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5 years ago  ::  Feb 15, 2010 - 6:36AM #51
Don't_Be_Captious
Posts: 1,035

Feb 12, 2010 -- 3:21AM, stardustpilgrim wrote:


I've tried to read some Dennett before, I can't get too far, he sticks in my throat. So, I have not encountered his Heterophenomenology.




All it is, is what social sciences have been doing for ages:  Taking down, recording or writing down, what the subjects themselves say they are experiencing.  Anthropologists & sociologists, most notably, do this all the time & have been doing it forever.  It's just the same as listening to someone else's self-report about their own emotions & thoughts, but not judging them or correcting them as "wrong," at least insofar as it is what the person says they're experiencing.


"Heterophenomenology" is a very fancy, technical, philosophical term, and one which I think Dennett uses to tweak many philosophers.  Breaking it down to its root terms, it's like this:


"Phenomena" -- Subjective experiences.  Every color or texture or taste or sense sensation or cognitive thought or emotion, the bare "feel" or "raw feel" of these, are phenomena.


"-ology" -- "Study of."  As in, bio - logy, psych - ology, anthropo - logy, etc.


"Phenomenology" -- This is really just psychology.  It's the attempt to study the phenomena that any conscious mind experiences, subjectively.  It's long held a bewitching spell over philosophers, including me.  I think Hegel actually invented the term.


"Hetero" -- Roughly, means "other."  As in the difference between homosexual and heterosexual, or orthodoxy and heterodoxy.  e.g. "homo" or "ortho" implies "sameness," while "hetero" implies "otherness." 


In this case, when "hetero" is joined with "phenomenology," it more or less means, "observing the phenomenology of others.


This is qualitatively different from most previous usages of "phenomenology," since Phenomenologists (types of philosophers into phenomenology, the study of phenomena) instead believe the only legitimate way to study phenomena (e.g. to do phenomenology), is to do this literally first-person, subjectively -- e.g. more or less exactly what 2bme's OP suggests by "inner empiricism."


Dennett, instead, by relying on the principles of pragmatic philosophy of science, including its core logical requirement of inter-subjective, third-party verification ("Is it just me, or did you see that, too?"), tweaks the Phenomenologists, by deflating their project to the degree that he demonstrates their quest for "inner empiricism" is utterly incompatible with actual science, and offers them an olive branch by way of offering the sensible, pragmatic suggestion that only sociologist-like taking-down of self-reports is the only possible way "phenomenology" could actually be conducted on a literally scientific basis -- e.g. "heterophenomenology."


 


 


 


 


But he's being disingenuous with it, as he automatically throws out the C team's reports. (Jesus, Socrates, Buddha, Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu are five of my favorites).


(1) I think you've got several notions muddled up & confused; besides, I've already shown that your notion of "C team" is nothing other than the B team.


(2) In important ways, he's not being disingenuous at all.  Heterophenomenology means, effectively, that the heterophenomenologist, the observer of someone else's subjective self-reports, believes (or takes at face value as fact) that the other person really believes what they are saying -- regardless & without judgment in consideration of what other objective facts might actually say about that person's own beliefs (e.g. whether that person is, obectively, actually right or wrong about their belief).

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5 years ago  ::  Feb 15, 2010 - 6:51AM #52
Don't_Be_Captious
Posts: 1,035

Feb 12, 2010 -- 10:54AM, 2bme wrote:


Dennett vs. Lao-Tzu


"Learning consists of adding to ones knowledge day by day;the way of the Tao consists of subtracting day by day until one experiences reality as it is, not as it is named." ~ Lao-Tzu


What Lao Tzu suggests requires inner empricism.  What Dennett suggests does not.  Who understands?  I'll put my money on Lao-Tzu.




 


I'm into or have been into Taoism myself, but I think your interpretation here is apples & oranges.  On many levels, Taoism is just aesthetically beautiful poetry & art, and offers some pretty enticingly intuitive heuristic advice for survival & flourishing (like most myths).  But even taking Taoism at face value, what your saying here doesn't even conflict with Dennett or at least what I've said about Dennett here so far.


To address you guys' real point as directly as I can:  You're talking largely about the quest for, for example, Socratic wisdom.  This is a largely aesthetic project.  I think in many ways, hardcore atheists or "Brights" (as Dennett calls them) can, in fact, let you people who believe in the necessity of pursuing "enlightenment," etc. do as you please -- with the absolute caveat that you must be tolerant of others.


