• Manuel
    4k
    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?creativesoul

    It's a bit tricky. We can say that certain objects have a kind of consistent reliability to stimulate us in a particular way. But then we have to explain hallucinations, or mental phenomena that has no immediate external anchor to our current thoughts. And in this domain, correlation is obscure to establish.

    As for what we can call thoughts? That's really hard. Plainly we have thoughts about things we do not encounter in experience - morals say, or events from which we are very far removed. Then there's also me willing my fingers to type these letters, as opposed to some other letters and much else besides a correlation between something "out there" and our minds.

    And now I see that his is 6 years old, so, you may no longer believe exactly what you say here, or perhaps have modified your stance.
  • Mww
    4.7k


    Hey back, and, thanks for the invite.

    I was in general agreement with your list, maybe differentiating in terminology or a couple particulars here and there.

    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).creativesoul

    I took it upon myself to read this as: all thought/belief consists of correlations. These are correlations drawn either between physiological sensory perception and the agent (termed a posteriori), or, correlations drawn from the agent itself (termed a priori).

    Can I get away with that? Or do my changes make a difference in what you meant to say?
    —————

    Also with respect to your list, what do you think about a greater separation of thought from belief?
  • Mww
    4.7k
    …..you may no longer believe exactly what you say here, or perhaps have modified your stance.Manuel

    I wondered about that, too. Now that you’ve brought it up, it’s likely we’ll be told one way or the other.
  • Manuel
    4k


    Why not? That person is still here, or did they leave?
  • Mww
    4.7k


    Ehhh…he’s around; he’ll get to this when he’s ready.
  • creativesoul
    11.6k


    Greetings. Sorry for the delay. They'll likely come often. Life and all.

    I really appreciate all your interest. Perhaps this could be the beginning of a worthy discussion. Few, if any, other things pique my interest as much as meaningful human thought, belief, and/or experience.

    I've become unsatisfied with the terms in the OP. An acceptable terminological framework will be capable of making sense of the evolutionary progression of human minds. It should also have the capability to bridge the divide between the simplest and the most complex sorts of meaningful human experience. It should be readily amenable to an evolutionary timeline. Where there has never been human thought and belief, there could have never been meaningful human experience.

    Most all of this speaks to some of the changes that asked about earlier. Sure, the terms "thought" and "belief" are not always used in synonymous fashion. We cannot always exchange them freely and expect to retain whatever sense we had been making. So, the distinction between thought and belief needs to be drawn and maintained, even if they are much the same thing at their core.

    Galuchat poked around at an issue as well. That issue was a result of implementing "objects of physiological sensory perception". The terminological framework is incapable of making enough sense of the evolution of the human mind/meaningful human experience while in utero.

    I've found that the subject/object dichotomy is incapable of properly accounting for all meaningful human experience. Not all meaningful human experience is accurately described in such language. Some directly perceptible things are not objects in the sense of existing independently of a subject, but rather are contained within the biological boundary separating the creature and not the creature.

    I do believe all experience shares a core set of common denominators. My thoughts regarding human thought and belief have been evolving at a rather brisk pace in the past few years.

    I am convinced that biological structures are key. They operate autonomously long before we become aware of it. Dennett's little robots/machines fits here. It is tricky, but I like to believe that an adequate terminological framework will satisfy us by its use. I would hope so anyway. Although I'm not in complete agreement with Dennett, I would not be surprised if his aim
    Reveal
    to gather like minds in different fields for the purpose of working together on what sorts of minds make evolutionary sense
    hits its mark. The accuracy will not be displayed by only his published works but those he inspired as well. His aim is/was towards a better understanding of the human mind.

    So, to answer any questions regarding if my stance has shifted...

    I still agree with the basic idea that gave rise to the opening post. Replace "thought and belief" with "meaningful experience". Generally, all meaningful human experience consists in very large part of correlations being drawn between different things by the individual at that time.

    So, I still maintain that at conception there is no meaningful human experience. The biological machinery at that time is grossly underdeveloped and as a result is insufficient for drawing meaningful correlations between different things. Although, I think it undeniable that correlations are drawn in utero. If all meaningful human experience consists of correlations being drawn between different things, and all experience is meaningful to the individual, then meaningful experience is limited to and/or enabled by the biological machinery providing the means. Practicing this helps eschew anthropomorphism, which has run amok.
  • Manuel
    4k
    It should also have the capability to bridge the divide between the simplest and the most complex sorts of meaningful human experience. It should be readily amenable to an evolutionary timeline. Where there has never been human thought and belief, there could have never been meaningful human experience.creativesoul

    Maybe I'm already starting the hair-splitting process, but, what kind of experience would you think as counting as a "meaningful human experience"? Is the idea something like, from appreciating the blue of the sky on a cloudless morning to talking about the big bang with some friend? Is it that broad? I have no problem with this, just don't want to misinterpret something basic.

    So, I still maintain that at conception there is no meaningful human experience. The biological machinery at that time is grossly underdeveloped and as a result is insufficient for drawing meaningful correlations between different things. Although, I think it undeniable that correlations are drawn in utero. If all meaningful human experience consists of correlations being drawn between different things, and all experience is meaningful to the individual, then meaningful experience is limited to and/or enabled by the biological machinery providing the means. Practicing this helps eschew anthropomorphism, which has run amok.creativesoul

    I think this is factual. It is as you describe it here, we do have innate biological dispositions, that can only be "awoken" or activated when the organism reaches sufficient maturity to use the concept/idea/thought adequately.

    Of course, one issue here, is that I don't know if we can make much sense of "meaningful human experiences" in biological terms, that do justice to the depth of relevant experience. There is an inevitable clash between our manifest and scientific image of the world, at certain levels, which seem to me to be unsolvable.
  • Mww
    4.7k
    Few, if any, other things pique my interest as much as meaningful human thought, belief, and/or experience.creativesoul

    Same here.

    I do believe all experience shares a core set of common denominators.creativesoul

    As they must, I should think.

    Generally, all meaningful human experience consists in very large part of correlations being drawn between different things by the individual at that time.creativesoul

    I rather think experience consists in very large part of entirely of correlations…..
    —————

    I still maintain that at conception there is no meaningful human experience.creativesoul

    I agree. But your use of “in utero” implies a very different notion of “conception” than I would ever use, relative to experience. You’re indicating conditions relative to a general biological development, I’m indicating conditions relative to a specific constituent in a systemic methodology, in which such biological development is necessarily presupposed.

    I think it undeniable that correlations are drawn in utero.creativesoul

    Perhaps, but what kind of correlations? And if the kind that have only to do with, not even fundamental survival but solely with continuous successful biological development, does it matter how they are made?
    —————

    I've found that the subject/object dichotomy is incapable of properly accounting for all meaningful human experience.creativesoul

    Incapable of properly accounting, agreed, meaning the subject/object dichotomy makes no sense as an operational predicate of the human cognitive system itself. In other words, the proper accounting for all meaningful human experiences, is the acquisition of them. The problem is, that system can never be examined or discussed by an intelligence in possession of it, without that very dichotomy, invented by that same intelligence in order to examine and talk about it.
    —————

    I am convinced that biological structures are key.creativesoul

    Agreed, but even if they are there is as yet not enough knowledge for how they are.

    We may agree on a bunch of stuff, but I think I’m satisfied with logical explanations regarding human thought/belief and experience, whereas you’re….not so much?
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