3
   

Are We Really Thinking ?

 
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Dec, 2010 09:09 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
I haven't a clue on what you are getting at in 1 and 2. I merely remark that "animals can count" is the epitome of anthropocentricity.
As for number 3, "holistic consciousness" is certainly a possibility, but psychological systems nested within sociological systems is less deistic.
0 Replies
 
mickalos
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Dec, 2010 09:14 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil Albuquerque wrote:

Oh dear, that´s lame...you have a very narrow understanding of what mind is all about...
...expressions like "I judge" bottom line only mean transforming sets of information period...you think the degree of complexity changes the rules, think again...Certainly a mathematician does n´t look at a computer in the same way you do...the difference should be the same between what you and your dog can see...so I guess you´re speaking nonsense...


Speaking of nonsense, what is a "transformation of information"? I think it is essentially empty hand waving on your part with little substance. In short, you, I think, are the one speaking nonsense. Not only that, but you are dismissive without any argumentation, which is intellectually bankrupt.

Let me try and give some meat to your empty thought. The only thing that could possibly count as "transforming sets of information", it seems to me, is inference from one piece of information to another (I don't just mean logical inference, but also evidential, probabilistic or reliability inferences). Now, obviously when I make a judgement, I often do so on the basis of evidence. Certainly, a judgement is something that can stand in inferential relations to other judgable contents, otherwise thought could not be rational, and we could never have knowledge of anything (given that justification is an inference relation). However, in the case of basic perceptual beliefs, it seems to me that I usually do not make an inference, I simply apply the concepts I have at my disposal. When I see that there is a book in front of me, I do not have a reason for thinking that I see a book in front of me, I just see it.

Finally, you missed the point of my talk about concepts and propositional thoughts. The distinction is not between simple propositions and more complex propositions, but between the propositional and the non-propositional. A computer scientist, as you say, would be able to tell me things about computers that would take a lot of theory to understand, where as I would only be able to utter a few simple sentences. However, my simple sentences and the computer scientist's more difficult theoretical ones are both equally propositional; it could be meaningfully said of any of them "It is true that ...". A dog does not have the finely grained concepts that humans have to enable it to be capable of propositional thought, and the distinction between the propositional and the non-propositional is also the distinction between the meaningful and the not meaningful.
wayne
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Dec, 2010 08:52 pm
@mickalos,
You are not even in the same ballpark as what is being discussed.
You need to think a lot farther into the process.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Dec, 2010 01:17 am
@wayne,
Wayne, you are not even on the right bus to the ball park! Wink

Any analysis which suggests the unique role of human language in "thought" is significantly "farther" than those who don't understand the implications of the word "information". Indeed the very concept of "information" is rejected by biologists who look at the continuity of the evolutionary ladder as opposed to the division between humans and the rest.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Dec, 2010 02:03 am
@fresco,
And just what is the "role" of the word Information beyond the relational functional status between entitys???
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Dec, 2010 02:11 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
It has no "functional role" between non-language users. (See the Maturana reference) .
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Dec, 2010 02:17 am
@mickalos,
Inference ultimatelly refers to the reduction of "noise" between functions algorythmic relation, that which we normally call meaning...
...and I can even settle with birds and parrots to make the case, as you should know association at base level starts whith conditioning, "a la" Pavlov, and from there the producing of meaning...

...as for the remaining of your old timer rambling well it sufices to say that it does n' t deserve much comment at all...
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Dec, 2010 02:22 am
@fresco,
There...thats the problem...the meaning of the word information is utterly diferent between us...

What do you think the Moon "says" to Earth in terms of its mass and gravitational pull when it goes around? Words? No. Information!
0 Replies
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Dec, 2010 02:40 am
@wayne,
...some of these guys don't have the slightest notion on the meaning of Function...is to much abstract for them...same can be said upon terms as Language or Information...you know this is not about French English or Portuguese...its not about waves of sound or light...its about MATHS!!! (it can be any of them)


Meaning is just the outcome of a relation between two diferent systems...
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Dec, 2010 07:08 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Mathematically a function is a relationship between two domains, But those domains are linguistically defined. So since domains/sets are "functionally defined" in the the sense of "utility to the observer", it follows that mathematical functionality depends on linguistic functionality to be in place before it can be applied. To argue otherwise would be to advocate "naive realism".