But when fundamentalists of any religious stripe, Muslim, Christians, Buddhists, etc. seek to blow up & kill or oppress others, keep girls from attending schools, and all manner of other means of fouling up the secular public sphere, then they simply cannot be tolerated by secular society, and their beliefs will be seriously scrutinized and exposed as false & in deep error, when necessary.


It's really just Dennett's heterophenomenology.  You can believe whatever you wish to believe; that's the libertarian essence of Dennett's heterophenomenology, or anthropology or sociology, taking down the self-reports of other people's inner mental lives.  At the level that those people don't try to shove their own phenomenology down other non-believers' throats, the heterophenomenological (anthropological; sociological) project tacitly accepts that they believe, and have the right to believe, as they wish.  But when the villagers begin to demand that the anthropologist be boiled alive in a pot of water on an open fire, and his head decapitated & shrunk, because he is an infidel who don't believe as they, the villagers, do, that's where libertarian, heterophenomenological (anthropological) tolerance ends, and fighting back begins, the struggle to prove to you that your beliefs are, in fact, incompatible with objective reality.

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5 years ago  ::  Feb 15, 2010 - 9:01AM #53
newchurchguy
Posts: 3,639

Feb 15, 2010 -- 6:51AM, Don't_Be_Captious wrote:

I'm into or have been into Taoism myself, but I think your interpretation here is apples & oranges.  On many levels, Taoism is just aesthetically beautiful poetry & art, and offers some pretty enticingly intuitive heuristic advice for survival & flourishing (like most myths).  But even taking Taoism at face value, what your saying here doesn't even conflict with Dennett or at least what I've said about Dennett here so far.


You can believe whatever you wish to believe; that's the libertarian essence of Dennett's heterophenomenology, or anthropology or sociology, taking down the self-reports of other people's inner mental lives. 



DBC,


If you think that Toaism is just a fluffy, artsy worldview - you have terribly disrespected its history and effects on world culture.  Let alone science.


In debate with MdS -- I posted that the ying/yang was a functional logical operator and after seeing his dismissal of same - I was able to back it up, with recent papers on the subject(surprise - by a well known Chineese Information Theory researcher.)


And - it is just this bravado, "taking down the self-reports of other people's inner mental lives" - that leaves Dennett in a lessor status than he could be, as a majority of thinkers and reseachers have not abandoned first person accounts.  (As is fact that is all that can be recorded)


While equally rejecting only first person accounts - and being a firm believer in 3rd person objective nature - the normative view accepts both.


Our inner experiences ARE worthy of study, research and logical analysis as phenomena.


(While being available to only a quasi-empirical method.)  see G. Chaitin's view of mathematics as an example of a quasi-empirical view   




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5 years ago  ::  Feb 15, 2010 - 11:02AM #54
F1fan
Posts: 11,702

Feb 15, 2010 -- 6:16AM, Don't_Be_Captious wrote:


Some, like Nietzsche, advocate facing hardship full on, literally, soberly & without illusion.  But that's obviously pretty tough; he himself died before he was even, like, 45.




I think there is something to that.  I used to suffer long periods of depression when I was younger, and fought it as if it would disappear.  At some point I decided to embrace it instead and say "if I'm going to be depressed then let it happen, let it take its course".  That seemed to help take my own control, and give me something to feel empowered about.

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5 years ago  ::  Feb 16, 2010 - 8:03AM #55
Don't_Be_Captious
Posts: 1,035

Feb 15, 2010 -- 9:01AM, newchurchguy wrote:


If you think that Toaism is just a fluffy, artsy worldview - you have terribly disrespected its history and effects on world culture.  Let alone science.


In debate with MdS -- I posted that the ying/yang was a functional logical operator and after seeing his dismissal of same - I was able to back it up, with recent papers on the subject(surprise - by a well known Chineese Information Theory researcher.)



First, I must admit I'm at least a bit ambivalent.  I don't give Tao any ontological, metaphysical credence; yet I have to admit that as a metaphor, and heuristic "rule of thumb" device, it's really, really good.  But, then, all art & poetry can give valuable lessons that aren't the same as those of science.  (Which is probably something people like 2bme or you want to hear from "us."  Perhaps unlike some others, I don't pretend at all that there isn't anything valuable in art, though I cannot agree that there's anything scientifically important in it beyond cultural or perhaps phenomenological.)


