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Consciousness and the Paranormal — Part 11

Discussion in 'General Freewheeling Chit-Chat' started by Gene Steinberg, Dec 26, 2017.



  1. Pharoah

    Pharoah Paranormal Adept

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  2. Constance

    Constance Paranormal Adept

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  3. Frank Stalter

    Frank Stalter Paranormal Adept

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    Hahaha, a lot of people would disagree with that at least as a general proposition. This is the only forum I hang at at all and have always had a good time here.
     
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  4. Constance

    Constance Paranormal Adept

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    @Pharoah, in the meantime here's a paper that might interest you and should interest those in this company who are most interested in what computers and cyborgs might be made capable of at some point in time if they are capable of experiencing phenomenological contact with the world we humans live in so vividly and sensually as to have led us to art, philosophy, science, and technology.

    Yukiko Okamoto. Computability and Meaning ~ some Phenomenological Issues in constructing a Cyberspace ~

    http://www2.ipcku.kansai-u.ac.jp/~t980020/Husserl/vol.3_2005/okamoto-e.pdf
     
  5. Constance

    Constance Paranormal Adept

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    @Pharoah, beginning to read this paper now and am already in accord with this extract from the first page:

    "In my view the ongoing strength and coherence of phenomenology as a force within the contemporary philosophical culture is not to be explained by what Maurice Merleau-Ponty called the ‘unity’ of its ‘manner of thinking’ but rather by what he perhaps somewhat more faithfully called its (in his view only currently) ‘unfinished nature’ (vii,xxi). Indeed, in order to affirm the ongoing capacity for phenomenology to have a future, a capacity perhaps already evident in the astonishing internal diversity that marks its existing legacy, I suggest that we should regard this unfinished condition as a kind of constant. The diversity within phenomenological philosophy is not to be explained away as an ‘inchoative atmosphere’ that ‘inevitably’ attends the early days of a ‘movement’ on its way to ‘becoming a doctrine or philosophical system’ (xxi). On the contrary, it is properly internal to its philosophical character, internal to its affirmation of philosophy as an ‘ever-renewed experiment in making its own beginning’ (xiv), internal to what Jacques Derrida calls its prolific openness to ‘self-interruption’ (81)."

    continuing to read this paper with an appetite for where the author is going.
     
  6. Constance

    Constance Paranormal Adept

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    Good. I'm very glad that you're here.
     
  7. Constance

    Constance Paranormal Adept

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    I think that Simon Glendenning in the paper you cite expresses very clearly what I would like to have been able to articulate here concerning the significance of phenomenology as providing a new basis for philosophy, one closer to the bone of what we experience and therefore are enabled to reflect on and think about concerning the world that grounds both our experiences and our subsequent thought. That is, phenomenology is unique in exploring the subjectively lived ground out of which our species has developed reflective consciousness out of the primordial ground of pre-reflective consciousness, which is where we begin -- i.e., our intimate pre-verbal knowledge/comprehension of our being-in-the-world before we develop categorical thought by which we have attempted to divide the nature of our experience from abstract representations of the world disposed in wholly objective categories.

    I'm particularly grateful to you for bringing this paper here since it helps me at this point in my own writing about phenomenology and the poetry of Wallace Stevens. Not just grateful, but indebted.
     
  8. Pharoah

    Pharoah Paranormal Adept

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    It is an interesting paper.
    Personally, I love analysis and a good argument... and I think analysis and argument are important tools for philosophical inquiry. But the phenomenological approach can be equally engaging and informative. And let's face it, no philosophical stance, by whatever mode of inquiry or description, has resisted the peppering shots of critical debate over decades: they all seem now to resemble shattered stone forts where once they may have seemed to be impenetrable fortresses. So why would one wish to sneer and suggest that a certain kind of inquiry is more valid than another? Philosophy has no crisis of identity, for it has no identity to defend. Why then defend one approach at the expense of another?
     
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  9. Michael Allen

    Michael Allen Administrator Staff Member

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  10. Constance

    Constance Paranormal Adept

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    Very interesting article, @Michael. Being incomputerate, and a good deal innumerate, myself, I'm unable to evaluate the details of Radin's account, but would be interested in any critiques you might want to offer. Given the results of several decades of research measuring intentional effects on random number generators, I'm inclined to accept Radin's interpretation of the experiments described in the linked paper.

    Extract from the concluding section of this paper:

    "Beyond consideration of possible mechanisms, from a purely empirical perspective the present results are in alignment with an extant literature that spans nearly a century.21 One of the better known classes of relevant studies has involved intentional influence of truly random number generators (RNG) where the underlying randomness is based on quantum events.31, 39, 40 A theoretical model proposed to account for successful RNG studies is known as “Observational Theory.” It was described by Houtkooper as [follows]:

    "The measurement problem in quantum mechanics can be used to hypothesize an observer who adds information at the collapse of the wave function. For each random event one of the possible outcomes becomes realized as the event is being observed. The basic tenet of observational theory is: the statistics of single events become biased if the observer is motivated and prefers one of the possible outcomes over the other.41, p.171"
     
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  11. Soupie

    Soupie Paranormal Adept

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    I've found some writings on QFT that I have found extremely helpful. I know that many people feel that all discussion and investigation of consciousness should reside at the level of neurons, but the Hard Problem and the binding problem so far resist classical explanations.

    Also check the comment section for Q and As from readers and the author. Good stuff.

    https://www.ribbonfarm.com/2015/08/20/qft/
     
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  12. Soupie

    Soupie Paranormal Adept

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    One particularly interesting exchange in the comments:


     
  13. Constance

    Constance Paranormal Adept

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    Musical interlude:

     
  14. Constance

    Constance Paranormal Adept

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    Where is Steve?
     
