The Manifold of Sense - Part I

Written by Sam Vaknin


Continued from page 1

The proto-psychologists James and Lange have (separately) proposed that emotions arerepparttar experiencing of physical responses to external stimuli. They are mental representations of totally corporeal reactions. Sadness is what we callrepparttar 126337 feeling of crying. This was phenomenological materialism at its worst. To have full-blown emotions (not merely detached observations), one needed to experience palpable bodily symptoms. The James-Lange Theory apparently did not believe that a quadriplegic can have emotions, since he definitely experiences no bodily sensations. Sensationalism, another form of fanatic empiricism, stated that all our knowledge derived from sensations or sense data. There is no clear answer torepparttar 126338 question how do these sensa (=sense data) get coupled with interpretations or judgements. Kant postulatedrepparttar 126339 existence of a "manifold of sense" repparttar 126340 data supplied torepparttar 126341 mind through sensation. Inrepparttar 126342 "Critique of Pure Reason" he claimed that these data were presented torepparttar 126343 mind in accordance with its already preconceived forms (sensibilities, like space and time). But to experience means to unify these data, to cohere them somehow. Even Kant admitted that this is brought about byrepparttar 126344 synthetic activity of "imagination", as guided by "understanding". Not only was this a deviation from materialism (what material is "imagination" made of?) it was also not very instructive.

The problem was partly a problem of communication. Emotions are qualia, qualities as they appear to our consciousness. In many respects they are like sense data (which brought aboutrepparttar 126345 aforementioned confusion). But, as opposed to sensa, which are particular, qualia are universal. They are subjective qualities of our conscious experience. It is impossible to ascertain or to analyzerepparttar 126346 subjective components of phenomena in physical, objective terms, communicable and understandable by all rational individuals, independent of their sensory equipment. The subjective dimension is comprehensible only to conscious beings of a certain type (=withrepparttar 126347 right sensory faculties). The problems of "absent qualia" (can a zombie/a machine pass for a human being despiterepparttar 126348 fact that it has no experiences) and of "inverted qualia" (what we both call "red" might have been called "green" by you if you had my internal experience when seeing what we call "red") are irrelevant to this more limited discussion. These problems belong torepparttar 126349 realm of "private language". Wittgenstein demonstrated that a language cannot contain elements which it would be logically impossible for anyone but its speaker to learn or understand. Therefore, it cannot have elements (words) whose meaning isrepparttar 126350 result of representing objects accessible only torepparttar 126351 speaker (for instance, his emotions). One can use a language either correctly or incorrectly. The speaker must have at his disposal a decision procedure, which will allow him to decide whether his usage is correct or not. This is not possible with a private language, because it cannot be compared to anything.

In any case,repparttar 126352 bodily upset theories propagated by James et al. did not account for lasting or dispositional emotions, where no external stimulus occurred or persisted. They could not explain on what grounds do we judge emotions as appropriate or perverse, justified or not, rational or irrational, realistic or fantastic. If emotions were nothing but involuntary reactions, contingent upon external events, devoid of context then how come we perceive drug induced anxiety, or intestinal spasms in a detached way, not as we do emotions? Puttingrepparttar 126353 emphasis on sorts of behavior (asrepparttar 126354 behaviorists do) shiftsrepparttar 126355 focus torepparttar 126356 public, shared aspect of emotions but miserably fails to account for their private, pronounced, dimension. It is possible, after all, to experience emotions without expressing them (=without behaving). Additionally,repparttar 126357 repertory of emotions available to us is much larger thanrepparttar 126358 repertory of behaviours. Emotions are subtler than actions and cannot be fully conveyed by them. We find even human language an inadequate conduit for these complex phenomena.

(continued)

Sam Vaknin is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He is a columnist for Central Europe Review, United Press International (UPI) and eBookWeb and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory, Suite101 and searcheurope.com.

