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Re: [evol-psych] Essay: Without Infinite Regress

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  • Mark Hubey
    ... We refers to the readers who are also the thinkers behind what we think is going on. That we refers not to the humonculus but to something else. That
    Message 1 of 51 , Nov 30, 2008
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      Robert Karl Stonjek wrote:
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: "Mark Hubey" <HubeyH@...
      > <mailto:HubeyH@...>>
      > To: <evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com
      > <mailto:evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com>>
      > Sent: Monday, December 01, 2008 12:30 PM
      > Subject: Re: [evol-psych] Essay: Without Infinite Regress
      >
      > >
      > > Sussa Björkholm wrote:
      > > > On Sun, Nov 30, 2008 at 4:53 PM, Robert Karl Stonjek
      > > > <stonjek@... <mailto:stonjek@...>> wrote:
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >> And who is this 'you' that forgets the wife and switches
      > attention to the
      > > >> tiger? A think you are missing an elephant in the room - you have
      > > >> introduced a 'we'. To eliminate recursion, there can be no
      > independent
      > > >> 'we'.
      > > >>
      > > >> The only way to solve the problem is to toss the viewer into the
      > soup and
      > > >> blend him/her in. Now you have a soup complete with viewer. In
      > a practical
      > > >> sense, the view includes the viewer, each new ingredient added to
      > the soup
      > > >> causes a ripple through the entire brew.
      > > >>
      > > >
      > > > You are so right! And I really enjoyed the essay. It is always a
      > > > pleasure to read he results of a clear brain at work.
      > > >
      > > > I (here we go again..) believe that the following might apply: In a
      > > > brain cellular activity can be caused via two different routes.
      > > >
      > > > 1) Energies external to the central nervous system smash into specific
      > > > structures whose activity is electrochemical. These are of course are
      > > > sensory receptors. As the information becomes electrochemical, it is
      > > > understood by our nervous system and can be conveyed from neuron to
      > > > neuron.
      > > >
      > > > 2) There are circuits at least in the brain stem that have intrinsic
      > > > rhythms of activation. This means, that they do not need to be aroused
      > > > by input, but can in turn activate other neurons.
      > > >
      > > > Some combination of neurons active at one time is consciousness (the
      > > > we, the homunculus).
      > >
      > > If we are aware (e.g. conscious, cognizant) of something, say, x.
      > Then we are "conscious of x" e.g. C(x).
      > >
      > > If we are conscious of being conscious (the very definition of
      > recursion) then this is minimally C(C(x)).
      > >
      > > That means we are conscious of being conscious of x. That is
      > typically called "awareness".
      > >
      > > If we mean "being conscious in general of having conscious
      > experiences" then we have to make a small modification. Let P be the
      > product symbol (e.g. large Pi). Then writing x(i) for x-subscript-i,
      > consciousness is C(C(Px(i)); that is we are conscious in general of
      > being conscious of many things.
      > >
      > > So far there is no homunculus here. It is possible that this spot
      > (module) is not needed because what is to be accomplished (above) can
      > be distributed over the brain. Then apparently, if we must have a
      > homunculus, the brain is the homunculus.
      > >
      > >
      > <Snip>
      >
      > *RKS:*
      > In the above explanation, you use the term 'we' eight times,
      > apparently without noticing. The 'we' is the homunculus you need to
      > account for.

      We refers to the readers who are also the thinkers behind what "we"
      think is going on. That "we" refers not to the humonculus
      but to something else. That "we" is what is being explained in how [I
      think] things happen.

      Of course, you can take the "module" where things happen and decide to
      call it the humonculus. I do not know what
      the humonculus is. I think it comes from or is related to the story
      "exorcising the ghost in the machine" that comes from
      the 19th century.

      Back when Germany built its first railroad, a train stopped in some
      village. The villagers who had never before seen a
      train asked what made the train go. The engineer explained about the
      fire, the piston, the pressure in the piston etc. He
      talked about energy, power and all that. The villagers would have none
      of it. They thought the locomotive (engine) had a horse in it.

      The engineer, exasparated, then asked "OK, what then makes the horse
      go?" The villagers went together and huddled and
      came back; "We figured it out. The horse, in each of its hooves has
      smaller horses"

      I do not need a humonculus. The whole brain is apparently the
      humonculus, for those who must have a humonculus.

      I do not get what you are getting at.

      <Snip>

      --
      Regards,

      H.M. Hubey
    • Mark Hubey
      ... To be strictly correct, that is impossible. One can only talk about how one feels and there is no guarantee that anyone can actually feel the same
      Message 51 of 51 , Dec 3, 2008
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        andy_morleyuk wrote:
        >
        >
        >
        > Really, to communicate and understand the world of the subjective,
        > you need art and literature. That is the best language we have for
        > addressing such things at the present stage of Human development.
        >

        To be strictly correct, that is impossible. One can only talk about how
        one feels
        and there is no guarantee that anyone can actually feel the same subjective
        feelings.

        This is nothing but silly circularity. The only thing you accomplish,
        thru a long
        laborius and wasteful exercise is to let people know that they seem to have
        things in common.

        There are lots of ways of doing it without art (painting-sculpture) or
        literature (professional lies).

        To be sure, if everything is art, then by definition science is art. If
        everything is a
        narrative (literature) then physics is literature. We just wasted months
        on this topic.

        --
        Regards,

        H.M. Hubey
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