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Re: [existlist] Re: Knowledge & Experience & Postmodern & Dialectic & Freedom & Responsibility

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  • eduardathome
    Mary, Thought is empirical and should be examined through philosophy, not neuroscience. It is not about what is thought, but rather the thoughting ... the
    Message 1 of 9 , Dec 30, 2012
      Mary,

      "Thought is empirical and should be examined through philosophy, not
      neuroscience."

      It is not about what is thought, but rather the thoughting ... the act of
      thinking. And that is in the realm of neuroscience. I am assuming your use
      of "neuroscience" relates to my position that our thinking is of the brain
      ... the workings of our neurons.

      But lets look more closely at your statement....

      Yes thought is empirical. It is what we interpret from observation. But
      "observation" is also neuroscience [to use your word]. We "observe" by
      means of our brains. But then so too is rational thought. We rationalize
      stuff by means of our brains ... neural processing.

      And philosophy itself is neuroscience. It is what someone thought by use of
      their brains. Everything we think, philosophize about occurs in our brains.

      As I said before, there is a huge resistance to accepting that we think by
      using our brains. We do make some concession to such thinking acts as
      remembering our telephone number, but things like spirituality and mysticism
      and such has to occur elsewhere. Whereas they are just more neural
      activity.

      By the way, how can one examine thought through philosophy??

      eduardathome


      -----Original Message-----
      From: Mary
      Sent: Sunday, December 30, 2012 1:32 PM
      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [existlist] Re: Knowledge & Experience & Postmodern & Dialectic &
      Freedom & Responsibility

      eduard, Bill, and all,

      I'll try to begin by answering your question about structure, limitation,
      and the miraculous. Because we are interlocked beings 'wrapped around' our
      respective voids, the structural alienation of individual perception seems
      an insurmountable obstacle. What is miraculous is that through our
      individual development from consciousness to individual sense perception to
      self-consciousness and the ability to communicate, we are able to overcome
      our individuality, albeit to a very small degree.

      What we perceive and think is shared only through verbal and physical
      communication. Our experiences are individual. Observation of others having
      what seem to be identical individual experiences simultaneously is not the
      same as universal experience. As you say, each one is interpreting
      individually. The only things we can claim as universal are the activities
      themselves--perception and experience--not particular individual ones. Our
      particular experiences are instances of the universal and reflect the
      another indirectly and imperfectly.

      This is why I hesitate to describe particular and individual experiences,
      whether perception, thought or feeling, as truth. Truth requires proof:
      reality and knowledge do not. Though I speak here with a degree of
      certainty, my "truth" as you call it, is merely informal theory or
      hypothesis and additionally is based on or adapted from others' ideas. This
      is the nature of thought: it is shared via common language or symbols, not
      essentially.

      I suppose you'll say I'm hair splitting or muddying the terms: knowledge,
      truth, reality. I've often carelessly used them interchangeably, but they
      deserve some philosophical rigor. I welcome your questions and challenges,
      because they help demonstrate our limitations (finitude) and the need for
      multiple perspectives in order to more precisely show how thought moves
      within itself and between others. Thought is superior to experience because
      it is shared through language if one is concerned with the solidarity which
      accompanies history and politics. Experience is superior is you are strictly
      solitary.

      Reality is what we experience. Knowledge is what we learn. Both develop and
      change. Truth is absolute and wholly unattainable; it appear as, across and
      between its parts. What reality and knowledge have in common is our thought,
      but reason is truth itself, not its particular transitory determinations.

      I think the difficulty with the term 'absolute truth' lies in 'absolute.'
      For me it means total, whole, universal, infinite, but I can't experience
      it. Truth is momentarily glimpsed through its particular phenomena but
      elusively recedes, resisting our grasp. how could we ever comprehend the
      absolute?

