Limits of Imagination

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Consul
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Re: Limits of Imagination

Post by Consul » July 6th, 2018, 1:36 pm

RJG wrote:
July 5th, 2018, 8:52 am
You only became aware of it 'after' it popped into your head, not before! It was created 'prior' to your conscious awareness of it.
No, your brain doesn't first create (complete) unconscious thoughts or images that are then inserted ready-made into your consciousness, and thereby become conscious ones. The cerebral creating or producing of your thoughts or images is simultaneous with your experiencing of them. Your thoughts and images are created onstage, not offstage. The (nonconscious) neurophysiological offstage processes preceding your (conscious) thinkings or imaginings aren't part of them (even though the latter depend on the former).
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Consul
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Re: Limits of Imagination

Post by Consul » July 6th, 2018, 2:54 pm

RJG wrote:
July 6th, 2018, 1:32 pm
Consul wrote:...then there is no (intentional) mental action, and all thinkings and imaginings are wholly passive experiences and thus mere happenings rather than doings. And then a (so-called) thinker or imaginer is nothing but a passive recipient of subconsciously and involuntarily produced thoughts or mental images.
Bingo. ...as this is the ONLY logical possibility.
No, there's nothing logically contradictory about the concept of (intentional) mental doing or action. Experientiality doesn't preclude (intentional) activity. That thinking and imagining are kinds of experiences doesn't mean that they are (wholly) passive ones. It doesn't mean that being experienced is incompatible with being done (intentionally).

Anyway, isn't there a subjective sense of mental agency making a real phenomenological difference between active thinkings/imaginings and passive thought-/image-experiencings (e.g. thought insertions as experienced by schizophrenics). When I ask you to imagine a cube and to let it rotate around an axis, and you do so, isn't your imaginative experience accompanied by a feeling of intentional mental action?
Of course, you can reply that this is just a subjective illusion of agency—but is it really? Isn't there strong, not easily defeasible introspective evidence for Searle's statement that "there is an obvious distinction between the experience of voluntary intentional activity on the one hand and the experience of passive perception on the other"?
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Consul
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Re: Limits of Imagination

Post by Consul » July 6th, 2018, 3:16 pm

RJG wrote:
July 6th, 2018, 1:21 pm
Not so. Incorrect. -- ALL experiences are passive (one-way happenings), and therefore only 'one' case is possible.

Not so again. -- We don't/can't "form intentions", ...we can only "experience intentions".

Furthermore, it is logically impossible to do something "intentionally". "Intentional" is self-stultifying. - One cannot “intend” anything without there existing the prior “intention” to do so, making the term itself self-contradictory, or self-stultifying.
In other words, although we may 'experience' urges (called "intentions"), we certainly cannot 'intend' (cause) our intentions!
Do we have to be able to do so in order to be able to act intentionally? I don't think so. My (introspective) awareness of my intentions may be passive, but it doesn't follow that I cannot act physically or mentally in accordance with my intentions.

However, there's a distinction between intention in action (acting intentionally, with an intention) and intention for action (intending to act/to do sth). And here's a relevant distinction between intention for physical action and intention for mental action: You can intend to physically do x without physically doing x, but you cannot intend to mentally do x without mentally doing x. That is, you cannot intend to think or imagine something without thinking or imagining it. Note that this is not to say that you cannot think or imagine it intentionally, that there cannot be intention in mental action!
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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RJG
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Re: Limits of Imagination

Post by RJG » July 6th, 2018, 4:39 pm

RJG wrote:You only became aware of it 'after' it popped into your head, not before! It was created 'prior' to your conscious awareness of it.
Consul wrote:No, your brain doesn't first create (complete) unconscious thoughts or images that are then inserted ready-made into your consciousness, and thereby become conscious ones. The cerebral creating or producing of your thoughts or images is simultaneous with your experiencing of them. Your thoughts and images are created onstage, not offstage. The (nonconscious) neurophysiological offstage processes preceding your (conscious) thinkings or imaginings aren't part of them (even though the latter depend on the former).
Logically we can't 'know' what we think until AFTER we think it. We can't be conscious-of-X without the (pre-existing) X to be conscious of.

Note: without 'something' to be conscious of, there is 'nothing' to be conscious of; there is no consciousness (e.g. without something to see, there is no seeing).

Consul, furthermore, "simultaneously" still doesn't help here. If one wishes to consciously cause a thought, then this conscious causation must occur BEFORE the thought. In other words, you would have to be conscious-of-X BEFORE the existence of X, which is a LOGICAL IMPOSSIBILITY.

