• bongo fury
    1.5k
    I hoped you wouldn't ask that one :confused:
    — bongo fury
    Why? Is it a stupid or difficult question?
    Harry Hindu

    Haha, difficult. Working on it. :nerd:

    Would you say that dreams have images?Harry Hindu

    "Have"? They relate to them, sure. I am keener than you (apparently) to avoid implying that a dreaming brain literally contains them. Especially if they have to be "mental".

    If you had a dream about a brain, could you draw a picture of it after you wake up?Harry Hindu

    Sure. (Although I'd want to gloss "of it" as, e.g., "interpreting it" rather than "copying it" or other notions suggesting the dream was composed of images.)

    But the external image itself is an object (a picture, polaroid, drawing, etc.) that represents other objects.Harry Hindu

    Yep. (Although of course many don't, e.g. pictures of unicorns, and abstract expressionist paintings.)

    How did your brain learn to represent things if it isn't something that it already does?Harry Hindu

    Not clear what you consider the brain to have learnt, here... to participate in a language game of pointing actual words and pictures at things (my preference), or to host mental words and pictures that point at things?

    Would you say that a computer that performs facial recognition has an image in its working memory that it measures and compares to the measurements of other images in it's long-term memory?Harry Hindu

    A pre-neural-network symbolic computer, yes. But that model no longer seems so appropriate in psychology.

    Think about your view of the world.Harry Hindu

    As an image, to be stored and retrieved?
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k

    I don't think you interpreted what I meant correctly. What I meant was the hard question is not about constitutents of what makes consciousness, it is how it is we have consciousness. You are denying the very thing we are actually using to have this conversation. So you can deny experience, but then you have to tell me what this thing is we have to deny, other than the self-referential idea you have that it is an "illusion". Changing its name from "experience" to "illusion" doesn't explain anything. You have to account for the illusion itself qua illusion. In other words, if all you can say is it does not happen, but we all think it's happening. You have to say not just that it is a non-existent thing, but what this non-existing thing but what is the nature of the non-existent thing we think we are experiencing. If you cannot account for that except through moving goal posts and (possibly?) misusing language so as to sustain your argument, I don't know what to say. It is hard to discount Descartes' idea because it is a very real thing. You at least think because you are doing it now. I can be drinking a cup of coffee and tell you am not doing that, but if I am, then what I am saying is not true.
  • Harry Hindu
    4.9k
    "Have"? They relate to them, sure. I am keener than you (apparently) to avoid implying that a dreaming brain literally contains them. Especially if they have to be "mental".bongo fury
    You're mis-representing my position. Please quote the post where I said brains contain images. I believe that I said that minds contain images of brains, and that brains are not what is out there, but other minds are what is out there and brains, and their neural firings, are how we model other minds. Mental objects are the mental process of modeling other processes. So, it appears that I am keener (less naive) than your naive realism.

    I hoped you wouldn't ask that one :confused:
    — bongo fury
    Why? Is it a stupid or difficult question?
    — Harry Hindu

    Haha, difficult. Working on it. :nerd:
    bongo fury

    Sure. (Although I'd want to gloss "of it" as, e.g., "interpreting it" rather than "copying it" or other notions suggesting the dream was composed of images.)bongo fury
    :grin:
    Wait, then why is the question difficult if you're just going to wave your hand again and say that images don't even exist in dreams? What makes the question so difficult unless dreams have images?

    Yep. (Although of course many don't, e.g. pictures of unicorns, and abstract expressionist pictures.)bongo fury
    This is very strange. How is it that the unicorn that I draw will look similar to your drawing of a unicorn? Where are we getting our information to draw a unicorn, and what form does that information take?

    I asked you what dreams are, but also what is an imagining, or a hallucination even?

    Not clear what you consider the brain to have learnt, here... to participate in a language game of pointing actual words and pictures at things (my preference), or to host mental words and pictures that point at things?bongo fury
    What form do words take? Are they not an image of a scribble on the screen, or sounds that you hear? In thinking in words, are you not thinking in sounds or scribbles? Wouldn't these be the form your thoughts take? Sure, words are just other types of images that our thoughts take.