      You're right that a positivist can't be considered postmodern, since
      postmodern theory includes scepticism about science itself as an absolute
      model for truth. Its relativism refutes formal objective truth. So like
      Bill, I'm also a little confused about its description. It does seem wrapped
      up in leftist sentiment and terminology, respecting the individual's quest
      for meaning to a fault, but that aligns with existentialism, along with a
      political correctness which generally strays from experience, etc. For me
      postmodern is a reaction to perceived strictures of what is modern and
      denies formal structure to anything.

      Dialectical reason means to me the kind of thought which is able to move
      between oppositions, contradictions and is also characterized by determining
      between differences, and the principle of negation, that knowledge is
      developed through negation and sublation.

      I agree with Sartre's take on freedom and responsibility, an ethical atheism
      recently promoted by Zizek. If the void means freedom, responsibility is
      freedom in action. Freedom is and isn't the lack of constraint, and
      responsibility implies there are things for which we are not responsible. As
      with Nietzsche, this is a treacherous slough.

      Thought is empirical and should be examined through philosophy, not
      neuroscience.

      Mary
    • Mary
      eduard, Speculative reason or philosophy is not the same as common or ordinary thinking. All that neuroscience can do is observe and measure where thinking
      Message 2 of 9 , Dec 30, 2012
        eduard,

        Speculative reason or philosophy is not the same as common or ordinary thinking.

        All that neuroscience can do is observe and measure where thinking occurs in the brain; it can't account for the content of thought. Nor does it take into account the entire body and its environments as part of a feedback loop. I don't deny that neuronal processes are involved in thought and emotion but that they are only part of a larger system including and extending from the body, even to other minds. Neither science nor philosophy can prove definitively what consciousness is, nor can one's individual experience with it be extrapolated into a universal.

        Philosophical or speculative reason is scientific because it observes and examines how thought develops among people and it tries to establish abstract and concrete categories or at least improve on existing principles which may possibly determine why people think as they do. Any approach which cannot sort cause from effect is inherently flawed.