Maturana considers the autpoietic system we call "a living structure" and points out that autopiesis does not require a "purpose", it simply needs to structurally adapt to "perturbations" or it dies. There is no requirement for a concept of "sense data" or "information" from which it makes "survival decisions". Such an informational paradigm lies within the realm of a "languaging observer" who has the ability to run (think) adaptational scenarios via language without bodily engagement. Such sub-vocal languaging manifests as "the ability to predict and control" in a limited manner, and hence to what we (thinkers) call "satisfactory explanations".
But such explanatory adequacy cannot apply to the the system which gives rise to explanation per se .

This is difficult to swallow until you realise that our description of say "a cat stalking a bird and using sense data to do it" is entirely anthropomorphic. There is no "bird" for the cat ! There is only a "disturbance" within the structure of the cat's brain which is genetically selected to activate a cat's "stalking activity". Ontologically we might say there is merely "a stalking" in which "cat and and "bird" are inseparable components, but even the "stalking" is anthropomorphic. Maturana would rather we used the phrase "structural coupling" in which one autopoietic system can trigger change in another by a sort of mutual resonance. Once more, we should consider the starving frog surrounded by "dead flies" if we are to understand this. The lapsed autopoitetic system (dead fly) fails to trigger structural coupling with the frog. Its perturabation (hunger) cannot be structurally resolved.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Dec, 2010 08:00 am
@fresco,
You just described Information as I see it...that "perturbance" that you speak of will establish an operative relation with any other object locally available be it an observer or not...such that it will be always observed in the sense of being filtered by the functional mathematical correlation it will establish with its surroundings...

Information is about correlative functional measurements which wil form a systemic pattern...it does n' t matter tbe medium ("language")...
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Dec, 2010 08:25 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
...The term "functional" is at this light used to separate usefull possible correlational data from all the existing "noisy" possible data going on in between any given number of objects entitys or agents...it refers to the trully operative set amount of information that given the "nature" of each of the intervenients can establish a specific algorythmic relation...that is being "detected" and "affected" in auch and such way...
0 Replies
 
Arjuna
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Dec, 2010 11:46 am
That's cool, thanks Fresco. (I'm coming in from left field, so overlook me if I'm talking at cross purposes.)

But what you said made me think of this: some people carry memories they would describe as "becoming rational." Some people don't. You could say an irrational state is one in which there are no clear divisions between self and not-self. Those who remember having made a transition from irrational to rational will testify that the irrational state is always there coloring experience (as when you call a storm Hugo.) But those who are highly rational just don't recognize it for what it is. A person can be verbal and irrational at the same time... for instance a one year old child who speaks in complete sentences. I say this child isn't making the analyses an adult might assume. It's more like the parrot's ability to speak combined with a dog's language comprehension skills.

I guess it would be natural to think that since this experience is more primal it must be closer to the truth. I don't know if that's your point, though. You could be just referring to it to give a vantage point on rationality... to convey that there are different types of experience.

Except I'm wondering if you are sliding side-ways into suggesting that in the irrational state one is closer to the truth by virtue of lacking the rational lense. I say that because of the way you use the word anthropomorphise (AM).

Actually, AM is part of irrationality. But that's something that can only be seen through the lense of rationality. The day you stopped AMing was the day you learned to say "that is separate from me." You had to have a distinct sense of self to say that.

What we have here is a dance of opposites. We're hopping back and forth... although coming in stronger on the rational side so as not to sound like e e cummings or Iron and Wine (my latest favorite.)

Perhaps the transcendent position is not irrationality. Perhaps it's the middle ground between the two, partaking of both. From the middle ground, you wouldn't judge either to be real or illusion. The illusion is thinking that only one of them is valid. Noticing that you can't talk about one without using the language of the other... that's a sign that they don't exist independent of each other. They imply each other.

