• creativesoul
    11.4k
    At conception, we are void of all thought/belief; we have no mental ongoings that are meaningful to us. Thought/belief begins simply, gains in complexity, and accrues with experience. To be clear, what I'm calling thought/belief is any and all mental correlations drawn between 'objects' of physiological sensory perception and/or the agent's own state of mind. At conception there are none present. We are born having drawn very few - if any - of the aforementioned correlations, but we're not at all 'a blank slate' in the Lockean sense. Chalk and chalkboard don't have what it takes. Blank slates don't do anything. Rather, we are born with what's necessary to form and hold thought/belief about the world and/or ourselves; about the events we find ourselves immersed within from birth.

    A bit of the definition above...

    All demonstrable usage of the terms "thought" and "belief" consists entirely of correlations. All talk consists entirely of correlations. The attribution of meaning consists of precisely the same. What else could we sensibly call thought/belief if it doesn't somehow involve and/or consist of mental correlations?

    At conception, the necessary biological structures for drawing these correlations aren't present, but at birth the 'faculty' of physiological sensory perception is intact enough to begin working, and it does so autonomously. We need not turn on our senses. We need not turn on thought/belief formation. To quite the contrary, it happens autonomously, but that is not to say that we're automatons. Rather, it is to pinpoint, as precisely as possible in as simple terms as possible, what all thought/belief have/has in common regardless of individual, familial, cultural, and/or historical particulars.

    The complexity of thought/belief obviously varies with any given agent capable of forming and/or holding thought/belief, in addition to the stage in life that one is in with regard to humans. I mean, it is more than obvious that a college professor has more complexity within their thought/belief system than does a two-year-old. The professor has a world-view, replete with a sense of self, whereas the child is still amidst the initial formation thereof. This sort of recognition warrants explanation of how that is the case, or perhaps more importantly; how it becomes the case.

    It is via language acquisition that we learn what to call things, how to behave in certain situations, what's considered acceptable and/or unacceptable, what to aspire towards and what to avoid, how to get what we want, etc. This is only to say that it is via language acquisition that we initially learn how to talk about ourselves and/or others, and thus by virtue of learning how to situate ourselves in the world by coming to terms with it and ourselves, we adopt - almost entirely - our initial worldview. This must be the case, for during this time we do not have what it takes to doubt what we're being taught.

    Just as it is the case that we cannot doubt that that is(called) "a tree", likewise we have no ground to doubt that those people mean to do us harm and are to be avoided at all costs. We have no ability to question whether or not the teachings are true, because questioning that requires a baseline, and our initially adopted worldview is that baseline.
  • praxis
    6.2k
    Just as it is the case that we cannot doubt that that is(called) "a tree", likewise we have no ground to doubt that those people mean to do us harm and are to be avoided at all costs. We have no ability to question whether or not the teachings are true, because questioning that requires a baseline, and our initially adopted worldview is that baseline.creativesoul

    If you're talking about a maladaptive fear such as Islamophobia the baseline to reshape our concepts or social constructs are objective facts, I suppose. If the actual evidence doesn't support the attitude we can endeavor to change the attitude.
  • creativesoul
    11.4k
    While I personally avoid the objective/subjective dichotomy, I think I would agree with the general sentiment here.

    However, changing one's attitude requires changing one's thought/belief, and that is not an easy task for those who hold unshakable conviction...
  • mcdoodle
    1.1k
    It is via language acquisition that we learn what to call things, how to behave in certain situations, what's considered acceptable and/or unacceptable, what to aspire towards and what to avoid, how to get what we want, etc.creativesoul

    It's not clear to me what roles mood and the emotional life, or indeed physical appetites, have in your formulation. Language-less infants have already learnt 'how to behave in certain situations' and may well have laid the foundations for all sorts of other aspects of how they'll be, haven't they? Emotions, educated by life and reason and other emotions,, still guide me in much of what I do or don't do.
  • creativesoul
    11.4k
    Yes, mcdoodle...

