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[Xmca-l] Re: units of analysis? LSV versus ANL
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- Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: units of analysis? LSV versus ANL
- From: Martin John Packer <email@example.com>
- Date: Sun, 19 Oct 2014 01:38:44 +0000
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- Thread-topic: [Xmca-l] Re: units of analysis? LSV versus ANL
So many assumptions here that I don't share, Huw.
On Oct 18, 2014, at 8:06 PM, Huw Lloyd <email@example.com> wrote:
> If one is going to attend to the notion of consciousness as attentiveness,
> an "inner eye" etc, then it is germane to distinguish the genetic source
> from the derived means. The means for reflexivity is memory. It so
> happens that most of our memory is located in our heads, which is how we're
> able to imagine doing something without concurrently doing it -- or, what
> might be more accurate, only partially doing it.
> On 19 October 2014 01:49, Martin John Packer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>> Hi Greg,
>> I'm certainly not suggesting we stop using the terms inside and outside.
>> Material entities - including complex systems - can be inside other
>> entities, including other systems. But "mind" can't be inside anything,
>> because it occupies no space. At least that how the classical enlightenment
>> philosophers defined mental entities - they have no extension, no spatial
>> dimensions. Remember how Descartes tried to link mind to the pineal gland,
>> because that was the smallest structure he could find in the brain?
>> One of the indications that psychology is not, in fact, a study of the
>> mind is that we are completely inconsistent in how we talk about it. I ask
>> my students where their mind is. Most of them point at their heads. So I
>> ask them what I asked Andy - "you mean if I look inside you skull I'll see
>> your thoughts?" They tell me no. So I ask them again where their mind is,
>> and they can't answer. I ask them how we can study something when we don't
>> even know where it is.
>> Your right, important stuff is inside the head. I have no trouble at all
>> with the proposal that we study what is inside the head. I used to be a
>> computer programmer, so I know something about the important stuff inside
>> the machine. I think it's important to understand the human brain; I would
>> not like to try to think without mine. But we won't find the mind by
>> looking at the brain; in both cases there are material processes going on
>> in material entities - physical in one case, biological in the other. In
>> the case of a human being, the brain is a necessary basis for psychological
>> processes to occur. But also necessary are the rest of the body, and a
>> culture to live in. Just because the brain is inside the skull doesn't mean
>> that the mind is inside the brain. There are now many powerful arguments
>> against the assumption central to Cog Sci, that psychological processes are
>> like computational processes, which operate on non-semantic formal
>> representations (look at Clark, Barsalou, Glenberg, Ingold). And what sense
>> would it make to say that consciousness is *in* the brain? Consciousness is
>> a process; it is an aspect of our ongoing involvement in the material
>> world. Where is it? It is where that involvement is.
>> On Oct 18, 2014, at 6:18 PM, email@example.com wrote:
>>> Martin, I wonder whether you think the notions of "inside" and "outside
>> run into similar trouble of mental/material dualism?
>>> I was thinking in particular of the notion of the "inside" of a system
>> (this was how Jay Lemke once described the notion of "stance" as the
>> insides if the system).
>>> I can see trouble if we think of "Inside" solely in terms of "inside my
>> head" as you mention. But I wonder if there isn't some possibility of
>> working with this way of speaking that doesn't necessarily call in a
>> mental/physical dualism? (I mean, "inside" and "outside are both ways of
>> describing physical spaces, so it seems like as long as they aren't applied
>> to a pre existing dualist if concept, then this shouldn't be a problem.)
>>> And though I'm not fond of the brain-as-computer metaphor, it might be
>> instructive as a way to think about this inside/outside distinction as the
>> difference between watching the processor at work (outside) and watching
>> the screens as a program runs (inside).
>>> In principle the one can be reduced to the other, but in practice it
>> can't anymore (I assume this is true with today's computers).
>>> The degree of complexity can make it seem like the program running is an
>> autonomous explanatory level of its own, but that doesn't mean that it is.
>> Just that it is the "inside" of the system.
>>> What do you think?
>>> Ps, apologies for not making more direct ties to lsv vs anl discussion.
>> If this is too much of a sidetrack, I'm happy to take this up offline. But
>> Martin, I find your position to be a very provocative one and would like to
>> hear more about how it makes sense for you. It is a way of thinking that is
>> very difficult to wrap one's Western language/mind/brain around!
>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>>> On Oct 18, 2014, at 3:38 PM, Martin John Packer <
>> firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>>>> Hi Michael,
>>>> LSV points out that no proper science sets out to study appearances.
>> Every science studies entities that exist, in order to *explain*
>> appearance. One of his examples is from the science of optics. When we
>> place a burning candle in front of a mirror there *appears* to be a second
>> candle burning behind the mirror, or 'in' the mirror. The scientist doesn't
>> study that second candle. What he or she studies is the first candle, and
>> the mirror, in order to discover principles by which to explain why an
>> 'image' of a second candle appears, apparently located 'in' the mirror.
>>>> It's the same with the mind. It *appears* to us (at least to those of
>> us raised in western, scientific cultures) that our thoughts and feelings
>> exist in a special, internal, subjective, hidden place that we call "the
>> mind." A scientific psychology, says LSV, needs to try to explain how that
>> appearance is possible. It's not too difficult, in fact: our verbal
>> thoughts, our private subvocal speech, is possible, first, because we can
>> use vocal speech to direct our own actions and second, because a fibre
>> bundle called the arcuate fasciculus forms between Broca's area and
>> Wernicke's area (to considerably simply the neuroanatomy and
>> neurofunctioning). The appearance of a "mind in the head" is a *folk*
>> psychology: it is simply one way, among several, in which people try to
>> make sense of an experience that they have; it is the way our own
>> psychological processes *appear* to us. Scientific psychology cannot study
>> the mind, any more than it can study the second candle. It can, however,
>> set out to *explain* the mind, and that is part of what LSV did.
>>>>> On Oct 18, 2014, at 8:11 AM, Glassman, Michael <email@example.com>
>>>>> I sort of feel like (at this point) Vygotsky did open himself up for
>> being critiqued for going inside the head. It was a choice, I don't think
>> he was willing to give up the idea of individual development (which I think
>> you have to do if you are going to escape dualism - because what develops
>> if you can't say there is something inside the head that develops (remember
>> I am suggesting individual development here).