• Galuchat
    482
    Sure, there is a sense in which my computer is 'communicating' with your computer, but I want to put some scare quotes around such usage precisely because neither of our computers has any idea what they are doing. — unenlightened

    So, would it be your position that communication is the process of encoding, transmitting, conveying, receiving, and decoding, only semantic data (form)?

    I would be inclined to say that semantic communication requires empirical (physical and/or mental object) communication (again, given my general definition of communication).
  • frank
    1.8k
    That leaves a choice for how you proceed: do you propose a view that encompasses "hearing voices" as a variation of some kind on what we all do?Srap Tasmaner

    We need some type of submarine that allows us to travel into other people's experience, extend a periscope, and record the happenings. But we'd need some way to filter out our own projections onto the recordings.

    What if there are two things happening:

    1. We exist in a state unseparated from the world, so projection of things like space and time wouldn't be an issue. It's a direct bodily experience, here and now. There is no conversation because communication depends on that separation.

    2. We withdraw from contact with the world to reflect on it. But as we withdraw, we take with us some of the paraphernalia of direct bodily experience, which comes out as inner space and time. And this is where the notion of projection comes in. We're trying to explain why space and time are present a priori in the inner domain when they're supposed to be features of the outer world. The confusion arises from failing to notice that space and time result from falling out of an undifferentiated state.

    One could be in both states simultaneously.
  • unenlightened
    2.9k
    So, would it be your position that communication is the process of encoding, transmitting, conveying, receiving, and decoding, only semantic data (form)?Galuchat

    I don't think that's quite what I think. Because the data that is conveyed from me to you and back is exactly the data that is conveyed from computer to computer. I want to say rather that I manipulate my computer such that it manipulates your computer, in order to communicate with you.

    I would not say that I communicate with the computer, or that the computers communicate though, any more than I would say that I communicate with a hammer so that it will tell the nail where I want it to go, or that when the bugger bends, it is correcting my grammar.
  • Galuchat
    482
    Thanks for your elaboration.

    My own elaboration: given that communication is the process of encoding, transmitting, conveying, receiving, and decoding, data (form), to communicate ideas on this forum involves:

    1) Encoding nonverbal thoughts to verbal thoughts.
    2) Encoding verbal thoughts to written words.
    3) Encoding written words to forms suitable for computer and/or telecommunication applications.
    4) Transmitting (carrier signal modulation) computer/telecom code by energy propagation (electrical signals, radio waves).
    5) Conveying telecom signals through internet media to a designated IP address.
    6) Receiving (carrier signal demodulation) and decoding of computer/telecom code by The Philosophy Forum web site applications.
    7) Receiving (reading) and decoding (understanding) written words by a forum member based on their association with semantic information (knowledge).
    8) Recipient mental action (e.g., cogitation), followed by physical action (e.g., composing a reply).

    So, I am inclined to say that semantic communication requires empirical (physical and/or mental object) communication.
  • unenlightened
    2.9k
    So, I am inclined to say that semantic communication requires empirical (physical and/or mental object) communication.Galuchat

    In space, no one can hear you philosophise. Because there is no medium of transmission.

    I can't really say that I disagree, so much as I object. I would like to hold a space for an interaction that is not mechanical, and that is not, as I see it, glossed over with the term 'semantic'. It's not that one cannot treat people as objects to be manipulated, but that one ought not.

    If we were in the same room, our communication would be encoded in vibrations of the atmosphere. Or to put it rather more ordinarily, we could talk out loud. But if our conversation were recorded and then replayed to us, it would be an entirely different experience of the same semantic vibrations. Rather as I might look back at this exchange next week and realise, for the first time, where our communication had reached a real sharing, and where (and why) it had missed the mark. "Oh, that's what he was on about!", is a moment of understanding, of communication, that might come years after the transmission of data.
  • javra
    698
    And yet, to say that homoeostasis, gene expression, neural stimulation, endocrine signalling, and immunomodulation are types of biocommunication, doesn't seem so far-fetched to me.

