Comments

  • The essence of religion
    On the other hand, the science that discusses a tree is not just filling space, not just a lot of empty fictional narrative. Religion, too, taken seriously, is not this.Constance

    I don't want to give an all too easy answer that "everything is just a narrative" and science and religion are"just empty fictions filling space". My point is that cognitive architecture comes first, not some inescapable reality standing outside all narrative.

    The cognitive architecture I think drives the religious impulse is the one that allows a hunter gatherer to observe a dragonfly and see:

    * The phenomenal impression of the insect, it's appearance and motion through space.
    *The apprehension that these phenomenon are not chaotic, but they belong to an organized entity of the category "dragonfly", and more broadly "insect".
    * The larger irrelevance of this entity to the current task of hunting a deer.
    *The larger still relevance of the early appearance of the dragonfly, possibly presaging an early summer.

    At least four levels of meaning, all attached to the same phenomenon, all held by the same brain. But this one-to-many relationship between appearance and meaning begs the question:: is that it? Or is there a deeper meaning beyond all these? What is the meaning of all these meanings?

    Religion arises to fulfill the spiritual need, the need to fill in all these "higher", "deeper" meanings whose existence is like a shadow cast by our own cognitive machinery. If it doesn't provide all the answers, it at least provides a framework within which answers can be found. Having such a framework seems to be a deep human need, without which we suffer, as @Tarskian points out.
  • The essence of religion
    I mean, we put out of inquiry all, or nearly all, that circulates though typical religious mentalities, in an effort to determine if there is something "real" that religion is truly about; something that is not simply a historical fiction conceived in an ancient mind.Constance

    I think your inquiry about religion itself captures the essence of religion.

    Religion is how we fill the symbolic space. The symbolic space is a product of how we think. Any object of thought can have multiple levels of symbolic meaning. "Surface" meaning, and any number of deeper meanings "behind" this. A tree isn't just a tree: it is a source of food or building materials. Beyond this, it might symbolize ecology, a stand-in for the beneficient features of life itself. And it might mean God's benevolence, or timeless persistence. All these symbolic meanings are bestowed upon the tree, none are inherent to the actual tree.

    Religion is how this symbolic space is colonized in different cultural arenas. It apparently cannot be left empty, it has to be filled in one way or another. Everything has meaning in religion, because religions fully fill the symbolic space.

    So your question, what is the true meaning of religion, is itself an expression of the basic religious impulse to fill the symbolic space. In this case, the space behind "religion".

    And this is why science is a competitor to religion. Not because the mechanistic accounts of how things work differ. But because it offers a parallel, and empirically grounded, vision of what explaining the meaning of things looks like. The tree isn't just the tree we see. It is the vast scientific story that explains it.
  • Do (A implies B) and (A implies notB) contradict each other?
    The two statements are not contradictory. They simply imply ~A.
  • US Election 2024 (All general discussion)
    Kamela? Really? From one deeply unpopular candidate to another. I have long given up on the Democrats actually delivering anything meaningful policy wise. All I need from them is to prevent the descent into outright fascism by defeating a totally unqualified sub moronic evil clown. Even that very low bar is too much for them.

    The Democratic party has long ago degenerated into complete worthlessness. In a functioning democracy they would have been swept away long ago. It is our winner take all electoral system that makes a third party impossible, and therefore keeps the existing two parties entrenched, no matter how awful they become. This will be America's downfall.
  • A List of Intense Annoyances
    If that makes you murderously upset, please go elsewhere.Baden

    Was that some kind of inept death threat? I couldn't tell, verbal expression is not this guy's strong suit. If so, I have to wonder why he is permitted to stick around.
  • A List of Intense Annoyances
    Gladly. It's so beneath my effort I require a few sips to simply fit the role, naturally.Outlander

    :rofl: yeah...