    There's still much to be said regarding emotion and it's role in one's thought/belief system.
  • Cavacava
    2.4k


    Do we have emotive beliefs? Or are beliefs a product of the understanding, firm judgments we accept, where emotions form the motivation for exercising , the power behind asserting one's beliefs?
  • praxis
    6.2k


    I'm currently reading a fascinating book about the theory of constructed emotion by Lisa Feldman Barrett. Emotions and their function in our lives may be more malleable than we tend to think.
  • creativesoul
    11.4k
    Hmmm. Sounds interesting. I've not heard of it, but that doesn't surprise me.

    The notion of "constructed emotion" seems amenable and/or agreeable to my own position, although I find a simpler explanation than emotion concepts would suffice. I think, though I'm still working through it all, that the overwhelming majority of what we call emotion is cultivated within thought/belief formation itself. Fear being perhaps the only exception.
  • praxis
    6.2k
    I'm only about halfway through the book but as I understand the theory so far even fear is a social construct. The general interoceptive baseline from which emotions are partially constructed is simply pleasant/unpleasant and degrees of simulation.
  • creativesoul
    11.4k
    Well, I would certainly agree with the idea that some instances of fear are socially constructed, but with just as much certainty, I would say that not all are.

    Sounds like an interesting read none-the-less.
  • creativesoul
    11.4k


    You wrote:

    Do we have emotive beliefs? Or are beliefs a product of the understanding, firm judgments we accept, where emotions form the motivation for exercising , the power behind asserting one's beliefs?

    I do not find it to be a case of either/or. Beliefs can be both emotive and a product of the understanding.

    I would say that some beliefs are emotive if by that we mean that we draw correlations between certain events we're a part of and our own emotional state of mind. I would also say that some beliefs are products of thinking about one's own thought/belief. I would also say that there are times when one's emotion is the sole cause effecting/affecting one's behaviour, with and/or without metacognition. I would not say that all firm judgment requires metacognition.

    The notion of understanding is directly tied to one's thought/belief, however, I find it inadequate in it's explanatory power. Worldview works better for it admits the possibility of being based and/or grounded upon false belief, whereas understanding cannot.
  • Galuchat
    808
    To be clear, what I'm calling thought/belief is any and all mental correlations drawn between 'objects' of physiological sensory perception and/or the agent's own state of mind. At conception there are none present. We are born having drawn very few - if any - of the aforementioned correlations... — creativesoul

    This presupposes that little or no prenatal development occurs (which is obviously ridiculous, unless storks deliver babies). In fact, the tactile sense begins to develop during the embryonic stage (5-8 weeks). The visual and auditory senses begin to develop during the fetal stage (13-24 weeks). Movement and the primitive reflexes are also observed during the fetal stage. Human gestation is approximately 40 weeks. Correlations of sensory stimulation with mental states begins to occur approximately 15 weeks prior to birth.

    It is via language acquisition that we learn what... — creativesoul

    Language acquisition occurs between 12 and 36 months, but language development continues into middle childhood (11 years).

    This is only to say that it is via language acquisition that we initially learn how to talk about ourselves and/or others, and thus by virtue of learning how to situate ourselves in the world by coming to terms with it and ourselves, we adopt - almost entirely - our initial worldview. This must be the case, for during this time we do not have what it takes to doubt what we're being taught. — creativesoul

    If "during this time" refers to the period between two years of age and becoming a professor (say 25 years of age, for the sake of argument), adopting "our initial worldview" and not having "what it takes to doubt what we're being taught" cannot be the case for every human being "regardless of individual, familial, cultural, and/or historical particulars."

    And if by "the mechanics of thought/belief" you are referring to the development of an individual's thought/belief over time, in addition to language development, social and moral development need to be addressed. That being the case, I don't think it's possible to provide a coherent cross-cultural model of thought/belief development.
  • Cavacava
    2.4k


    It is via language acquisition that we learn what to call things, how to behave in certain situations, what's considered acceptable and/or unacceptable, what to aspire towards and what to avoid, how to get what we want, etc

    I think that during language acquisition we learn to normatively associate emotional import to certain words. There are a lot of words, but I think the baby concentrates on certain 'emotively charged words' (love, hate. and so on) and how they are used. The big word for a child is "No", it is said in many ways to the child, the child learns by observing the context and the inflection, the countenance of the speaker the speaker's intent. Determinate negation is learned.

