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Master_Pedant
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29 Apr 2009, 8:00 pm

Sand wrote:
One point I have never seen much investigated is that most recognized philosophers have based their discussions and speculations on linguistics and since linguistics is embedded with all the peculiarities of grammar and traditional usage which, to a huge degree, has little or no congruence to reality, hey are led off into idiotic pathways that are mosly fantasies. Visual thinking is much more involved with perceptive reality and much less subject to unrealistic speculation.


Reality is neither verbal or pictorial. Both are simply ways our brains interpret and represent information from the surrounding environment. What evidence do you have that pictorial thought has less pitfalls than verbal thought?

Admittedly, as a person whose spacial reasoning deficits boarder on NLD, I am quite defensive of verbal reasoning.



Awesomelyglorious
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29 Apr 2009, 8:32 pm

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Well, my first highly fanatistical verbal feat of sophistry would be to claim that any study indicating a correlation between social relations and mirror neurons used statistically average (or neurotypical) subjects as the object of "socially relating to". Therefore, any such studies would only indicate that mirror neurons are required to empathize with neurotypicals (who have a likewise tendency to use mirror neurons in social relations).

But there are two factors which make my theoretical manoeuvre less than desirable:

1) I am not extremely knowledgable on all recent work in cognitive neuroscience.
2) I will grant that it is much more parsimonious for the same basic units, which have been statistically correlated with socially relating in most people, to hold true for neurologically atypical individuals.

So we are again left at a relative stalemate, perhaps with you gaining a slightly upper hand.

Still there seems to be too close a correlation between highly pictorial HFA and a knack for relating with animals to simply result from intense interests in animals.

Well, perhaps you can reconceptualize relations to other people without needing a prominent concept of "other", but this seems rather difficult to me, as I would think the mirror neurons would merely relate one person to another providing a push for connection. I do not see how social relations can really work well without this kind of concept of reciprocity.

I do not think that we have enough information to claim that the correlation is strong enough to say much.
1) High pictoralness seems very related to animal psyches
2) Autistic interests push for stronger knowledge much much more than normal NT interests
3) Even if an NT would not ever match the autistic ability, it still does not prove that autistics are just held back by a lack of access to similar people, it might at best show that they would relate better to similar people than they would to people unlike them.

In any case, there is a lack of ability to measure your claims about the strength of the correlation. This is not to say that it is untrue, but there are significant scientific difficulties as you've recognized.



Awesomelyglorious
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29 Apr 2009, 8:38 pm

Master_Pedant wrote:
Reality is neither verbal or pictorial. Both are simply ways our brains interpret and represent information from the surrounding environment. What evidence do you have that pictorial thought has less pitfalls than verbal thought?

Admittedly, as a person whose spacial reasoning deficits boarder on NLD, I am quite defensive of verbal reasoning.

Well, reality is that which is beyond the human conception, perhaps we can define reality to include aspects of mental realities such as qualia, but reality is not the representation of it.

As for the problems with verbal thought, couldn't one point to the fact that verbal thought is an attempt to extend from a mental representation, that itself may be too shoddy to reasonably expect a good result from this extension? After all, couldn't one argue that metaphysics trails scientific discovery more so than the other way around? Pictoral thought, by being less conceptual, avoids some of these issues of going too far from a representation.



Master_Pedant
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29 Apr 2009, 9:08 pm

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Master_Pedant wrote:
Reality is neither verbal or pictorial. Both are simply ways our brains interpret and represent information from the surrounding environment. What evidence do you have that pictorial thought has less pitfalls than verbal thought?

Admittedly, as a person whose spacial reasoning deficits boarder on NLD, I am quite defensive of verbal reasoning.

Well, reality is that which is beyond the human conception, perhaps we can define reality to include aspects of mental realities such as qualia, but reality is not the representation of it.

As for the problems with verbal thought, couldn't one point to the fact that verbal thought is an attempt to extend from a mental representation, that itself may be too shoddy to reasonably expect a good result from this extension? After all, couldn't one argue that metaphysics trails scientific discovery more so than the other way around? Pictoral thought, by being less conceptual, avoids some of these issues of going too far from a representation.


Try conveying that pictorially.



