'The Soul of Anna Klane' and 'Mind's I'

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marjoramblues
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'The Soul of Anna Klane' and 'Mind's I'

Post by marjoramblues » Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:28 pm

Fascinating book - brought to my attention by Greylorn Ell (GE) in the thread 'Pure Consciousness ?':

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=10221

Elsewhere, GE:
My first book, written under my real name, was a metaphysical story that did rather well, especially in foreign language translations, and remains a popular internet cult classic. Two of its chapters have been filmed, republished, excerpted by a respected philosopher, and used in philosophy courses about the nature of consciousness
.
M: Oh, so it seems you are Terrel Miedaner, author of 'The Soul of Anna Klane' - copyright, the Church of Physical Theology. Are you, really ? So - please, tell me - how were the chapters misused?
And how have they been used in philosophy courses, which ones, where and when ?


GE:
Miedaner used both chapters to present strong beliefs of the sort that would normally be associated with an atheistic position, and that is how Hofstadter employed them. However, he knew better. "...Anna Klane" was presenting a theory that, while certainly not a Christian perspective, was decidedly not atheistic. It used those chapters to show an alternative viewpoint, ultimately employing them to support its unique perspective about the relationship between soul and brain. Had Hofstadter been philosophically honest he would have mentioned as much within his discussion of those chapters.
In my opinion, the chapters were not misused, as explained in an earlier post. However, I'd welcome other perspectives on this.

If you wish, they and reflections from the 'Mind's I' can be read online.
Also used as part of a philosophy course 'Mind and Reality' (Fall 2013) - apparently run by philosopher David James Barnett.
Here :

http://www.davidjamesbar.net/M%26R/Mind ... 0Beast.pdf

http://www.davidjamesbar.net/M%26R/Mind ... ality.html

http://www.davidjamesbar.net/About/Davi ... sophy.html

The film referred to by GE,' The Beast' is 12 minutes long:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0195543/
Review by Miedaner:
My only complaint is that, as in "The Mind's I", Martha's story is interpreted incorrectly, the opposite of its intended context. And it is not a short story at all, but a chapter in a short book. Alas. I'm still delighted; the finished product recreated the tears I lost writing it.
Haven't been able to find a copy of this filmette; would really like to see it - perhaps on youtube ??
Perhaps if I could find the cult...since '[it]...remains a popular internet cult classic.'

Oh, might that be the 'Church of Physical Theology', linked to GE's book 'Digital Universe-Analog Soul' - chapters of which can be read, here:

http://www.beon-cpt.com/index.htm
Last edited by marjoramblues on Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

marjoramblues
Posts: 636
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:37 am

'The Soul of Anna Klane' and 'Mind's I'

Post by marjoramblues » Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:40 pm

My 'earlier post':

Saturday Feb 22nd - p13 of thread 'Pure Consciousness?'

M: The excerpts are found in 'Mind's I: Fantasies and Reflections on Self and Soul' -Part II.
Entitled 'Soul Searching' this deals with a view of consciousness - from the outside, observing others.
It asks the question 'What is it that reveals the presence of other minds, other souls, to the searcher' (Introduction, p15).

As such, Hofstadter reflects on the plausibility of the scenarios presented by Miedaner. He concludes that whatever the realism of excerpt 'The soul of Martha, a Beast' - many moral and philosophical issues are well posed.
Some examples of H's : 'Is degree of intellect a true indicator of degree of soul?
Do retarded or senile people have 'smaller souls' than normal people?... Who will provide the soul meter?' (Reflections pp106- 108).

GE: Anna Klane" was presenting a theory that, while certainly not a Christian perspective, was decidedly not atheistic. It used those chapters to show an alternative viewpoint, ultimately employing them to support its unique perspective about the relationship between soul and brain.

M: Next excerpt - 'The soul of the Mark III Beast' was apparently selected to reflect on a character's remark: ' But it isn't always easy to know who or what has feelings'.
Hofstadter shows how Miedaner manipulates the reader's emotions and thoughts by provocative images to convince the readers that 'there can be mechanical, metallic feelings'.
The soul, here, is seen as emerging not as a function of an inner state, but of our own ability to project(Reflections, pp 113 -115)

GE: Had Hofstadter been philosophically honest he would have mentioned as much within his discussion of those chapters.

M: No, this was not the purpose of the 'Mind's I'. The chapters were not misused. In fact, they were used very well to provoke more thought and insight.

Greylorn Ell
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Re: 'The Soul of Anna Klane' and 'Mind's I'

Post by Greylorn Ell » Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:55 am

marjoramblues wrote:My 'earlier post':

Saturday Feb 22nd - p13 of thread 'Pure Consciousness?'

M: The excerpts are found in 'Mind's I: Fantasies and Reflections on Self and Soul' -Part II.
Entitled 'Soul Searching' this deals with a view of consciousness - from the outside, observing others.
It asks the question 'What is it that reveals the presence of other minds, other souls, to the searcher' (Introduction, p15).

