[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[Xmca-l] Re: Fate, Luck and Chance

Exactly! There is a difference between the objective processes (which can be studied by science) which produce, or as you say, yield the illusion and the illusion itself. That is the *whole* point. To deny this difference in the name of "embedded consciousness" or rejecting "some kind of mental process" as "mysterious" is to retreat into absurdities. We *do* indeed experience consciousness (i.e. mental processes), i.e., we experience illusions, but these illusions arise from objective, material processes which we can understand and study. But the illusion *in itself*, the product, cannot be studied scientifically. And for the same reason - that is, that the illusions arise from from objective material processes, they are *useful guides to those material processes* for the beings which enjoy those illusions and have to live by them.

Vygotsky calls them "phantoms". Do a search on "phantom" in that web page.


*Andy Blunden*

Huw Lloyd wrote:
It may not be clear to foreign readers. When I read the english phrase, "one has only to apply the formula to see what is the matter", I understand it as "one has only to apply the formula in order to see what is wrong with it".

This seems quite consistent with LSV's follow on point about separating direct experience from knowledge. In terms of studying consciousness a useful distinction could be made between the system yielding consciousness at any given time and the experience of consciousness itself. (Note that I don't consider these to be distinct things, but rather distinct foci).


On 26 November 2014 at 14:13, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:

    In physics we try to eliminate the subjective factor from what we
    perceive as an object. In psychology, when we study perception it
    is again required to separate perception as such, as it is, from
    how it seems to me. Who will study what has been eliminated both
    times, this /*appearance*/?

    But the problem of appearance is an apparent problem. After all,
    in science we want to learn about the /*real*/ and not the
    /*apparent*/ cause of appearance. This means that we must take the
    phenomena as they exist independently from me. The appearance
    itself is an /*illusion*/ (in Titchener’s basic example:
    Muller-Lyer’s lines are physically equal, psychologically one of
    them is longer). This is the difference between the viewpoints of
    physics and psychology. It /*does not exist in reality*/, but
    results from two non-coincidences of two really existing
    processes. If I would know the physical nature of the two lines
    and the objective laws of the eye, as they are in themselves, I
    would get the explanation of the appearance, of the illusion as a
    result. The study of the subjective factor in the knowledge of
    this illusion is a subject of logic and the historical theory of
    knowledge: just like being, the subjective is the result of two
    processes which are objective in themselves. The mind is not
    always a subject. In introspection it is split into object and
    subject. The question is whether in introspection phenomenon and
    being coincide. One has only to apply the epistemological formula
    of materialism, given by Lenin (a similar one can be found in
    Plekhanov) for the /*psychological subject-object*/, in order to
    see what is the matter:

    the only ‘property’ of matter connected with philosophical
    materialism is the property of being an objective reality, of
    existing outside of our consciousness ... Epistemologically the
    concept of matter means nothing other than objective reality,
    existing independently from human consciousness and reflected by
    it. [Lenin, Materialism and Empirio-Criticism

    Elsewhere Lenin says that this is, essentially, the principle of
    /*realism*/, but that he avoids this word, because it has been
    captured by inconsistent thinkers.



    *Andy Blunden*

    Martin John Packer wrote:

        Where does LSV say that consciousness is an illusion, Andy?


        On Nov 26, 2014, at 8:58 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net
        <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:

            No, no! And we are close to agreement here!
            LSV says that consciousness is an illusion, and science
            does not study illusions, but that this illusion arises
            from the "noncoincidence" of two objective, material
            processes, physiology and behaviour, both of which can be
            studied by science (just as light rays and the things
            reflected by light rays can), therefore we can study
            scientifically how these illusions arise and how they
            mediate human activity! This is called psychology. I
            completely agree with Vygotsky. Don't you?

            *Andy Blunden*

            Martin John Packer wrote:
                Andy, LSV argues in Crisis that a science does not,
                cannot, study illusions. Science studies what actually
                exists, and in doing so seeks to *explain* how
                illusions occur. Science studies the real candle and
                the real mirror, in order to *explain* how an image of
                a candle appears in the mirror.

                By saying that consciousness is an illusion, you
                appear to be suggesting that it cannot be studied
                scientifically. Or perhaps you find some flaw with
                LSV's argument?


                On Nov 26, 2014, at 8:21 AM, Andy Blunden
                <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:

                    Huw, don't misunderstand me. By saying
                    "consciousness is an illusion" I am saying
                    something very positive about it. It is an
                    illusion which proves more or less adequate for
                    guiding my activity, just as for example, my rear
                    vision mirror is adequate for guiding my driving,
                    because I am "educated" about mirrors. It is
                    useful I think to frankly say that consciousness
                    is an illusion - an illusion with survival value
                    for humans - because it opens a point of agreement
                    between the positivists and the psychologists. We
                    both can say "consciousness is an illusion." OK,
                    let's discuss that.

                    But consciousness differs from a material process
                    like stimuli-response, that is, an unmediated
                    relation between an organism and its environment,
                    between physiology and behaviour. This is what the
                    neuroscientist typically overlooks. We say "yes,
                    the mediating element is just an illusion, which
                    is why you can't find it, but hey! it's a very
                    useful illusion." :)

                    *Andy Blunden*

                    Huw Lloyd wrote:
                        I would concur with Andy that 'mysterious' is
                        not useful, but I'd say
                        Andy's use of 'illusion' has this problem too,
                        because any such illusions
                        are materially manifested.