    You're tolerable.Outlander

    Wish I could say the same.
  • A List of Intense Annoyances

    Please, gtfo. The music is not there to somehow induce tipping (show me this "scientific evidence"). It's there because management decided the shopping public wants to hang out in a place playing music they presumably like. The poor employees have to endure the literal torture of being force fed this drek 8 hours a day. It is cruel as fuck.

    And, "most valuable"??

    disrupts my intuitive feeling for a place, replacing it with a candied consumerised cadence that I find repulsive and emotionally disruptive.Baden

    Spot on.
  • A List of Intense Annoyances
    I feel like it's the artist, not philosopher, in me whose stomach turns at such auditory assaults. But that may be conceit.Baden


    Death metal eh? I think it is the metalheads that can least abide the ear-vomit that passes for music these days.

    I used to be a black metal exclusive, I even wrote it, but I've been expanding my horizons to include goth, quality pop, punk, thrash and death metal. I'm mostly an old school guy, been playing this one quite a bit lately:
  • A List of Intense Annoyances


    That is an interesting perception. I think there is no lack of melody in todays pop, and certainly, they have lyrics. It's just that they are maddening, obnoxious drivel.

    Gen-Z gets an undeserved bad rap, yet somehow to me their music embodies some the worst traits attributed to them: smug, narcissistic self satisfaction and self aggrandizement. The overall loss of quality compared to earlier generations (including ones I feel no special connection to) is stark.
  • A List of Intense Annoyances
    Shitty ass modern pop (that is, modern pop)
    People blarting their shitty ass modern pop in public places (Beach, park) or next door, implicitly demanding I either enjoy or endure their shitty ass modern pop, or gtfo
  • US Election 2024 (All general discussion)
    I really don't believe Biden is senileWayfarer

    The way he would become lost, dazedly fumbling between unrelated topics, gazing vacantly, can be explained either by severe anxiety at the enormity of the moment -- what you or I might experience, but not a lifelong politician with his career -- or mental impairment. Given his age and other worrying signs, senility is the most natural and likely explanation.
  • US Election 2024 (All general discussion)
    good for me and the millions of others who aren’t political hobbyistsMikie

    Lol, then what do you think you are?

    It's not just a silly debate, or the silly impression it made, it's what it indicated. The man is senile, there is no denying it, we cannot count on anything better from him in the rest of the campaign. Cognitive decline goes one way only. Peoples assessment that he is unfit is correct, to lead a campaign, let alone a country.

    I did find out that the name ‘Nosferatu’ is Romanian for ‘the insufferable one.’Wayfarer

    Lol, it's true
  • US Election 2024 (All general discussion)
    Biden's competent, effective administration is not populated by "senile bitches"; however, The Clown's "Project 2025" will be populated by a fanatically loyal horde of "incorrigible morons" just like him.180 Proof

    We know this, but does America? Administrations are largely unseen. What was seen was a doddering old fool, next to which the malignant moron seemed sharp. It is America, not you and me, that is set to fail the national IQ test. Again.

    Hysterical? As it stands, Trump's victory is all but guaranteed. Even before this, Bidens polling was terrible, losing every swing state. Now, it's over. The arrogant whim of a single, senile bitch is what is guaranteeing neofascist America, to run or not is his prerogative alone.
  • US Election 2024 (All general discussion)
    a second Trump term likely being a death knell for the environment (and therefore life as we’ve known it)Mikie

    Ceding life as we know it to the incorrigible morons is bad enough. Ceding it to senile bitch Biden? It's too much. Biden has to go.

    but in a week no one will really care.Mikie
    I think not. All Trump's pathological stupidities, outrages, and crimes have apparently slid down the memory hole already. But Repubs remind us incessantly of shit they just make up. This debate was an audio visual GOLD MINE for them. No one will be forgetting any of it before November. Even without their help, it was too emotionally visceral, too memorable, it will stay burned into people's heads. The painful cringe was enough to ensure that, it was downright traumatic watching it live. This was a death blow to an already flawed, faltering campaign.