    The concept of what ought to be done is learned.

    I would also say that there are times when one's emotion is the sole cause effecting/affecting one's behaviour, with and/or without metacognition.

    So action without reflection based on emotion, but any such action must be in response to something, We may not be totally aware or even conscious of the cause.

    The OP is about the mechanics of thought/belief. There must be a difference between beliefs based on experience (that particular tree) versus those which are understood discursively (formally, the universal 'trees'). We must presuppose an orderly world, because that is what we find.
  • creativesoul
    11.4k


    I wrote:

    To be clear, what I'm calling thought/belief is any and all mental correlations drawn between 'objects' of physiological sensory perception and/or the agent's own state of mind. At conception there are none present. We are born having drawn very few - if any - of the aforementioned correlations...

    You replied:

    This presupposes that little or no pre-natal development occurs.

    No, it doesn't.

    Rather, it is drawing a distinction between mental correlations that are meaningful to the agent, and those that are not. Amongst other things, a meaningful correlation requires spatiotemporal distinction. I find no reason to think/believe that an unborn child has that capability.



    In fact, the tactile sense begins to develop during the embryonic stage (5-8 weeks). And the visual and auditory senses begin to develop during the fetal stage (13-24 weeks). Movement and the primitive reflexes are observed during the fetal stage. Human gestation is approximately 40 weeks. Correlations of interoception and sensory stimulation with mental states occurs for approximately 25 weeks prior to birth.

    No argument here.

    I would just point out that the aforementioned correlations are drawn by observers other than the unborn child.



    Language acquisition occurs between 12 and 36 months, but language development continues into middle childhood (11 years).

    Ok. Relevance? I would think that for many folk language development continues much longer - a lifetime for many. Never-the-less, the position I'm putting forth doesn't rest it's laurels upon anything other than the fact that we all adopt(almost entirely) our initial worldview, and there is no ability to doubt the truthfulness of neither the teacher nor the teaching.



    I wrote:

    This is only to say that it is via language acquisition that we initially learn how to talk about ourselves and/or others, and thus by virtue of learning how to situate ourselves in the world by coming to terms with it and ourselves, we adopt - almost entirely - our initial worldview. This must be the case, for during this time we do not have what it takes to doubt what we're being taught.


    You replied:

    If "during this time" refers to the period between two years of age and becoming a professor (say 25 years of age, for the sake of argument), adopting "our initial worldview" and not having "what it takes to doubt what we're being taught" cannot be the case for every human being "regardless of individual, familial, cultural, and/or historical particulars."

    Well, for the sake of following and/or critiquing my argument, perhaps we should consider "during this time" to refer to the timeframe when one is initially learning how to talk about themselves and/or other, situating themselves in the world, adopting and/or forming our initial worldview.

    Obviously, there will be varying timeframes depending upon particulars. That's ok. All adopt their initial worldview, by virtue of learning how to talk about the world and/or themselves.


    And if by "the mechanics of thought/belief" you are referring to the development of an individual's thought/belief over time, in addition to language development, social and moral development need to be addressed. So, I doubt that a cross-cultural model of thought/belief development is conceptually feasible.

    Why would you say that? I'm curious.
  • creativesoul
    11.4k


    I wrote:

    It is via language acquisition that we learn what to call things, how to behave in certain situations, what's considered acceptable and/or unacceptable, what to aspire towards and what to avoid, how to get what we want, etc.

    You replied:

    I think that during language acquisition we learn to normatively associate emotional import to certain words. There are a lot of words, but I think the baby concentrates on certain 'emotively charged words' (love, hate. and so on) and how they are used. The big word for a child is "No", it is said in many ways to the child, the child learns by observing the context and the inflection, the countenance of the speaker the speaker's intent. Determinate negation is learned.

    I would think that this is agreeable. Could you unpack "determinate negation"?



    The concept of what ought to be done is learned.

    Indeed!


    I wrote:

    I would also say that there are times when one's emotion is the sole cause effecting/affecting one's behaviour, with and/or without metacognition.

    You replied:

    So action without reflection based on emotion, but any such action must be in response to something, We may not be totally aware or even conscious of the cause.

    Yup.


