Authentic vs. Vicarious?

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uwot
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Re: Authentic vs. Vicarious?

Post by uwot » Fri Nov 07, 2014 1:23 am

Ginkgo wrote:Yes, understanding the data is the same as having the experience, so say the physicalists.
We're back in Mary's room, I think.
Ginkgo wrote:This isn't actually my position.

It seems extraordinary that anyone should hold it. As I've said, Phil. of Mind isn't my strong point, but it seems to me that critics of physicalism sometimes attack a straw man by attributing a very crude understanding of 'physical'.
Ginkgo wrote:However, I am interested in knowing how you see Popper fitting into this.
Not many people will abandon a narrative that they have developed simply because all the evidence says it's wrong.

Ginkgo
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Re: Authentic vs. Vicarious?

Post by Ginkgo » Fri Nov 07, 2014 9:38 am

uwot wrote: We're back in Mary's room, I think.
We are indeed.
uwot wrote:
It seems extraordinary that anyone should hold it. As I've said, Phil. of Mind isn't my strong point, but it seems to me that critics of physicalism sometimes attack a straw man by attributing a very crude understanding of 'physical'
Yes, I agree. Having all the physical information is said to be enough. I think there is something slippery about the physicalist argument when they claim it is possible for Mary to emerge from her room with all the information about colour and simply say, "Nah... I knew what red was like all along."
.

Ginkgo
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Re: Authentic vs. Vicarious?

Post by Ginkgo » Fri Nov 07, 2014 12:43 pm

SpheresOfBalance wrote: Ginkgo, I disagree with the physicalists, because it's a fantasy. Sure if it were possible, but the truth is, much more is experienced than they who does the experiencing can relate in words, such that understanding the data is all but impossible. Let us not forget the subconscious of the individual doing the experiencing, most often they themselves don't understand it completely, so how could one with only some of the data, as they fill in the blanks with their imagination. Or at least it is as such considering the current human.
Yes, I would agree with that.

thedoc
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Re:

Post by thedoc » Fri Nov 07, 2014 7:19 pm

henry quirk wrote:Sure, that applies to us all, highlighting that the vicarious is inferior to the authentic.

In cases where the vicarious and the authentic are equally practical and possible I would agree with this in most cases, but there are exceptions. When the authentic is not possible and the vicarious is the only experience available, then it is superior by default. There are other times when the vicarious is preferable to the authentic such as in artistic performance. You mentioned singing and I have participated in several forms of performance, I have even been told that I have a good singing voice, however I have found that listening to a good performance is often preferable to preforming. When performing there is much attention to remembering the words and music, where listening allows one to get more involved in the music. The same can apply to a painting, years ago I had done some oil painting, but I still find more meaning and enjoyment viewing a painting by another. Another example is playing the piano. I can play several pieces and a few I can play as well as anyone else, but my repertoire is limited and being away from the piano for 40 years, relearning pieces and learning new ones is very difficult and time consuming. I can listen to pieces I cannot play so in these cases the vicarious experience is superior to the authentic. So realistically I must say that in many cases the vicarious is superior to the authentic.

uwot
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Re: Authentic vs. Vicarious?

Post by uwot » Fri Nov 07, 2014 8:11 pm

Ginkgo wrote: I think there is something slippery about the physicalist argument when they claim it is possible for Mary to emerge from her room with all the information about colour and simply say, "Nah... I knew what red was like all along."
Again, this isn't my field, so can you direct me to an argument that makes that claim?

thedoc wrote:In cases where the vicarious and the authentic are equally practical and possible I would agree with this in most cases, but there are exceptions.

I think you highlight some different senses of vicarious. I much prefer (some) other people's guitar playing to my own. In that case, it is better that other people to be the source of the sound that I hear. But regardless of the quality, I have a much more intimate understanding of the act of playing guitar, as you do piano, or singing, than if someone were to describe it to me.

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henry quirk
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Post by henry quirk » Fri Nov 07, 2014 8:15 pm

"So realistically I must say that in many cases the vicarious is superior to the authentic."

Seems to me you're describing personal preference.

For myself, as example: can't bear to watch baseball, but love to play (poorly).

thedoc
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Re: Authentic vs. Vicarious?

Post by thedoc » Fri Nov 07, 2014 9:12 pm

uwot wrote:
thedoc wrote:In cases where the vicarious and the authentic are equally practical and possible I would agree with this in most cases, but there are exceptions.

I think you highlight some different senses of vicarious. I much prefer (some) other people's guitar playing to my own. In that case, it is better that other people to be the source of the sound that I hear. But regardless of the quality, I have a much more intimate understanding of the act of playing guitar, as you do piano, or singing, than if someone were to describe it to me.
I believe you are correct, there is a big difference between hearing a piece of music or looking at a work of art, and having someone describe it to you. In this sense the authentic is superior to the vicarious, but in the case of listening or performing it is less clear which is superior, and it often depends on the exact circumstances. A good musician might not enjoy the playing of a poor performer, but between those of equal ability, listening might sometimes be preferable, since the listener can just relax and enjoy the music without the effort of performing.
Last edited by thedoc on Fri Nov 07, 2014 9:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

uwot
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Re: Authentic vs. Vicarious?

Post by uwot » Fri Nov 07, 2014 9:44 pm

henry quirk wrote:For myself, as example: can't bear to watch baseball, but love to play (poorly).
Fair enough. Is there anything to choose between someone telling you about a game they have seen and their description of your performance? If you are on the stage, or in the audience, you are part of the experience, it seems to me. The people living vicariously are the ones who read the reviews.

thedoc
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Re: Authentic vs. Vicarious?