    So, should the notion of communication pertain only to organic objects? And if so, at what level(s) of abstraction (i.e., physiology and/or psychology)?

    For those who would appropriately refer to the etymology of the word "communication" from the Latin "communico" (share, impart, make common), I would suggest that what the process of communication shares between informer (transmitter, sender) and informee (receiver, recipient) is code, given:

    1) Communication: the process of encoding, transmitting, conveying, receiving, and decoding, data (form).
    2) Code: transformed, translated, or converted data (form).
    3) Information: communicated data (form).
    Galuchat

    I’m in general agreement with unenlightened. For my part:

    “Communicate” is one of those words whose ambiguity can facilitate a number of different meanings within different contexts. How much of it applies to what is ontic and how much of it will be strictly metaphorical can largely depend on the ontology that is presupposed. As to the metaphorical, when someone says something like, “don’t press any more keys on the keyboard; the computer is thinking” the “computer is thinking” part is not to be taken literally; it’s only a metaphorical shortcut to expressing concepts that otherwise require far more words to properly express.

    It strikes me that going by your denotations, a hammer that haphazardly falls can be said to communicate force to the rock if falls upon.

    Were this semantic to be upheld, however, it would to my mind nevertheless be distinct from the communication that occurs between sentience which thereby involves awareness and its apprehension, its understanding, of what is being communicated. For example, I can in no way concede to the rock literally understanding that a force was communicated to it by the falling hammer.

    To my mind, the two semantics would be made distinct primarily due to the difference between a) the strictly entropic interactions (or inter-paths, if one likes) that occur between entropic, inanimate givens and b) the agency-caused interactions that occur among negentropic, autopoietic, agency-endowed life.

    I’m on board with bridging the gap between nonlife and life in a stout ontological way, but this would not diminish the “quantum leap” (metaphorically speaking) between nonliving things and living things.

    Biocommunication specifies the contexts addressed. Maybe a term for “entropic communications” could be coined so as to distinguish it from what agents do?
  • Galuchat
    482
    Thanks for your input.

    My focus is the domain of cognitive psychology which partly consists of mental functions (i.e., psychosemiosis with semantic, syntactic and pragmatic properties). Pragmatics addresses the relations between signs and agents (including intentions).

    I currently consider data, communication, and information to be inter-related foundational concepts with regard to this psychosemiotic framework. Recognising that these terms are used differently in many areas of academic study and professional practice, I am keen to devise a description of communication which is as general as possible, so I can derive appropriate domain-related definitions.

    Suggestions are welcome.
  • javra
    698
    Suggestions are welcome.Galuchat

    For what it’s worth, the broadest sense of communication I can currently speculate of is “to impart form to”—this where “form” is interpreted in the broadest sense possible, hence encapsulating both the abstract and the concrete. One example would be that one meaning holds a different form from some other meaning; even more, a paradigm is larger in form when compared to an idea since it’s a collection of many ideas—and talking is roughly a bidirectional imparting of ideals/abstract forms which then in due measure in-forms each individual awareness. As another example, the hammer imparts form to the rock—or in-forms it—by colliding with it.

    I’m as of yet not personally comfortable with using the term “communication” to express such “imparting of form to” in all its usages. Still, to my mind, one could establish a dual aspect monistic ontology by interpreting all stuff, mental and physical, as information—here basically meaning, “that which endows form to”. Such a broad interpretation of information could thereby maybe be used to make the case that all information transfer is communication.

    Well, interpreting information as a dual-aspect monistic substance is an approach I take but, to be honest, there are some other components at work as I’ve so far made use of this understanding. Things like various causal influences or mechanisms by which information works. Also of information yet being other than core non-dualistic awareness even though information in-forms awareness—i.e., endows awareness with its form of first person selfhood, including that of its very being as an individual awareness within the universe. This being my take on the self/no-self motif. To further clarify this last part, this in-forming of awareness certainly occurs in large part via the operations of the living, organic, physical substrata—such as brains for vertebrate life—as well as via this then formed awareness’s interaction with its environment by means of subjectivity. But this is an entirely different ball park.

