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Do we produce or percieve thoughts?

 
 
Cyracuz
 
Reply Sat 4 Dec, 2010 10:11 pm
What is a thought?

When you have a thought, is that thought something your mind produces, or is it something it "senses"?
How do you generally percieve it to be?

It seems to me that the generally accepted belief is that the mind produces thoughts. Contrary to the nose, which does not produce any information, merely percieves it.

So which is it? Does the mind produce thoughts, or is the brain some kind of sensory organ similar to our physical senses, that percieves an environment?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 6 • Views: 4,176 • Replies: 24
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Render
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Dec, 2010 10:41 pm
@Cyracuz,
I think it does both.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2010 02:19 am
@Cyracuz,
The view I favour, "linguistic determinism", is that "thoughts" are "internal conversations". (Also known as the strong form of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis) . It is futile to ask who is having such conversations since such "selves" can be deemed to be an epiphenomenon of language itself (Daniel Dennett).

Fom my own point of view, I used to hold linguistic determinism as merely hypothetical until I began to realise that on being woken from a dream and writing down the bizarre aspects of the dream scenario, I noticed that "dream entities" were loosely linked to each other linguistically rather than logically.
...[For example, an instance of "playing golf" could evoke "a woman in a green... dress" causing a switch to a scene of a "presidential address", by the president of the golf club]...
Francis
 
  2  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2010 02:31 am
fresco wrote:
"a woman in a greendress" causing a switch to a scene of a "presidential address"

As far as I'm concerned it would switch to undress...
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2010 02:36 am
@Francis,
...only in the case of Sheila Green the dental nurse !...
Francis
 
  2  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2010 02:41 am
@fresco,
I'm lost, I don't know her which buries me in deep thoughts and probably sorrows..
0 Replies
 
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2010 01:12 pm
@fresco,
I had a brief period where I tried writing down my dreams, but my experience was that both logical and linguistical coherence was something I had to invent in the writing.

I am not sure that I fully understand the idea that thought automatically relates to language, which seems to be implied when calling thought an epiphenomenon of language.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2010 02:03 pm
@Cyracuz,
Cyracuz wrote:

What is a thought?

When you have a thought, is that thought something your mind produces, or is it something it "senses"?
How do you generally percieve it to be?

It seems to me that the generally accepted belief is that the mind produces thoughts. Contrary to the nose, which does not produce any information, merely percieves it.

So which is it? Does the mind produce thoughts, or is the brain some kind of sensory organ similar to our physical senses, that percieves an environment?


We produce thoughts which are, themselves, based on information we have received from the world, and which we process into (what else?) human knowledge. The information comes in via our senses. The analogy is to a sausage machine. In go the ingredients for sausages. Out come the sausages in a particular form which the sausage gives to them. The mind is the machine. The sausages are the knowledge. The ingredients are, of course, the data-input.

Do we perceive the data (the ingredients) or the out-put. The sausages. Not our own, although we are aware of them (for the most part). Do we perceive the public data, and the public output? Yes, of course.
mickalos
 
  2  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2010 03:47 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:

Cyracuz wrote:

What is a thought?

When you have a thought, is that thought something your mind produces, or is it something it "senses"?
How do you generally percieve it to be?

It seems to me that the generally accepted belief is that the mind produces thoughts. Contrary to the nose, which does not produce any information, merely percieves it.

So which is it? Does the mind produce thoughts, or is the brain some kind of sensory organ similar to our physical senses, that percieves an environment?


We produce thoughts which are, themselves, based on information we have received from the world, and which we process into (what else?) human knowledge. The information comes in via our senses. The analogy is to a sausage machine. In go the ingredients for sausages. Out come the sausages in a particular form which the sausage gives to them. The mind is the machine. The sausages are the knowledge. The ingredients are, of course, the data-input.

Do we perceive the data (the ingredients) or the out-put. The sausages. Not our own, although we are aware of them (for the most part). Do we perceive the public data, and the public output? Yes, of course.

This sounds like an endorsement of the myth of the given, at least if you mean "information" to be something like a Humean impression, something non-propositional. Of course, the idea of being able to base our beliefs on an unconceptualised Given is a myth because only something propositional can stand in relations of warrant to other propositional items, such as beliefs. I won't make an attempt at gastronomic metaphor, but it seems to me that if experience is to ground knowledge of the world (which it patently does) then what is given in experience must be propositional, and that, I think, means that what is given in experience is belief. That is to say, people who have been appropriately trained and have acquired the relevant conceptual capacities are caused to have certain perceptual beliefs when confronted with a bit of the world. Of course, we also employ those very same concepts in what might be termed active thinking or judgement.
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fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2010 04:59 pm
@Cyracuz,
If you can conceive of "holistic consciousness" (which seems to be the case from your posts) then it is but a short step to think of language as a "communicative field" through which consciousness manifests. Thus "consciousness" is not a priori whereas "language mechanisms" are. I this view, language is re - presentational (Vorstellung)as opposed to representational (Darstellung) is as much that evokes and organizes internal aspects of "interaction with the world". It does not mirror an "objective reality" as in a "correspondence theory of truth". Such internal re-presentation (neural re-living) might be called "thought".
0 Replies
 
permoda12345
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Jan, 2011 01:58 am
@Render,
we don't produce thoughts its kind of inspiration ,as if some body is talking to me , it's creativity . brain is blood , tissues and cells they don't produce thoughts .its light energy .
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Jan, 2011 02:19 am
@permoda12345,
I don´t see the contradiction...why should n´t blood tissue and cells be able to produce and store information or thoughts ??? you are off track there...
0 Replies
 
vikorr
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Jan, 2011 05:00 am
@Cyracuz,
Because language itself structured, and we use that structure to communicate, that structure becomes automated in our mind and thereby permeates a lot of what we 'think'. And words themselves are merely rooted in concepts to which we have an automated associated sound or set of sounds...but considering we sometimes struggle to convey the concept (ie find the right word, or set of words), thoughts themselves are not words, despite that we may perceive it so (because of the automated associates and structures).