    Think about your view of the world.
    — Harry Hindu

    As an image, to be stored and retrieved?
    bongo fury
    No. As the form the information about the world relative to your eyes takes.
  • bongo fury
    1.5k
    Think about your view of the world.
    — Harry Hindu

    As an image, to be stored and retrieved?
    — bongo fury

    No. As the form the information about the world relative to your eyes takes.
    Harry Hindu

    So, not as an image? (Or just not as a kind of image you would or could store or retrieve?)
  • Harry Hindu
    4.9k
    I'm asking you what scribble you are using to refer to the form the information about the world relative to your eyes takes. If you don't want to use the scribble, image, then what scribble do you use, and why?

    What is a view?

    What is looking at this screen like for you?
  • bongo fury
    1.5k
    I'm asking you what scribble you are using to refer to the form the information about the world relative to your eyes takes.Harry Hindu

    "Scribble", "refer" and "eyes", I think I understand. Not even sure about scribble, though. Do you mean the actual image on the screen, or something mental, or internal?
  • Harry Hindu
    4.9k

    What is a view?

    What is looking at this screen like for you?
    Harry Hindu
  • bongo fury
    1.5k
    What is a view?Harry Hindu

    Well, the view from my window could (in one sense) mean my back garden, or it could mean an image of said garden created at said window. A photo, for example. Do you mean something else?

    What is looking at this screen like for you?Harry Hindu

    Pleasant and informative. Good practice at discerning patterns in the images and other objects around me. And for you?
  • Harry Hindu
    4.9k
    Well, the view from my window could (in one sense) mean my back garden, or it could mean an image of said garden created at said window. A photo, for example. Do you mean something else?bongo fury
    No, I mean he view from your head. Would you agree that the information in your "brain" includes objects' location relative to your brain, and not your window? Is it informative to know about the location of objects relative to your body or your window?

    Pleasant and informative. Good practice at discerning patterns in the images and other objects around me. And for you?bongo fury
    Pleasant and informative could apply to a mind with images. I need an description that couldn't be interpreted to apply minds with images, because you say those things don't happen. What is discerning patterns in the images and other objects around you like?
  • bongo fury
    1.5k
    Would you agree that the information in your "brain" includes objects' location relative to your brain,Harry Hindu

    Not sure why "brain" is in quotes, but no matter.

    "The information in your brain", though... are we back to internal images, data, words, symbols? I'm not keen to agree to any assertions about what such alleged internal entities include and refer to: even though I can see how natural these assertions will seem to those who are comfortable with modelling the brain as a pre-neural-network symbolic computer.

    Obviously my skills in navigating myself require somehow being sensitive to what in fact are specific locations etc. I don't see that a theory of internal representations is required to explain the sensitivity.

    The swallow may fly south with the sun, not necessarily by consulting internal symbolic maps but, more likely, by inheriting and/or learning appropriate responses to all manner of environmental cues.

    Pleasant and informative could apply to a mind with images.Harry Hindu

    Yes, but it could apply to me, too?

    I need a description that couldn't be interpreted to apply to minds with images, because you say those things don't happen. What is discerning patterns in the images and other objects around you like?Harry Hindu

    Do you mean, what do I find when I try to examine and describe my thoughts and perceptions? As I was saying, although I'm as susceptible as anyone to conventional habits of interpretation which do tempt me into assuming ghostly entities inside me, I suspect that a more realistic account of the sense of / illusion of consciousness will probably focus on the effect of thinking in (as in, preparing to select or manipulate) symbols.

