Here, I'm not so much interested in Dennett's ideas on consciousness as I am in his ideas concerning privileged access.

 

I like the opening idea that there is the folk-belief among people that everyone is an expert on their own consciousness. After all, they have a direct relationship with their own consciousness, and this, thereby, makes them an expert on consciousness.

 

I'm not all that impressed with this talk -- not that it's not good -- but he really only presents one piece of evidence, and we are lead to the inference that we don't know our own minds only indirectly through that evidence. I was hoping for something a bit stronger.

 

I like though how he incorporates real time thought experiments into his work.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjbWr3ODbAo&feature=player_embedded

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I'm not sure.  Would not a quantum critique of Newtonian understanding fall prey to the same contradiction, if, in criticizing Newtonian logic as thing-thinking, it represents Newtonianism as a thing-to-be-negated and/or -transcended?

Would not a quantum critique of Newtonian understanding fall prey to the same contradiction, if, in criticizing Newtonian logic as thing-thinking, it represents Newtonianism as a thing-to-be-negated and/or -transcended?

To play along with Tom's smug superiority, "ah, checkmate."

It seems to me that this discussion has gotten into something of a tangle, with lots of crossed lines of communication and several ships passing each other in the night.  It also seems to me that Tom is reading my description of post-representational enactivism as a mere negation or rejection of representation, which is not what I'm saying, and which is ground we've already covered multiple times (I thought).  I've gotten busy at work and don't have time for a long post, but I'll try to write something up later this evening or tomorrow.
From my perspective Tom has demonstrated, and admitted to, a metaphysical and privileged access view according to the descriptions given in this thread and with which I agree. Granted he doesn't agree with the descriptions and finds them inadequate, even a lower level of cognitive development, and while I disagree I can accept that too. Having said that I don't see much point in belaboring the issue with continued argument that will not apparently change any minds so will agree to disagree and leave it at that. I do appreciate the dialogue though Tom.

Damn, I can't stay away!  I must work... Copying and pasting, with a little modification:  The critique of privileged access is a critique of this belief:  We have 'direct' access to the fact of consciousness, and therefore our 1-p knowledge of the contents (and structure, processes, etc) of consciousness must necessarily be superior to other modes of knowledge about the contents, processes, etc, of consciousness -- e.g., people should be taken as 'experts' with regard to the 'state' and 'content' and 'processes' of their minds because they have privileged (even direct) access to their own consciousness.


Tom, speaking from your 'quantum' frame, how would you respond to someone espousing such a belief?

Tom: That knowing corresponds more to a self-trust, or an identity or non-separate being with and being as whatever arises.

 

Alright. So I understand that Tom has installed a permament abonnement on the causal witnessing state of consciusness, which in my eyes gives him a 2nd tier psychograph with some minor subtle shadow issues, which are lovingly backed up by Master Bruce. So far so good.

 

At this point of the discussion I'd like to point at the wisdom of western psychoanlysis in the more sophisticated versions, as exemplified by Lacan. He does say something about "self-trust" and "identity" that go beyond the laymen usage of these words as put forward by Tom. "Self-Trust" e.g. means nothing but Narcissism (healthy vs. unhealthy) and Identity is still more complex. You cannot talk about identity in a meaningful way without talking about the underlying structures of consciousness. In short, Identity is the story "I" tell about myself, and that story might change over the course of my development.

Tom: Thinking must itself by the play of what is in some fundamental sense.

This is not true in my opinion. There is a further complication in here, I say it again, this is too easy and too early a unification, a simplification. Thinking and Being are not the same. In combination with Identity, it was Kant who asked 'who does the thinking?' He referred to "he or she or it, the thing which thinks" in me. In other (simplified) words, what arises moment to moment are not my thoughts, but is the countertransference of the thing-in-itself. And I, the observer, am part of the equation with my current level of understanding and development. Okay, Lacan might put it slightly different, read it for yourself. Lacan points to the "empty" self, the "barred subject" (S) which is nothing but a vessel, an opening in which inner movement can take place. This is far from any "self-trust" or grandiose feelings of superiority of priviliged access. In still other words, as put forward by Master Therion and his A A Gang, "Tzaddi is not the star". That's all I can say for now.

Greetings,

Tom:  Bruce, I don't separate the fact of and contents of consciousness to the degree I think you imply, and I don't view your post-representational enactivism as mere negation.  I'm unsure what inroads I can make into answering your question, but I'll say at least this.  I've moved to a greater appreciation of tacit knowing, which I see as a form of knowing that cannot be articulated.  That knowing corresponds more to a self-trust, or an identity or non-separate being with and being as whatever arises.  That identity can be seen in Bohr's suggestion that the way forward for physical thinking is to dive into that which an observation implies.  You might ask this: how is it possible for quantum physicists to predict with confidence something like non-locality some 70 years before it was proven in a lab?  Or how could Einstein rock classical physics by a mere thought experiment?  Thinking must itself by the play of what is in some fundamental sense.  This is what I mean by identity.  My thinking is not separate from me, it's not separate from the world, it's simply not separate. [My bolding.]