    At any rate, if any of this is of any use …
  • Galuchat
    482
    Still, to my mind, one could establish a dual aspect monistic ontology by interpreting all stuff, mental and physical, as information—here basically meaning, “that which endows form to”. Such a broad interpretation of information could thereby maybe be used to make the case that all information transfer is communication. — javra

    Yes. This is roughly my intent. With types of data, communication, and information corresponding to types of ideas (ideals and abstractions) and objects (physical and/or mental).

    Well, interpreting information as a dual-aspect monistic substance is an approach I take but, to be honest, there are some other components at work as I’ve so far made use of this understanding. Things like various causal influences or mechanisms by which information works. — javra

    Yes. I think this is down to code (messages) being:
    1) Common to (at one level of abstraction, or mutually understood by, at another) both transmitters (or senders) and receivers (or recipients), and
    2) Syntactic (i.e., conforming to structural principles).

    Also of information yet being other than core non-dualistic awareness even though information in-forms awareness—i.e., endows awareness with its form of first person selfhood, including that of its very being as an individual awareness within the universe...
    To further clarify this last part, this in-forming of awareness certainly occurs in large part via the operations of the living, organic, physical substrata—such as brains for vertebrate life—as well as via this then formed awareness’s interaction with its environment by means of subjectivity.
    — javra

    I currently view awareness as a dual aspect, mind-body condition; in its most general sense: an aware (perceptive, sensitive, and cognisant) condition. Perception being the mental experience of sensory stimulation, sensation being the mental experience of interoception, and cognisance being the mental experience of knowing.
  • unenlightened
    2.9k
    information in-forms awareness—i.e., endows awareness with its form of first person selfhood, including that of its very being as an individual awareness within the universe.javra

    This is an annoying feature, that is a defeater of psychology as a science, in my opinion. A psychological theory, including its roots as explicated in the two posts above is formative of the psyche it purports to explain. It is as though in physics the properties of space, time and matter were composed of the theories we have of them. Change your theory, and the nature you are theorising changes.
  • javra
    698


    Hm. It’s not that the philosophy of mind is directly formative of the psyche it seeks to explain. Rather, the ontology I subscribe to facilitates the significant possibility that there can be such a thing as formless awareness; this at what I hope is readily understood to be a metaphysical level of being—for both the physical and the mental are endowed with form(s). This would be a perfectly selfless being/awareness devoid of first personhood—due there being nothing other relative to it by which first personhood can be established. In using this significant possibility as a premise of what is metaphysically ontic, then it can be inferred that all selves are, if one likes, fragmented or divided parts of this formless awareness in various proximities to this ideal state of being. An ant would be further away from it than a human. But this gets complex very quickly in any number of different ways.

    Information as I’ve tried to express it is then virtually the same as Heraclitean notions of logos (better translated as “reason in the form of causes and motives” than as “word(s)”). And the formless awareness addressed could be compared to Neoplatonism’s “the One” or the Eastern concept of Nirvana—neither of which are minds—as well as to Aristotle’s first (teleological) cause.

    To be very clear, I’m not trying to argue my case. Only want to illustrate how this outlook doesn’t suffer from the dilemma you’ve address—illustrated by the analogy of space, time, and matter being created by the theories one upholds (that is, if I've understood your criticism correctly). The data points remain the same regardless—in terms of psychology, physics, and everything in-between. But yes, the metaphysical explanations for them will often be considerably modified from the typical physicalist paradigm(s). (I nowadays prefer the term of a “dual aspect neutral monism” for this perspective since it tends to better convey to others what the ontology implies.)
  • javra
    698