  15. Michael Allen

    Michael Allen Administrator Staff Member

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    I continue to accept the orthodox understanding that measurement is an action that takes up time and space and therefore changes the thing being measured with or without an observer to read the data. That being said, I am intrigued with the idea that conciousness itself adds to the "tensor product" making up the full picture and could in and of itself add feedback into the experiement. Since I don't think of "consciousness" or "awareness" as ontologically distinct from the rest of the physical world, it is a tautology--even if the variables are somewhat diluted within the chain of tensor product transformations.
     
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  16. Michael Allen

    Michael Allen Administrator Staff Member

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    I will admit that I am very likely unqualified to give any helpful critique of the paper. In the episode I focused mainly on the metaphysical assumptions of the guest.
     
  17. Constance

    Constance Paranormal Adept

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  18. Constance

    Constance Paranormal Adept

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  19. Constance

    Constance Paranormal Adept

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    KEITH WHITMOYER
    ONTOLOGICAL LATENESS: MERLEAU-PONTY’S META-PHILOSOPHY

    " . . . I propose to begin laying the ground work for a reading of Phenomenology of Perception that approaches it, not from the perspective of its perhaps philosophically nascent state, but in terms of the compelling philosophical thesis that it nonetheless offers. In spite of what appears to be the diversity of readings to which this work lends itself, which take its thesis to concern the relationship between consciousness and nature, the articulation of a philosophy of perception, the articulation of a philosophy of embodiment, or the subversion of a Cartesian ontology,3 this text has an important unity and coherence. Rather than containing a series of interesting, though perhaps disjointed studies in perception and embodiment, I propose that, while these are certainly salient themes of the text, its thesis is rather the articulation of what I designate as a philosophy of “ontological lateness.”4 The phrase “ontological lateness” is intended to underline the manner in which, for Merleau-Ponty, philosophy limps behind the objects of its inquiry.5 In other words, that at which philosophical inquiry aims, a conceptual grasp of the world, remains perpetually on its horizon, something to be sought rather than something to be obtained. The articulation of a philosophy of ontological lateness, therefore, is Merleau-Ponty’s attempt, in contrast to what he views to be the traditional understanding of philosophy, to begin to take the ambiguities, obscurities, fragilities, and incompleteness of human experience seriously.

    While such a claim cannot be fully worked out in the space of an essay, I will try to begin illustrating the salience of “ontological lateness” for Phenomenology of Perception by offering a “bookending” interpretation that shows it to be at play both in the Forward and in the final chapter on freedom. The first section of the essay will elaborate the theme of ontological lateness by addressing Merleau-Ponty’s remarks in the Forward on the problem of solipsism and his emergent critique of transcendental idealism. The philosophy of ontological lateness, we shall see, emerges from this critique as an attempt to take the obscurity that others must necessarily manifest seriously. The second section turns to Merleau-Ponty’s famous thesis that the phenomenological reduction cannot be completed. This thesis, I claim, operates in accordance with the poles of ontological lateness identified in the first section and brings them into further articulation. The third section turns to the final chapter on freedom to show that the theme of ontological lateness is relevant for understanding the closing gamut of the text. Human freedom, accordingly, is circumscribed by the very poles of ontological lateness that were identified in Merleau-Ponty’s discussion of the problem of solipsism and the phenomenological reduction. Finally, the theme of ontological lateness has meta-philosophical consequences that emerge from the dispossession of human experience that it signals. The final section of the paper returns to the Forward in order to elaborate Merleau-Ponty’s remarks on the nature and purpose of the philosophical enterprise, his answer to the question with which the work begins, “Qu’est-ce que la phénoménologie?”. This answer, I conclude, offers us an important clue for understanding a central notion of The Visible and the Invisible, namely that of the “chiasm,” and suggests an important point of continuity between this work and the later works.

    Part I: Ontological Lateness

    What I call “ontological lateness” is characterized by two poles: First, we are ontologically late with respect to the situation in which we find ourselves and of which we are not the privileged authors; in other words, as Merleau-Ponty says, “My life has a significance I do not constitute.”6 Second and correlatively, having arrived in the world, we find that its sense and significance escape our attempts to put it in our grasp or, in other words, that the world is characterized by a certain inexhaustible transcendence.7 As ontologically late, then, we find ourselves in the midst of a world of meanings the origin of which we cannot trace to a transcendental perspective, and, simultaneously, we find that an exhaustive grip on those meanings is constitutively beyond our reach. Our openness to the world, therefore, is circumscribed by a certain inability insofar as this openness is always attenuated by our immersion in the world and the fact that the world, in concert with our immersion, is always beyond us. As Merleau-Ponty says in the Forward to Phenomenology of Perception, “I am open to the world, I have no doubt that I am in communication with it, but I do not possess it; it is inexhaustible” (PhP, xix) and again at the end of the text, “The world is already constituted, but never completely constituted; in the
    first place we are acted upon, in the second we are open to an infinite number of possibilities” (Ibid., 527). Ontological lateness, then, names Merleau-Ponty’s attempt to articulate a philosophy that gives voice to the manner in which we are confronted with meanings which always remain on the horizon of rationality, that beckon thought and yet escape its grasp.8 . . . ."

    Ontological Lateness: Merleau-Ponty's Meta-Philosophy
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
  20. Michael Allen

    Michael Allen Administrator Staff Member

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    There are no authors involved in the emergence of that which is ontologically "late"...this means that all ontological beings (beings who have "arrived" on the scene--the foreground to the background) must by definition be "late."

    There are no such "ontologically early" beings.
     
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