10-12-06, 09:32 PM #1
A new belief set
This thread will be the first of many ideas that will start with a model of the human mind and end with arguments regarding ethics, morality and life in general and eventually an anonymously published contemporary philosophy book.
Feel free to poke and prod all you want, as your criticisms will help better organize the ideas. If you see these ideas show up anywhere else they were stolen unless I say otherwise (I will come back and alter this if the ideas are to be published)
Since people are capable of coming to mutually exclusive conclusions regarding questions to which there is only one answer, the human mind must be flawed. Therefore IMO understanding our own minds and the nature of any such flaws is the first step to solving any external problem with certainty.
I will attempt to create a model of the human mind based on common human experience that might bring such flaws to light and give more than common insight into human behavior. With this information perhaps external problems will be easier to solve. This model will depend on some assumptions that other people have experiences that I outline by saying things like "A person can X" or "We X". If in your experience these assumptions fail then the model fails.
A person can store previous perceptions. We will call these stored perceptions sense memories, and a memory which contains previous input from only one sense visual memories, sound memories, smell memories or whatever sense applies.
2. Functions of sense memories: sense ideas
A person is capable of breaking down something they have perceived into parts. A person is also capable of rearranging these parts inside their mind at least to whatever degree they are motivated to. We are also capable of comparing perceived memories to other memories as well as things we are currently percieving. We will define sense idea as a collection of sense memories of any size or order and any basic operations (such as the ones mentioned above) performed on these sense memories.
2. Coincidental Perception Definition
A person can perceive from multiple senses at the same time. A person can also recognize similar perceptions. From these two abilities we can derive a special kind of definition which we will call a Coincidental Perception Definition. The Coincidental Perception Definition of any sense memory is all sense ideas which a person:
A) Has frequently been perceived close in time to the sense idea being defined. Note that this includes simultaneous perception from the same sense as well as from different senses, so that if you always saw a bed in a certain room then part of the Coincidental Perception Definition of the image of that bed would be the image of the room as well.
C) Has been perceived as being referenced by a sense idea which was previously defined by coincidental perception.
An example of this would be if you saw Bob told to "Get the hammer from the table". If you already understood the concept of a command and that it sounded like that, and you understood the action of "getting x from the table" where x was whatever would be aquired by the hand of the person getting, then you would relate the sound of the word hammer to whatever you saw Bob pick up.
3. Forming complex sense ideas
Suppose for the first time you heard me say "Pick up the ball" to my friend who you then saw picking up a ball. You then percieved these events multiple times such that you gave the entire phrase "pick up the ball" the coincidental perception definition of the vision of seeing a man pick up the ball. Then however, you heard the phrase changed to "pick up the bat". There would be two differences between what you had percieved before and what you now percieved. Both the beginning of what you heard, "pick up the" and the vision of the man going to pick something up would remain similar. However the final word of the phrase bat and what you see the man pick up would be different.
If you were to then experience this enough times to give the new phrase the coincidental perception definition of the sight of the person picking up the bat, I claim that additional concepts would be cpdefined using the basic operations mentioned in the sense idea section. Firstly, the phrase "pick up the" could be seperately cpdefined as the vision of a man going to pick up something, minus whatever is being picked up. This connection has remained the same regardless of the difference in the object being picked up. Secondly, there could be a connection made between the different objects being picked up. IE associated with the sound of the phrase "pick up the" would be not merely a ("ball" OR "bat") and the associated visual memories, but some general connection between the two. An object... something which was heard after "pick up the" and could be percieved visually as something a man went to pick up. Here object is a comlpex sense idea that was defined by perception. We now have the more general concept "pick up the (object)" defined as the view of someone picking up something.
Of course this model is simplified... because we would have already used this process just to be able to recognize the connection between "pick up the ball" and the view of someone picking up the ball. Since it does not look the same every time someone goes to pick up a ball, or sound exactly the same every time someone says the phrase, our concept of "pick up the ball" and the associated vision would already be a complex sense idea rather than exactly what we had percieved any one time. It would be composed of only what was similar about each time we heard the phrase and saw the action. The next section is an example of this.