    The OP is about the mechanics of thought/belief. There must be a difference between beliefs based on experience (that particular tree) versus those which are understood discursively (formally, the universal 'trees'). We must presuppose an orderly world, because that is what we find.

    Do we not experience discourse?
  • Streetlight
    9.1k
    This looks fascinating. That said, as a reader with a background in psychoanalysis and post-structuralism, that emotions are 'constructed' or 'made' is so obvious a point that it's a bit of a pleasant shock to be reminded that this in any way remains contentious or even 'new'. Excited to read it though, at some point.
  • praxis
    6.2k
    Barrett doesn't suggest that it's in any way new and in fact mentions studies dating back to at least the 50's. It is new for me. As a layman I seem to have been mislead by the so called 'classical view' of emotion.
  • creativesoul
    11.4k
    For me, it's a nice confirmation of sorts.

    ;)
  • Galuchat
    808
    Amongst other things, a meaningful correlation requires spatiotemporal distinction. I find no reason to think/believe that an unborn child has that capability. — creativesoul

    You have made a ground-breaking discovery: wombs apparently exist outside the space-time continuum. Do they exist in some sort of parallel dimension perhaps? Please elaborate.
    Also:
    1) What kind of spatio-temporal distinction accompanies a feeling of hunger (which surely must have meaning to someone who experiences it)?
    2) You will want to inform those conducting fetal learning research that they are in error concerning the ability of a fetus to assign meaning.

    I would just point out that the aforementioned correlations are drawn by observers other than the unborn child. — creativesoul

    If not by observation, how else should empirical investigation be conducted? Again, your insights could have ground-breaking implications for science, so please elaborate.

    Language acquisition occurs between 12 and 36 months, but language development continues into middle childhood (11 years). — Galuchat
    Ok. Relevance? — creativesoul

    You're using terms inappropriately by attributing powers to language acquisition which belong to language use. Why not just say, "It is via language that we learn..."?

    The position I'm putting forth doesn't rest it's laurels upon anything other than the fact that we all adopt(almost entirely) our initial worldview, and there is no ability to doubt the truthfulness of neither the teacher nor the teaching... — creativesoul

    That may have been true for you, but it wasn't true for me. I repudiated my teachers' worldviews (in their presence and in the presence of my peers) as early as the age of eleven. Since that age falls within the time frame of your analysis, your assertion cannot be the case for every human being "regardless of individual, familial, cultural, and/or historical particulars." I recommend that you choose a more representative sample from your sampling frame ("we all"). In other words, don't indulge in selection bias.

    And if by "the mechanics of thought/belief" you are referring to the development of an individual's thought/belief over time, in addition to language development, social and moral development need to be addressed. That being the case, I don't think it's possible to provide a coherent cross-cultural model of thought/belief development. — Galuchat
    Why would you say that? I'm curious. — creativesoul

    Because I have no idea what you mean by the phrase, "the mechanics of thought/belief". I thought I would be generous and suggest one possibility based on contextual clues. So, what do you mean by that phrase?
  • creativesoul
    11.4k


    Seems that you've misunderstood a few key points. I'll try clearing up what I can.


    Regarding whether or not meaningful thought/belief can form in utero...

    I wrote:

    Amongst other things, a meaningful correlation requires spatiotemporal distinction. I find no reason to think/believe that an unborn child has that capability.

    You replied:

    You have made a ground-breaking discovery: wombs apparently exist outside the space-time continuum. Do they exist in some sort of parallel dimension perhaps? Please elaborate.

    Wombs exist within the space-time continuum and an unborn child does not have what it takes to attribute meaning. Those aren't negations of one another. I mean, those are not mutually exclusive statements and/or notions, so the criticism is ill-conceived.




    You asked:

    1) What kind of spatio-temporal distinction accompanies a feeling of hunger (which surely must have meaning to someone who experiences it)?

    An unborn child's hunger does not require drawing mental correlations between 'objects' of physiological sensory perception and/or the child's own mental state. Hunger, better yet, is a mental state of a child in utero.

    For someone who recognizes that they're hungry, they've already long since drawn spatiotemporal distinctions...



    2) You will want to inform those conducting fetal learning research that they are in error concerning the ability of a fetus to assign meaning.