    Here is the "Dean Scream" that doomed Howard Dean's campaign: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6i-gYRAwM0&ab_channel=CNN

    2004 Howard Dean, scream and all, would LANDSLIDE Trump. NO CONTEST. Keep the scream, add some wet nasty hot mic'd farts, a commando dropped fly, I don't care. That scream was a M80 firecracker next to Biden's H-BOMB of a performance.
  • US Election 2024 (All general discussion)
    What a debacle.

    In the immediate aftermath the momentum for forcing Biden out felt overwhelming. But now with enough authority figures in the DNC rallying behind their man, it might be faltering a bit.

    It would be a horrific mistake to keep Biden after last night. Already, he was one of the few candidates that could lose to Trump. He literally has no chance now, the optics were that bad, and fed right in to the very strong preexisting narrative that he is too old and feeble. My hope is that the next batch of poll numbers will be so bad that there will be no choice.

    Shame on the Fucking DNC for cancelling primaries and foisting this "choice" on people.

    I am happy the Dems are in turmoil. They fully deserve that and more.Baden
    Not their problem. Another 4 years of great donations where they can play "Resistance". They are not and cannot go anywhere, thanks to our totally broken electoral system. No, the problem is entirely ours.
    .
  • Is communism an experiment?
    And that cannot happen in a monetized economy, because powerful vested interests will do anything to thwart it.Vera Mont

    Not just thwart it. They will coopt the system so that they are the true polity: the system's desires becomes their desires, which are at odds with any kind of communalism. I think there is truth in the Communist idea that it is incompatible with democracy. A strong party must always be in place to suppress these monied interests, not share power with them... And thereby securing its own controlling interest.
  • Is communism an experiment?
    There has never been a country ruled by communism that didn't end up being a tyranny. Why? Opinion - communism goes against human nature, so it can only be forced on people from above.T Clark

    In a system where "the people" (aka the state) owns everything, tyranny is inevitable.
  • Indirect Realism and Direct Realism

    Thanks, I enjoyed this intersection of (the practice of) art, Buddhism and philosophy. He has a clear (and very clearly articulated) indirect realist perspective. I wonder how the intransigent direct realists here would respond.
  • The Meta-management Theory of Consciousness
    Yes, we interpret those differences via introspection, but it's only with very careful examination that you can use those phenomenal characteristic differences to infer anything about differences of actual cognitive computational processing and representation. I treat the brain as a computational system, and under that paradigm all state is representational. And it's only those representations, and their processing, that I care about.Malcolm Lett

    Nonetheless any theory of consciousness and particularly deliberative consciousness needs to explain how our mental features seem to us to be qualitatively different. Ignoring these differences does not seem constructive, even if they are all ultimately representational. In any case I want to treat self talk here as an example, without claiming it is somehow unique in its neutral implementation.

    Tying this back to your original question a few posts earlier, I think perhaps the question you were asking was something like this: "does MMT suggest that deliberative processing can occur without conscious awareness or involvement, and that conscious experience of it is some sort of after-effect?". In short, yes.Malcolm Lett

    What I was also grasping at in my question is, what exactly do you mean when you say meta management models deliberative thought. From my above post,

    The idea of "model" to me is something like an informationally lossy transformation from one domain into another. A map lossily transforms from physical territory to a piece of paper. A model airplane lossily transforms from big expensive functional machines to small cheap non-functional hobby objects. Representational consciousness lossily transforms from physical reality to phenomenal representations of the world.hypericin

    How do you characterize the modeling in the MMT case? Because to me, "modelling" implies that in the example of self talk, you have two different regimes, language, and the system that language models, which is not parsimonious. Again, without suggesting any special privilege of language, I want to ground your Idea of a modeling feedback loop in a more concrete example.
  • The Meta-management Theory of Consciousness
    At a node deep in the tree, AlphaZero uses a slimmed down version of itself, that is, one with less resources. You could say it uses a model of itself for planning. It may be modelling itself modelling itself modelling itself modelling itself modelling itself modelling itself. Meta-management and self-modelling are not in themselves an explanation for very much.GrahamJ

    "What is a model?" is maybe not easily answered, but this example of a "model" doesn't seem to capture the notion. The slimmed down evaluations are aproximations, but not I think models.