Awesomelyglorious
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29 Apr 2009, 9:32 pm

Master_Pedant wrote:
Try conveying that pictorially.

Precisely the point! You can't!



Sand
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29 Apr 2009, 11:04 pm

But language and mathematics (which is a special form of language) are merely representations of sense input in abstract form and are meaningless when they do not relate to sense input. As I remarked elsewhere, you cannot tell someone what flavors or scents convey to one who experiences them without reference to other sense experiences that are common. The same goes for colors, emotions, etc. Pictorial qualities carry with them extra baggage that frequently relates in profound ways to what we know of reality. Einstein learned of new insights by mentally riding a beam of light and discovering how that changed his understanding. Even mathematics, which is extraordinary in its capability to express anything has limitations in many ways. It can express linguistically any part of the visual spectrum in numbers but that does not relate visually to experiencing that particular color.



Ahaseurus2000
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30 Apr 2009, 2:54 am

I was thinking about this, and came up with the following diagram:

Image

Represented on the left is "usual" development of theory of mind. Represented on the right is "different" development of theory of mind, and possible outcomes.

What cannot be represented here is the how and why of each stage. Especially important is the question mark, as, scientifically speaking, the jury is still out on why autism and other conditions affecting ability to socially interact occur (i.e. the ultimate causes).


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Ahaseurus2000
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30 Apr 2009, 3:52 am

Sand wrote:
As someone who has not been diagnosed I am not sure I can speak for AS people but there seem to be similarities i my feelings to that of Temple Grandin who is definitely autistic. I focus on her because she has a reputation for being able to empathize extremely well with animals and design environments which confirm her theories. What puzzles me is why should mental attitudes in animals be so available to me and average humans are such a difficult problem. I find no sympathy for human strivings for wealth and power in overwhelming quantity nor do I find fantasy constructions in religious beliefs in any way convincing. There are many devout people here so I suppose that is not something special for NTs but logic and reason seems to play a larger part at this site than at other sites I have visited.


A significant difference between some animals and humans is that said animals do not seek to manipulate, use or deceive others socially or outside of deceptions used to camouflage, evade predation, sneak up on prey, and so on.

This is not true of all animals, for some socially organized animals whereby individuals complete for resources, mates and power (e.g. group leader or alpha-male/female), deception and manipulation is used. Watching my neighbour's burmese cat and their dog, both behave in ways that send a clear-enough message (when interpreted correctly) to other creatures, whether human, a different-species animal, or a same-species animal. when another dog in the neighbourhood barks said dog can respond in several ways but the way it responds can interpreted without having to factor in deception. when the tomcat from the other neighbour comes to sun himself by the raised garden and the burmese cat encounters it, both display threat / intimidation behaviours and may fight, but both do so in a non-manipulative way, and sort out their conflict without using trickery to control the other's behaviour.

Per my understanding, the social animals that seem most apt at deception are primates, which humans share common ancestors with. I point out that deceptive behaviours in primates seem to be innovated by individuals (self-taught) and I do not know if there is parent-child transition, though new behaviours can be "learned" by individuals who observe and practice it.

The cases of deception I have heard of in primates are attempts to fulfill a desire or want, and have involved food, water, or physical nurturing (such as more of mother's attention). I have not heard of primate deception purely for social wants or purposes. This is important because it exposes a major difference between humans and other animals: Humans are capable of and willing to deceive or manipulate others purely for social payoffs.


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ruveyn
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30 Apr 2009, 6:27 am

Has anyone here observed a mind in any other person than himself? I doubt it. I have had MRI scans, PET scans., EEGs and none of the doctors or technicians have ever found a mind inside my body. The only evidence I have is for brains inside my head.

There is not an iota of evidence for the existence of Mind as anything other an an epiphenomena of the brain, glands and nervous system. In short, there is no stand alone existence by itself Mind. Anywhere.

At most, Mind is a subjective delusion that many of us claim to suffer.

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Dussel
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30 Apr 2009, 8:12 am

Ahaseurus2000 wrote:
I was thinking about this, and came up with the following diagram:

Image

Represented on the left is "usual" development of theory of mind. Represented on the right is "different" development of theory of mind, and possible outcomes.