    I feel no such want. If someone thinks/believes that a fetus attributes meaning, then they have that right. I may be interested in reading any such research.



    Regarding the earlier talk about correlations drawn between interoception, sensory stimulation, and brain states...

    I wrote:

    I would just point out that the aforementioned correlations are drawn by observers other than the unborn child.

    You replied:

    If not by observation, how else should empirical investigation be conducted? Again, your insights could have ground-breaking implications for science, so please elaborate.

    I'm discussing what thought/belief takes. When talking about an unborn child, I'm taking about the sorts of mental correlations that one is capable of drawing. You replied with an example of correlations being drawn by researchers/observers. That's irrelevant. What I'm putting forth has nothing to do with how empirical investigations are conducted, nor need it be. There is no conflict between my words here and that. So...



    You levied the following charge:

    You're using terms inappropriately by attributing powers to language acquisition which belong to language use.

    No, I'm not. You've simply misunderstood, as clearly seen immediately below...


    I wrote:

    The position I'm putting forth doesn't rest it's laurels upon anything other than the fact that we all adopt(almost entirely) our initial worldview, and there is no ability to doubt the truthfulness of neither the teacher nor the teaching.

    That may have been true for you, but it wasn't true for me. I repudiated my teachers' worldviews (in their presence and in the presence of my peers) as early as the age of eleven.

    The repudiation you speak of was grounded upon a pre-existing worldview of yours. I'm saying that you did not - could not possibly - doubt that initial baseline while it was being learned/adopted via language acquisition. It was precisely the ground upon which you based the aforementioned repudiation...



    ...I have no idea what you mean by the phrase, "the mechanics of thought/belief"...

    May I suggest that you re-read the first two paragraphs of the OP and I would be more than happy to address any further concerns/issues that you express based upon that...

    :D
  • creativesoul
    11.4k



    You wrote:

    It's not clear to me what roles mood and the emotional life, or indeed physical appetites, have in your formulation.

    Since at it's core all thought/belief consists of mental correlations between objects of physiological sensory perception and/or oneself(the agent's mental state), it would only follow that mood and emotion play an operative and fundamental/basic role... necessarily so. I mean, if we think of thought/belief in terms of it's 'basic ingredients', we find that all thought/belief consists of what the definition above sets out. An agent's own state of mind(mental state) is a necessary elemental constituent thereof.



    Language-less infants have already learnt 'how to behave in certain situations' and may well have laid the foundations for all sorts of other aspects of how they'll be, haven't they?

    When I spoke earlier about learning how to behave in certain situations, I was referring to adopting and/or learning morality. I wouldn't think that an infant has what it takes for that. Behaving isn't equivalent to learning how to behave in the sense I'm referring to.



    Emotions, educated by life and reason and other emotions,, still guide me in much of what I do or don't do.

    Indeed. I am of the well-considered opinion that emotion and it's role, just like thought/belief itself, gains in complexity through life experience.
  • creativesoul
    11.4k
    1. All thought/belief consists of mental correlation(s) drawn between 'objects' of physiological sensory perception and/or the agent itself(it's own state of 'mind' when applicable).
    2. Correlation presupposes the existence of it's own content.
    3. Thought/belief presupposes the existence of it's own content.(from1,2)
    4. 'Objects' of physiological sensory perception are external to thought/belief.
    5. All thought/belief presupposes the existence of an external world.(from3,4)
    6. All meaning is attributed by virtue of drawing mental correlation(s) between that which becomes symbol/sign and that which becomes symbolized/signified.
    7. The attribution of meaning happens entirely within thought/belief formation.(from1,6)
    8. All meaning is existentially contingent upon presupposing the existence of an external world.(from5,7)
    9. All philosophical positions consist entirely of meaningful thought/belief.
    10. All philosophical positions presuppose the existence of an external world.(from8,9)

    The 'definition' of thought/belief contained in 1. is not arbitrarily chosen. To quite the contrary, it is arrived at by virtue of looking at all meaningful use of the terms "thought" and "belief". All thought/belief consists of mental correlations. All mental correlation counts as thought/belief. All predication is correlation. Not all correlation is predication. Thought/belief is not existentially contingent upon language. To quite the contrary, it's the other way around.