Consul wrote:No, there's nothing logically contradictory about the concept of (intentional) mental doing or action. Experientiality doesn't preclude (intentional) activity.
Sure it does. We can't have it both ways. We can't be both the 'causer' and 'causee' (experiencer) simultaneously. It is self-contradicting.

For instance, "intentional activity" implies "conscious causation" (one that causes his own experiences) as opposed to non-conscious causation. Conscious causation, by itself is self-contradictory. Consciousness implies AFTER X, and Causation implies BEFORE X. We can be one, but not both! Logic won't let us.

Case 1. Consciousness of X is AFTER the X
Case 2. Causation of X is BEFORE the X

Married bachelors, square circles, and "conscious causations" are all likewise self-contradictory (non-sensical).

Consul wrote:That thinking and imagining are kinds of experiences doesn't mean that they are (wholly) passive ones. It doesn't mean that being experienced is incompatible with being done (intentionally).
Again, sure it does.
1. When one is thinking, are they thinking of 'something'? Can one think (or mentally cause) 'something' if there is 'nothing' to think?
2. When one is imagining, are they imagining of 'something'? Can one imagine (or mentally cause) 'something' if there is 'nothing' to imagine?
3. When one is seeing, are they seeing of 'something'? Can one see (or mentally cause) 'something' if there is nothing to see?

Without something (a thought) to passively experience, there is NO thinking.
Without something (an idea) to passively experience, there is NO imagining.
Without something (a sight) to passively experience, there is NO seeing.

Thinking, imagining, seeing are all exclusively (wholly) passive experiences.

Consul wrote:When I ask you to imagine a cube and to let it rotate around an axis, and you do so, isn't your imaginative experience accompanied by a feeling of intentional mental action?
Sure, but remember, the "feeling of intention" is just that! It is just a feeling (an 'experience'). There is no real intentional (causative) action, ...only the feeling/urge. That's all.

The simple rule-of-thumb -- If we 'experience' it, then it is too late to 'cause' it!

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Re: Limits of Imagination

Post by RJG » July 6th, 2018, 5:14 pm

Consul wrote:Do we have to be able to do so in order to be able to act intentionally? I don't think so. My (introspective) awareness of my intentions may be passive, but it doesn't follow that I cannot act physically or mentally in accordance with my intentions.
I suspect we do in fact, act according to our unconscious 'urges' (desires/compulsions/will), and then only become consciously aware of them, and our resulting actions, AFTER they surface; i.e. after we feel/experience them.

Consul wrote:However, there's a distinction between intention in action (acting intentionally, with an intention) and intention for action (intending to act/to do sth). And here's a relevant distinction between intention for physical action and intention for mental action: You can intend to physically do x without physically doing x, but you cannot intend to mentally do x without mentally doing x. That is, you cannot intend to think or imagine something without thinking or imagining it. Note that this is not to say that you cannot think or imagine it intentionally, that there cannot be intention in mental action!
Consul, think about the word "intention" and it's meaning. It is a 'bogus' word (without any substantive meaning). The supposed meaning undercuts/invalidates its own meaning. In other words, there is no intending in intending. How does one really intentionally do anything? ...seriously. Try to explain it without losing its meaning.

Here is my try:
How does one intentionally do anything? Mustn't we first possess the feeling of intending before we can do something intentionally? And if so, where did that feeling of intending come from, did I intend that feeling of intending, or was it 'given' or forced upon me? If the feeling of intention was given/forced upon me, then my intention is not really my intention. Therefore it seems impossible to intend with the true meaning of intending. Either we are 'forced' to intend, or we don't intend. Either way, there is no intending in intending.

"Intention" is a meaningless word. There is only the passive "feeling/urge" that we call "intention". There is no existing true sense of the word itself. It is bogus; a false word; meaningless.
Last edited by RJG on July 6th, 2018, 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Felix
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Re: Limits of Imagination

Post by Felix » July 6th, 2018, 5:17 pm

If one wishes to consciously cause a thought, then this conscious causation must occur BEFORE the thought.
And it can, I can decide I will think about such-and-such and then do so.
In other words, you would have to be conscious-of-X BEFORE the existence of X, which is a LOGICAL IMPOSSIBILITY.
That would mean it is impossible to invent anything new, to imagine and then create something that does not yet exist. In fact, the very practice of science would be impossible.
We can't be both the 'causer' and 'causee' (experiencer) simultaneously. It is self-contradicting.
Try that argument with your insurance company when you get in an auto accident, they will no doubt find it as silly as I do.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

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Re: Limits of Imagination

Post by RJG » July 6th, 2018, 5:27 pm

RJG wrote:If one wishes to consciously cause a thought, then this conscious causation must occur BEFORE the thought.
Felix wrote:And it can, I can decide I will think about such-and-such and then do so.
It's too late. The such-and-such popped into your head before you could decide to think of it. It beat you to the punch! Otherwise, how would you have known to think of it?