What cannot be represented here is the how and why of each stage. Especially important is the question mark, as, scientifically speaking, the jury is still out on why autism and other conditions affecting ability to socially interact occur (i.e. the ultimate causes).


I would go more for this model:

Image



Sand
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30 Apr 2009, 11:40 am

ruveyn wrote:
Has anyone here observed a mind in any other person than himself? I doubt it. I have had MRI scans, PET scans., EEGs and none of the doctors or technicians have ever found a mind inside my body. The only evidence I have is for brains inside my head.

There is not an iota of evidence for the existence of Mind as anything other an an epiphenomena of the brain, glands and nervous system. In short, there is no stand alone existence by itself Mind. Anywhere.

At most, Mind is a subjective delusion that many of us claim to suffer.

ruveyn


And it is unlikely that a physical examination of the components of a computer will reveal the complex patterns of its software.



ruveyn
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30 Apr 2009, 2:47 pm

Sand wrote:

And it is unlikely that a physical examination of the components of a computer will reveal the complex patterns of its software.


Wrong. Read a hex dump sometimes. I have reverse engineered software using just hex dumps.

ruveyn



Sand
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30 Apr 2009, 2:55 pm

ruveyn wrote:
Sand wrote:

And it is unlikely that a physical examination of the components of a computer will reveal the complex patterns of its software.


Wrong. Read a hex dump sometimes. I have reverse engineered software using just hex dumps.

ruveyn


But we have not yet been able to rad whatever "dump" remains in our nervous system. When we can do that we may discover mind. I hate to get involved with religious aphorisms but in general they are habitually saying that not being aware of something does not mean it does not exist. Nevertheless, you may not be aware of your mind. I am aware of mine.



ruveyn
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01 May 2009, 8:34 am

Sand wrote:
But we have not yet been able to rad whatever "dump" remains in our nervous system. When we can do that we may discover mind. I hate to get involved with religious aphorisms but in general they are habitually saying that not being aware of something does not mean it does not exist. Nevertheless, you may not be aware of your mind. I am aware of mine.


The point I make is that you are not aware of a mind in anyone's body but your own. How do you know your notion of mind is not a delusion or an hallucination? Where is the objective evidences that a mind exists in anyone's body?

ruveyn



sartresue
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01 May 2009, 9:17 am

ruveyn wrote:
Sand wrote:
But we have not yet been able to rad whatever "dump" remains in our nervous system. When we can do that we may discover mind. I hate to get involved with religious aphorisms but in general they are habitually saying that not being aware of something does not mean it does not exist. Nevertheless, you may not be aware of your mind. I am aware of mine.


The point I make is that you are not aware of a mind in anyone's body but your own. How do you know your notion of mind is not a delusion or an hallucination? Where is the objective evidences that a mind exists in anyone's body?

ruveyn


A matter of mind topic

A really interesting thread.

There is uncertainty about the "existence" of mind, as it is something which cannot be measured or observed. When I talk to animals, people, or walls I cannot be certain each or any has a mind or awareness. I assume humans do, and animals acknowledge my existence by looking at me, sniffing, etc. People may speak to me, and because I am aware of myself and talk to them, I assume when they talk to me they are also of a mind and awareness. So far as I know, a wall, a bridge, a chair and a table have not tried to communicate, at least in language I can understand.

Humans appear to become aware of themselves existing at around age two. They recognize themselves in a mirror, according to research. (There is also some research in this area regarding the great apes, who develop this sense of self at a later age.) I know of this for myself because I have a memory of me at this age. I call memory and thinking my mind, for lack of a more precise term. I experience memories as pictures, and I also think this way, as Grandin apparently does.

Though I assume each human has a mind, as I have just described, I have no idea what another human is thinking at any particular moment. I can ask: "What is on your mind, John?" and John can answer. Is his answer accurate? Who knows? For autistic people who lack a theory of mind, like me, what John says is either accurate or not. Because of this uncertainty, I cannot trust him. I would rather deal with animals, who have no conception (as far as I know) of deception, though amongst the great apes there are deceivers.

EDIT: instead of the word accurate for the content of John's mind's communication to me, I should have used the word sincere.


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Last edited by sartresue on 03 May 2009, 12:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.