So I'm saying the transcendent position could be said to be beyond language, but because it's polylingual... speaking opposing languages simultaneously. Sort of like this:

Everything is one. I am the one who knows that. That sort of thing.






mickalos
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Dec, 2010 11:47 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil Albuquerque wrote:

Inference ultimatelly refers to the reduction of "noise" between functions algorythmic relation, that which we normally call meaning...
.

Your functions are too noisy to convey meaning in that sentence. What a load of nonsense! Are you even reading the thoughtless tripe you are writing?

Quote:
...and I can even settle with birds and parrots to make the case, as you should know association at base level starts whith conditioning, "a la" Pavlov, and from there the producing of meaning..

As you would know had you bothered to read my post, parrots can be trained to respond differentially to certain stimuli. For example, they can be trained to say "red" in the presence of a red colour swatch. Borrowing Robert Brandom's terminology I would call this an acquired reliable differential responsive disposition, but you might equally say that the parrot has been conditioned to say red in the presence of red colour swatches. Being conditioned to make a noise in certain circumstances, however, is not the same thing as judging something to be red, as opposed to, say, yellow or transparent. When a parrot makes the noise "red" in the presence of a colour swatch, it does not think that the swatch is not yellow or green; it does not think that red is a colour; it does not think that is the same colour as some of its parrot friends; it does not even think that it may be mistaken about the colour of the swatch. This is because a parrot does not have a network of inter-related concepts, and that means that parrots cannot think.

Quote:
...as for the remaining of your old timer rambling well it sufices to say that it does n' t deserve much comment at all...

I can only take this to mean you don't have any refutation to offer. I therefore conclude that I am entirely correct.

Quote:
There...thats the problem...the meaning of the word information is utterly diferent between us...

What do you think the Moon "says" to Earth in terms of its mass and gravitational pull when it goes around? Words? No. Information!

Your metaphor is presumably to be cashed out as saying that the moon causally affects the earth, assuming that you aren't completely mad. Where does information come in here? If I were to smack you on the back of the head it would be very strange, indeed, just plain wrong, to say that an exchange of information had taken place between the palm of my hand and the back of your head. A transfer of energy, perhaps, or of subatomic particle, but not information.

Quote:
You just described Information as I see it...that "perturbance" that you speak of will establish an operative relation with any other object locally available be it an observer or not...such that it will be always observed in the sense of being filtered by the functional mathematical correlation it will establish with its surroundings...

Information is about correlative functional measurements which wil form a systemic pattern...it does n' t matter tbe medium ("language")...

You seem determined to find nonsense where there is perfect sense. When Fresco says "There is only a "disturbance" within the structure of the cat's brain", presumably all that he can mean is that certain neurons are caused to fire in the cats brain (anything else would render the phenomenon utterly mysterious), and we would be able to trace the causal chain through the cat's nervous system to retinal stimulations, and then out into the world.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Dec, 2010 12:41 pm
@Arjuna,
I admit to be a little confused by your "take". I would say that "self" is an epiphenomenon of language and that "rationality" implies a degree of conformity to social norms embodied in that language. Like, Richard Rorty, I am very wary of the word "truth" unless it is delimited to "what works" in a practical scenario, or "what it is good to believe" in a social scenario.

The transcendent position, in which the above view of "self" becomes apparent, therefore implies a dissipation of self (or indeed of all "things") and the falling away of the restrictive spectacles of linguistic categories with which such "selves" segment "the world". But such transcendence is systemically detrimental to the social system in which individuals function as components. (Blood cells in isolation have no functionality with respect to the body). Thus "irrationality" always has a social connotation. And we can expect the social system (qua autopoietic system in its own right) to respond to such internal "perturbations" either by social ostracism, or by isolation (as in monastic structures). But note that can be no value judgement applied to the nature of such social systems. Their viability is measurable only by their persistence.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Dec, 2010 12:58 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Quote:
The nervous system is a closed network of interacting neurons. Changes to the relative neuronal activity in the nervous system always lead to other changes of relative neuronal activity within it. There can be no inputs to or outputs from the nervous system, nor does the nervous system 'process information'. Learning cannot be in terms of the acquisition of a representation of the environment because all that the nervous system does is generate internal correlations (co-relations), it cannot encode or decode messages.