        Mary

        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome <yeoman@...> wrote:
        >
        > Mary,
        >
        > "Thought is empirical and should be examined through philosophy, not
        > neuroscience."
        >
        > It is not about what is thought, but rather the thoughting ... the act of
        > thinking. And that is in the realm of neuroscience. I am assuming your use
        > of "neuroscience" relates to my position that our thinking is of the brain
        > ... the workings of our neurons.
        >
        > But lets look more closely at your statement....
        >
        > Yes thought is empirical. It is what we interpret from observation. But
        > "observation" is also neuroscience [to use your word]. We "observe" by
        > means of our brains. But then so too is rational thought. We rationalize
        > stuff by means of our brains ... neural processing.
        >
        > And philosophy itself is neuroscience. It is what someone thought by use of
        > their brains. Everything we think, philosophize about occurs in our brains.
        >
        > As I said before, there is a huge resistance to accepting that we think by
        > using our brains. We do make some concession to such thinking acts as
        > remembering our telephone number, but things like spirituality and mysticism
        > and such has to occur elsewhere. Whereas they are just more neural
        > activity.
        >
        > By the way, how can one examine thought through philosophy??
        >
        > eduardathome
        >
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: Mary
        > Sent: Sunday, December 30, 2012 1:32 PM
        > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: [existlist] Re: Knowledge & Experience & Postmodern & Dialectic &
        > Freedom & Responsibility
        >
        > eduard, Bill, and all,
        >
        > I'll try to begin by answering your question about structure, limitation,
        > and the miraculous. Because we are interlocked beings 'wrapped around' our
        > respective voids, the structural alienation of individual perception seems
        > an insurmountable obstacle. What is miraculous is that through our
        > individual development from consciousness to individual sense perception to
        > self-consciousness and the ability to communicate, we are able to overcome
        > our individuality, albeit to a very small degree.
        >
        > What we perceive and think is shared only through verbal and physical
        > communication. Our experiences are individual. Observation of others having
        > what seem to be identical individual experiences simultaneously is not the
        > same as universal experience. As you say, each one is interpreting
        > individually. The only things we can claim as universal are the activities
        > themselves--perception and experience--not particular individual ones. Our
        > particular experiences are instances of the universal and reflect the
        > another indirectly and imperfectly.
        >
        > This is why I hesitate to describe particular and individual experiences,
        > whether perception, thought or feeling, as truth. Truth requires proof:
        > reality and knowledge do not. Though I speak here with a degree of
        > certainty, my "truth" as you call it, is merely informal theory or
        > hypothesis and additionally is based on or adapted from others' ideas. This
        > is the nature of thought: it is shared via common language or symbols, not
        > essentially.
        >
        > I suppose you'll say I'm hair splitting or muddying the terms: knowledge,
        > truth, reality. I've often carelessly used them interchangeably, but they
        > deserve some philosophical rigor. I welcome your questions and challenges,
        > because they help demonstrate our limitations (finitude) and the need for
        > multiple perspectives in order to more precisely show how thought moves
        > within itself and between others. Thought is superior to experience because
        > it is shared through language if one is concerned with the solidarity which
        > accompanies history and politics. Experience is superior is you are strictly
        > solitary.
        >
        > Reality is what we experience. Knowledge is what we learn. Both develop and
        > change. Truth is absolute and wholly unattainable; it appear as, across and
        > between its parts. What reality and knowledge have in common is our thought,
        > but reason is truth itself, not its particular transitory determinations.
        >
        > I think the difficulty with the term 'absolute truth' lies in 'absolute.'
        > For me it means total, whole, universal, infinite, but I can't experience
        > it. Truth is momentarily glimpsed through its particular phenomena but
        > elusively recedes, resisting our grasp. how could we ever comprehend the
        > absolute?
        >
        > You're right that a positivist can't be considered postmodern, since
        > postmodern theory includes scepticism about science itself as an absolute
        > model for truth. Its relativism refutes formal objective truth. So like
        > Bill, I'm also a little confused about its description. It does seem wrapped
        > up in leftist sentiment and terminology, respecting the individual's quest
        > for meaning to a fault, but that aligns with existentialism, along with a
        > political correctness which generally strays from experience, etc. For me
        > postmodern is a reaction to perceived strictures of what is modern and
        > denies formal structure to anything.
        >
        > Dialectical reason means to me the kind of thought which is able to move
        > between oppositions, contradictions and is also characterized by determining
        > between differences, and the principle of negation, that knowledge is
        > developed through negation and sublation.
        >
        > I agree with Sartre's take on freedom and responsibility, an ethical atheism
        > recently promoted by Zizek. If the void means freedom, responsibility is
        > freedom in action. Freedom is and isn't the lack of constraint, and
        > responsibility implies there are things for which we are not responsible. As
        > with Nietzsche, this is a treacherous slough.
        >
        > Thought is empirical and should be examined through philosophy, not
        > neuroscience.
        >
        > Mary
        >
      • eduardathome
        Mary, All thought, including speculative reason is thinking and it is through means of the brain. Neuroscience does account for the content of thought. It is
        Message 3 of 9 , Dec 31, 2012
          Mary,

          All thought, including speculative reason is thinking and it is through
          means of the brain.

          Neuroscience does account for the content of thought. It is what we store
          and produce in our brains.

          Like I said there is a huge resistance to think that we actually think. Or
          that the brain produces the words and all the rest of the stuff that is for
          example on these pages.

          Science has proven what consciousness is. It is just the interior workings
          of our brains. My brain processes thought, therefore I am.

          The problem here is that we cannot accept, in expressing ourselves [the
          content], that this is the workings of our brain. The reason is because we
          cannot monitor our thinking process. For example, I am not aware that my
          brain is actually producing these words because I can't see it happen. But
          it does. If I type the the word "existentialism" this is from my brain. If
          Sartre puts it in a book, it is the workings of his brain.

          Because we can't monitor our thinking, we invent the idea of ourselves as
          other than our brain. As something else that can account for the special
          content of thought.