RJG wrote:In other words, you would have to be conscious-of-X BEFORE the existence of X, which is a LOGICAL IMPOSSIBILITY.
Felix wrote:That would mean it is impossible to invent anything new, to imagine and then create something that does not yet exist. In fact, the very practice of science would be impossible.
Not so. We are conscious of what we do, only AFTER we do it. This does not mean we stop doing what we do.

RJG wrote:We can't be both the 'causer' and 'causee' (experiencer) simultaneously. It is self-contradicting.
Felix wrote:Try that argument with your insurance company when you get in an auto accident, they will no doubt find it as silly as I do.
Well, not everyone is rational. Many prefer to still believe in logical impossibilities (aka fairy tales).

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Re: Limits of Imagination

Post by Felix » July 6th, 2018, 5:34 pm

Not so. We are conscious of what we do, only AFTER we do it.
You keep using the word "we" when you mean "I."

I am conscious of what I do while I do it, and I can also be conscious of what I intend to do before I do it - that's called planning.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

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Re: Limits of Imagination

Post by ThomasHobbes » July 6th, 2018, 5:41 pm

Your question is ungrammatical. But Hume is right. Whatever class we may divide the perceptions, there is nothing novel that is not formed from our experience of the sensations, and borrowed ideas.

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Re: Limits of Imagination

Post by ThomasHobbes » July 6th, 2018, 5:44 pm

Felix wrote:
July 6th, 2018, 5:34 pm
Not so. We are conscious of what we do, only AFTER we do it.
You keep using the word "we" when you mean "I."

I am conscious of what I do while I do it, and I can also be conscious of what I intend to do before I do it - that's called planning.
No.
RJG is correct.
The subconscious provides for all, especially planning.
Psychologists have lots of fun with brain scanners that can tell you what you are going to decide before you decide.

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Re: Limits of Imagination

Post by Felix » July 6th, 2018, 6:20 pm

Psychologists have lots of fun with brain scanners that can tell you what you are going to decide before you decide
I've read the studies you are referencing, they suggest that the intention to act preceded the action, which counters RJK's premise. Also, some people are more conscious than others, many people live their lives in a daze.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

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Re: Limits of Imagination

Post by mr533473 » July 6th, 2018, 11:18 pm

RJG wrote:
July 6th, 2018, 1:21 pm
mr533473 wrote:A, A, and B. Now, you probably think this proves some point but the options are far from exhaustive. They just bully me into selecting what you want by only giving me two options. Given we are talking about the imagination and you make one of the two options the experience of "actual burning astroturf" there's no real choice in the matter.. so yeah out of what there is choice of.. A, A, and B are "most accurate" but not conclusive.
You missed my overriding point. It doesn't matter whether you picked A, B, C, D, or Z, or any other experience of your choosing. An experience is an experience.

"Everything that we experience, is still just... an 'experience'." -- RJG

Let this statement sink in a bit to grasp its full meaning. - If everything that we experience is still just an experience, then all we can do is just experience 'experiences', and nothing more!

So, in reality, we are just the 'experiencers' of our bodily actions/movements, and not the "conscious causers" (that we have been indoctrinated to believe) of said bodily actions/movements. Not only that, but the conscious causation itself is self-contradictory (not logically possible).
Your point is clear, that everything we experience is experience. This point of trivial. There is nothing to sink in. It floats atop the well of knowledge like a **** duck feather. It's like saying 'everything that is blue is blue'

Ultimately, you don't believe what you're saying. If you did, you would put our disagreement down to different experiences, both of us experiencing that we are right, but it being impossible to say what is actually so. In that case you would have no reason to think you could change my mind. See, what you are appealing to is my ability to reason..

Kant talks of "practical reason", based only on things about which reason can tell us, and not deriving any principles from experience, to reach conclusions which can be applied to the world of experience..

Can you explain how a bunch of disparate sensory experiences interact of their own accord within a mind? How they synthesis and present themselves anew? What reason they would have to do so?