3. Recognition of Rotation
As adults we are capable of recognizing objects by looking at them. An object looks slightly different from each angle, yet we can still recognize them. A visual memory or visual perception can be broken down into a number of simple 2d geometric shapes. Rotation performed on different instances of these simple geometric shapes would look the same, therefore it would be possible to predict how any object would look when rotated by breaking it into such simple shapes and performing rotation on them. Also a person would not have to store images of an object from every angle to be able to recognize it from any angle. To learn this ability, a person would only need to see some objects rotated and recognize the similarities in how shapes transformed when rotated.
4. Non sense ideas are nonsense
The next question to answer is, are there such things as ideas which are not sense ideas? To start with, I suggest the reader choose the most complicated concept he or she can think of and then look up it's dictionary definition. Then take any concept which cannot obviously be defined by a function of perceptions in the above mentioned manner and look up its definition. Repeat this process with all words that you doubt are sense ideas. I claim that you will always eventually come to concepts that you can see are sense ideas, and therefore the concepts they define are also sense ideas.
Also, a person could simply consider that all understood concepts must have been communicated by perception if said person was not born understanding the concepts, since perception is the only input we have.
5. Symbolic logic model of the above reasoning
Let any phrase encased in 2 @'s represent a visual perception and any phrased encased in 2 " 's represent an audio perception.
Let C represent Coincidently, as in coincidental perception definition outlined above. (simultaneous perception, perception close in time, or perception of something at a point that is meaningful to some previously defined concept)
Let x (some number) represent the number of times a perception or sense idea has been experienced.
Let S(X) represent a sense idea, or function of perceptions that contains the least amount of information but still allows the recreation of all memories it is a function of. Object might be an example of S(@hammer@, @book@, @ball@, @bat@) where here object would be a collection of 2d geometric shapes that could be altered to any shape, size or color and combined with each other.
Giving a mind the following experiences:
"Get the book" C @Person getting a book@ x 2
"Get the hammer" C @Person getting a hammer@ x 5
"Get the ball" C @Person getting a ball" x 3
"Get the bat" C @Person getting a bat" x 4
Would additonally result in the following given our model of the human mind:
"book" C @book@ x 2
"hammer" C @hammer x 5
"ball" C @ball@ x 3
"bat" C @bat@ x 5
"Get the " C S("book", "hammer", "ball", "bat") x 14
@Person getting a@ C S(@book@, @hammer@, @ball@, @bat@) x 14
"Get the " S("book", "hammer", "ball", "bat") C @Person getting a@ S(@book@, @hammer@, @ball@, @bat@) x 14
This allows me to give more examples of how ideas would be formed using this model in less space.
Let S("book", "bat", "hammer", "ball", ... ) be called object name.
Let S("hallway", "outside", "park") be called place name
Let S(@book@, @bat@, @hammer@, @ball@, ...) be called object
Let S(@hallway@, @park@, @outside@ .... ) be called place
"Get the (object name)" C @Person getting the@ object x 14
"Jump" C @Person Jumping@ x 5
"Go to (place name)" C @person going to@ place x 10
Would additionally result in the following given our model of the human mind:
S("get the (object name)", "Jump", "Go to (place name)") C S(@Person getting the (object)@, @Person Jumping@, @Person going to (place)@) x 29
Let S(("get the (object name)", "Jump", "Go to (place name)", ...etc) be called command
Let S(@Person getting the@ object, @Person Jumping@, @Person going to@ place, ...) be called (a person taking action)
Let S(object name, place name) be called (a noun)
Part 2: Motivation
To consider the motivations people have for the actions they take, it seems like the best place to start is with emotion as emotion is an easily observable drive for actions that people take. It often seems as though the most emotional events of our lives are also the most memorable. If there is indeed some link between memory and emotion and our model of the mind to this point is accurate, then we might be able to identify exactly where this link is.