          It is somewhat similar with sight. People tend to think that when we see
          something, the eye is producing an image which is somehow projected on a
          screen in the back of our heads. But there is no image. The eye senses the
          elements of what is projected on the retina [colour, brightness, vertical
          lines, horizontal lines, curves, etc. etc.]. These elements ... there are
          11 or 15 ... are then sent as electrochemical signals to the brain. Think
          of what happens when I "see" my hand. The eye senses colours of red and
          white and this is an element. It also senses vertical and horizontal
          dimensions as well as depth/thickness. My hand has a certain brightness in
          this light. It has shadowing. There isn't an image of a hand in my brain
          ... only stored elements.

          When we "think" of a remembered image, it is just those elements being put
          back together. And the reason why we tend to forget things over time. The
          storage of some element of the image is lost because neurons weaken if not
          used. When an important element is missing, the brain invents one of its
          own. That's why witness reports can be so different. The coat worn by the
          criminal now becomes red because the brain lost the element of a blue coat
          and did a substitution.

          There's no image in our brain of things seen ... no sound of things heard
          ... no sweetness of candy tasted. It's all a bunch of electrochemical
          signals stored in neurons. The same applies to philosophy, religion,
          mysticism or whatever. And these as well are just neuroscience. But we do
          not want to accept the fact.

          We tend to get carried away by the perceived importance of our thoughts.
          Its Ok for the brain to observe and measure ... that's just ordinary
          thinking ... but to talk about philosophy ... that has to come from
          somewhere else.

          So we invent all sorts of things that enables us to account for what we
          think is non-common thinking. And if it is not our mundane brains, then of
          a larger system extending outside of the body. And from there it isn't much
          of a step to consider that we can transmit our thoughts to others, and get
          into other neat stuff like channelling to the dead. Which of course can be
          a lot of fun, but in the end it is only our brains doing their thing.

          There is no fundamental difference in our brain enabling us to jump across a
          mud puddle than to compose a symphony.

          eduardathome

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Mary
          Sent: Sunday, December 30, 2012 8:57 PM
          To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [existlist] Re: Knowledge & Experience & Postmodern & Dialectic &
          Freedom & Responsibility

          eduard,

          Speculative reason or philosophy is not the same as common or ordinary
          thinking.

          All that neuroscience can do is observe and measure where thinking occurs in
          the brain; it can't account for the content of thought. Nor does it take
          into account the entire body and its environments as part of a feedback
          loop. I don't deny that neuronal processes are involved in thought and
          emotion but that they are only part of a larger system including and
          extending from the body, even to other minds. Neither science nor philosophy
          can prove definitively what consciousness is, nor can one's individual
          experience with it be extrapolated into a universal.

          Philosophical or speculative reason is scientific because it observes and
          examines how thought develops among people and it tries to establish
          abstract and concrete categories or at least improve on existing principles
          which may possibly determine why people think as they do. Any approach which
          cannot sort cause from effect is inherently flawed.