As such, Hofstadter reflects on the plausibility of the scenarios presented by Miedaner. He concludes that whatever the realism of excerpt 'The soul of Martha, a Beast' - many moral and philosophical issues are well posed.
Some examples of H's : 'Is degree of intellect a true indicator of degree of soul?
Do retarded or senile people have 'smaller souls' than normal people?... Who will provide the soul meter?' (Reflections pp106- 108).

GE: Anna Klane" was presenting a theory that, while certainly not a Christian perspective, was decidedly not atheistic. It used those chapters to show an alternative viewpoint, ultimately employing them to support its unique perspective about the relationship between soul and brain.

M: Next excerpt - 'The soul of the Mark III Beast' was apparently selected to reflect on a character's remark: ' But it isn't always easy to know who or what has feelings'.
Hofstadter shows how Miedaner manipulates the reader's emotions and thoughts by provocative images to convince the readers that 'there can be mechanical, metallic feelings'.
The soul, here, is seen as emerging not as a function of an inner state, but of our own ability to project(Reflections, pp 113 -115)

GE: Had Hofstadter been philosophically honest he would have mentioned as much within his discussion of those chapters.

M: No, this was not the purpose of the 'Mind's I'. The chapters were not misused. In fact, they were used very well to provoke more thought and insight.
During the Mind's I's promotional phase Hofstadter gave a lecture at the U of Arizona, promoting his book, packing the lecture hall. Miedaner found out about this incidentally from a UA work associate, but was not allowed into the lecture hall. Lacking any sense of propriety, he snuck in via a fire escape. Later, he contacted Hofstader, introduced himself, and wangled an invitation to meet with Hofstader and a small group of his personal friends at a Tucson tavern that evening.

As Miedaner reports, "Doug was a pretty cool guy. I made it a point to sit at his left hand side, a good position from which to override the intellectual bullshit from his camp followers and ask interesting questions about his 57 Chevy (or was it a 55?) restoration project. After a few beers we got into the mundane stuff, like metaphysics, and why I was the only author who got two chapters in his book, and why he disregarded the core of my ideas. This was a friendly conversation-- after all I'd made 150 bucks by letting this guy get rich off ideas he'd never have thought of on his own-- and more importantly, he was buying his own beers.

"Doug said that he deliberately chose not to present my ideas in their context because he was trying to push his own, but did acknowledge that in the many private readings he's given, he used my chapters because of their intense emotional content, and always told his small audience of the real context that provided those ideas, even advising them to read the book
."

Of course this is hearsay information. What credibility it has is that Miedaner is exactly the kind of ill-mannered, inappropriate asshole who would intrude upon a private party and annoy the close friends of a celebrated author by first discussing old V8 engines and then chiding him on his application of the asshole's ideas.

marjoramblues
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Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:37 am

Re: 'The Soul of Anna Klane' and 'Mind's I'

Post by marjoramblues » Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:13 pm

Oh heck, juicy stuff for my gossip column... :wink:
Source for the report ?
And where is the film to be found ?

Greylorn Ell
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Location: SE Arizona

Re: 'The Soul of Anna Klane' and 'Mind's I'

Post by Greylorn Ell » Fri May 02, 2014 10:45 pm

marjoramblues wrote:Oh heck, juicy stuff for my gossip column... :wink:
Source for the report ?
And where is the film to be found ?
Marjoram,

Sorry about the delay. I'd neglected to mark the "notify" box.

Here's the information you'll need to locate the film. I could do better, but my copy is VHS and I no longer have a functional videotape player.

The film featuring the Mark III Beast was made by a Dutch producer who hung out with Miedaner for several days, working out the pertinent screenplay sections. It was filmed in The Netherlands, probably within three years of Hofstadter's book. Possibly at Utrecht University.

The film was entirely about Hofstadter and his ideas. The "Beast" scene was added by way of counterpoint to his beliefs. You'll likely find it in some list of films about Hofstadter. I believe that it was featured on PBS shortly after production.

It was an excellent little biographical film, and you would do well by bringing it to YouTube, or perhaps "Forbidden Knowledge," or both. Its take on Hofstadter was excellent, and the Beast scene was perfectly executed. Unlike most film adaptations, this one came right out of the book. It was seamlessly integrated with the rest of the film.

Presumably you've also viewed the "Martha" film. Miedaner participated, and it was also true to the book. I believe that it won some minor film awards, and would have done better if not for some ill-considered casting (the roles of prosecutor and defense attorney should have been swapped). Roscoe Lee Browne as the judge dominated his bench. With his help, a one-year old chimp with a superb off-camera trainer and Mimi Roger's voice stole the show.

Kindly let me know what you find, as I'd like to follow up. Miedaner may be an asshole, but he did some interesting writing, as Hofstadter acknowledged.

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