positon where it fits his preconception of what "should be" in order to make his writing look reasonable.

If you're not familiar with the philosophical use of the term "hermeneutic" good for you! It is where "literary critique", Foucault and Derrida hang out. They aim, for the most part, to confound the reader with word play and aim only to destroy the regular meaning of words so as to "support" their vacant ideologies (That is more of a stab at Foucault tbh, I have a reasonable amount of admiration for Derrida - I hope it is not misplaced.)

Basically, just saying that this Fred guy is using post modern jargon to fit his ideological view. I don't see how thinking "movement", "the fact of movement" or "things moving" are anything other than the very same way of parsing the very same experience. We cannot have "movement" without something "moving" - this again is what Husserl would call the "moment" of phenomenal experience (that which cannot be extracted from the "object" of intention without dissolving it.)

If you can, or if anyone can, I'd be VERY happy to hear how they distinguish between "phenomena" and "qualia." You'll find that the terms "quale" and "qualia" are completely false terms because if we're talking about QUANTITIES of quale then the whole meaning dissolves. The term "quale" cannot be extracted from "qualia", it is neither singular nor plural because it cannot be experienced separately.

That is why I use the term "phenomenon" because I can talk about some given experience and say quite clearly that I can remove some parts of it without the experience dissolving, but that I cannot remove "moments" of the experience without the whole dissolving into nothing. I can cut your arm off and you'd still be human (but likely a somewhat disgruntled human!) I cannot remove the space you occupy and still regard you as ... well ... as anything at all. That is the point.

So MOVEMENT is not merely a PART of experience, it is a MOMENT. I don't believe he makes any such distinction, and if he did I completely missed it (you can point out where if you find it.)
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Re: Mental Content: The Argument from Illusion

Postby mitchellmckain on January 4th, 2018, 3:24 pm 

So... backtracking to BJ's first post to Asparagus...

BadgerJelly » December 26th, 2017, 12:26 am wrote:Asparagus -

If we're only going to think of objects as "visual objects" then we're ignoring that our eyes don't see anything.

If your eyes don't see anything it is because of a brain malfunction or a mental aberration. It sounds an awful lot like following an absurd unrealistic ideology as an excuse for willful ignorance.

BadgerJelly » December 26th, 2017, 12:26 am wrote:Husserl's position in regard to "illusion" was quite simple. If you visually see a dog in front of you then you see a dog there in front of you. It makes no difference to the phenomenon whether or not there is a dog there or not. This is not a concern for Husserl because phenomenology is about what it is that "gives" the "aboutness" of the dog. It is also best not to get caught up in the human tendency toward the "visual" being of things. We can say this about many other things in life such as the sound of a dog barking, we don't hear a raw noise, we hear the sound of something, we hear a dog, a car, or a person speaking.

Yes, the pragmatic aspect of the phenomenological approach is much more appealing. This is why I have no need for certainty about the existence of the past or an objective reality. It sufficient that believing so is consistent with the information life presents to us in our memories and senses. That consistency is what gives life meaning and makes unrealistic suppositions a waste of our time by comparison. The same can essentially be said for things like free will. When philosophy leads us down a path divorced from the realities of human existence then why should we not dispose of it as meaningless nonsense.

BadgerJelly » December 26th, 2017, 12:26 am wrote:We can then think about our hands. The common thought proposed here is to ask the Theseus question, and say how many parts of me need to be removed before I become "not me." The bodily extension of me into the world is in many ways how we view the wholeness of the world, as parts that we can feel our way around and know ourselves as at a distance from by bringing them into the immediateness of experience. Recognition and such merely reveal that part of us that throws us backward in time (or rather presents the illusion as doing so in order to make the presentation in immediacy available as the horizon of our experience.)

Sounds to me like a question of identity -- which is a matter of choosing how to think. People can indeed not only invest their identity in bodily appendages, but in even greater trivialities such as racial characteristics, religions, or even wealth and property. But by looking down on others in this way, I believe they cannot avoid diminishing themselves as well.

I invest my identity primarily in the choices I make. By comparison, everything else is just circumstance. But between that center and the whole universe is a number of spheres through which I am extended into the world and by which I am a part of it. First and foremost of these is my mind by which I understand and carry out my choices. Then, just as my body is the next extension of self, human civilization is another, while the Earth and biosphere, with all my biological brethren in the living organisms which also inhabit it, is another layer.