Perhaps you already get this, but in the definition of privileged access I offered in my previous post, I wasn't trying to make any assertions one way or the other about consciousness and its contents.  I was trying just to clearly state the basic idea, and to elicit your own response to, or critique of, such a notion. 


Concerning tacit knowing, yes, I agree, such knowing -- while tacit -- remains presently unarticulable.  I experience a 'tacit,' elusive quality in 'ordinary' thought when I listen deeply to its flow: an idea seems to arise first as a tacit, pre-articulated 'whole,' and then can unfold into partial or full sentences or images.  'Prior' to such unfolding, there's a pregnant, burgeoning or sometimes dream-just-forgotten quality to the knowing: it is 'there' but it is 'not there.'  I can let go and trust action to follow, or I can bring it into articulation, or sometimes I experience it fading away and I am left with a word-on-the-tip-of-the-tongue feeling: some shadow just moved at the forest edge and almost showed itself to the observing hunter (the conscious ego) before it quietly slipped away. 


But tacit knowing can be brought into articulation, can't it?  Isn't that what you are saying when you give the examples of non-locality and Einstein's thought experiments?  The 'knowing' that emerged through investigation of the implications of observations led to clearly articulated predictions about 'real-world' phenomena, which could be tested (and confirmed) in laboratory experiments.  An insight first may arise in this tacit / implicit form, but I don't think you can say that such knowing, in principle, can't be articulated. 


Also -- and this may go to the 'privileged access' topic, if we unpack this a bit -- even if we grant that thinking is 'the play of what is in some fundamental sense,' and is inseparable from 'self' and 'world' (I can follow those suggestions, in my own way), does this necessarily entail that everything thought does, every movement of thought, every idea and insight about self, consciousness, or world, must therefore be equally valid, or carry equal intersubjective weight (because equally an expression or movement of 'what is')?

 

Also -- and this may go to the 'privileged access' topic, if we unpack this a bit -- even if we grant that thinking is 'the play of what is in some fundamental sense,' and is inseparable from 'self' and 'world' (I can follow those suggestions, in my own way), does this necessarily entail that everything thought does, every movement of thought, every idea and insight about self, consciousness, or world, must therefore be equally valid, or carry equal intersubjective weight (because equally an expression or movement of 'what is')?

Balder, let me answer that last bit – I think insight sort of comes from elsewhere and is not intersubjective dependant .  everything else is intersubjective, or of the same order. Deconstruct all of this and you have what is. They are not a movement of what is, which is unconditional. Random, wayward, unruly….

And, I feel  tacit or any knowing can be articulated beyond definitive margins, if not all the way.  (Since all the way gets to be instantaneous) instantaneity is also communicable, instantly. Easy does it. Wheres Nickeson btw ?

 

Tom, I think deconstruction is access to what is , it is not what is. and then of course what is deconstructs itself. but that is the same movement of creation. you cant  have thing without no-thing as you were saying.

 

I was just going to post a reply to christophe so Iam going to come back to your response to him , which i havent really read :)

 

Christophe - You cannot talk about identity in a meaningful way without talking about the underlying structures of consciousness. In short, Identity is the story "I" tell about myself, and that story might change over the course of my development.

Is identity the story I tell about myself or the story the underlying structures of consciousness tells about me, or itself, which is the counter transference of the thing in itself (what arises moment to moment are not my thoughts) -  there is a difference between those views . This is something I’ve working through in my recent posts, there looks to be a  middle way  that is interesting. is  the counter transference in the cognitive unconscious tagged to performative acts or is it beyond that. I think when the cognitive unconscious moves into the conscious realm, that, is an unconditional movement. Until then it remains identity related ( related to my thoughts and acts, if not my thoughts) which is to say, the same event or content , is transformed given the type of activity.

Christophe - Thinking and Being are not the same. In combination with Identity, it was Kant who asked 'who does the thinking?' He referred to "he or she or it, the thing which thinks" in me. In other (simplified) words, what arises moment to moment are not my thoughts, but is the countertransference of the thing-in-itself.

True, thinking and being are not the same. And the suggestion in combination with identity, points again to that difference in views. Theres is something other than identity, beside the two views of identity

 

 

I don't see how it can be otherwise, Christophe.  What, after all, is thinking if not some aspect of what is.  Thinking is an evolutionary emergent.  It must, even just on that level of viewing, represent nature in some respect.  I don't follow Kant to assert that something other than me thinks in me.  For me, there's only one me, here, no matter how I slice this pie.

 

Tom there is me who is the experiencer, the thinker, and there is existence which is not experience. which is what is. Experience is the past, or closer to home it is the interpretation

 

 

of course not :)but when that gap is closed there is only observation

Tom, I'm just waking up, and will return with a fuller post after a cup of coffee :-), but I'll start off with a question:  are you saying following the implications of an observation or a conceptual construct (such as a set of mathematical equations) always yields empirically demonstrable 'truth' about 'what is'?  Can such traced-out implications ever be disconfirmed -- resulting either in a prediction that is not confirmed, or leading to the disconfirmation of the present theoretical or orientational gestalt within which observation is taking place?

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