    The idea of "model" to me is something like an informationally lossy transformation from one domain into another. A map lossily transforms from physical territory to a piece of paper. A model airplane lossily transforms from big expensive functional machines to small cheap non-functional hobby objects. Representational consciousness lossily transforms from physical reality to phenomenal representations of the world.

    But a cheap and expensive evaluation function are the same kind of thing: one is just less accurate. The comparison unfairly downplays the power of models, and so of MMT.

    The modeling in MMT, as I understand it, are true models: they transform from the deliberative state of the brain to a phenomenal representation of that state, which in turn informs the next deliberative "state".
  • The Meta-management Theory of Consciousness
    Thus, the rock-based simulation and our reality are effectively the same thing.Malcolm Lett

    It's an interesting question, deserving of it's own thread. But I think this isn't right.

    Strictly speaking a computer cannot simulate anything physical. It's can only simulate the physical thing's informational state. The state of a kidney peeing on your desk, but not a kidney peeing on your desk. That is why an interpreter is needed: it is state, divorced from substrate. That state piggybacks on top of the actual, embodied system: the physical computer, or rockputer. And so, the rock based simulation and our reality are fundamentally different.

    But what if consciousness is itself fundamentally state? While in the physical/informational divide I very much want to place consciousness on the informational side, I don't think this is the same as saying consciousness is state. Consider that in a computer the relevant state is represented in certain memory regions. These memory regions, taken together, are just an enormous binary number. So, while counting to infinity if we reach the same number as the relevant state of a consciousness simulation, will that particular state of consciousness wink into existence? I think not.
  • The Meta-management Theory of Consciousness
    Does that answer your question?Malcolm Lett

    Sorry for the late reply.

    "Epiphenomenal" was a poor choice of words. I think I was and am at least partially misunderstanding you.

    Take an example. I have the deliberation "I should go to the store today", and I am aware of that deliberation. I initially thought you would say that verbalization "I should go to the store today" would be just the summarized cognitive sense of the actual deliberation, some non-verbal, non conscious (I should go to the store today). The language would come after the deliberation, and is not the form that the actual deliberation takes.

    Is this what you think? Or do you think the brain deliberates linguistically whether or not we are aware of it, and the meta management just grants awareness of the language?
  • The Meta-management Theory of Consciousness
    my intuition is that reductive scientific methods can explain consciousness - and so a big motivation -- in fact one of the key drivers for me - is that I want to attempt to push the boundaries of what can be explained through that medium. So I explicitly avoid trying to explain phenomenology based on phenomenology.Malcolm Lett

    I absolutely agree with your intuition.

    Of course, there is a difference between explaining self-awareness and explaining phenomenology. I am trying to explain self-awareness, not phenomenology, with phenomenology. Your theory is clearly an explanation of self-awareness, much less clearly an explanation of phenomenology. As you say, you have an intuition of how it might partly explain it, but struggle to articulate it.

    So I wouldn't say that my theory diminishes any of that, rather that it offers a theory of just one part.Malcolm Lett

    My concern was that you were treating what we in the everyday sense term "deliberation", such as self talk, as epiphenomenal, as the "cognitive sense" corresponding to the real work happening behind the scenes. Was that a misunderstanding? Is self talk not the sort of deliberation you had in mind?
  • The New York Declaration on Animal Consciousness
    “We are survival machines – robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes. This is a truth which still fills me with astonishment.”
    ― Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene

    “I’m a robot, and you’re a robot, but that doesn’t make us any less dignified or wonderful or lovable or responsible for our actions,” Daniel Dennett said. “Why does our dignity depend on our being scientifically inexplicable?”
    Wayfarer

    These are expressions of physicalist reductionism, but this doesn't entail the more drastic reduction to "the 4 Fs".