In an emergency, where we have to make a split second life or death decision and action, we can do so in a split second, and we can often later articulate our 'thoughts' which can take hours to do...for thoughts that occurred in a split second. Were thoughts the words, it could be hypothetically argued that we would have taken those hours to make the split second decision.

I don't see the need to separate what I smell from 'thought'. As soon as I become aware of a smell, that 'smell' becomes a concept in my mind, to which I can then put words.

0 Replies
 
G H
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Jan, 2011 11:42 am
@Cyracuz,
Quote:
So which is it? Does the mind produce thoughts, or is the brain some kind of sensory organ similar to our physical senses, that percieves an environment?


What rock, tree, dog, rainfall, etc., in the environment would be producing a linguistic thought like "I need to get to work, I'm late" that Jane could be perceiving and mistakenly believing to be a thought produced by her? Why would such items in the environment have an painful recollection of what Jane's toothache felt like last week along with a visual-like memory of her visit to the dentist, from her POV?

Instead of subsuming all private and public experiences under "thoughts", maybe you should narrow down to asking if the objectively classified manifestations are the existence of the immediate, live environment itself or a simulation produced by the brain via a chain of processes (i.e., the body's sensory receptors being stimulated by photons, atmospheric oscillations, tactile contact with things, etc., and the nerve relaying of the resulting electrochemical impulses to specific areas of the brain).
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Jan, 2011 11:41 pm
@G H,
Geeee...your narrow notion of "thought" or "language" is appalling !...probably you don´t have a clue on what information refers to either...

The problem with this kind of contends is that people usually think that facts should adapt to our concepts...instead of adapting our concepts to what is factual...
I don´t have a problem in saying that nature is aware or produces thoughts in a certain very specific simplified way in which information is somehow converted or processed...but that in turn does n´t mean that I can possibly believe that "nature´s thoughts" at large have the smallest resemblance with human or even animal thinking...the sad sorrow result of this dual, black and white narrow-minded thinking ? Hardcore science asses on one side, and delusional day dreamers and poets on the other...run forest from both is my motto...arghhhhh !
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Jan, 2011 12:09 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Quote:
The problem with this kind of contends is that people usually think that facts should adapt to our concepts...instead of adapting our concepts to what is factual...


To avoid "Wittgensteinners" and others such like harassers, instead one should read:

The problem with this kind of contends is that people usually think that conventional conceptual signifiers, even if internally coherent, should adapt to our personnel functional concepts...instead of adapting our concepts to those very same socially shared signifiers without loosing the particularity´s of our original and unique perspective...

from where it follows the 2 part :

Quote:
...I don´t have a problem in saying that nature is aware or produces thoughts in a certain very specific simplified way in which information is somehow converted or processed...but that in turn does n´t mean that I can possibly believe that "nature´s thoughts" at large have the smallest resemblance with human or even animal thinking...the sad sorrow result of this dual, black and white narrow-minded thinking ? Hardcore science asses on one side, and delusional day dreamers and poets on the other...run forest from both is my motto...arghhhhh !


...its a gross mistake to think that one has to assault "standard definitions" to bring in personnel perspective...actually its is possible to do both with minimal conflict.
0 Replies
 
G H
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Jan, 2011 12:28 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Quote:
Geeee...your narrow notion of "thought" or "language" is appalling !...probably you don´t have a clue on what information refers to either...


You're actually subsuming "information" under "thoughts", making the latter into the broader category as well as being ubiquitous?

Quote:
I don´t have a problem in saying that nature is aware or produces thoughts in a certain very specific simplified way in which information is somehow converted or processed...


Yes, that seems to be case: You're asserting that the general environment really does have either thoughts or consists of thoughts? You believe it's a mind -- or what? Is this some brand of objective idealism or panpsychism which you're standing on a soapbox for?

Quote:
but that in turn does n´t mean that I can possibly believe that "nature´s thoughts" at large have the smallest resemblance with human or even animal thinking...


Then why proclaim it has such products usually assigned to a person, animal, or brain to begin with ("thoughts")? Does the universe resemble a biological organism in structure? Where are its memories located? Can it recall what it did last week and express opinions about it?

Quote:
the sad sorrow result of this dual, black and white narrow-minded thinking ? Hardcore science asses on one side, and delusional day dreamers and poets on the other...run forest from both is my motto...arghhhhh !


????? I can hardly comment further without more clarification about your planetary origin. :-)
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Jan, 2011 12:38 pm
@G H,
Let me put it the other way around, there are no "thoughts", there is information processing and several categories of "processors"...hope that helps ! :-)
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Jan, 2011 12:49 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
I'm reminding Fil that "information" is defined as "that which resolves a choice between alternatives". It therefore assumes that the user/definer of such "information" is goal directed. It is for this reason that G.H.'s "panpsychism" suggestion to you makes perfect sense.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Jan, 2011 12:58 pm
@fresco,
Every information conversion is goal directed therefore necessarily functional, we call it movement or momentum daily speaking, it forms algorithms...it can go from rocks, to people, to chips...for those who believe in "free will" there is a choice, for those who don´t there´s simply a necessary chain of assembling processes...and this is my "sad" output, nevertheless thanks for the "optimistic" input Fresco, cheers ! Wink
0 Replies
 
 

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