'Because a living unity is operationally closed, it follows that any outside action upon a living system can only be a non-specific sort of trigger - it cannot specify any particular response - that response being entirely determined by the structure (the internal coherence) at that particular time.' (Fell & Russell, 1993:28).

Thus cognition cannot be viewed as information processing. Biologically it is about internal coherence rather than internal representation of something. Information is a matter of internal construction rather than external instruction.

The living system viewed from the inside is one domain and the environment viewed from the outside by an observer is another, different domain. The observer puts these together and establishes correspondences between them. Maturana and Varela use the analogy of a submarine driver, who is congratulated on a perfect manoeuvre, he is confused by the congratulations in avoiding reefs etc, all he did was read certain dials and maintain correlations between indicators within the limits of the equipment. The dynamics of the operation of the submarine with its driver, who knows nothing of reefs and beaches, does not occur with representations of the outside world. Beaches and reefs 'are valid only for an outside observer, not for the submarine or for the navigator who functions as a component of it', (Maturana & Varela, 1987:137)

From
Maturana’s Biology and Some Possible Implications for Education
Joy Murray
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Dec, 2010 01:41 pm
@fresco,
But who said internal systems were to be excluded ? Did n´t I spoke on the agents "nature " ? The function processing is between the two systems, is about on how they inter relate...

When you say a trigger is a trigger to what ? That is the relation...to A conditions X reaction, to B then Y...obviously it could n´t simply be about what comes from the outside being processed...in order to be integrated it is transformed by discarding those potential functions from the exterior object that the internal system from the subject cannot acquire thus getting an entirely different systemic meaning moulded by the cosmogony of the inner world...same is to say you are not seeing things as they are but the result of their stimuli in your inner system of meanings...there is a fusion there base in the algorithm borne out of both entity´s operative circumstance at time/space x...

Did you notice that Mickalos completely misunderstood what I was speaking of... it was about association...meaning through association...not the fact that the parrot can mimic language...I even spoke on Pavlov...anyway pointless...

Arjuna
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Dec, 2010 01:51 pm
@fresco,
By "self" do you mean personal identity? That's a kind of object. It's a thing.

You spoke of a view of "self" becoming apparent. "Becoming apparent" refers to experience. Direct translation of it refers to the experience of sight. Poetic translation still contains the idea of an observer. The core of all experience... that's what I meant by self.... it would be the eye. It has numerous names. Plato called it soul. That self-moving situation which has no beginning or end.

Rational does suggest being sensible. Being based on ratio... it can also mean analytical... the knife that slices the butter.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Dec, 2010 02:06 pm
@fresco,
Quote:
I admit to be a little confused by your "take". I would say that "self" is an epiphenomenon of language and that "rationality" implies a degree of conformity to social norms embodied in that language. Like, Richard Rorty, I am very wary of the word "truth" unless it is delimited to "what works" in a practical scenario, or "what it is good to believe" in a social scenario.


The point is precisely why it works circumstantially, once that has, must have an objective causal sequence beyond subjects even if they cannot know it...When two systems come together the result of both fusion brings up a third system that not resembles none of its antecedents...right there you have the function that both bring up...

A blind man when looking at a glass, with his hands, has a perception conditioning that transforms the meaning of the object at hand given its limits...the brain does the same given its inner software...and that relation between the systems is objective even if one is not able to tell what lye's beyond the epiphenomenal algorithmic fusion of the original sources...

So how come there is no Truth ?
You may even oppose to the knowing of the original arrangement of information from an outside system, its understandable and acceptably arguable, but the source must be something valid in both systems...
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Dec, 2010 02:27 pm
@Arjuna,
"Self" is already a function between inter related agents Arj..."Thing" is also circumstantially functional given certain dynamics, and yet none of this opposes Truth...of course those "agents" under the self, which form the "effect" of self are, at their lower web layer, also "functional circumstantial beings" born out of other relations and so on...(they all are True and Valid)
 

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