Limits of Imagination

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Limits of Imagination

Post by ThomasHobbes » July 7th, 2018, 3:15 am

mr533473 wrote:
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?
DRop the "IF"


The question is: does anyone feel their imagination capable of forming an idea that has not compounded, transposed, augmented or diminished materials afforded them by the senses and experience?

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Limits of Imagination

Post by ThomasHobbes » July 7th, 2018, 3:19 am

"The question is: does anyone feel their imagination capable of forming an idea that has not compounded, transposed, augmented or diminished materials afforded them by the senses and experience?"

This is really a question which looks at the idea of a tabula rasa. There are some exception. Those are whatever instincts we come equipped with prior to birth. A baby having never experienced milk or breasts seems to know to find a breast and knows what to do with it.

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Re: Limits of Imagination

Post by Eduk » July 7th, 2018, 3:30 am

How about something like the theory of relativity?
Unknown means unknown.

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RJG
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Re: Limits of Imagination

Post by RJG » July 7th, 2018, 3:37 pm

mr533473 wrote: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'
Mr533473, you again miss the point. It is NOT like saying "everything that is blue is blue". It is like saying "EVERYTHING is blue". ...meaning EVERYTHING is just an experience (sensation), ...meaning, in this life of ours, all we can really only experience are experiences (sensations). That's it.

mr533473 wrote: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..
If I "believe what I am saying", then I can only consciously 'experience' stuff, not "DO" stuff. I am a full-time experiencer, and a zero-time doer. Although my physical body does lots of things, I only know of these "doings" through the experiencing of the bodily reactions (which are the only things I can ever experience!).

mr53347 wrote: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?
I suspect we consciously (knowingly) experience some of our 'bodily reactions' shortly after they happen. These bodily reactions/experiences include sensory (senses), memory (thoughts/ideas), and urges (feelings/emotions).

If you are asking why we experience what we experience, or why our body reacts as it does, ...then I have to say "I don't know", though I suspect these reactions (experiences) are deterministic in nature (have been caused themselves; are chain reactions themselves).

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RJG
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Re: Limits of Imagination

Post by RJG » July 8th, 2018, 10:50 am

We don't/can't consciously move our bodies about, we are only just conscious of our bodies moving about.

We don't/can't consciously cause our bodily actions, we are only just conscious of our bodily reactions.

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Re: Limits of Imagination

Post by Consul » July 8th, 2018, 11:22 am

RJG wrote:
July 6th, 2018, 4:39 pm
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.
Of course, the beginning of my awareness of my thinking cannot be earlier than the beginning of my thinking; but it is not the case that it must be later than the end of my thinking, because it can be (at least partly) simultaneous with my thinking. What is hardly possible is to think about a thought while thinking it, but by "thought-awareness" I don't mean introspective thought about thought but introspective thought-perception.
RJG wrote:
July 6th, 2018, 4:39 pm
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).
The word "consciousness" is used both transitively and intransitively (e.g. in "The patient regained consciousness"), and there's a distinction between the (perceptual) object of consciousness and its (experiential) content. Consciousness without an experiential content is non-consciousness, but consciousness without a perceptual object is not. For example, in the case of visual hallucination there is an experiential content in the form of visual impressions/sensations, but there is no perceptual object, such that visual hallucinatings are seeings of nothing, because there is nothing to see or seen. (You experience the content of your visual experiences, but you don't visually perceive it.)
RJG wrote:
July 6th, 2018, 4:39 pm
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
1 is false, because introspection is not the same as retrospection/recollection. I can very well be conscious/aware of current/present experiences.

2 is false too if causation is understood as the manifestation of causal powers. I have the active power to think or imagine, and my exerting it is simultaneous with my thinking or imagining.
RJG wrote:
July 6th, 2018, 4:39 pm
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.
Of course, all thinkings, imaginings, and sensings must have some experiential content. In the case of linguistic thought the content consists of mental words and sentences; in the case of imagination it consists of mental images; and in the case of sensation it consists of sense-qualities/sensory qualia.

Of course, an experiential content cannot be without being experienced by a subject. But, again, that I experience mental words or images doesn't mean that I don't actively, intentionally, voluntarily think or imagine them. I experience my mental actions.
RJG wrote:
July 6th, 2018, 4:39 pm
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!
Again, I disagree, because the intentional, voluntary exertion and manifestation of my power to think or imagine is simultaneous with my thinking or imagining.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: Limits of Imagination

Post by Consul » July 8th, 2018, 11:59 am

RJG wrote:
July 7th, 2018, 3:37 pm
Mr533473, you again miss the point. It is NOT like saying "everything that is blue is blue". It is like saying "EVERYTHING is blue". ...meaning EVERYTHING is just an experience (sensation), ...meaning, in this life of ours, all we can really only experience are experiences (sensations). That's it.
We experience not only sensations but also emotions and episodes of imagination or cogitation (thought).