Second, you misspelled "Chinese."


Third, you didn't give any more information than a bald assertion that yin/yang is a functional logic operator.  Based on 2 & 3, it's a bit hard to take your assertion seriously.


4th, yin/yang & Taoism are just other names for Hegel's Dialectic, as well as Postmodernism.  It's the same thing, and to the extent that people want to apply it rigorously to everything in reality, they are dead wrong.  At best, Kant had it right (and Hegel had it completely wrong, with his superstitious, non-scientific, illogical miscomprehension of Kant) when he said that reasoning can have limits, and where either not enough information is available, or in some cases at the the limits of logic itself, paradoxes (per Kant, "antinomies") can arise.


But these are epistemologic concerns, not ontologic.


 


 


 


 


And - it is just this bravado, "taking down the self-reports of other people's inner mental lives" - that leaves Dennett in a lessor status than he could be, as a majority of thinkers and reseachers have not abandoned first person accounts.  (As is fact that is all that can be recorded)


Good god, what part of what I wrote about Dennett don't you understand?  That's EXACTLY what I said Dennett DOES (he DOESN'T "abandon...first person accounts...as in fact that is all that can be recorded.")  He DOESN'T necessarily pass judgment on them (unless the rubber meets the road in some cases, say if the villagers want to shrink his head based on their beliefs) -- EXACTLY as the anthropologist or sociologists DOESN'T pass judgment.


As Kwinters has said in the past, your reading comprehension sucks.


 




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5 years ago  ::  Feb 16, 2010 - 8:09AM #56
Don't_Be_Captious
Posts: 1,035

Feb 15, 2010 -- 11:02AM, F1fan wrote:


Feb 15, 2010 -- 6:16AM, Don't_Be_Captious wrote:


Some, like Nietzsche, advocate facing hardship full on, literally, soberly & without illusion.  But that's obviously pretty tough; he himself died before he was even, like, 45.




I think there is something to that.  I used to suffer long periods of depression when I was younger, and fought it as if it would disappear.  At some point I decided to embrace it instead and say "if I'm going to be depressed then let it happen, let it take its course".  That seemed to help take my own control, and give me something to feel empowered about.




This seems similar to me to my conception of Buddhist mindfulness, that when the mind gets frenzied in some way, the only best way to "fight" it is to simply attempt to passively observe it.  That is, when I'm angry or hurt or something and it's really tenacious, the only thing I can think to do about it, is to try to simply observe it in my own mind, without remark or judgment, and just "look" at my own mind in its permutations of anger or pain or whatever.

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5 years ago  ::  Feb 16, 2010 - 8:28AM #57
Kwinters
Posts: 22,168

Feb 10, 2010 -- 10:39AM, 2bme wrote:


Feb 10, 2010 -- 6:56AM, Kwinters wrote:


Feb 9, 2010 -- 11:19PM, 2bme wrote:


Can we witness the Ding an sich--in our inner world through the conscious ability to "know thyself?" Is it possible and are empirical standards possible in relation to efforts to Know Thyself?






No and no.



Stop being ambiguous.  Are you suggesting that we are incapable of self knowledge so empirical standards in relation to the efforts to do so for the sake of revealing self deception are meaningless?






You don't understand what the word 'empirical' means.


'..."empiricism" is a theory of knowledge that asserts that knowledge arises from sense experience...'


SENSE experience.


So YES we ARE incapable of self knowledge by EMPIRICAL standards because we cannot use SENSE EXPERIENCE to experience ourselves.


I can't 'see' my sense of self.  I can't touch my various identities or organise them by weight or size or color.


 


Your question doesn't make sense because you don't actually understand the clear and precise meaning of the terms you are using.


You just put them together because you think they SOUND nice, NOT because they are appropriate!


 


 


 

Jesus had two dads, and he turned out alright.~ Andy Gussert

“Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions…for safety on the streets…for child care, for social welfare…for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law.

If someone says, “Oh, I’m not a feminist,” I ask, “Why, what’s your problem?”

Dale Spender
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 16, 2010 - 8:32AM #58
Kwinters
Posts: 22,168

Feb 11, 2010 -- 6:07AM, Don't_Be_Captious wrote:


Feb 10, 2010 -- 6:56AM, Kwinters wrote:


2bme:  Can we witness the Ding an sich--in our inner world through the conscious ability to "know thyself?" Is it possible and are empirical standards possible in relation to efforts to Know Thyself?