    What's it like? A continual, habitual and no doubt efficacious confusion of thoughts (brain-shivers) with pictures, producing either (1) an "illusion of consciousness" in the sense of a mistaken belief in mental images and/or mental matter, or (2) a "sense of consciousness", a correct understanding of the essential difference (albeit fuzzy) between man and beast.
  • RolandTyme
    47
    Thank you Enrique! I work through things like this slowly, as I often get tired using a computer, but I'll will try to work through these, then get back to you. Best. R
  • Harry Hindu
    4.9k
    "The information in your brain", though... are we back to internal images, data, words, symbols? I'm not keen to agree to any assertions about what such alleged internal entities include and refer to: even though I can see how natural these assertions will seem to those who are comfortable with modelling the brain as a pre-neural-network symbolic computer.bongo fury

    I find it interesting that you think that information only comes in the form of images, data, words, and symbols. What about neural firings? Is that information in the brain? If so, then information about what? Can neural firings be about the location of an apple relative to your body? How?

    Obviously my skills in navigating myself require somehow being sensitive to what in fact are specific locations etc. I don't see that a theory of internal representations is required to explain the sensitivity.bongo fury
    Is your sensitivity the same as the specific location, or is it about the specific location? It seems like you are confusing your sensitivity (the symbol) with the location (the symbolized). How is the sensitivity different than the specific location? How is it similar or related?

    The swallow may fly south with the sun, not necessarily by consulting internal symbolic maps but, more likely, by inheriting and/or learning appropriate responses to all manner of environmental cues.bongo fury
    Sounds like symbolism to me. Cue is just another name for symbol/signal. Is the cue the same thing as the state of the environment, or are they different things? Are you a solipsist?

    Do you mean, what do I find when I try to examine and describe my thoughts and perceptions? As I was saying, although I'm as susceptible as anyone to conventional habits of interpretation which do tempt me into assuming ghostly entities inside me, I suspect that a more realistic account of the sense of / illusion of consciousness will probably focus on the effect of thinking in (as in, preparing to select or manipulate) symbols.bongo fury

    But the nerve firings actually happen. Your inner film show doesn't. That's what I'm saying, anyway.bongo fury
    But you said that the illusion of consciousness doesn't happen. Is an illusion something that happens? If it doesn't then what are you talking about when you talk about "habits of interpretation" and "thinking in symbols"?

    What is a mirage? How do you explain an illusion of a mirage within the illusion of consciousness using neural firings?

    Illusions happen. The image of the illusion isn't dispelled when you interpret the image correctly. Rather than a pool of water, you see bent light. When you understand that you don't see objects like bent sticks in water and brains with neural firings, rather you see light, then the mirage is what you expect to see. The explanation predicts the effect of mirages in the mind. So what explanation do you know that explains the illusion of consciousness in a way that predicts that it will happen?
  • bongo fury
    1.5k
    I find it interesting that you think that information only comes in the form of images, data, words, and symbols.Harry Hindu

    It's more that I don't trust "information" to facilitate communication in a discussion like this, and would rather gloss it in other terms.

    What about neural firings? Is that information in the brain?Harry Hindu

    In the context of some theory of neural processes, no doubt.

    If so, then information about what?Harry Hindu

    Action potentials in other neurons, I'm guessing.

    Can neural firings be about the location of an apple relative to your body?Harry Hindu

    Not in any sense of "about" that I can trust to help us in the present discussion. I would suspect that this is where an unreliable usage of "information" has already attached you to an unnecessarily abstract and mentalist notion of a "view".

    How?Harry Hindu

    Ah, well if this means you are sceptical too, on this point, all good.

    It seems like you are confusing your sensitivity (the symbol) with the location (the symbolized).Harry Hindu

    Massive difference between our usages of "symbolism" (and hence "information"): I'm talking about language games of pointing words and pictures at things. Animals and artificial neural networks can be trained in all (e.g. navigational) sorts of skills without having to engage in any such games, which involve an altogether higher level of social interaction. Even with more old-fashioned automata, they can at least be programmed to perform, albeit to a lesser standard, and then of course we can certainly examine the game of word-pointing played by the programmers. But with the automata themselves, as with animals and artificial neural-networks, there is no such game. Until the neuro-scientists get involved, maybe. Then (maybe) some neurons get pointed (like words) at things.