    F***king, of course, but as a rule I avoid profanity.Wayfarer

    Aw, I had a few more Fs lined up.
  • The New York Declaration on Animal Consciousness
    here have recently been some quite convincing virtual reality attempts to help humans what cats see, hear what bats hear, etc.Vera Mont

    Oh? I work in the VR space, I'm interested in this. Do you have a link?

    Of course, we can make a stab at mapping the sensory ranges of other species onto our own. But this doesn't truly give us the slightest idea of what it is actually, subjectively like to be another animal.

    Come on now.Lionino

    Oh! :yikes: Of course, "father".
  • The New York Declaration on Animal Consciousness
    summarised as 'the four F's' (Feeding, fighting, fleeing, and reproduction.)Wayfarer

    Fecundating? Or fertilizing?
  • The Meta-management Theory of Consciousness


    Incredible op!!! :sparkle: You have clearly poured a lot of thought into the matter, to great effect. I will read your blog post next, and your paper is on my list. I've had similar ideas, though not nearly at your level of depth and detail.

    I think where we most sharply differ is in the nature of deliberation.

    In your account, deliberation is something that chugs along on its own, without awareness. It is only via a meta management process that a predictive summation enters awareness.

    But this is at odds with my introspective account of deliberation. Deliberation itself seems to be explicitly phenomenal: I speak to my self (auditory), and this self talk is often accompanied by imagery (visual). The conscious brain seems to speak to itself in the same "language" that the unconscious brain speaks to it: the language of sensation.

    Is your idea that phenomena such as self talk is a model of the unconscious deliberation that is actually taking place? This does not seem to do justice to the power that words and images have as tools for enabling thought, not just in providing some sort of executive summary. Think of the theory that language evolved primarily not for communication but as a means of enabling thought as we know it. Can meta management explain the gargantuan cognitive leap we enjoy over our nearest animal neighbors?

    If deliberation is phenomenal, then there is no need for this meta management process. Deliberation enters awareness in a manner that is co-equal with the phenomenal models of the external world. If deliberation goes off the rails, then the executive brain can regulate it, since deliberation is at least partially voluntary.

    The evolutionary novelty enabling deliberation would be the ability of the executive brain to insert phenomenal models into it's own inputs. This explains the relative feebleness of especially visual imagery: the same predictive modeling systems used by sensation are *not* reused by the executive brain. Rather, it (sometimes quite crudely) mimics them. Audio, being less information dense, is more amenable to this mimicry.

    Since the cost/benefit ratio of this change seems very favorable, we should expect at least crude deliberation to be widespread in nature. Adding language as a deliberative tool is where the real cognitive explosion happened.

    Here is a rough sketch of my alternative take. (I see I used "rumination" for "deliberation". )
    20240420-103139.jpg
    remove duplicates online
  • Indirect Realism and Direct Realism
    The second part of my argument is that the sort of competence that we acquire to perceive those invariants aren't competences that our brains have (although our brains enable us to acquire them)Pierre-Normand

    I find this notion very problematic. When we learn anything, we are training our brains to acquire new competences. Not any other organ. Even though, to learn necessarily involves interaction with the environment.

    When we learn to play the piano it is not our fingers that are becoming more clever, but our brains. When we learn to see, our brain, not our eyes, gains the competence to process sensory inputs in such a way that the phenomenological experience of the world we are familiar with is possible. Damage to the occipital lobe of the brain, not to other parts of the body, renders us blindsighted.
  • Indirect Realism and Direct Realism
    I would say that illusions and hallucinations are phenomenal experiences, instead of saying that they are the consequences of phenomenal experiencesLuke

    I'm not saying that they are the consequences of phenomenal experience. I'm saying that mediation makes illusions and hallucinations possible, mediation is the condition for the existence of perceptual errors. This is most clear to me with hallucination: without the meditating layer of phenomenal experience, we simply couldn't hallucinate.
  • Indirect Realism and Direct Realism
    I think the issue is that people misleadingly think of this as being the distinction between direct and indirect realism:Michael