My favorite sense idea
We all know there are things we like to percieve in the world. Some people like to be smiled at, to be hugged, to feel the warm sun upon them, to listen to music etc the list goes on. To attempt to understand this in the context of the model we have created, we might try to associate desirable feelings with these sense ideas. However there are some problems with such a model that indicate that reality is more complex than this.
One such problem is that if experiencing a given perception or sense memory was the main motivator for human behavior, one would expect a scenario such as the following. Two people would walk up to each other, smile, and then stay there forever. Of course in reality the situation would quickly lose its appeal. A given song is another example of something which at first is entertaining but after repeated exposure will lose appeal. Listening to the same song in the same enviornment over and over will eventually cause the song to become less entertaining to listen to.
Nevertheless certain things for example sunshine and lollipops seem to be assocated with pleasant feelings somehow. In general we will refer to these as favored sense ideas, and we will recognize that like many things in our model they are likely different for each person.
Favored sense idea not sense memory
In the model we have created, we already know that a concept like smiling would not be cpdefined exactly as we have seen one person smile in the past. Rather it would be a function of all the various people we have seen smiling. Perhaps some sort of outline of the general shape of a smile that would allow us to recognize when a variety of different people with slight differences in face structure etc were smiling.
Drums are the new heartbeat
It follows the design of our model so far that the experience of percieving a new person smiling would be compared to our sense idea of smiling. The new memory would probably also be related in our mind to the sense idea of smiling, and perhaps our concept of smiling would be amended to include any new information given by this experience. What if it was one of these acts of comparison or relation in memory that was linked to stronger emotions? This would allow us to create a viable link between our model this far and emotion.
Since it seems unlikely that two experiences would ever be exactly the same, it follows that there would always be some comparison and relation taking place within the mind. For instance, listening to a song in your room multiple times where the only difference in what was being percieved was slight changes in lighting due to time of day might not require as much comparison and relation the last few times in order to process what you were perceiving.
On the other hand, listening to a brand new beat in a dance club, while watching an attractive member of the opposite sex that you only recently met dancing in concert with the beat while smiling at you might require much more processing.
If these two cases involved favored sense ideas, such as a beat, a smile, the visual attributes of an attractive member of the opposite sex etc, then our model so far would indicate that processing what we were percieving would create favorable emotions. I believe we can recognize the night club scenario as the one in which we would experience more intense favorable emotions. If this pattern is followed throughout our experiences, then it follows that the intesity of favorable emotions felt is linked to the amount of comparison and relation to favored sense ideas taking place.
Action to increase favorable emotion
Suppose a person whose mind was governed by our model was walking down the street and saw an attractive member of the opposite sex smile and wave at a guy in a red sports car and say "Hey there!... nice car". Having a newly formed mind you processed this experience and associated the car with attractive females smiling, waving and saying "Hey there!". You want to experience this more often, and you want the person to adress these things at you. So you set out to aquire a red sports car. You have previously associated red sports cars with money, and money with success in life. Therefore in order to experience more favorable emotions, this person would be indirectly motivated to do things like recieve an education, go to work every day and attempt to do a good job in hopes of recieving recognition and getting a promotion etc.
This simple motivational system would be just as capable of motivating the most difficult human accomplishments as it would be capable of motivating an animal to aquire food to attract a mate.
One might wonder if there is anything about how these favored sense ideas motivate us to act that we can see from our non scientific perspective. There are some things we can consider that might provide some insight. For example, the experience of emotion is not something we can measure very precisely. Though we can tell when we are experiencing an intense emotion, there seems to be no clear line between this and the emotion being gone - rather it just seems to wane.
