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  1. #31

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    Jumping in kind-of late...

    To Duke of York and Owl and other steadfast "rationalists":
    You may benefit from reading Embodied Mathematics.

    The thrust of this book is that even our mathematics (and mathematical logic) is composed-of/limited-by analogies we can draw from our own experiences.

    To everyone else:
    What, then, are our experiences based on?

    To those who read my blog:
    I am taking a break. I still seem to enjoy these types of dscussions. So at least there is some reason to get up in the morning again.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  2. #32
    desert pelican Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Yes.
    Wow. You're hardcore.



    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    No. Even if there was, what difference would it make without the experience to interpret it? "A=A" only if you know what "A" means and what "=" means. A priori was devised from human reason, which in turn was derived from human experience. That is how all knowledge has been accumulated. It's a short cut in reasoning, but just like everything else, it too had to be learned.
    How broadly do you define experience? Do you restrict it to datum collected from the five senses, or do you include inward, psychological experience--e.g., thoughts, feelings, etc.--as well?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    The only knowledge we are born with is that which is encoded in our genes. That information manifests itself in our instincts and the resulting behaviors. So you could make the argument that DNA is the true a priori, but even it has manifested itself from the experience of countless species through evolution and if we were all to cease to exist then it would cease to exist with us.
    Is the knowledge we are born with identical to our genes?

  3. #33
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    To everyone else:
    What, then, are our experiences based on?
    Puhzah! To everyone else!

    Experience is based on observations, observations are based on perceptions, perceptions are based on senses, and senses are the neurological interpretation of signals from our external environment.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
    OMNi: Wisdom at the cost of Sanity.

  4. #34
    desert pelican Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    To... Owl and other steadfast "rationalists...
    :steam:

    Don't call me a rationalist! Even if you do use scare quotes!

    Well, I guess you can. I'm certainly more of a "rationalist" than the others, excluding Duke of York taking part in this discussion.

    Dude, there's, like, invisible words in your post, and they say you're leaving! They're lying!

  5. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Puhzah! To everyone else!
    I missed the joke. I'm slow that way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Experience is based on observations, observations are based on perceptions, perceptions are based on senses, and senses are the neurological interpretation of signals from our external environment.
    So you do admit then, that our experience is based on our environment?

    What then gives our experiences coherence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Owl View Post
    Dude, there's, like, invisible words in your post, and they say you're leaving! They're lying!
    I meant I was taking a break from work to post here.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  6. #36
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owl View Post
    How broadly do you define experience? Do you restrict it to datum collected from the five senses, or do you include inward, psychological experience--e.g., thoughts, feelings, etc.--as well?
    I defined it in the post below yours.

    Is the knowledge we are born with identical to our genes?
    I have no idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    So you do admit then, that our experience is based on our environment?

    What then gives our experiences coherence?
    I believe everyone experiences the world differently. Our experiences are only consistent because we learn and are socialized into thinking the same way.

    Take for example how it is impossible to know whether I percieve the color "red", the same way you percieve the color "red". Assuming we were born and perceived the color "red" differently, it would not make any difference in how we experience "red" because we would have both been raised from birth being told, "that is red" as we encountered it in our external environment. So even though there is a discrepancy in our perception, we can share the same experience. That being said, it is possible that every person on this planet perceives the color "red' a different way, but since what causes the color "red" (reflected light) in the physical environment doesn't change, as we experience it, we all call it "red".
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
    OMNi: Wisdom at the cost of Sanity.

  7. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    I believe everyone experiences the world differently. Our experiences are only consistent because we learn and are socialized into thinking the same way.

    Take for example how it is impossible to know whether I percieve the color "red", the same way you percieve the color "red". Assuming we were born and perceived the color "red" differently, it would not make any difference in how we experience "red" because we would have both been raised from birth being told, "that is red" as we encountered it in our external environment. So even though there is a discrepancy in our perception, we can share the same experience. That being said, it is possible that every person on this planet perceives the color "red' a different way, but since what causes the color "red" (reflected light) in the physical environment doesn't change, as we experience it, we all call it "red".
    I guess we've had similar discussions on the objective nature of reality before. But my question of coherence was more aimed at understanding the nature of consiousness.

    What makes it so that all the sensations based on experience that come into our neurons create a coherent experience?

    We know that there are pathways that are delayed (sometimes by as much as half a second). But what gives our experiences coherence? IOW, by what "mechanisms" do we avoid experiencing a jumbled mess of sensations?

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  8. #38
    desert pelican Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    I defined it in the post below yours.
    So, are all mental states--including thought, etc.--neurological interpretations of signals from our external environment?

    (There is a point to my barrage of questions, btw. I hope you don't mind inquisitiveness.)


    I have no idea.
    no prob. Just sounding the depths.
    Last edited by Owl; 03-24-2008 at 11:55 PM. Reason: quote

  9. #39
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    I guess we've had similar discussions on the objective nature of reality before. But my question of coherence was more aimed at understanding the nature of consiousness.

    What makes it so that all the sensations based on experience that come into our neurons create a coherent experience?

    We know that there are pathways that are delayed (sometimes by as much as half a second). But what gives our experiences coherence? IOW, by what "mechanisms" do we avoid experiencing a jumbled mess of sensations?
    Billions of years of evolution and the genetics that have been passed down as a result have eventually lead to the creation of the complex biological processor that is our brains. In short, it's written our DNA. The blue print has been perfected via trial and error and the coherence of our neurology is proof of it.

    We also take our higher cognitive capabilities for granted. If feral children have taught us anything, it's the importance of nurture in developing our potential.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
    OMNi: Wisdom at the cost of Sanity.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owl View Post
    So, are all mental states--including thought, etc.--neurological interpretations of signals from our external environment?
    That is a tricky question. We have to learn everything, so all our thoughts are backed by experience. However, we don't have to recall the initial experience that lead to us learning a concept in order to use that concept in our thought processes.

    For example, I learned reversibility when I was just a child. 1+1=2 and 2-1 =1. However, I don't have to think back to the experiences of how I learned reversibility to use the concept in day to day life as an adult, so I can now reason much more complex ideas. X+X=Y and Y-X=X. Nonetheless, all my capacities initially came from experience.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
    OMNi: Wisdom at the cost of Sanity.

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