    Nice, I wish this could be stickied at the top of every page of this thread. You made it?
  • Indirect Realism and Direct Realism
    As the MIT roboticist Rodney Brooks once argued, the terrain itself is its own best model - it doesn't need to be re-represented internallyPierre-Normand

    I thought this was curious, so I looked it up. It is mentioned in this article:

    https://www.technologyreview.com/2019/08/21/133411/rodney-brooks/

    “The world is its own best model,” Brooks wrote. “It is always exactly up to date. It always contains every detail there is to be known. The trick is to sense it appropriately and often enough.”

    The inspiration:
    “I’m watching these insects buzz around. And they’ve got tiny, tiny little brains, some as small 100,000 neurons, and I’m thinking, ‘They can’t do the mathematics I’m asking my robots to do for an even simpler thing. They’re hunting. They’re eating. They’re foraging. They’re mating. They’re getting out of my way when I’m trying to slap them. How are they doing all this stuff? They must be organized differently.’


    This is the inventor of the Roomba, which to me tells you everything you need to know. Which is not to put him down the slightest bit. He had the insight everyone else missed: Everyone trying to build robots implicitly had the idea of modelling higher animals. But why do this? This is not the path evolution took. Why not instead draw inspiration from vastly simpler creatures, who do not model at all?

    This is what I proposed as the meaning of "direct perception", to contrast with indirect perception:

    Think of an amoeba, light hits a photo receptor, and by some logic the amoeba moves one way or the other.If you regard this as "perception", then this is direct perceptionhypericin

    Human brains, on the other hand, fine tuned by millions of years of evolution and equipped with unmatched computational power, are modelers par excellence. We are not organized like insects, who respond directly to the environment. We build models, and then respond to the models. And phenomenal experience is exactly those models. It is nothing less than a virtual world, and the basis for all of our decisions and actions.

    In their manner of responding intelligently to their environment human brains powerfully leverage the same principle of indirection we see everywhere in engineering.

    This is known as Fundamental theorem of software engineering:

    All problems in computer science can be solved by another level of indirection
  • Indirect Realism and Direct Realism
    This was the first part of my argument against indirect realism.Pierre-Normand
    Then, your first part was an argument against a straw man, since an indirect realist can (and should, and does, imo) agree that phenomenological content is only accessible following all neural processing.
  • Indirect Realism and Direct Realism


    One question: why did the brain adjust for color constancy in the cube picture but not the snow pictures?
  • Indirect Realism and Direct Realism
    Direct realists believe that we perceive external objects whereas indirect realists believe that we perceive internal objects. You continue to avoid this difference between the two views by claiming that they are the same view.Luke

    Again, if we do not perceive/experience/have awarenesw of internal objects, what are we perceiving/experiencing/aware of when we hallucinate? External objects?
  • Indirect Realism and Direct Realism
    And yet you argue that we can never know if the smell of smoke indicates that there is smoke (or that one perceives smoke), due to the possibility of illusion, hallucination or error.Luke

    If we know it, to "know" must accommodate a degree of uncertainty. If it does not, we don't know it.

    Naive realism and indirect realism are both based on the presupposition that there is a “correct” way to perceive the world, which is to perceive the world as it is in itself. Naive realism supposes that we do perceive the world as it is in itself. Indirect realists oppose naive realism based on the possibility of illusion, hallucination or error.Luke

    No, indirect realism does not presuppose a correct way of seeing the world. There is no such thing as correctly perceiving the world as it is in itself. Rather, the best we can do is derive true propositional content about the state of the world. via perception.

    Indirect realism opposes direct realism based on the fundamental meditative role brain-produced phenomenal experience plays in our contact with the world. Illusion, hallucinations, and error are consequences of, and are only possible because of, this mediation.

