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  1. #51

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    OK. It appears, my use of "coherence" was what threw us into confussion.

    To both elfinchilde, and Kiddo (and anyone else who wants to answer) then: Why are most of our perceptions "consistent?" That is, why don't we percieve things (usually) as simultaneously being near and far, hot and cold, big and small in the same parts/places of objects?

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  2. #52
    a white iris elfinchilde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    OK. It appears, my use of "coherence" was what threw us into confussion.

    To both elfinchilde, and Kiddo (and anyone else who wants to answer) then: Why are most of our perceptions "consistent?" That is, why don't we percieve things (usually) as simultaneously being near and far, hot and cold, big and small in the same parts/places of objects?
    ??? Because a thing can only be at one place upon the spectrum, assuming it is only one type of neuron capable of sensing it?

    note that in science, there is no such thing as cold. That is merely defined as the absence of heat. So the sensor neurons in the hand (for instance) will sense that the object is hot, which leads to an instantaneous redrawal (again, a survival instinct coded from years ago, fire is dangerous, after all)--this is a reflex action. You don't have to tell a baby to move away after it has touched a hot object. Same for cold: it freezes you. Humans are homeothermic: ie, we have a constant body temperature. So temperatures to the extreme of 36.9 degrees celsius, we'd avoid instinctively.

    Perceptions are all geared for survival: too near, too large implies danger. That is why the instinct for personal space exists; and the automatic redrawal from large animals.

    All these are consistent, because they are all keyed into the brain even before birth. Sensory neurons --> brain --> motor neurons. ie, perception -->unconscious/conscious thought -->action.

    does this help any?? are you talking in a biological sense or a philosophical one?
    You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
    They called me the hyacinth girl.
    Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
    Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
    Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
    Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
    Looking into the heart of light, the silence.

    --T.S Eliot, The Wasteland

  3. #53
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elfinchilde View Post
    Can i throw you a curve, kiddo?

    What determines our neurological interpretations? Isn't it our desire? Which is why humans never quite see another as they are, but who they want the other to be.

    Isn't it?
    First off, thank you for clarifying my points for ygolo. From a biological perspective, I can't understand where he is coming from. I can only answer with a link to Piaget's theory of cognitive development since he seems to be asking about how our thinking is formed.

    I can't disagree with your analysis of neurological interpretations, but I still hold to my point that we need experience in order to form them. We may be born with a lot of the wiring intact, but without the actual experience, we will never develop those behaviors. In that sense, I guess I disagree with you. We need to sense pain at least once, before we try to avoid it.
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  4. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by elfinchilde View Post
    ??? Because a thing can only be at one place upon the spectrum, assuming it is only one type of neuron capable of sensing it?
    Yes. Kind-of.

    Maybe my point was too much of a tautology?

    It seems to me that something cannot be both 10 meters in it's smallest dimension, and 10-angstroms in its largest.

    It also seems to me that organisms that continually percieve things like that would be in peril.

    Quote Originally Posted by elfinchilde View Post
    does this help any?? are you talking in a biological sense or a philosophical one?
    I was talking philosophically, but certainly needs to be informed biologically.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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    "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

  5. #55
    a white iris elfinchilde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    I can't disagree with your analysis of neurological interpretations, but I still hold to my point that we need experience in order to form them. We may be born with a lot of the wiring intact, but without the actual experience, we will never develop those behaviors. In that sense, I guess I disagree with you. We need to sense pain at least once, before we try to avoid it.
    Oh ok. There isn't any disagreement then. Yes, at least once is necessary. What I had meant was that the pain felt upon feeling heat, for instance, is recognised as pain. Rather than a happy feeling. That recognition is instinctive. ie, it is less the heat, but the sensation of pain to which instincts are attuned to. How does a person know that it hurts, if not for biology?

    never quite figured that out, really.

    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    Maybe my point was too much of a tautology?

    It seems to me that something cannot be both 10 meters in it's smallest dimension, and 10-angstroms in its largest.

    It also seems to me that organisms that continually percieve things like that would be in peril.

    I was talking philosophically, but certainly needs to be informed biologically.
    Yeps. Topsy turvy worlds. Any organism like that would quite simply, perish. Survival of the fittest. It all goes towards one order, til that established order changes, which is when new species, new forms of thoughts, cultures, occur.

    In the anthromorphological sense, it is interesting: if you look at the rise and falls of civilisations, their influences globally.

    Empiricism is what is experiential, perhaps. The burden of proof lies in the experience, and the quanitification of that experience.

    Kiddo: what did you major in? Sometimes, i read your posts, and i'm ...you're like DD, only less emoticon-colourful.
    You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
    They called me the hyacinth girl.
    Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
    Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
    Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
    Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
    Looking into the heart of light, the silence.

    --T.S Eliot, The Wasteland

  6. #56

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    Well. It seems we were in agreement all along, Kiddo. Just different words, and perspectives.

    It does seem to me that empericism, needs to be constrained by consistency.

    In addition, to avoid falacies like Post hoc ergo propter hoc we would need to apply rationality both prior to our collection to data as well as after.