          Mary

          --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome <yeoman@...> wrote:
          >
          > Mary,
          >
          > "Thought is empirical and should be examined through philosophy, not
          > neuroscience."
          >
          > It is not about what is thought, but rather the thoughting ... the act of
          > thinking. And that is in the realm of neuroscience. I am assuming your
          > use
          > of "neuroscience" relates to my position that our thinking is of the brain
          > ... the workings of our neurons.
          >
          > But lets look more closely at your statement....
          >
          > Yes thought is empirical. It is what we interpret from observation. But
          > "observation" is also neuroscience [to use your word]. We "observe" by
          > means of our brains. But then so too is rational thought. We rationalize
          > stuff by means of our brains ... neural processing.
          >
          > And philosophy itself is neuroscience. It is what someone thought by use
          > of
          > their brains. Everything we think, philosophize about occurs in our
          > brains.
          >
          > As I said before, there is a huge resistance to accepting that we think by
          > using our brains. We do make some concession to such thinking acts as
          > remembering our telephone number, but things like spirituality and
          > mysticism
          > and such has to occur elsewhere. Whereas they are just more neural
          > activity.
          >
          > By the way, how can one examine thought through philosophy??
          >
          > eduardathome
          >
          >
          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: Mary
          > Sent: Sunday, December 30, 2012 1:32 PM
          > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
          > Subject: [existlist] Re: Knowledge & Experience & Postmodern & Dialectic &
          > Freedom & Responsibility
          >
          > eduard, Bill, and all,
          >
          > I'll try to begin by answering your question about structure, limitation,
          > and the miraculous. Because we are interlocked beings 'wrapped around' our
          > respective voids, the structural alienation of individual perception seems
          > an insurmountable obstacle. What is miraculous is that through our
          > individual development from consciousness to individual sense perception
          > to
          > self-consciousness and the ability to communicate, we are able to overcome
          > our individuality, albeit to a very small degree.
          >
          > What we perceive and think is shared only through verbal and physical
          > communication. Our experiences are individual. Observation of others
          > having
          > what seem to be identical individual experiences simultaneously is not the
          > same as universal experience. As you say, each one is interpreting
          > individually. The only things we can claim as universal are the activities
          > themselves--perception and experience--not particular individual ones. Our
          > particular experiences are instances of the universal and reflect the
          > another indirectly and imperfectly.
          >
          > This is why I hesitate to describe particular and individual experiences,
          > whether perception, thought or feeling, as truth. Truth requires proof:
          > reality and knowledge do not. Though I speak here with a degree of
          > certainty, my "truth" as you call it, is merely informal theory or
          > hypothesis and additionally is based on or adapted from others' ideas.
          > This
          > is the nature of thought: it is shared via common language or symbols, not
          > essentially.
          >
          > I suppose you'll say I'm hair splitting or muddying the terms: knowledge,
          > truth, reality. I've often carelessly used them interchangeably, but they
          > deserve some philosophical rigor. I welcome your questions and challenges,
          > because they help demonstrate our limitations (finitude) and the need for
          > multiple perspectives in order to more precisely show how thought moves
          > within itself and between others. Thought is superior to experience
          > because
          > it is shared through language if one is concerned with the solidarity
          > which
          > accompanies history and politics. Experience is superior is you are
          > strictly
          > solitary.
          >
          > Reality is what we experience. Knowledge is what we learn. Both develop
          > and
          > change. Truth is absolute and wholly unattainable; it appear as, across
          > and
          > between its parts. What reality and knowledge have in common is our
          > thought,
          > but reason is truth itself, not its particular transitory determinations.
          >
          > I think the difficulty with the term 'absolute truth' lies in 'absolute.'
          > For me it means total, whole, universal, infinite, but I can't experience
          > it. Truth is momentarily glimpsed through its particular phenomena but
          > elusively recedes, resisting our grasp. how could we ever comprehend the
          > absolute?
          >
          > You're right that a positivist can't be considered postmodern, since
          > postmodern theory includes scepticism about science itself as an absolute
          > model for truth. Its relativism refutes formal objective truth. So like
          > Bill, I'm also a little confused about its description. It does seem
          > wrapped
          > up in leftist sentiment and terminology, respecting the individual's quest
          > for meaning to a fault, but that aligns with existentialism, along with a
          > political correctness which generally strays from experience, etc. For me
          > postmodern is a reaction to perceived strictures of what is modern and
          > denies formal structure to anything.
          >
          > Dialectical reason means to me the kind of thought which is able to move
          > between oppositions, contradictions and is also characterized by
          > determining
          > between differences, and the principle of negation, that knowledge is
          > developed through negation and sublation.
          >
          > I agree with Sartre's take on freedom and responsibility, an ethical
          > atheism
          > recently promoted by Zizek. If the void means freedom, responsibility is
          > freedom in action. Freedom is and isn't the lack of constraint, and
          > responsibility implies there are things for which we are not responsible.
          > As
          > with Nietzsche, this is a treacherous slough.
          >
          > Thought is empirical and should be examined through philosophy, not
          > neuroscience.
          >
          > Mary
          >




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