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3 minutes ago, SpookyKitty said:

I think all of you are failing to distinguish the cause of perception from the perception itself, which necessarily involves judgments (otherwise there is no way for perception to be wrong or even right much less infallible).

Well, I call it infallible because "wrongness" doesn't apply. I don't understand why judgment and perception occurring together means then that perception can be wrong. Perceptual judgments may be wrong, and might not be cognitive, but that doesn't make that a type of perception.

As far as Rand, she certainly thought "wrongness" just doesn't apply, for all the reasons she thought disinterested knowledge isn't a thing. Actually, I don't know if she ever called it infallible, but she did recognize that cognition operating on perception isn't an act of perception. 

The only plausible argument that I see is that perceptual judgments are a type of perception, NB's view basically. Is your view like his?

1 hour ago, New Buddha said:

Our Perception of an entity undergoes continuous change as we move thru our environment.  Perception is not a snapshot of an object stored in your mind.

I agree, but my view is that this environmental interaction is neither conceptual nor perceptual. My #1 earlier is that there is another mental internal phenomena akin to imagining or visualizing. That's not an Objectivist view, though I think it fixes ambiguities.

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18 minutes ago, SpookyKitty said:

I think all of you are failing to distinguish the cause of perception from the perception itself, which necessarily involves judgments (otherwise there is no way for perception to be wrong or even right much less infallible).

It is true that, in fact, what causes my perceptions is a round Earth. But a round Earth does not cause a perception of a round Earth, it causes the perception of a flat Earth (for any human living on its surface).

Round (or flat, or cube or cone or cylinder) is a Measurement.  From ITOE p. 7.

Measurement is the identification of a relationship-- a quantitative relationship established by means of a standard that serves as a unit. Entities (and their actions) are measured by their attributes (length, weight, velocity, etc.) [add: geometric shape] and the standard of measurements is a concretely specified unit representing the appropriate attribute.

In one context, comparing the eastern plains of Colorado against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains in the distance - then it is appropriate to say that, "in comparison with the mountains, the plains are flat."

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14 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

I agree, but my view is that this environmental interaction is neither conceptual nor perceptual. My #1 earlier is that there is another mental internal phenomena akin to imagining or visualizing. That's not an Objectivist view, though I think it fixes ambiguities.

Yes, you and I have touched on this difference in the past.  And as I'm working through ideas similar to yours, I'm always open to discussion.  You might like the papers on Richard Gregory's web site (he's passed away).  From wiki:

Gregory's ideas ran counter to those of the American direct realist psychologist J.J. Gibson, whose 1950 The Perception of the Visual World was dominant when Gregory was a younger man.

This particular essay Perceptual Illusions and Brain Models is the first work I found by someone who shares my ideas about the analog, non-representional nature of cognition, which I've touched on in the past.  It's a non-computational approach to the mind.

Edited by New Buddha

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27 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

I agree, but my view is that this environmental interaction is neither conceptual nor perceptual. My #1 earlier is that there is another mental internal phenomena akin to imagining or visualizing. That's not an Objectivist view, though I think it fixes ambiguities.

Long cut-N-paste from Lee Pierson's paper, What is Consciousness for?  I think it may address what is bolded above.  If I ask you to visualize your car, you can do so.  You may have trouble not doing so (think trying to ignore focusing on a doorbell when you hear it).  But it required by me  to bring it into your field of awareness and the forefront of your focus.

From the paper, with bolds:

Although the ultimate function of volitional attention is to make volitional movement possible, its proximate function is to override automatic attention that is not well-suited to the situation at hand. The capacity for volitional attention gives the conscious organism the flexibility to nondeterministically yet non-randomly sustain attention on a particular conscious content longer than the default set by neural processes. This neurophysiological default can be overridden either by volitionally sustaining attention longer than it would have automatically continued on content already in the focus of awareness, or by volitionally sustaining attention on fringe content, thereby making that content focal (“shifting attention”). Here we can see the crucial importance of the “fringe” of consciousness to volitional action. The fringe/focus distinction makes volitional selection (switching among objects of attention) possible. An organism cannot directly choose the contents of its consciousness from outside its consciousness. You cannot consciously, directly select from outside your consciousness the next mental content to focus on within consciousness. You cannot say to yourself “I will now think about this” unless you are already at least peripherally conscious of the “this.” You can select content from within consciousness by moving content from the fringe to the focus of awareness, and you can bring in more information about a given subject by choosing to sustain a thought process about it. You can, therefore, consciously make fringe content focal, but non-conscious processes must first have placed that content within the fringe. If consciousness had no fringe--if it had “tunnel vision” limited to one object--volitional choice would be reduced to “stop or go,” and thus would have much less functionality. Without a fringe, organisms could not consciously select among multiple alternatives.

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Just now, Eiuol said:

Well, I call it infallible because "wrongness" doesn't apply. I don't understand why judgment and perception occurring together means then that perception can be wrong. Perceptual judgments may be wrong, and might not be cognitive, but that doesn't make that a type of perception.

As far as Rand, she certainly thought "wrongness" just doesn't apply, for all the reasons she thought disinterested knowledge isn't a thing. Actually, I don't know if she ever called it infallible, but she did recognize that cognition operating on perception isn't an act of perception. 

The only plausible argument that I see is that perceptual judgments are a type of perception, NB's view basically. Is your view like his?

I agree, but my view is that this environmental interaction is neither conceptual nor perceptual. My #1 earlier is that there is another mental internal phenomena akin to imagining or visualizing. That's not an Objectivist view, though I think it fixes ambiguities.

 

Fine. But if perception is 'infallible' in that sense, then what's the point? The judgments I derive from unreflective perception are still fallible.