    Thought/belief formation happens prior to language. Thought/belief is accrued. That which rudimentary thought/belief is existentially contingent upon and/or consists in/of, so too is/does the more complex. Thought/belief begins with drawing rudimentary correlations(think Pavlov's dog) and gains in complexity in direct accordance with/to the complexity of the correlations drawn between object(s) and/or self.
  • apokrisis
    6.8k
    All thought/belief consists of mental correlation(s) drawn between 'objects' of physiological sensory perception and/or the agent itself(it's own state of 'mind' when applicable).creativesoul

    Coherence also has a part to play. Concepts can be justified on the grounds of their rational coherence. So it is not just a correlation between generals and particulars, or ideas and impressions. The internal rational coherence of a thought is another grounds for belief. (Kant might have had something to say about that.)

    Correlation presupposes the existence of it's own content.creativesoul

    Coherence kicking in already?

    'Objects' of physiological sensory perception are external to thought/belief.creativesoul

    The big assumption. It seems necessary for the sake of logical coherence. Observation of correlations give it inductive weight. Or otherwise.

    All meaning is attributed by virtue of drawing mental correlation(s) between that which becomes symbol/sign and that which becomes symbolized/signified.creativesoul

    Signs mediate interpretations. So semiotics. But so far you are talking dyadically and not triadically. A weakness is emerging in the world being interpreted via signs is now left out of the equation, removing the functional constraints (the fact that the whole show has to work in terms of achieving some real world goal beyond mere "representation").

    All philosophical positions presuppose the existence of an external world.creativesoul

    They presuppose coherence, intelligibility, rationality. That is the first place it starts. So the self is presupposed as much as the world. For there to be externality, there must be internality. And so to get to internal/external, the very coherence of the logic of dichotomies must be the true pre-supposition in play.

    That is why we can indeed doubt the internal/external as an actual thing. Though Descartes' cogito is decent argument for protesting "there is a self". Although - being a linguistic claim - you run into new difficulties with animal selves, or foetal selves.

    Thought/belief is not existentially contingent upon language. To quite the contrary, it's the other way around.

    Thought/belief formation happens prior to language. Thought/belief is accrued.
    creativesoul

    Err, nope. Sure, animal brains can perceive and conceive. Chimps and ravens can do smart, intentional and planned things. But given you seem to want to make a hard distinction out of human "thought/belief" in your discussions with me, the evolutionary story would have to be more the other way around.

    Language is a new level of semiotic code that just doesn't exist for animals (in the wild). So if we are pointing fingers at the cause of the crossing of this intellectual Rubicon, the development of the new constraint of syntactical speech has got to be the prime cause of something becoming different with humans.

    Thought/belief begins with drawing rudimentary correlations(think Pavlov's dog) and gains in complexity in direct accordance with/to the complexity of the correlations drawn between object(s) and/or self.creativesoul

    The slippery slope fallacy. No amount of complication would have changed the animal mind. Dolphins have huge brains. Chimps too. But nothing new to report there. Just an increase in what was already going on.

    With Homo sapiens, quite different. And that can be explained by pointing to what was new in a semiotic sense. Speech as a new level of encoding the signs that underpin the mental business of correlating and cohering, or differentiation~integration.
  • creativesoul
    11.4k
    All thought/belief consists of mental correlation(s) drawn between 'objects' of physiological sensory perception and/or the agent itself(it's own state of 'mind' when applicable).
    — creativesoul

    Coherence also has a part to play.
    apokrisis

    For some thought/belief. Not all.

    Coherence requires a plurality of thought/belief for it is a 'measure' of consistency/agreement between them. Incoherent thought/belief is commonplace. It only follows that coherence is not necessary for all thought/belief. The position I'm arguing for is based upon what all thought/belief consists of. The claim is universal, and as such is easy enough to refute if you disagree. All it takes is one example of thought/belief that does not consist of mental correlations drawn between 'objects' of physiological sensory perception and/or the agent itself.