Post by thedoc » Fri Nov 07, 2014 10:00 pm

uwot wrote:
henry quirk wrote:For myself, as example: can't bear to watch baseball, but love to play (poorly).
Fair enough. Is there anything to choose between someone telling you about a game they have seen and their description of your performance? If you are on the stage, or in the audience, you are part of the experience, it seems to me. The people living vicariously are the ones who read the reviews.
It is possible that there are several degrees of living vicariously, from witnessing an event, to hearing or reading someone else's description of that event. Then one must be clear which degree of living vicariously one is referring to, I have been describing someone who is witnessing the event, not hearing a description of that event.

uwot
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Re: Authentic vs. Vicarious?

Post by uwot » Sat Nov 08, 2014 7:54 pm

thedoc wrote:...I have been describing someone who is witnessing the event, not hearing a description of that event.
Ah! Well, someone was talking about the Rumble in the Jungle on the radio, it's the fortieth anniversary. It was an extraordinary spectacle, but I'm very pleased to have experienced it vicariously.

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Re: Authentic vs. Vicarious?

Post by Ginkgo » Sat Nov 08, 2014 9:08 pm

uwot wrote:
Ginkgo wrote: I think there is something slippery about the physicalist argument when they claim it is possible for Mary to emerge from her room with all the information about colour and simply say, "Nah... I knew what red was like all along."
Again, this isn't my field, so can you direct me to an argument that makes that claim?

www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowedge_argument

uwot wrote:
I think you highlight some different senses of vicarious. I much prefer (some) other people's guitar playing to my own. In that case, it is better that other people to be the source of the sound that I hear. But regardless of the quality, I have a much more intimate understanding of the act of playing guitar, as you do piano, or singing, than if someone were to describe it to me.
This would be an example of "knowing-how" as opposed to "knowing-that".

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Re:

Post by Gee » Sat Nov 08, 2014 11:04 pm

Henry;

I agree with your position regarding the difference between 'witness' and 'agent', and your statement below is also true, but there are other considerations.
henry quirk wrote: You can read all the books about fucking you like, interview a thousand folks on the subject, and watch porn till your right arm grows to monumental proportions, but until you actually fuck, you got no clue what it's about.
Consider that a f*ck is a f*ck, but not all f*cks are the same. So one can vicariously imagine and remember a really good f*ck, while participating in an ordinary authentic f*ck. In this case, vicarious would win. :D

I suspect that some experience of the event would be necessary in order to truly appreciate the feelings that you could get out of a vicarious situation.

Gee

uwot
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Re: Authentic vs. Vicarious?

Post by uwot » Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:12 am

Ginkgo wrote: I think there is something slippery about the physicalist argument when they claim it is possible for Mary to emerge from her room with all the information about colour and simply say, "Nah... I knew what red was like all along."
Thanks for the link, Ginkgo. This is the bit I was really interested in: "Dennett argues that functional knowledge is identical to the experience..." On the face of it, it is a ludicrous claim, I'll have to check out how he develops such an argument. I'm sure you have seen me blabbing on about how phenomena are the only things we can be sure exist; why we need 'qualia' is a complete mystery to me.
Having said that, it is fairly evident that we don't simply 'see' what the apparatus of the eye enables us to, and that there is quite a lot of interpretation done by the brain. I read 'Through the Language Glass' by Guy Deutscher recently; it's a brilliant book and makes a compelling (to me at least) argument for some form of linguistic relativity. It closes thus:
"It has been shown, for example, that long term memory and object recognition play an important role in the perception of colour. If the brain remembers that a certain object should be a certain colour, it will go out of it's way to make sure that you really see this object in this colour. A fascinating experiment that demonstrated such effects was conducted in 2006 by a group of scientists from the university of Giessen in Germany. They showed participants a picture on a monitor of some random spots in a particular colour, say yellow. The participants had four buttons at their disposal and were asked to adjust the colour of the picture by pressing the buttons until the spots appeared entirely grey, with no trace of yellowness or any other prismatic colour left. Unsurprisingly, the hue that they ended up with was indeed neutral grey.
The same set up was then repeated, this time not with random spots on the screen but with a picture of a recognisable object such as a banana. The participants were again requested to adjust the hue by pressing buttons until the banana appeared grey. This time, however, the actual hue they ended up on was not pure grey but slightly bluish. In other words, the participants went too far to the other side of neutral grey before the banana really looked grey to them. This means that when the banana was already objectively grey, it still appeared to them slightly yellow! The brain thus relies on its store of past memories of what bananas look like and pushes the sensation of colour in this direction."
I think I would be a bit more circumspect about reaching such a conclusion, but it does make you wonder if there is any such thing as an objective qualia, and whether Mary, being used to seeing 'grey' apples would actually see them as red at all.

Wyman
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Re: Authentic vs. Vicarious?

Post by Wyman » Sun Nov 09, 2014 3:56 pm

it does make you wonder if there is any such thing as an objective qualia
Makes you wonder?!! That is the whole problem of modern philosophy. I could give you a hundred more examples of how the brain interprets the world/creates qualia/influences perception. The model that does not take the brain's causal influence in perception into account is flawed from the start.

uwot
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Re: Authentic vs. Vicarious?

Post by uwot » Sun Nov 09, 2014 6:31 pm

Wyman wrote:Makes you wonder?!!
Well, yes. Chalk it down to English understatement, and contrast it with this:
Wyman wrote:That is the whole problem of modern philosophy.
Easy, Tiger!
Wyman wrote:I could give you a hundred more examples of how the brain interprets the world/creates qualia/influences perception. The model that does not take the brain's causal influence in perception into account is flawed from the start.
As I keep saying, philosophy of mind isn't my field, but isn't part of the challenge of science is to discover exactly what objective actually means?

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