No and no.



Kwinters,


I don't understand this blunt reply here.  Probably I agree with you on the second part, but what exactly is certifiably impossible about the first part?


The one aspect of modern consciousness studies that I disagree with & that drives me loony is this seemingly morbid fascination with the alleged impossibility that human beings can possibly acquire actual self-knowledge, as if we are to be considered or rendered helpless fucking infants.






What does your inner world look like?  I can't witness - literally see - the Ding an sich.


2b is trying to frame this in terms of empirical methods and empirical standards.


And when you try to do this stuff through empiricism the answer is no.


 


And further, a la Foucault, given how much of the subject is simply a formulation of social forces, the extent to which our thinking is shaped and limited by our linguistic tools - how much of the Ding an sich is truly 'self' and how much of it is other which we've internalised? 


What about the role of inter-subjectivity?  There can be no sense of self without an other against which to compare or contrast, thus the 'self' only exists in relations with and against others, not independently.


What, exactly, does 'our inner world' consist of, and if nothing in it is 'us' then what are we really 'looking' - not empirically, of course - at?


 

Jesus had two dads, and he turned out alright.~ Andy Gussert

“Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions…for safety on the streets…for child care, for social welfare…for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law.

If someone says, “Oh, I’m not a feminist,” I ask, “Why, what’s your problem?”

Dale Spender
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 17, 2010 - 8:39AM #59
Don't_Be_Captious
Posts: 1,035

Feb 16, 2010 -- 8:32AM, Kwinters wrote:


Feb 11, 2010 -- 6:07AM, Don't_Be_Captious wrote:


Feb 10, 2010 -- 6:56AM, Kwinters wrote:


2bme:  Can we witness the Ding an sich--in our inner world through the conscious ability to "know thyself?" Is it possible and are empirical standards possible in relation to efforts to Know Thyself?





No and no.



Kwinters,


I don't understand this blunt reply here.  Probably I agree with you on the second part, but what exactly is certifiably impossible about the first part?


The one aspect of modern consciousness studies that I disagree with & that drives me loony is this seemingly morbid fascination with the alleged impossibility that human beings can possibly acquire actual self-knowledge, as if we are to be considered or rendered helpless fucking infants.






 


2b is trying to frame this in terms of empirical methods and empirical standards.


And when you try to do this stuff through empiricism the answer is no.



At that level, I agree.  I certainly don't think "standards" are possible.  Given all I've already written here, it's clear that scientific empiricism -- e.g. standards -- are impossible, here.


 


 


 


What does your inner world look like?  I can't witness - literally see - the Ding an sich.


That's almost semantical quibbling.  An instructor I had long ago often stated that for Buddhists -- spec., Buddhists -- there were, in addition to the five senses of taste, touch, sight, smell, hearing -- the sixth sense of mind.  (Of course, there are other senses, too:  sense of balance, some animals have magnetic sense, sense of infrared or ultraviolet "vision," etc.).  But the point is, "mind" is not something even Buddhists do away with in a manner a la Eliminative Materialism.  To be frank, your opinion as I interpret it so far is little different than Eliminative Materialism, and that's something most people, even many Brights like Dennett, disagree with.


 


 


 


'..."empiricism" is a theory of knowledge that asserts that knowledge arises from sense experience...'


 


SENSE experience.




So YES we ARE incapable of self knowledge by EMPIRICAL standards because we cannot use SENSE EXPERIENCE to experience ourselves.




I can't 'see' my sense of self.  I can't touch my various identities or organise them by weight or size or color.



 


Again, I reiterate, even for Buddhists -- in fact, they are actually an exception -- "mind" is a type of "sense."  I realize "mind" is defined-away in typical science as not being a "sense," but in many ways this is muddled thinking, imo.  There are other sense experiences (and no, I don't mean "ESP" telepathy or whatever) than just organizing by weight or size or color.  Indeed, the five conventional "physical" senses don't, in fact, actually "organize" anything.  The organizing -- which you for whatever reason appear to state here is a type of "sense" -- is not done by sight, touch, taste, smell or hearing, but by mind.


 


 


 


 


 


And further, a la Foucault, given how much of the subject is simply a formulation of social forces, the extent to which our thinking is shaped and limited by our linguistic tools - how much of the Ding an sich is truly 'self' and how much of it is other which we've internalised? 