BadgerJelly » December 26th, 2017, 12:26 am wrote:All knowledge and human understanding is essentially brought about through the phenomenological procedure. This Heidegger tried to make explicit with "Dasein", but (IMO) failed badly and through people off what Husserl was unable to, and we are all unable to, get to the heart of, because we're in an unending procedure. To explicate some phenomenological goal is like trying to explicate the purpose of science. There is no "purpose" to this procedure, it is just a procedure we naturally find about ourselves as acts of being about the world in a variety of different ways (which Husserl tried desperately to outline with terms such as "noesis" and "noema", but many still take these ideas on board as if presenting something about the world as sensibility.)

I think my definition of knowledge as the beliefs we live by is a phenomenological definition. Instead of attaching it to some presumption about "truth," it is a matter of what we actually do and experience. Defined as justified true belief, knowledge will never be more than an a presumption by those feigning superiority over others. But as the beliefs we live by, knowledge becomes something much more concrete in what people do and experience.

BadgerJelly » December 26th, 2017, 12:26 am wrote:In short, phenomenology is not saying to bracket out what is true, it is about removing brackets we don't even realise we have put there. Empiricism is the bracketing out of innate knowledge in order to explore the world from that perspective - it is an "act". Ratinoalism is an "act" of bracketing in a different way.

I don't see how we can "bracket" (suspend judgement about) things which we are not even aware. It sounds not only logically suspect but also suspiciously pretentious. The best we can do is adopt procedural methods which help avoid pre-judgment to some degree.
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Re: Mental Content: The Argument from Illusion

Postby BadgerJelly on January 5th, 2018, 2:29 am 

Mitch -

I think I managed to explicate what I meant there about "seeing" in the more recent posts? I am pretty sure I explained what I meant to you too later on in an exchange we had?

Anyway, as I said to Dave C the perception I mentioned above was not the perception of a bird, it was the perception a congenially blind person would have of a bird flying high up in the sky beyond their hearing range. I was attempting to shift the inherent natural "visual" view of the world to the plain old "intentionality" of the situation. The object not not be "seen" in a visual way and hallucinations are not primarily "visual" hallucinations. I've experienced auditory hallucination and I can tell you now, having fully functioning eyes, I thought initially that there were hidden speakers all around me and some prank was being played out because I couldn't "see" anyone. If I was blind then I would've assumed there was really someone there and it would've been hard to reason my way around the hallucination.

We are accustomed to "view" data by visual means. We extend our vision by way of telescopes and microscopes, and by creating equipment that collects information we are not consciously able to (IR and UV), and then we "view" this data by translating it into something we can "see". Our primary landscape is not actually a "visual landscape" though. If this were so blind people would be quite stupid and ignorant of how the world functions - they are able to understand the world because the world is not some visual thing, the thingness of it is known to us by way of how we're similar to it. Through technologies we can reconcile many sensible differences and distinguish levels of reality.

It is here I tend to clash with Neri a lot about what I guess is generally called "reality." The kind of depths philosopher go to is not really going to matter anytime in the present. It only matters if they are somehow amended to scientific advancement that by effect bleeds into colloquial speech - other than that the only likely path of philosophical progress is going to come through "poltical"/"educational" means.

When you break down the general habits of human life there is a great deal of "insanity" taken up by all and agreed upon as "sanity." We are necessarily "insane" because if we were not then we couldn't function in a meaningful way. Currently it seems the world is shifting so quickly now that the prior pace of human habit now looks like a highly disassociated mess that has grown into a more bland and primitive landscape due to the flood of information.

The largest influence in recent decades, in regards to language, has been in the post modern world infiltrating everyday life. Language is not being expanding or refined, it is in danger of having its diversity and intricacy destroyed before its even come to real fruition in popular colloquial speech. The willful destruction of elitism in the political realm, deemed as "good", is going to force the destruction of progressive discourse and silence people from "speaking" (and "thinking".)

The generations coming through seem, on the surface, to be less and less inclined to categorise this or that grouping as X or Y, so this is generally a light in the darkness. There are also those who wish to take it further and destroy all categories too. The reason for this I have plenty of ideas about, but I am mostly speculating and feeling around the problem of information.

I guess I am bubbling over here. The point of all this speel is that I see no need to attach a certain position to the view of world and by doing to I strip the views I have in palce away to some degree leaving only what is TRULY important.

If you want practical application, you're looking for something specific. If you're looking for a better idea of how to do this or that, your already doing so in a blind and fumbling way. The words we speak can be refined or simplified. You take a path in one direction ro the other that suits whatever façade of existence you feel will present the best alternative to yourself being yourself in order to feed the insatiable human need for distinction. I simply choose not to let this or that flavor overwhelm my desires for understanding and I'm happy to chomp on something disgusting to stem the flow of obsession and dogma.
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