    If this presupposition is rejected, then it is no longer a question of whether or not we perceive the world as it is in itself directly, but a question of whether or not we perceive the world directly. The latter does not require a superhuman form of perception that can infallibly see "behind" the appearance of the world, but simply a form of perception that provides an appearance of the world, fallible or not.Luke

    That contact with the world is mediated by an appearance that is itself not the world can only mean that contact with the world is indirect. The fact that direct contact with the world is not possible does not constitute an argument against this.

    You seem want to argue that because direct, immediate experiential contact with the world is impossible and even incoherent, therefore, there is direct, immediate experiential contact with the world. No, if unmediated experience of the world is impossible, experience of the world is therefore mediated.
  • Indirect Realism and Direct Realism


    I like the examples you (and Claude) have been giving, but I don't seem to draw the same conclusion.

    I don't think indirect realism presupposes or requires that phenomenal experience is somehow a passive reflection of sensory inputs. Rather the opposite, a passive brain reflecting its environment seems to be a direct realist conception. These examples seem to emphasize the active role the brain plays in constructing the sensory panoply we experience, which is perfectly in line with indirect realism.

    For instance, in the very striking cube illusion you presented, we only experience the square faces as brown and orange because the brain is constructing an experience that reflects its prediction about the physical state of the cube: that the faces must in fact have different surface properties, in spite of the same wavelengths hitting the retina at the two corresponding retinal regions.

    That such a thing could happen at all is only possible if our sensory experience is an interpretive construction. And if it our experience of the world is via an interpretive construction, our experience of the world is surely not "direct".

    And none of these examples demonstrate that phenomenological experience does not supervene on brain states. Rather, we can be sure that the brain states corresponding to the two perceived colors are different from that induced by the same scene without the shadow. That is because brain states don't dumbly correspond to raw sensory inputs but are reflections of the brain's active, predictive powers.
  • Indirect Realism and Direct Realism
    You can't say that it doesn't matter if these are indistinct, because otherwise your position becomes direct realism. If the "taste" and your "awareness of the taste" were indistinct then there would be no intermediary and they would both be directly of the object.

    In other words, you claim that we have indirect awareness of external objects because our awareness is mediated by our perceptual experience, but you also find no problem in collapsing the distinction between our awareness of our perceptual experience and our perceptual experience. If you collapse this distinction, then you lose the indirectness.
    Luke

    Even if you collapse the distinction, there are still two awarenesses: object awareness, and perceptual experience, which is itself awareness. Object awareness is still mediated by perceptual experience: we are only aware of objects because of perceptual experience (which we are also aware of, as perceptual experience is awareness).
  • Indirect Realism and Direct Realism
    It is indirect realists who seem to think it is impossible for our perceptions to be veridical, and this seems to be because we either do not perceive the world "correctly" or because we cannot know whether we perceive the world "correctly".Luke

    "Correct", "Veridical", or not, is the wrong framing.

    Consider a live TV broadcast. The images you see may veridical, they may accurately depict the reality that was being filmed. Or, it may be doctored in various ways, or may be manufactured from whole cloth, by AI perhaps. The focus is not on whether the broadcast is correct or not. Clearly, sometimes it is. But rather, the mediation that is the TV is what the indirect realist focuses on. Without this mediation, the kind of non-veridicality TV's enable would be impossible.

    Similarly, perceptual experience might sometimes accurately reflect reality, in perceptual experience's own terms. But all our contact with reality is entirely framed in terms of perceptual experience, which itself is wholly the mind's construct. In the same way, any contact you have with the reality "behind" the TV is literally framed by the construct that is the TV.
  • Indirect Realism and Direct Realism
    Where I disagree with you is in your apparent view that perception is merely "a passive reception of sensory data", which awaits our awareness (or not). I find it difficult to separate this view from the homunculus view.Luke

    This is not my view. I am noncommittal as to the nature of awareness of perceptual experience. What I am committed to is that perceptual experience and awareness of objects are two different things.

    I am fine with this formulation:
    Awareness of objects is mediated by perceptual experience, the notion of which is inclusive of awareness of itself.