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



Martin, Andy, Huw

I have just read your extended thinking process as a drama being "played
out" and presented to us *readers*.  I wanted to express my appreciation
with the care and concern you have explored the notions of "appearance" and
"illusion" [I also would include  "imaginal" as having a family resemblance.

To myself this "exchange" is the best practice that XMCA offers to myself
as I participate as a "reader" in this word/play.

I am now *reading* that a key difference is the notion of consciousness as
"sometimes" an  illusion OR "always" an illusion.

A question that matters to me is if "consciousness *is* imaginal?"  and if
"the imaginal *is* real?"

As a *reader* participating in our interpretive community, I
experienced [imaginatively??] this process AS "unfolding" here and now.
I experienced this *dialogical exchange" among passionate persons as real
AND imaginal. [Both, not either/or]
This exchange may be *read* as dispassionate and distanced [reflective] but
I was not *reading* from this disposition. I was inside the conversation.

Word/play as rhetorical persuasive dialogue AND scientific exchange. [both
not either/or]

Thank you for this experience
Larry

On Wed, Nov 26, 2014 at 7:16 AM, Martin John Packer <mpacker@uniandes.edu.co
> wrote:

> Crisis is a text about methodology, Andy, so yes, LSV's central question
> is how to study consciousness. (His answer is through Analysis, as you
> know.) But the issue he addresses is how to study consciousness as an
> objective process. Not as an illusion. Consciousness is an objective
> process that *sometimes* can *give rise to* illusions.
>
> (Psychology is "like any other science" but is "unlike physics">>>??)
>
> Martin
>
> On Nov 26, 2014, at 10:06 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
>
> > I have to go bed now, Martin, so xmca-ers will be relieved of my nagging
> voice for 8 hours or so, but ...
> >
> > The point is: *how* do you study consciousness, which is, after all, the
> subject matter of psychology. History and atomic physics face the same
> problem. None of these sciences (or any science actually) have unmediated
> access to their subject matter. You would have heard the epigram that
> "physics is the science of meter readings". So, like any other science,
> psychology has to reconstruct the illusions which are its subject matter
> from knowledge of the objective processes which produce the illusions,
> unlike physics and history which aim to eliminate the illusions and
> rec9onstruct the objective processes.
> >
> > Consciousness is an illusion, but I am not deluded in believing that I
> experience consciousness.
> >
> > Andy
> > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > *Andy Blunden*
> > http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
> >
> >
> > Martin John Packer wrote:
> >> Yes, Andy, we're in agreement on the need to distinguish between what
> is appearance and what is reality. And on the proposal that science studies
> reality, in order to explain appearances. Where we appear to disagree is
> that in your interpretation, LSV claims that consciousness is an illusion.
> In my interpretation, consciousness is an objective process, and so can be
> studied scientifically. Surely the central argument of Crisis is that
> psychology should be the scientific study of consciousness, properly
> understood as a material process? If LSV had argued that consciousness is
> an illusion, he would not have suggested that we can study it, would he?
> Only that we could *explain* it by studying objective processes.
> >> Martin
> >>
> >> On Nov 26, 2014, at 9:47 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
> >>
> >>
> >>> 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
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >>> *Andy Blunden*
> >>> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> 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).
> >>>>
> >>>> Huw
> >>>>
> >>>> 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
> >>>>   <
> http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1908/mec/five2.htm#bkV14P260F01
> >]
> >>>>
> >>>>   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.
> >>>>
> >>>>
> http://www.marxists.org/archive/vygotsky/works/crisis/psycri13.htm#p1371
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>   Andy
> >>>>
> >>>>
>  ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >>>>   *Andy Blunden*
> >>>>   http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
> >>>>   <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>   Martin John Packer wrote:
> >>>>
> >>>>       Where does LSV say that consciousness is an illusion, Andy?
> >>>>
> >>>>       Martin
> >>>>
> >>>>       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
> >>>>
>  ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >>>>           *Andy Blunden*
> >>>>           http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
> >>>>           <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>           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?
> >>>>
> >>>>               Martin
> >>>>
> >>>>               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
> >>>>
>  ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >>>>                   *Andy Blunden*
> >>>>                   http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
> >>>>                   <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>                   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.
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >
>
>
>