    Sounds like symbolism to me. Cue is just another name for symbol/signal.Harry Hindu

    See above. There could be symbolism in the human theory of the animal behaviour. But not in the behaviour itself. (Unlike with human behaviour, where the behaviour itself nearly always involves language games.)

    Is the cue the same thing as the state of the environment, or are they different things?Harry Hindu

    The same.

    Are you a solipsist?Harry Hindu

    No.

    But you said that the illusion of consciousness doesn't happen. Is an illusion something that happens?Harry Hindu

    I agree that the fact that we think that, or entertain the illusion that, we have mental images does deserve explanation, yes. Hence my attempt at that. On the other hand, I can't agree that it's a fact that we have mental illusions in the form of mental images.bongo fury

    what are you talking about when you talk about "habits of interpretation" and "thinking in symbols"?Harry Hindu

    thinking in (as in, preparing to select or manipulate) symbols.bongo fury

    (For more and better, see Goodman's discussions, linked in my first.)

    What is a mirage? How do you explain an illusion of a mirage within the illusion of consciousness using neural firings?Harry Hindu

    Again, I hope I didn't lead you to think that I'm saying that neural firings symbolise anything. To clarify: a mirage, just like an accurate perception, is somebody so shivering their neurons as to refine and adjust their readiness to select among symbols. Obviously, some circumstances (desert sun) lead, sporadically, to a disposition to select pictures deemed wholly inappropriate in revised circumstances. Other circumstances (refraction) lead to a similar mis-match, just more predictably.
  • bongo fury
    1.5k
    What are dreams?Harry Hindu

    Dreams are off-line thoughts: thoughts unaffected by the normal requirement of their having to somehow answer to each other and to the organism's present environmental predicament. For example there is none of the usual (waking) differential adjustment of readiness for action relative to different drives or threats, based on continual observation of the changing visual and auditory scenes, which are now largely removed from view. So the off-line thoughts don't (whereas at least some of the on-line ones do) have to be "about" the ongoing scenery and the organism's path through it. On the other hand, nothing is to stop them from replicating (if only partially and incoherently) previous on-line thoughts of that kind. The question is whether this, if it is roughly what happens, implicates mental images, as we tend to assume it does.

    I suggest that it doesn't, if we get used to resisting the assumption, however entrenched, that thoughts (on or off-line) involve mental images anyway. But then, in other words, the phenomenon of dreams doesn't itself add a reason for accepting mental images, and is beside the point. It raises its own questions, well worth asking, such as: what are dreams (off-line thoughts) about? I would guess: roughly the same people and places that their more coherent on-line counterparts are about. The difference, crucial of course, is that off-line thoughts which are (through force of habit) about present scenery relative to the organism will answer less (than do their waking counterparts) to each other and not at all to the sensory evidence. But that doesn't leave the thoughts without a real scenery (and relative location) for them to be about; it merely describes it with a questionable degree of coherence, requiring perhaps a poetical style of interpretation.

    So, dreams don't implicate mental images by exposing a lack of subject matter for the dreams to be about: a gap that we might think mental images suitable to fill.

    Neither do they implicate mental images by needing to be themselves composed of such things. This is the misconception common to our talk about thoughts both online and off. Talk of thoughts being "about" things, in a sense needing subsequent unpacking, can too easily become talk of the thoughts "representing" the things, in a sense more suited to words and pictures. Thoughts-in-the-head become pictures-in-the-head. But such a progression is unnecessary. Thoughts are "about" things in that they are the brain so shivering its neurons as to adjust its readiness to act on those things. Conscious thoughts, in particular, adjust its readiness to select among symbols for pointing at those things. This kind of thought is thus (whether online or off) thought "in" symbols, and consequently prone to making us think (mistakenly, though often harmlessly) that the symbols are in our heads.
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