TTLG|Thief|Bioshock|System Shock|Deus Ex|Mobile
Page 18 of 18 FirstFirst ... 38131415161718
Results 426 to 431 of 431

Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #426
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by demagogue View Post
    only sensory features are conscious (you can have abstract ideas, but you can only consciously access them through sensory features like a sentence)
    As a person who's inner monologue has never been able to keep up with my thoughts, that sounds like nonsense to me. (Also doesn't make any sense, either, but that's another point.)

    Obviously can't express an idea you can't put into some kind of interpretive action, of course, but that's not the same thing.

  2. #427
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Well we can have a little debate on it. One should probably start with the observation that the whole argument is on thin ice from the start because we don't have an established theory or way to talk about the contents of consciousness. There's a lot of argument and disagreement back and forth on this. I would even say that your intuition is the majority opinion. Definitely in things like the philosophy of language and logic the orthodoxy is that people are conscious of abstract (non-sensory) ideas outside of their expression; predicate logic, or logic generally, is built off of that idea.

    But the sensory-only argument isn't as easy to quash as you might think at first. Just with your first claim, let's start with: What is the actual experience of "my thoughts" or even just "one idea" that your inner monologue is chasing after? Is it first of all the idea itself? Or is it, e.g., an impulse to try to articulate the idea (through your vocal or manual system)? Carruther's might argue it's the latter, which still doesn't really give you access to the idea itself outside some sensory way to put it. (There's not just the expression that's sensory by the way. If you're thinking about walking to the store to buy eggs, then your imagining the sensory scene of walking to the store to buy eggs in there too. If you're thinking about a math problem, you're imagining representations of the numbers. Etc.)

    But you and a lot of people, well me too, have an intuition that there's an experience of something to do with the idea before you articulate it, before you even know how you want to articulate it. But there's a lot of disagreement about what kind of experience that is. If it's not sensory, then what is it?

    By the way, I don't think I accurately explained Carruther's position in that book. He technically allows that the abstract or non-sensory parts of an idea exist, but he thinks they're bound to the sensory parts, like the way the feeling of the recognition or familiarity of a face is bound to the actual features of the face. If you don't have the face, you don't have feeling of the recognition. He could use that kind of analogy for abstract ideas, the ring of recognition that the idea has been crystallized and you get it, being bound to the articulation of the sentence that expresses it. If you don't have that sentence that its bound to, then you don't really have access to the idea (like you don't have access to the recognition of the face without the face). At most you might have a situation where you're imagining, if it were expressed, then I'd get it. (Like if I saw the face, then I'd recognize it.)

    There's such a mess trying to be clear about what's happening in inner monologue it gets hairy really fast though!
    Also, I'm really boiling a lot of things down here and I'm not sure I'm being fair to Carruther's arguments, which he's really careful to make. He's also connecting everything to the neurophysiology and letting it take the lead.

  3. #428
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Abstract thought being rooted in sensory experience is pretty basic empiricism. Still, I think humans can eventually think about abstractions that have lost their connections to their sensory roots, and haven't yet acquired new ones. (At least, I've experienced that many times, as far as I can tell.) I don't think our minds inherently privilege or require sensory connections that much. But such abstractions become very difficult to remember if we don't slap a word on them, even if we have to invent that word our self, and if I'm not mistaken the effect is stronger in most people than it is in me. A lot of people I've talked to on the subject don't distinguish between their inner thought process and their inner monologue, while for me the separation is obvious, perhaps in part because I'm actually kind of bad at putting my thoughts into words in short order. Forget doing it in my head while working through complex logic, I can hardly manage the feat in normal conversation.

    But you and a lot of people, well me too, have an intuition that there's an experience of something to do with the idea before you articulate it, before you even know how you want to articulate it. But there's a lot of disagreement about what kind of experience that is. If it's not sensory, then what is it?
    Self-awareness. I suppose one might define it as sensory by calling it another sense, I don't think it's rooted in the other senses nor in linguistics (again, at least not as I experience it). I'm dubious of the idea that self-awareness functions much like the other senses, despite sharing "conscious awareness of something" as a defining feature. Self-awareness is interesting to me because of how utterly our AI systems seem to lack it. It's clearly unnecessary for most processing.

    But yeah, we seem to have an inner loop where we're aware of what we're thinking about, which doesn't seem to be necessary for the vast majority of those thoughts - in fact, I might argue that it evolved specifically to allow human beings to communicate what they're thinking to other human beings. In that hypothesis, the linguistic aspect of the inner monologue is why it evolved at all; any concomitant self-awareness that came along for the ride is perhaps accidental.

  4. #429
    Quote Originally Posted by Pyrian View Post
    But yeah, we seem to have an inner loop where we're aware of what we're thinking about, which doesn't seem to be necessary for the vast majority of those thoughts - in fact, I might argue that it evolved specifically to allow human beings to communicate what they're thinking to other human beings. In that hypothesis, the linguistic aspect of the inner monologue is why it evolved at all; any concomitant self-awareness that came along for the ride is perhaps accidental.
    What's interesting is that there was a study awhile back where they found that a significant portion of the population has zero inner monologue:

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/b...s-inner-speech

    The part of this I've found the most interesting is that after this became popularized, there are now people testifying what it's like on social media like on Quora: https://www.quora.com/Is-it-true-tha...s-all-the-time


    One I found fairly bizarre was a reposted screenshot from Reddit where someone was mocking the idea of "What, you like need to think words in your head to be able to think? That's so stupid!"....oblivious to the very subject of discussion. There was also a person talking about how they didn't used to be able to and they found that once they started trying to and developed the habit they found that they were able to make changes in their life they'd never been capable of even thinking about before.

    Personally I doubt it's just for "communication". I think most likely it is specific to the advent of written communication which very few people can process without inaudibly "reading" the words in their head.

  5. #430
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Full deaf people, if you ask them what they sense about the words when they read, it's not the sound of the word. But it's something. It's still the word. I'm fascinated by the way they try to explain what it is. I can almost imagine what they're talking about, but I can't put it into words any better.

    There are some people that don't have internal imagery too. What's interesting is that their number include some very good artists. It just means they don't visualize what they're making in advance, but most people when they're talking don't know what they'll say until they say it, or when your improvising a song you don't know what it is until it comes out.

    Just one little thing to Pyrian that may or may not be clarifying. The book I just read is just about the mechanics of working memory: what kinds of things get to float down the stream of consciousness and what things don't. It's not really about what those things are about. I mean it's not about whether the idea you're trying to express is abstract or concrete. It's just, what do you actually have in your mind when you're thinking it.

    The whole punchline for me, by the way, is that Carruther's idea is the basis for my chatbot. For at least this first draft, it's only going to have sensory content going through its mind, an inner voice (the sounds & the feeling of the muscle pulls & the articulator motions), and it can combine those pieces any way it likes, and I like the idea of a "feeling of recognition" being bound to them (a word can be quite literally "just on the tip of the tongue"), but there's nothing beyond them. It either has sounds & muscle motions flowing through its working memory or it isn't really there. Let's see how that flies.

  6. #431
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    The Name of The Wind.

    It's hard to say if it's well written because I'm "reading" it on Audible. The narrator and the sound effects and music really change what's being read.

    I also got Consider Phlebas on Audible and I've read it before (though completely forgotten it) so I might be able to discern something about the writing this time.

Page 18 of 18 FirstFirst ... 38131415161718

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •