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Consciousness and the Paranormal — Part 13

smcder

Paranormal Adept
I'd like to read Malick's translation if I can find a copy. Hope there's one online. Will post a link if I find it. :)
ps, good luck with your laptop.
Thank you. Apparently, Malick visited Heidegger in his cottage but hasn't disclosed the details.
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
Thank you. Apparently, Malick visited Heidegger in his cottage but hasn't disclosed the details.
From what I've been able to find and read about Malick so far it seems that he speaks only through his films.
Apparently he never published (or perhaps never finished) his dissertation on Heidegger, Kierkegaard, and Wittgenstein at MIT or Harvard. His translation of Heidegger's The Essence of Reasons was published by Northwestern University Press, which has a major list in Phenomenological and Existentialist Philosophy, and refers to Malik's translation as 'the authoritative translation'. I haven't found an online copy of the translation yet but will link it at amazon, where I usually buy used copies of books I want to read. Here is a short but informative essay on Malik and his 'Heideggerian Cinema', which I must now by all means see.

VERTIGO | Terrence Malick’s Heideggerian Cinema

I did find Malik's introduction to and notes concerning his translation of The Essence of Reasons, but the site is difficult to use:

Terrence Malick’s “Introduction” and “Critical Notes” for his translation of Heidegger’s The Essence Of Reasons : Terrence Malick : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

Here is a link to Malik's translation at amazon, with only used copies available and all priced at $150 {!!}, thank goodness for libraries. Malik is not identified as the translator at amazon, but it's the same book shown on the table of contents page at the archive linked just above. There is a very thorough review of it on the amazon page:

The Essence of Reasons.: Heidegger, Martin: 9780810100046: Amazon.com: Books
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
The above image was cropped by Gerald Turner from a satellite photograph obtained by the Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter about three years ago.
 

smcder

Paranormal Adept
From what I've been able to find and read about Malick so far it seems that he speaks only through his films.
Apparently he never published (or perhaps never finished) his dissertation on Heidegger, Kierkegaard, and Wittgenstein at MIT or Harvard. His translation of Heidegger's The Essence of Reasons was published by Northwestern University Press, which has a major list in Phenomenological and Existentialist Philosophy, and refers to Malik's translation as 'the authoritative translation'. I haven't found an online copy of the translation yet but will link it at amazon, where I usually buy used copies of books I want to read. Here is a short but informative essay on Malik and his 'Heideggerian Cinema', which I must now by all means see.

VERTIGO | Terrence Malick’s Heideggerian Cinema

I did find Malik's introduction to and notes concerning his translation of The Essence of Reasons, but the site is difficult to use:

Terrence Malick’s “Introduction” and “Critical Notes” for his translation of Heidegger’s The Essence Of Reasons : Terrence Malick : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

Here is a link to Malik's translation at amazon, with only used copies available and all priced at $150 {!!}, thank goodness for libraries. Malik is not identified as the translator at amazon, but it's the same book shown on the table of contents page at the archive linked just above. There is a very thorough review of it on the amazon page:

The Essence of Reasons.: Heidegger, Martin: 9780810100046: Amazon.com: Books
I don't think he finished...left without a graduate degree.

You might have seen his first film "Badlands" (1973) starring Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek.
 

smcder

Paranormal Adept
@Gene Steinberg
@Randall

@Constance can't get in the forums...she asked me to post this to your attention:

"I can't get into the Paracast forums. Would you please post this fact to the attention of Randall and Gene? I somehow lost my automatic entree several months ago and told Gene about it. He investigated and said he didn't know how that happened but apparently couldn't fix it. Since then I've just gotten it through a search for 'the paracast forums' or 'the paracast community forums'. But today neither search gets me there. If the system is down, would you let me know, and if it's not down please post re my problem."
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
Voila, I am here, once again able to access the forum by linking to it through Microsoft Edge. That worked for many weeks but not yesterday. Today it works. I'll call @Gene since I have his phone number but not his email address and try to get my old registration information reinstated. Many thanks to Steve for helping me out by posting my dilemma. :)
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
I don't think he finished...left without a graduate degree.

You might have seen his first film "Badlands" (1973) starring Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek.
I haven't seen any of his films but now very much want to see them. In my searches the other day I read that he taught Philosophy courses at MIT. l have no idea why he left MIT and/or Harvard (where I think he did his doctoral coursework and wrote his diss.) before going through the defense of the diss. Would love to read it if he makes it available sometime.
 

Soupie

Paranormal Adept


I think Clark and Zahnoun ultimately take similar approaches to the mind body relation, both of which are more or less the approach I currently favor.

While Clark avoids the claim that the mind and body share a relationship of identity, Zahnoun claims exactly that. However, this seeming disagreement appears to be semantics. While Zahnoun argues the mind and body do share an identity, he makes it very clear that its not an identity that entails reduction of one into the other, mind into body nor body into mind. Clark is content to say that mind and body are merely correlated.

However, both of them agree that mind and body do not share a casual relationship. Mind does not cause body nor body cause mind. Is it problematic that Zahnoun uses the term identity? Maybe. Should Clark use a stronger term than correlate? Maybe.

On my understanding, they both argue that there is one reality onto which it can be said we have two perspectives:

"Instead of dual aspects, Feigl thinks it is “wiser to speak instead of twofold access or double knowledge.” (Feigl 1958: 80) In a similar vein, Peter Strawson speaks of our capacity to occupy “alternative standpoints”, namely the “scientific-objective standpoint” and the “humanperceptual-and-moral standpoint” (Strawson 1985: 55). Indeed, the identity theoretical view I want to defend may very well be dubbed dual-perspective or dual-standpoint theory. It claims that states or events experienced from within the subjective perspective are identical with the referents of (certain) terms of the language of physics, i.e., as ‘seen’ from an objective, or rather, intersubjective perspective. -Zahnoun"

"We can think of this transition, from descriptions of objects in terms of qualities (folk-physical) to entirely quantitative descriptions (science-physical), as a matter of increasing objectification. The phenomenal qualities in folk descriptions of objects can of course vary from individual to individual, depending on their sensory-perceptual capacities. Color-blind individuals may not be able to reliably discriminate a red from a green apple, and if you’ve lost your sense of smell, cider will taste merely sweet, lacking its characteristic appley-ness that would allow you to discriminate it from orange juice (texture and mouth feel aside). The descriptions afforded by science aren’t prone to such variability since the objects they pick out are reliably identified as having quantifiable properties according to reproducible measurements that in principle anyone or anything could carry out, including aliens and AIs. Because we ordinarily think of reality as having its own mind-independent nature, descriptions that leave behind experienced, minddependent qualities in favor of quantifiable characteristics are in that sense more objective. We should not forget, however, that the maximally objective, quantified specification of the world – the spatio-temporal world as described by science – is still a representationally encoded model, not the unrepresented world itself. The unrepresented self-nature of reality, what we intuitively believe exists independently of our representations of it, is still at an epistemic remove, even though we ourselves participate in that reality. At its best, what the scientific model can afford us is a predictively successful and explanatorily consistent structurally isomorphic rendition of reality, one couched in terms of physical parameters and constants (Ladyman and Ross, 2007). Unrepresented self-natures – Kantian things in themselves – are necessarily left out of the maximally objective picture of the world since the epistemic, representational interface between knowers and known is always in place. -Clark"

So the mind and body are two perspectives--subjective and intersubjective--on a process that transcends both perspectives. And yet:

"Some believe that, in light of the HPC, assuming a strict physical-phenomenal identity relation fairs no better than other approaches. The reason is that it fails to account for why certain physical event-structures exhibit phenomenal consciousness, but other similar structures do not. -Zahnoun"

So we have described the mind body relation as one of identity via dual perspective. We can avoid the HP which asks how mind derives from matter. It doesn't. By why do certain physical event-structures exhibit phenomenal consciousness, but other similar structures do not? Paging @USI Calgary ...

"From an identity theoretical point of view, the physical does not “give rise” to the phenomenal, as Hardcastle still puts it. Yet, we might nevertheless still legitimately wonder what it is about certain physical event-structures, but not others, that make these events identifiable, not with, but as an experience. To be clear, this is not the same as asking, nonsensically, for an explanation of the strict identity relation. Compare, for instance, the question “What causes a collection of H2O molecules to be identical with water?” to the question “What is it about this liquid, but not another, that makes it identifiable as water?” On the assumption of a strict identity between water and H2O, the first question is impossible to answer because it makes no sense. But the second question is not. It is answerable, and we know what the answer is: “The fact that the liquid is identical with a collection of H2O molecules”. In other words, from an empirical point of view, we might still want to know which physical event-structures can be identified as phenomenal consciousness, and how this can be determined. Indeed, assuming strict phenomenal-physical identity does not absolve us from these questions (which are questions for probably all mind-body theories). However, compared to the Hard Problem of Consciousness, these questions are probably just hard, and not downright impossible. -Zahnoun"

In other words, we are no longer asking how certain physical event-structures cause consciousness. (We know that physical event-structures and consciousness are two perspectives on an identical transcendent reality.) But we can seek and possibly pin down which physical event-structures (the so-called NCCs) share an identity with subjective experience. However, we will never be able to reduce either perspective into the other. Nor will we ever have direct (non-perspectival) access to the transcendent process in-itself.

The below is MPs formulation of the MBP. It's interesting.

"19 It is worth quoting Merleau-Ponty at length here, for the passage including the phrase ‘chose entre les choses’ also contains a summary of his interpretation of the mind-body problem: “Abordons la question du rapport de l'homme et son entourage naturel ou social. Il y a là-dessus deux vues classiques. L'une consiste à traiter l'homme comme le résultat des influences physiques, physiologiques et sociologiques qui le détermineraient du dehors et feraient de lui une chose entre les choses. L'autre consiste à reconnaître dans l'homme, en tant qu'il est esprit et construit la représentation des causes mêmes qui sont censées agir sur lui, une liberté acosmique. D'un côté l'homme est une partie du monde, de l'autre il est une conscience constituante du monde. Aucune de ces deux vues n'est satisfaisante.” (Merleau-Ponty 1945/1948: 142, m.e.) In English translation: “The question is that of man's relationship to his natural or social surroundings. There are two classical views : one treats man as the result of the physical, physiological, and sociological influences which shape him from the outside and make him one thing among many; the other consists of recognizing an a-cosmic freedom in him, insofar as he is spirit and represents to himself the very causes which supposedly act upon him. On the one hand, man is a part of the world; on the other, he is the constituting consciousness of the world. Neither view is satisfactory.” (Merleau-Ponty 1964: 71-72, m.e.) 20 See Merleau-Ponty 1945: 81, 126."
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
In other words, we are no longer asking how certain physical event-structures cause consciousness. (We know that physical event-structures and consciousness are two perspectives on an identical transcendent reality.) But we can seek and possibly pin down which physical event-structures (the so-called NCCs) share an identity with subjective experience. However, we will never be able to reduce either perspective into the other. Nor will we ever have direct (non-perspectival) access to the transcendent process in-itself.
@Soupie, thank you for this clarification of Clark's and Zahnoun's ideas and especially for your lucid and comprehensive statement quoted above. Really helplful !!!!
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
I've received from academia.edu a link to a paper entitled "Philosophical Anthropology, Phenomenology of the body, Helmuth Plessner" by Alice Pugliese, which is included in a group of papers published by a European journal entitled Dialogue and Universalism. {note: Pugliese's paper is renamed in the table of contents as: "
"The Centered Reality. Helmuth Plessner’s Anti-Naturalistic Approach."

There is a great deal of front matter to skim through before reaching the table of contents of this issue of the journal and an introduction to the journal's interdisciplinary project, which I'll quote in part below. Here is the link at academia.edu:

https://www.academia.edu/40211372/T...uralistic_Approach?email_work_card=view-paper

Here are the opening paragraphs of the introduction to the collection of papers presented at academia.edu:

"INTRODUCTION: HUMAN NATURE BEYOND NATURALISM.
PHENOMENOLOGICAL, ANTHROPOLOGICAL AND PSYCHOANALYTICAL PERSPECTIVES

Studies of the human being and the structure of human experience are nowadays carried out mainly in the naturalistic paradigm. This concerns the empirical sciences as well as the cognitively oriented philosophy supported by the positivistic and linguistic pragmatic epistemologies. The human subject is treated here essentially as a particular natural fact, while nature itself is understood as a complexity of cause-determined phenomena which can be observed from outside. Thereby, neurosciences play a leading role, significantly affecting the perception of ourselves and of the world around us. In their view, subjectivity is reduced to the ways of functioning of the brain. This is understood as a causally determined system directed to information processing. Despite such a deterministic thesis, naturalism also assumes that the brain should be able to interact. Furthermore, it is considered able to generate random processes. These interruptions of the natural causal chain are labelled as autopoesis and are considered as an evolutionary factor.

Thus, our shared world appears as a construct of the neuronal structure miraculously converting the matter into spirit. Modern medicine, contemporary neurological brain research as well as other neurosciences, strive to identify the biological, chemical or physical conditions of the human organism and its cerebral activities as that which determines our experience, either in the practical or theoretical, aesthetical or axiological realm.

The present collection of essays consciously distances itself from these trends, maintaining that research conducted in the reductive-naturalistic approach does not give the answer to the question about the meaning and sense of human activity as actions of personal subjects in the lifeworld. What is more, the authors emphasize that this kind of research neglects the immanent teleology of human subjects as persons motivated in their actions, therefore persons who are free and able to make free decisions. All the here-presented articles refer, explicitly or implicitly, to the phenomenological tradition and emphasise the significance of the lifeworld as the intuitive fundament of every cognition. They seek to formulate a positive alternative to the interpretation of human na-ture comprehending it on the one hand as a bodily specified structure of experience, on the other hand as an intentional and therefore sense-performing developmental structure.

In this context it is mainly the classical (even if currently somewhat marginalized) phenomenology of Edmund Husserl that shows its up-to-date face. After all, it is he who, in the footsteps of Wilhelm Dilthey, argued in the first half of the twentieth century that the naturalistic position was nothing else than a logical consequence of a particular idealizing cognitive attitude formed in the modern era and grounded in the development and expansion of the natural sciences. According to Husserl, this attitude is burdened with fateful assumptions regarding the concepts of nature and the laws governing it, first of all the assumption of the universal law of causality. However, human consciousness, even if we recognize its bodily determination, cannot be explained by reference to the facts of physical nature and the laws governing them.

Husserl shows that the universal law of causality is no less but also no more than an effective hypothesis about the subjects of physics. By no means is it adequate for interpreting human nature, either in its individual and bodily dimension, or in its social dimension. Husserl requires us to critically reflect on the assumptions which impose experience. His own reflection results among others in descriptions of alternative attitudes, especially of the so-called personalistic attitude, which reveals experience to us before it becomes naturalistically deformed. Within the personalistic attitude experience is not burdened with these assumptions. If we observe it exactly, if we let it speak, it turns out that even the oppositions of body and spirit, of interior and exterior, lose their legitimacy. Within the personalistic attitude experience is experience in the lifeworld, in our shared world, which is defined by affective and volitional reference, by intersubjective and evaluative relations, in a world which is guided by understandable motivation, and not by blind but necessary causality. The body — the Trojan horse of naturalism — represents here not just a fact of nature, not only animated matter as an object in time and space defined by a succession of physiological processes. In the personalistic attitude corporeality signifies a dynamic sphere of subjectivity as the sphere which defines our here and now. However, at the same time it generates the original sense of experience. These issues are mentioned and further developed by the post-Husserlian phenomenology in existential as well as in ethical or aesthetical reflection and by philosophical anthropology. In this way phenomenology reveals its closeness to psychology and, last but not least, to psychoanalytical thought. The authors of the presented collection deal with these threads and motives, both in terms of systematic as well as historical research. The cycle starts with systematic analyses of selected issues concerning human nature — like freedom, drives and memory, conflict or bodily perception — which cannot be adequately grasped from the naturalistic point of view. Consequently, discussed are some historical positions in philosophical anthropology (Max Scheler, Johann Gottfried Herder, Arnold Gehlen, Gernot Böhme) as well as in aesthetics (Vasily Sesemann). These are considered bearers of a still unexhausted antinaturalistic potential with regard to the interpretation of human nature and its achievements. . . ." {continue at the link}
 
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Constance

Paranormal Adept
@Soupie, thank you for this clarification of Clark's and Zahnoun's ideas and especially for your lucid and comprehensive statement quoted above. Really helplful !!!!
Copying your statement again in order to pursue the application of the term 'transcendent'/'transcendental' so that we might all establish an understanding of that term in philosophy.

Your statement:

"In other words, we are no longer asking how certain physical event-structures cause consciousness. (We know that physical event-structures and consciousness are two perspectives on an identical transcendent reality.) But we can seek and possibly pin down which physical event-structures (the so-called NCCs) share an identity with subjective experience. However, we will never be able to reduce either perspective into the other. Nor will we ever have direct (non-perspectival) access to the transcendent process in-itself."


SEP {The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy} has a helpful article titled "Transcendental Arguments" at this link:

Transcendental Arguments (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
 

Soupie

Paranormal Adept
@Constance

I used the term transcendent above to convey the idea that reality in-itself is “beyond” any subjective or inter subjective perspective we have of it. We can’t fully capture it, nor capture it in a non-biased manner.
 

smcder

Paranormal Adept
I haven't seen any of his films but now very much want to see them. In my searches the other day I read that he taught Philosophy courses at MIT. l have no idea why he left MIT and/or Harvard (where I think he did his doctoral coursework and wrote his diss.) before going through the defense of the diss. Would love to read it if he makes it available sometime.
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
@Constance

I used the term transcendent above to convey the idea that reality in-itself is “beyond” any subjective or inter subjective perspective we have of it. We can’t fully capture it, nor capture it in a non-biased manner.
Yes, the 'in-itself' is beyond both subjective and objective efforts to define it comprehensively, but all our human efforts to describe 'what-is' -- as we experience it and insofar as we can measure it scientifically -- partake of transcendental thought as Kant and Husserl both recognized. Or so it seems to me.
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
Thanks for posting that link, but I'd better say at the outset that I don't trust Simon Critchley to be sensitive enough to provide reliable insight into Malik's films based on his having entirely missed the point of Wallace Stevens's poetry. Critchley wrote a short book on Stevens's poetry which he titled, if I remember correctly, Things Merely Are. I found his reading of the poems as dry as dust and misleading for unsuspecting readers. He seems to be still stuck in the same mindset these many years later. I also think that Critchley hasn't read Heidegger to any extent or in any depth. I suppose I should try to find a youtube video of Critchley talking about something in order to confirm whether he is actually as alienated and dead in the head as I've thought. One other thing about Critchley's essay on Malik's films that bothers me: he sprinkles lines and parts of lines from Stevens's poetry throughout this piece without placing them in quotation marks to indicate that these are not his words. He seems to be the kind of person who lacks personal boundaries and intersubjective capacities for respect. Sorry to be such a downer about this essay. ;)
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
Neville Thompson, a leading Mars image researcher, has located the source [a Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter image from three + years ago] from which the cropped image I posted yesterday was taken by another researcher now deceased. Below is a larger crop of the site posted tonight by Neville, which he is in the process of producing as a searchable gigapan. That will take some days to complete and when he posts it I will post it here.

1595401929422.png
 


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