Edited by SpookyKitty

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1 hour ago, SpookyKitty said:

 

Fine. But if perception is 'infallible' in that sense, then what's the point? The judgments I derive from unreflective perception are still fallible.

The important implication is that we'd be able to reject various theories of perception that suppose the world as it is, and the world as filtered through the mechanisms of perception to produce an artificial view of reality; that reality isn't what we literally see, that at best we get RE-presentations of reality.

An alternative to that view is that, we'd be making judgments about reality if we get PRESENTATIONS of reality. If this is true, then theories of epistemology can incorporate perception in the form of evidence readily from an agent's perspective. If it's false, you'd need a priori knowledge or a priori categories to find evidence for knowledge or to decide when perception is evidence.

Reliabilism is between both, tending towards an Aristotelian approach since it sees perception as usually helpful, but still accepts a largely externalist point of view (that evidence's standards do not incorporate the agent himself).

I guess my point is that it affects what qualifiies as evidence and how.

Edited by Eiuol

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2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

An alternative to that view is that, we'd be making judgments about reality if we get PRESENTATIONS of reality.

There is another alternative.  One way to think of a memory of past experiences is to understand it as analogous to a vinyl recording.  In the magnified image below the waves in the vinyl are direct analogs of the musical sound waves recorded by the microphone.  This process of converting the sound waves of music to physical imprints in vinyl requires no programming, software, computation, etc.  Just a series of straight forward transductions.  The record on your shelf is not a representation of a musical performance, it is a direct analog.

Eric Kandel has discovered a prion-like protein in neurons associated with maintaining memory.  These proteins are anatomically altered in an analogous way that a smooth sheet of vinyl is physically altered.  That is, brains anatomically change when interacting with the environment and make "recordings".

recordgooves.jpg

Edited by New Buddha

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I have Kandel's textbook on neuroscience, so I should look at the part discussing memory.

What you describe is how I think Presentationalism could occur in reality. Well, how it happens, because I'm that sure it is correct as a theory. I get the term from the essay collection on Objectivist epistemology edited by Allan Gotthelf, specifically an essay by Salimieri. The idea is applied to perception, that perception is not itself interpretive.

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My own belief, and I can't find any papers to really support it, is that consciousness is only made possible by distraction.   A short attention span is not a bug - it's a feature!

Very roughly speaking, the "thalamus" acts as a switchboard that forwards signals into the fringe of awareness, as described by Pierson.

5 hours ago, New Buddha said:

An organism cannot directly choose the contents of its consciousness from outside its consciousness.

This is the role of the thalamus.  It is a broadly connected, passive signal-to-noise filter, where the loudest signal wins.  The signal then automatically makes it's way into your fringe of awareness where you become aware of it.  Sometimes the signal might be a connection made to another idea while reading a book, sometimes it  might be a doorbell distracting you from your book, or your kidneys telling you to look for water (or to get rid of some) sometimes you might shift to restore blood flow to your legs, see the clock and realize it's getting close to bed time and put down the book.

The constant switching of attention back and forth to the book is consciousness.  When you momentarily look away from a book because you are distracted by the cat, what you are reading does not automatically fade - the brain is not a series of on/off switches.  It's a messy, wet ware system, where electric potential fades over time.  So when you switch back to the stronger book signal, once the cat signal fades, YOU pick up where you left off.

Consciousness can be understood metaphorically as striking the middle C key (attention) on a piano about every 8 seconds, while striking a random key about every 12 seconds (distraction). Consciousness is the commingling of sounds.  It's neither the middle C nor the random key.  It's the commingled sound.  That's probably why it's so hard to "find".

I've never really found a good study of distraction.   There is this paper.

Edit:  Something like this would by-pass the Homunculus Fallacy and Representationalism and computationalism.

Edited by New Buddha

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Kelley brings up Gibson in some of his middle chapters in his book on perception published decades before Binswanger's.

 

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20 minutes ago, Grames said:

Kelley brings up Gibson in some of his middle chapters in his book on perception published decades before Binswanger's.

My understanding is that Lee Pierson, who Binswanger acknowledges for his introduction to Gibson's ideas, knew rand AND was a grad student of Gibson's.  See a paper by Lee here and an interesting abstract about a possible influence William James might have had on Rand.  Holt studied under James, and Gibson studied under Holt.

I found this abstract after reading some of James's essay's and just knew that there had to be some connection to Rand's Epistemology.  I googled and found the abstract.  I'd love to know more if you have any info.

And Kelley was a student of Rorty, if I'm not mistaken.

Edited by New Buddha

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1 hour ago, Eiuol said:

What you describe is how I think Presentationalism could occur in reality.

Here's a link to an essay by James from his Some Problems of Philosophy.

A short excerpt:

CHAPTER IV
PERCEPT AND CONCEPT-THE IMPORT
OF CONCEPTS
THE problem convenient to take up next in
order will be that of the difference between
thoughts and things. Things are known to us
by our senses, and are called presentations
by some authors, to distinguish them from the
ideas or representations which we may have
when our senses are closed. I myself have
grown accustomed to the words percept and
concept in treating of the contrast, but con
cepts flow out of percepts and into them again,
they are so interlaced, and our life
rests on them so interchangeably and
undiscriminatingly, that it is often difficult to
impart quickly to beginners a clear notion of
the difference meant.

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6 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I have Kandel's textbook on neuroscience, so I should look at the part discussing memory.

As I understand Kandel, he is saying that memory is stored by an organic, non-living self-replicating prion-protein inside of - and thus protected by - a living, yet, essentially stable non-self replicating organism - a neuron.

It's a solution that is both elegant and aesthetically pleasing.

Edited by New Buddha

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