“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Question about the Brain Imaging

@jamespurdon writes:

Really interesting. Are you bothered by the press-rel-ese ("Our natural visual experience is like watching a movie"...)?

I'm not sure. First of all, scientists can't be totally trusted to know exactly what they are doing or finding : )

Second of all, the “movie” part speaks to a certain Platonism that my OOO has little trouble with. I mean, every sensual interaction between any entity involves a distorted “translation.” So we can be wide awake, dreaming at the same time, in reality, not in some abstract box separated from it.

As far as I can see this result is very good for OOO.


noel said...

Can anyone be totally trusted to know what they are doing or finding? :)

Could it be considered to be like lossless compression, and therefore a form of replicable, reproducible abstraction?

James Purdon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James Purdon said...

[Let me try that again, with apologies for the unintentional pseudonymity. I somehow signed in under an old handle.]

Thanks. That helps. I think I was slightly discombobulated by what appeared to me to be a sort of infinite regress in the 'movies inside our heads' waffle: our visual experience of the world is like watching a movie ... so who's watching the movie?

I was also struck by the easy naturalisation of a particular kind of mediated watching. I mean, of course your natural visual experience is like watching a movie if -- as these subjects were -- you're actually watching a movie. Or perhaps I'm getting the wrong end of the stick.

Thanks for responding. I'm enjoying trying to immerse myself in OOO.

Anonymous said...

The problem with that statement is that it makes the Homunculus fallacy. If we try to explain visual perception by imagining a little person inside of our head watching a movie, then we're left to explain how visual perception works for that little person. Is there an even littler person inside their head? We have to come up with a different explanation at some point, or we're left with an infinite regress that explains nothing.