What about the role of inter-subjectivity?  There can be no sense of self without an other against which to compare or contrast, thus the 'self' only exists in relations with and against others, not independently.


 


 


I've asserted before, there's a distinct difference between "self" and "awareness."  Even the Buddhist, who argues against self-hood (as self is illusory), doesn't deny the fact of conscious awareness. 


Even per Kant, I don't think Ding-an-sich re: human consciousness is necessarily "self," but instead only raw phenomenological awareness.  This is separate, in important ways, from "selfhood."  Animals don't (often, perhaps) experience "selfhood," but they do experience, e.g. pleasure & pain, etc.


 


 


 


 


I halfway expect I'm negotiating a middle ground here again that I've often found myself doing on Bnet in the past.  On the one side, religious zealots want to shout me down for being too atheistic & scientific; on another side, those who are imo in many ways naive materialists, want to criticize my so-called "soft" "non-scientific" stance.  Oh, well.

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5 years ago  ::  Feb 18, 2010 - 8:07AM #60
newchurchguy
Posts: 3,639

Feb 16, 2010 -- 8:03AM, Don't_Be_Captious wrote:


Feb 15, 2010 -- 9:01AM, newchurchguy wrote:


If you think that Toaism is just a fluffy, artsy worldview - you have terribly disrespected its history and effects on world culture. Let alone science.


In debate with MdS -- I posted that the ying/yang was a functional logical operator and after seeing his dismissal of same - I was able to back it up, with recent papers on the subject(surprise - by a well known Chinese Information Theory researcher.)



First, I must admit I'm at least a bit ambivalent. I don't give Tao any ontological, metaphysical credence; yet I have to admit that as a metaphor, and heuristic "rule of thumb" device, it's really, really good. But, then, all art & poetry can give valuable lessons that aren't the same as those of science. (Which is probably something people like 2bme or you want to hear from "us." Perhaps unlike some others, I don't pretend at all that there isn't anything valuable in art, though I cannot agree that there's anything scientifically important in it beyond cultural or perhaps phenomenological.)


Third, you didn't give any more information than a bald assertion that yin/yang is a functional logic operator. Based on 2 & 3, it's a bit hard to take your assertion seriously.


4th, yin/yang & Taoism are just other names for Hegel's Dialectic, as well as Postmodernism. It's the same thing, and to the extent that people want to apply it rigorously to everything in reality, they are dead wrong. At best, Kant had it right (and Hegel had it completely wrong, with his superstitious, non-scientific, illogical miscomprehension of Kant) when he said that reasoning can have limits, and where either not enough information is available, or in some cases at the the limits of logic itself, paradoxes (per Kant, "antinomies") can arise.



DBC,


The exchange was between MdS and I on the Religion and Human Mind Forum - Thread name Tao vs Physics.  I posted this link there.  I will bump it to be on top.


www.scholarpedia.org/article/Bayesian_Yi...


Bayesian Ying-Yang learning is a statistical learning theory for a two pathway featured intelligent system via a Ying representation and a Yang representation, i.e., two complementary Bayesianrepresentations of the joint distribution on the external observation and its inner representation. The system architecture is built under three general designing principles and all the rest unknowns in the system are learned from a set of samples under a Ying-Yang best harmony principle.


Firstly proposed in 1995 and systematically developed over a decade, Bayesian Ying-Yang learning provides not only a general framework that accommodates several typical learning theories and approaches under a unified perspective but also a new theory that leads to bothimproved model selection criteria and learning algorithms with automatic model selection. Moreover, it is able to implement best harmony by Ying-Yang alternative maximization and to cooperate model selection via Ying representation and learning regularization via Yang representation.



At least MdS addressed that he may be fixed in a Western view.  Your comments reducing Taoism to - Hegel and Postmodernism - are pretty outrageous and without depth, while claiming to be "into" the its subject matter.


How we learn and how we process information ARE a quasi-empirical scientificapproach to the issue of our first person accounts both as a report - and as pragmatic and measurableexperience.  That scientist with an approach outside of a Western view has gotten hearing and support should not be surprising. 


If you give the Tao - "no credence" - you can understand that since I do consider it a deeply considered world view - it may behoove you to read and learn about its modern applications before dismissing its relevance. 


I do think that western worldviews come up dramatically short when considering the exploration of the mind, because of a tacit belief in a "magic" property of matter.


Matter is defined ell by material sceince and when we deal with mind - the magic just becomes the laws and priciples of information science.  

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