I agree with you that, strictly speaking, we always experience nothing but experiences; but this doesn't mean that we always perceive nothing but experiences, let alone that there is no non-/trans-experiential reality. There is a distinction between the experiential/mental content of a sensory experience (sensation) and its perceptual object; and the experiential/mental content of a sensation is not its perceptual object. What is experienced in a sensation is its subjective sensory content, and what is perceived through it is a non-experiential/non-mental, physical object or event. That is, we perceive things by means of our experiencing of sensations (sense-impressions/sense-data/sense-qualities/sensory qualia).
"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 8th, 2018, 2:21 pm

RJG wrote:
July 6th, 2018, 5:14 pm
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.
I don't think intentions are reducible to desires, urges, or drives, because I can intend to do what I don't desire to do, and I can intentionally do something without feeling an urge or drive to do it.

Whether I can freely choose my intentions is a question in the debate over free will; but even if I can't, I can still act freely in the (compatibilistic) sense of being able to act in accordance with my (given) intentions. And an intention that I didn't freely choose or intend to have is still my intention.

The concept of intention plays a central role in the philosophy of action, concerning its teleological aspect; and it plays a major role in moral and legal philosophy, including practical jurisprudence, especially with regard to the question of moral/legal responsibility and culpability. It makes a big difference in court whether or not the victim was killed intentionally by the defendant.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: Limits of Imagination

Post by Consul » July 8th, 2018, 2:33 pm

RJG wrote:
July 8th, 2018, 10:50 am
We don't/can't consciously move our bodies about, we are only just conscious of our bodies moving about.
We don't/can't consciously cause our bodily actions, we are only just conscious of our bodily reactions.
So you deny the existence of agent causation?

"[M]any philosophers, particularly those concerned with the philosophy of action, consider that a further important species of causation is agent causation, in which the cause of some event or state of affairs is not (or not only) some other event or state of affairs, but is, rather, an agent of some kind. An 'agent', in the sense intended here, is a persisting object (or 'substance') possessing various properties, including, most importantly, certain causal powers and liabilities. A paradigm example of an agent would be a human being or other conscious creature capable of performing intentional actions."

(Lowe, E. J. A Survey of Metaphysics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. p. 195)

Also see: Agency > Three Metaphysical Frameworks
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Re: Limits of Imagination

Post by RJG » July 8th, 2018, 6:38 pm

RJG wrote: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.
Consul wrote:Of course, the beginning of my awareness of my thinking cannot be earlier than the beginning of my thinking; but it is not the case that it must be later than the end of my thinking…
.
Well, technically all we can really say is that the thoughts (bodily reactions) themselves and the 'awareness' (recognition/consciousness) of those thoughts are 'out-of-sync'. Whether one finishes completely before the other starts is dependent on a couple variables; 1) the chronological length of the thought, and 2) one's mental processing speed of recognition (i.e. the time it takes to be aware of one's thought).

Consul wrote:...because it can be (at least partly) simultaneous with my thinking.
Not so. "Simultaneous" awareness would require "instantaneous" processing which is a logical impossibility. All processes consume time, including the processes of recognition/consciousness/awareness.

RJG wrote:Case 1. Consciousness of X is AFTER the X
Consul wrote:1 is false, because introspection is not the same as retrospection/recollection. I can very well be conscious/aware of current/present experiences.
Being conscious of Memory-X is the same as being conscious of Thought-X. The consciousness-of-X is always AFTER the X. Note: One cannot be conscious of 'something', if there is no pre-existing 'something' (i.e. bodily reaction; experience) to be conscious of.

RJG wrote:Case 2. Causation of X is BEFORE the X
Consul wrote:2 is false too if causation is understood as the manifestation of causal powers. I have the active power to think or imagine, and my exerting it is simultaneous with my thinking or imagining.
Firstly, 'cause' precedes 'effect'.

Secondly, "causal powers" are logically impossible. I suspect one's belief in "causal power" stems from one's indoctrination/upbringing. Logically, everything we experience has already been created/caused, and hence, too late to create/cause.

Conscious causation is an oxymoron. We can't consciously cause X BEFORE we are conscious-of-X. And we can't be conscious-of-X BEFORE the existence of X. -- We can't turn the generator until we power the motor. And we can't power the motor until we turn the generator.

Consul wrote:Of course, an experiential content cannot be without being experienced by a subject. But, again, that I experience mental words or images doesn't mean that I don't actively, intentionally, voluntarily think or imagine them. I experience my mental actions.
Firstly, if you experience your actions, this means your actions preceded your experiencing of said actions. And therefore causation would be impossible. (The experiencing-of-X can only be AFTER the X).