    Quote Originally Posted by elfinchilde View Post
    Yeps. Topsy turvy worlds. Any organism like that would quite simply, perish. Survival of the fittest. It all goes towards one order, til that established order changes, which is when new species, new forms of thoughts, cultures, occur.
    I am curious, do you believe there will be time and environment that would enourage creatures that tend to percieve inconsistences, e.g. percieving objects being 10-meters in its smallest dimension, and 10-angstroms in its largest, etc.

    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

  7. #57
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elfinchilde View Post
    Kiddo: what did you major in? Sometimes, i read your posts, and i'm ...you're like DD, only less emoticon-colourful.
    I've changed my major many times over the years. It's hard to stay interested in one subject for very long, which is why I settled for social work. As far as majors, I've been in journalism, psychology, education, and biology.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
    OMNi: Wisdom at the cost of Sanity.

  8. #58

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    I am wondering, if the point about consistency has been dropped or ignored. I suppose the initial word that I used would have been used differently in something like the "theory of coherence" than in biology.

    But I think the point still stands. The reason, we perceive consistently(I would say, even if raised by wolves, or having to fend for oneself for most development phases) is that reality itself is consistent. Again, in the sense that an object does not simultaneously be 10-meters in its smallest dimension, and 10-angstroms in it largest dimension(tell me what word you'd prefer me to use here). It would be unfit for organism to perceive inconsistently, there is no socialization required here (experience yes, but no socialization).

    Is there disagreement in that still?

    Even here, our consistent perceptions, as pointed out, are only based on what we experience. When we start probing beyond what normal human evolution has conditioned us for, a lot more is needed. We need to learn how to use our equipment properly, we need to learn how to set-up proper conditions to gain proper experiences, etc.

    This requires reasoning. This "reasoning" is something we learn through experience (lots of it), but the reasoning that is learned is forced to be a certain way because of the nature of the reality of those experiences (namely consistent). But that I can give a rant on my laboratory experiences (which I have almost a decade of) after my morning meeting.

    I am just wondering how far the gap in agreement is.

    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

  9. #59
    Senior Member TheLastMohican's Avatar
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    This thread seems to have really taken off after my initial debate died down. Huh.

    I think the digressions into evolutionary theory and such don't apply well to the subject of Rationalism vs. Empiricism. Our brains are developed to a point that some of us can separate ourselves from "genetic biases" and use reason that transcends much of conditioning.

    I thought that Sensors would be more likely to be pure Empiricists (due to their preference for hard facts and experience), and Intuitors pure Rationalists (due to their preference for theories and speculation).
    But it appears that is wrong.

  10. #60
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    I am wondering, if the point about consistency has been dropped or ignored. I suppose the initial word that I used would have been used differently in something like the "theory of coherence" than in biology.

    But I think the point still stands. The reason, we perceive consistently(I would say, even if raised by wolves, or having to fend for oneself for most development phases) is that reality itself is consistent. Again, in the sense that an object does not simultaneously be 10-meters in its smallest dimension, and 10-angstroms in it largest dimension(tell me what word you'd prefer me to use here). It would be unfit for organism to perceive inconsistently, there is no socialization required here (experience yes, but no socialization).

    Is there disagreement in that still?
    The problem with your theory is it doesn't make sense from a biological perspective.
    Even here, our consistent perceptions, as pointed out, are only based on what we experience. When we start probing beyond what normal human evolution has conditioned us for, a lot more is needed. We need to learn how to use our equipment properly, we need to learn how to set-up proper conditions to gain proper experiences, etc.

    This requires reasoning. This "reasoning" is something we learn through experience (lots of it), but the reasoning that is learned is forced to be a certain way because of the nature of the reality of those experiences (namely consistent). But that I can give a rant on my laboratory experiences (which I have almost a decade of) after my morning meeting.

    I am just wondering how far the gap in agreement is.
    I can see the argument you are trying to make. You believe reason is shaped by the "consistent" physical universe and is therefore "consistent". To a degree, that makes sense. We as a species percieve "consistently" because we evolved that way with our environment. We as individuals percieve "consistently" because we developed through experience and learning with our environment.

    However, there is an obvious flaw in your argument. We as human beings don't always reason consistently. Based on our different experiences, we come to different conclusions based on our reasoning all the time. The only way we can obtain "consistent" results among all our different experiences is through methodology and experimentation, namely science. Hence, the original argument of this thread "rationalism" is flawed because it ignored the necessity of experience and science in obtaining an understanding of the "consistent" physical universe, by putting all its faith in reason.

    Now I can understand you wanting to think of terms of tautologies but as I said before, "A=A" only if you know what "A" means and "=" means. Hence, reason is completely dependent on experience. Does the concept of equality exist in the physical universe outside of human perceptions? There we head back to our original discussion of objectivism vs. relativism. But the simple fact of the matter is even if those things exist objectively in the universe, and even if they have shaped human reasoning, we had to discover every single one of those things through experience and learning for them to have any meaning to humans. To go back to the example of a feral child, what does the concept of equality mean to them? They will never be capable of understanding that idea or utilizing it because they have missed that chance in their development.

    So I don't really see the sense in trying to percieve reason as being shaped by a "consistent" universe. I think it makes much more sense to percieve reason as having been shaped by consistent experiences in the universe. For example, we have all experienced equality, and we have shared that experience, and therefore it has meaning for us.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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