    We share many views in common. Best of luck with your endeavors.
  • Galuchat
    482
    We share many views in common. Best of luck with your endeavors. — javra

    I've noticed, and cheers.
  • unenlightened
    2.9k
    It’s not that the philosophy of mind is directly formative of the psyche it seeks to explain. Rather, the ontology I subscribe to facilitates the significant possibility that there can be such a thing as formless awareness; this at what I hope is readily understood to be a metaphysical level of being—for both the physical and the mental are endowed with form(s). This would be a perfectly selfless being/awareness devoid of first personhood—due there being nothing other relative to it by which first personhood can be established. In using this significant possibility as a premise of what is metaphysically ontic, then it can be inferred that all selves are, if one likes, fragmented or divided parts of this formless awareness in various proximities to this ideal state of being.javra

    It's certainly not direct; I didn't mean to suggest it. If anything, the cycle is negative, such that for example, Freud has an insight into the psyche - " sexual repression leading to hysteria, bla, bla..." which transforms the psyche as it becomes well known, to the extent that sexual repression is so much reduced that hysteria ceases to be a thing, and Freud is left looking like an idiot. This is why psychology is more like a fashion show than a science, with every generation having a new, and properly scientific approach, and the previous approach is exposed as ill founded in some way. What you describe here is the ontology of 'mindfulness', currently being industrialised as the cure for ADHD, anxiety, depression, and other complaints of the age. Expect an outbreak of radical instability of personality to follow, already evidenced by renewed interest in exorcism. :sad:
  • javra
    698


    I’ve never, never, liked Freudianisms. Anything that is remotely worthwhile in Freud can be found in William James’s “Principles of Psychology”—a lengthy book which incorporated Darwinian evolution with James’ honest accounts of what we’d term spiritual accounts, of course staying true to all experiments known at the time concerning both physiology and established accounts of behaviors. My favorite Freudianism to criticize is his Oedipus/Electra complexes; cuz if the kid were to have only one parent of the opposite sex then they’d be chasing their parent all day long for tail. Besides, it’s a damned blatant justification for pedophilia no one ever seems to want to address (the preadolescent kids want to have sex with their parents, apparently). Freud is what you get when you mix atheism, mythologies, an authoritarian complex, and good decade’s worth of cocaine use. But Victorian people lapped up his talk—doctors miraculously curing “hysteria” with dildos and orgasms (telling I think)—because it spoke a lot more to being human than did the Behaviorism that quickly took over academia. Which is not to diminish the data on classical and operant conditioning. Cog.sci . is one form of psychology I hold esteem for: as with any other science, it theorizes, but all these are checked and balanced by needing to remain aligned to the empirical data acquired.

    As to everything from exorcisms to New Age-isms that go haywire and the like, all this is detrimental when—and because—it forsakes the physical logos of the world as though it weren’t there (this to continue using the terminology I’ve previously made use of in this thread). Sorry, you may not like gravity and might want to fly off of tall structures because of some novel insights … but evolution as we know it will still have its say (the biological too is an aspect of the world’s physical logos).

    You raise complex topics that I don’t want to belittle—for they’re quite pertinent. Nevertheless, I don’t believe that insisting on physicalism can serve as a remedy to them. Should of worked by now, I would think.
  • unenlightened
    2.9k
    You raise complex topics that I don’t want to belittle—for they’re quite pertinent. Nevertheless, I don’t believe that insisting on physicalism can serve as a remedy to them.javra

    Amen to that, bro. So then one is left with an irreducible moral and aesthetic component to psychology, I think, in answering any question of the 'proper functioning' of the human psyche, or a supposed irreducible human nature. Which will be the less debilitating the more it is explicit in a theory.
  • javra
    698
    So then one is left with an irreducible moral and aesthetic component to psychology, I think, in answering any question of the 'proper functioning' of the human psyche, or a supposed irreducible human nature. Which will be the less debilitating the more it is explicit in a theory.unenlightened

    Couldn't agree more.
12Next
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.