Secondly, your belief in "causal power" is not logically founded. You can't cause that which has already been caused. You can't logically be both the experiencer and the causer of the experience. It is impossible to consciously create an experience, for you to 'then' become conscious of. -- You can't plug an extension cord into itself to power itself.

RJG wrote:Mr533473, you again miss the point. It is NOT like saying "everything that is blue is blue". It is like saying "EVERYTHING is blue". ...meaning EVERYTHING is just an experience (sensation), ...meaning, in this life of ours, all we can really only experience are experiences (sensations). That's it.
Consul wrote:We experience not only sensations but also emotions and episodes of imagination or cogitation (thought).
Agreed. Emotions, Imaginations, Thoughts, Feelings, Urges, etc are all experiences (bodily reactions) that we experience.

Consul wrote:I agree with you that, strictly speaking, we always experience nothing but experiences; but this doesn't mean that we always perceive nothing but experiences…
Perceptions are experiences. And it is not logically possible to experience a non-experience.

Consul wrote:...and I can intentionally do something without feeling an urge or drive to do it.
So then what is it that you're feeling when you are being intentional? Is it an 'urge' (compulsion/desire/want) to do something? ...and if so, did you cause (intend) this intention?

RJG wrote:We don't/can't consciously move our bodies about, we are only just conscious of our bodies moving about.
We don't/can't consciously cause our bodily actions, we are only just conscious of our bodily reactions.
Consul wrote:So you deny the existence of agent causation?
Yes. Also there is no "agent" (no mind, nor autonomous controller of our bodily actions/reactions/experiences), there only exist a physical body that experiences and auto-reacts accordingly. Essentially we are just a blob of reactive material like everything else in this universe. But if this truth is too harsh or ugly to accept then we will auto-react by making up 'feel-good' (and logically impossible) fairy tales to believe instead.

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Re: Limits of Imagination

Post by Frewah » October 3rd, 2018, 6:52 pm

I’m not sure this answers your question but I think that our language limits our imagination. How can we think of concepts for which there are no words? Language brodens our mind as we we learn new concepts previously unknown but it still has it’s limits.

Think about the word ”synergy”. What’s the opposite of synergy? I would suggest disergy as a new word. If you agree, this new word makes it possible to stretch your imagination.

There’s a story that says that the former ussr wanted to put a man on the moon which is true. Some of the stuff was sold at an auction. Anyway, there were two design bureaus, each of which was led by some dominant person. So much so that it makes sense to to think that either one would have been up to the task but not as a team. Alas, they had to cooperate and they just coldn’t agree on how to achieve the goal. There you go, sometimes 2+2=3 as it were

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Re: Limits of Imagination

Post by ThomasHobbes » October 4th, 2018, 5:45 am

Frewah wrote:
October 3rd, 2018, 6:52 pm
I’m not sure this answers your question but I think that our language limits our imagination. How can we think of concepts for which there are no words? Language brodens our mind as we we learn new concepts previously unknown but it still has it’s limits.
Not sure this can be the case.
People do not think in words, but in images.
And since imagination is not restricted to concepts, then language does not limit imagination.
But even then, you have to accept that historically ALL concepts were new at some point in time; and so ipso facto have all be generated by the imagination regardless of any limitations offered by language.

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Re: Limits of Imagination

Post by Greta » October 4th, 2018, 6:12 pm

Yes, one of the great challenges is finding the language to describe concepts, images and sensations that exist wordlessly in our minds. Most of reality we deem unworthy of description. For instance, if you lift your arm very slowly, imagine describing in detail all of the changes in your internal body dynamics - each bone, ligament and muscle - as your arm raises inch by inch. Add to each of those incredibly dull descriptions, a description of your breath, each moment of each inhalation and exhalation at the time, plus the sensations on feet and/or butt, if you're standing or sitting, or the precise details of your posture at the time ... even a summary could bore one to tears :)

So we let most of reality fly right by us to focus on what we think matters at the time.

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Re: Limits of Imagination

Post by cavacava » October 13th, 2018, 9:16 pm

mr533473 wrote:
July 2nd, 2018, 4:55 am

The question is if anyone feels their imagination capable of forming an idea that has not compounded, transposed, augmented or diminished materials afforded them by the senses and experience?
The strong answer is no, as Wittgenstein said
the limits of my language are the limits of my world
. While, I think this is the case, the question then becomes what is meant by originality, the new, are these (then in the weaker sense) only the imaginative syntactical manipulations of 'impressions', or do 'things' emerge?

I think''things' emerge or become and what emerges or becomes can't always be predicted based solely on our past experience.

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