Visit Sam's Web site at http://samvak.tripod.com




The Dialogue of Dreams - Part I

Written by Sam Vaknin


Continued from page 1

The dream mechanisms and/or dream contents of psychotics must be substantially different and distinguished from ours. Their dreams must be "dysfunctional", unable to tacklerepparttar unpleasant, bad emotional residue of coping with reality. Their dialogue must be disturbed. They must be represented rigidly in their dreams. Reality must not be present in them not at all. Most ofrepparttar 126336 dreams, most ofrepparttar 126337 time must deal with mundane matters. Their content must not be exotic, surrealist, extraordinary. They must be chained torepparttar 126338 dreamer's realities, his (daily) problems, people that he knows, situations that he encountered or is likely to encounter, dilemmas that he is facing and conflicts that he would have liked resolved. This, indeed, isrepparttar 126339 case. Unfortunately, this is heavily disguised byrepparttar 126340 symbol language ofrepparttar 126341 dream and byrepparttar 126342 disjointed, disjunctive, dissociative manner in which it proceeds. But a clear separation must be made between subject matter (mostly mundane and "dull", relevant torepparttar 126343 dreamer's life) andrepparttar 126344 script or mechanism (colourful symbols, discontinuity of space, time and purposeful action). The dreamer must berepparttar 126345 main protagonist of his dreams,repparttar 126346 hero of his dreamy narratives. This, overwhelmingly, isrepparttar 126347 case: dreams are egocentric. They are concerned mostly withrepparttar 126348 "patient" and use other figures, settings, locales, situations to cater to his needs, to reconstruct his reality test and to adapt it torepparttar 126349 new input from outside and from within. If dreams are mechanisms, which adaptrepparttar 126350 model ofrepparttar 126351 world andrepparttar 126352 reality test to daily inputs we should find a difference between dreamers and dreams in different societies and cultures. The more "information heavy"repparttar 126353 culture,repparttar 126354 morerepparttar 126355 dreamer is bombarded with messages and data repparttar 126356 fiercer shouldrepparttar 126357 dream activity be. Every external datum likely generates a shower of internal data. Dreamers inrepparttar 126358 West should engage in a qualitatively different type of dreaming. We will elaborate on this as we continue. Suffice it to say, at this stage, that dreams in information-cluttered societies will employ more symbols, will weave them more intricately andrepparttar 126359 dreams will be much more erratic and discontinuous. As a result, dreamers in information-rich societies will never mistake a dream for reality. They will never confuserepparttar 126360 two. In information poor cultures (where most ofrepparttar 126361 daily inputs are internal) such confusion will arise very often and even be enshrined in religion or inrepparttar 126362 prevailing theories regardingrepparttar 126363 world. Anthropology confirms that this, indeed, isrepparttar 126364 case. In information poor societies dreams are less symbolic, less erratic, more continuous, more "real" andrepparttar 126365 dreamers often tend to fuserepparttar 126366 two (dream and reality) into a whole and act upon it. To complete their mission successfully (adaptation torepparttar 126367 world usingrepparttar 126368 model of reality modified by them) dreams must make themselves felt. They must interact withrepparttar 126369 dreamer's real world, with his behaviour in it, with his moods that bring his behaviour about, in short: with his whole mental apparatus. Dreams seem to do just this: they are remembered in halfrepparttar 126370 cases. Results are, probably, achieved without need for cognitive, conscious processing, inrepparttar 126371 other, unremembered, or disremembered cases. They greatly influencerepparttar 126372 immediate mood after awakening. They are discussed, interpreted, force people to think and re-think. They are dynamos of (internal and external) dialogue long after they have faded intorepparttar 126373 recesses ofrepparttar 126374 mind. Sometimes they directly influence actions and many people firmly believe inrepparttar 126375 quality ofrepparttar 126376 advice provided by them. In this sense, dreams are an inseparable part of reality. In many celebrated cases they even induced works of art or inventions or scientific discoveries (all adaptations of old, defunct, reality models ofrepparttar 126377 dreamers). In numerous documented cases, dreams tackled, head on, issues that botheredrepparttar 126378 dreamers during their waking hours. How does this theory fit withrepparttar 126379 hard facts?

(continued)

Sam Vaknin is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He is a columnist for Central Europe Review, United Press International (UPI) and eBookWeb and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory, Suite101 and searcheurope.com.

Visit Sam's Web site at http://samvak.tripod.com




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