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Re: Limits of Imagination

Post by mr533473 » July 6th, 2018, 11:39 pm

ThomasHobbes wrote:
July 6th, 2018, 5:41 pm
Your question is ungrammatical. But Hume is right. Whatever class we may divide the perceptions, there is nothing novel that is not formed from our experience of the sensations, and borrowed ideas.
You're right, I've rushed the question and boofted it. My bad. Is there a way I can edit it so it's clear for those yet to respond?

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Re: Limits of Imagination

Post by Consul » July 7th, 2018, 12:16 am

mr533473 wrote:
July 6th, 2018, 11:18 pm
Your point is clear, that everything we experience is experience. This point of trivial. There is nothing to sink in. It floats atop the well of knowledge like a **** duck feather. It's like saying 'everything that is blue is blue'.
In ordinary language, the verb "to experience" is often used (transitively) in such a way that what is experienced is not an experience. This may be regarded as false, strictly philosophically speaking; but then it's important to mention that to say that what is experienced is an experience is not to say that what is perceived is an experience, i.e. that the objects of (sensory) perception are experiences.

"The phenomenological and the popular concept of experience

A similar aim leads us to point out that our concept of experience does not tally with the popular notion; here the distinction just sketched, between real (reellem) and intentional content, has its part to play.

If someone say he 'experienced' the wars of 1866 and 1870. then what he has been said to have 'experienced' in this sense, is a complex of outer events, and 'experiencing' consists here in perceptions, judgements and other acts, in which these events appear as objects, and often as objects of certain assertion which relate them to the empirical ego. The experiencing ego, in the phenomenologically paradigmatic sense, has naturally not got these events in itself as things mentally lived through, as its real constituents or contents, in the way in which these events are in the things concerned in them. What it finds in itself, what are present in it as realities, are the relevant acts of[85]perceiving, judging etc., with their variable sense-material, their interpretative content, their assertive characters etc. Experiencing in the latter sense is quite different from experiencing in the former sense. To experience outer events meant to have certain acts of perception, of this or that type of knowledge, directed upon them. This 'having' at once furnishes an instance of the quite different 'experiencing' in the sense of phenomenology. This merely means that certain contents help to constitute a unity of consciousness, enter into the phenomenologically unified stream of consciousness of an empirical ego. This itself is a real whole, in reality made up of manifold parts, each of which may be said to be 'experienced'. It is in this sense that what the ego or consciousness experiences, are its experiences: there is no difference between the experience or conscious content and the experience itself. What is sensed is, e.g., no different from the sensation. If, however, an experience 'directs itself' to an object distinguishable from itself, as, e.g., external perception directs itself to a perceived object, a nominal presentation to an object named etc., such an object is not experienced or conscious in the sense to be established here, but perceived, named etc.

The situation justified talk of 'contents', which is here entirely proper. The normal sense of the word 'content' is relative: it refers quite generally to a comprehensive unity which has its content in the sum total of its component parts. Whatever can be regarded as a part of a whole, and as truly constituting it in real fashion (reell), belongs to the content of that whole. In our current descriptive-psychological talk of contents, the tacitly assumed relational focus, i.e. the corresponding whole, is the real unity of consciousness. Its content is the sum total of present experiences, and 'contents' in the plural means these experiences themselves, i.e. all that as real parts constitute any phenomenological stream of consciousness."


(Husserl, Edmund. Logical Investigations, Vol 2. Translated by J. N. Findlay. London: Routledge, 2001. pp. 84-5)
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: Limits of Imagination

Post by mr533473 » July 7th, 2018, 1:06 am

Consul wrote:
July 7th, 2018, 12:16 am
mr533473 wrote:
July 6th, 2018, 11:18 pm
Your point is clear, that everything we experience is experience. This point of trivial. There is nothing to sink in. It floats atop the well of knowledge like a **** duck feather. It's like saying 'everything that is blue is blue'.
In ordinary language, the verb "to experience" is often used (transitively) in such a way that what is experienced is not an experience. This may be regarded as false, strictly philosophically speaking; but then it's important to mention that to say that what is experienced is an experience is not to say that what is perceived is an experience, i.e. that the objects of (sensory) perception are experiences.
I see, in frustration, I have said "everything we experience" (which could be an object of (sensory) perception) "is experience." This is wrong, not trivial or the equivalent to "everything that is blue, is blue".

Am I right to think this what you were pointing out?

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