    For clarity(pace Sapientia), the "and/or" portion above is intentional, and allows for the complexity of thought/belief to progress beyond the rudimentary level. Some are between objects of physiological sensory perception, some are between objects of physiological sensory perception and the agent, and some are between more complex 'objects' that consist of correlations drawn between simpler ones and the agent. Still yet, we also have more complex mental states at work, all of which are based upon the more simple objects and states.

    Those are the ones that become lost in dichotomies, and as such are counterexamples to both sides of the historic realist/idealist debates. IOW, both sides are right in some ways, and both sides are wrong in ways...


    Concepts can be justified on the grounds of their rational coherence. So it is not just a correlation between generals and particulars, or ideas and impressions. The internal rational coherence of a thought is another grounds for belief. (Kant might have had something to say about that.)apokrisis

    You're arguing against something other than what was written.



    'Objects' of physiological sensory perception are external to thought/belief.
    — creativesoul

    The big assumption. It seems necessary for the sake of logical coherence. Observation of correlations give it inductive weight. Or otherwise.
    apokrisis

    That's not an assumption at all. It is a premiss, and so an argument for it isn't offered here. However, it is an undeniably true statement, so it needs none.



    All meaning is attributed by virtue of drawing mental correlation(s) between that which becomes symbol/sign and that which becomes symbolized/signified.
    — creativesoul

    Signs mediate interpretations...
    apokrisis

    Signs are already meaningful. They become so by virtue of what I've put forth above.


    All philosophical positions presuppose the existence of an external world.
    — creativesoul

    They presuppose coherence, intelligibility, rationality. That is the first place it starts.
    apokrisis

    Without thought/belief, there is no such thing as coherence, intelligibility, or rationality.






    Thought/belief is not existentially contingent upon language. To quite the contrary, it's the other way around.

    Thought/belief formation happens prior to language. Thought/belief is accrued.
    — creativesoul

    Err, nope. Sure, animal brains can perceive and conceive. Chimps and ravens can do smart, intentional and planned things...
    apokrisis

    Chimps and ravens do smart and intentional things by virtue of drawing mental correlation(s) between 'objects' of physiological sensory perception and/or themselves(their own mental state).



    But given you seem to want to make a hard distinction out of human "thought/belief" in your discussions with me, the evolutionary story would have to be more the other way around.

    Language is a new level of semiotic code that just doesn't exist for animals (in the wild). So if we are pointing fingers at the cause of the crossing of this intellectual Rubicon, the development of the new constraint of syntactical speech has got to be the prime cause of something becoming different with humans.
    apokrisis

    I've no argument against the notion that common language affects/affects thought/belief. The change can be properly accounted for in terms of what all thought/belief consists of.


    Thought/belief begins with drawing rudimentary correlations(think Pavlov's dog) and gains in complexity in direct accordance with/to the complexity of the correlations drawn between object(s) and/or self.
    — creativesoul

    The slippery slope fallacy.
    apokrisis

    That's not a slippery slope fallacy. It is actually an account of rudimentary thought/belief that follows from the definition which has been determined by virtue of examining the use of "thought" and "belief" while identifying and isolating the common denominators remaining extant after removing all the subjective particulars. The definition I've put forth is what all thought/belief has in common after removing the individual particulars, and still constitutes being thought/belief.



    With Homo sapiens, quite different. And that can be explained by pointing to what was new in a semiotic sense. Speech as a new level of encoding the signs that underpin the mental business of correlating and cohering, or differentiation~integration.apokrisis

    None of which is possible without thought/belief and the attribution of meaning.
  • creativesoul
    11.4k
    I provided the following...All thought/belief consists of mental correlations. All mental correlation counts as thought/belief. All predication is correlation. Not all correlation is predication. Thought/belief is not existentially contingent upon language. To quite the contrary, it's the other way around.

    apo replied...

    Err, nope. Sure, animal brains can perceive and conceive. Chimps and ravens can do smart, intentional and planned things. But given you seem to want to make a hard distinction out of human "thought/belief" in your discussions with me, the evolutionary story would have to be more the other way around.apokrisis

    Acceptable objection to a valid argument requires more than just "Err, nope." There's an argument there to be dealt with. For clarity I'll hone it below...

    p1. All thought/belief consists of mental correlations.
    p2. Not all mental correlation is predication.
    C1. Not all thought/belief is predication.
    p3. Predication requires language.
    C2. Not all thought/belief requires language.

    What are you denying and/or objecting to?
  • creativesoul
    11.4k
    It's not clear to me what roles mood and the emotional life, or indeed physical appetites, have in your formulation. Language-less infants have already learnt 'how to behave in certain situations' and may well have laid the foundations for all sorts of other aspects of how they'll be, haven't they? Emotions, educated by life and reason and other emotions,, still guide me in much of what I do or don't do.mcdoodle

    A quick perusal through an earlier thread of mine found the above. I want to offer a current reply.

    Emotions are correlational content. The OP mentions 'states of mind'. With a rudimentary level thinking and believing creature, we're talking about the creature's emotions and instinctual drives. Fear. Hunger. Discontent. Relaxed. Content. Fearless.

    Repetitive correlations develop into a sense of familiarity, given enough time. Creatures without complex written language tend to pay no heed to that which is part of the everyday order of events much less-so than those like us, who have invented so many different ways to talk about the world and/or ourselves. However, we too find ourselves on autopliot... especially on long drives with much to think about. We often arrive to a particular destination in what seems like very little time at all, when quite some time had actually passed,
  • Possibility
    2.8k
    Thanks for the reference text. I’m thinking this may support what I have recently been arguing with Gnostic Christian Bishop and Coben here.
  • Mww
    4.5k
    A.)
    1. All thought/belief consists of mental correlation(s)creativesoul

    B.)
    Belief is not a mental state, on my view.creativesoul

    I’ve examined that part of your corpus that appeared interesting to me.

    Are mental correlations mental activities, and do mental activities reside in an agent, such agent being considered to be in possession of a “mind”? If not, where does the activity of correlating reside?
    ———

    C.)
    thought/belief is any and all mental correlations drawn between 'objects' of physiological sensory perception and/or the agent's own state of mind.creativesoul

    Agent’s state of mind......ok, yes, state of mind presupposes mind, so agent considered as to be in possession of mind is given. But that still doesn’t say where the drawing of correlations themselves reside.

    To say belief is the correlation, from C.), and because the correlation resides in the belief of which it is a constituent, per A.), and because belief is denied as a distinct mental state in itself, per B.), there appears to be a case of post hoc ergo propter hoc.

    Granting, then, that such gross fallacy is not the case, implies the activity of correlating resides not in the belief itself, so it must remain that belief resides as the consequence of the correlating, from the process of elimination. If the correlating resides in the mind, the consequence can be said to reside in the mind, which makes explicit belief must be some condition the mind resolves itself into. Another way to say “condition the mind resolves into”, is to say “a state into which the mind attains”, from which follows incontestably, “a mental state”.

    It appears belief is a mental state after all, and if all that is a valid deductive inference, in that the agent that is actively doing the correlating in order to bring himself to a mental state in which is found a belief, and the remaining aspect of such mental correlation involves the empirical reality of the ‘objects’ of physiological sensory perception, it seems sufficiently demonstrated that a subject/object dualism must be given necessarily, for it is quite impossible to correlate to a belief without an object to which the belief is about.

    Furthermore, in keeping more with A.) than C.), even if there is no empirical object present, belief in general, as a mere mental state in itself without being about anything in particular, is an object of the equally general mental correlations which would be required for belief to be a consequence of. This denotes what we would understand a belief to be, as opposed to understanding something we believe in.
  • creativesoul
    11.4k


    I've since dropped "mental", and "state of mind" from my account. Seems to work much better. Also dropped "objects", for the reasons given elsewhere(rejection of subject/object).
  • Mww
    4.5k
    I've since dropped "mental", and "state of mind" from my account.creativesoul

    You mean from your “Mechanics.....” account as it stood three years ago? Evolution of thought is not unusual of course, but B.) of mine, above, is from 2 days ago on the Qualia thread, so “mental” is apparently still in play in some cases.

    But yes, I see “mental correlations” evolved textually into “correlations”, which is why I thought to ask if they remained tacitly mental. I didn’t want to just assume so.
  • creativesoul
    11.4k


    Hey Mww. Care to pick this back up?

    :cool:
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