If we consider the sports car and the money used to buy it from the above section, we might guess (from real life experience) that receiving a new car or a large sum of money might also produce favorable emotions rather than only doing so when it causes an attractive member of the opposite sex to smile etc. In the example from the section above, the person wants a red sports car as a means to an end - to impress the attractive member of the opposite sex. However one might make an argument that in real life a person might want a red sports car for its own sake (ie the car itself is already a favorable sense idea) and those reasons could explain the experience of emotion when aquiring one.
However in the case of the money, it would be much more difficult to make this claim. Money is always a means to an end, so it seems illogical that it would start out as a favored sense idea. Rather the receiving of money must invoke emotion either because A) upon recieving the money the person realizes that it will allow him to experience more favored sense ideas, or B) when money was associated with the ability to experience favored sense ideas, money BECAME a favored sense idea to some degree lesser than the original favored sense idea.
In either of these cases, it is shown that anything that could result or help in the process of experiencing a favorable sense idea is itself capable of causing the experience of favorable emotion. So while receiving money causes the experience of favorable emotions because of money's connection with experiencing favorable sense ideas, working hard and being recognized for it might cause favorable emotion because of its connection with recieving money. And so forth.
Thus it seems possible that everything a person experiences may cause him to experience emotion to some degree. We also know that remembering memories can cause us to experience the emotions. We also know that we are capable of rearranging memories in our heads to form new sense ideas. Thus it seems possible that a person be able to plan action by reorganizing his memories to play out scenarios where different courses of action are taken and each one results in success and experience of favorable emotions or failure. He would then play out the plan he believed to be most succesful.
Both the ability to make plans and the connection (however indirect) between all experiences and favorable emotions allow for the possibility that a person is experiencing emotion at all times.
Aside to forum members: A possible link to the physical
Here I will supply a possible model which would connect everything stated so far in this part to what is known from science about the human mind. I will do this by suggesting a possible model that is coherent with the above as well as more scientific findings. The purpose of this is to show how the plurality issue of coherentism (more than one belief set can be coherent with all known information) can be used to validate a scientific and first person experience based approach to mind simultaneously.
Suppose that the experience of favorable emotions was related to the reception of certain chemicals in the brain. Suppose that these chemicals were being recepted at all times to some degree or other. Now suppose that the experience of certain things caused a person to remember past experiences, which caused the person to recept the chemicals not just to the normal degree but in addition to the degree associated with the remembered past experiences.
Such an experience would add the given degree of reception (that all experiences came with) to the given degree of reception awarded to all related memories. Thus, the more memories a given experience could be related to, them more intense emotions it would invoke.
Therefore favorable sense ideas would simply be things we had been exposed to the most amount of times in the past. This is coherent with fairly common favored sense ideas such as a hearbeat, warmth, or a smile and is an evolutionarily sound principle. If something didn't kill you the many times you experienced it before, it is a good thing to experience.
This still leaves a question about whether or not experiences could be related to memories from past generations in this manner, where here memories means functions of sensory input recieved in the past.
10-12-06, 09:51 PM #2
ummm...care to make all that text block into 4 not long sentences? plz
Anyways it sounds like u are proposing a hybrid of scientology and atheism.
10-13-06, 04:51 AM #3
10-13-06, 05:29 AM #4
10-13-06, 05:33 AM #5
10-13-06, 06:22 AM #6
Of course, the perception of "perfectly efficient" itself may be a flaw, it always gets a little tricky when the eyeball looks at itself.
10-13-06, 06:30 AM #7
Sleep on the flaw.
The mind models.
Last edited by Sauna; 10-13-06 at 06:35 AM.
10-13-06, 06:36 AM #8
Sleep on the flaw.
The mind models.
10-13-06, 06:55 AM #9
10-13-06, 10:14 AM #10
cole grey:I think the mind can be considered flawed, even if it is probably the most amazing thing on earth, since it generally functions in ways which are less than perfectly efficient, and can often be self-destructive.
Of course, the perception of "perfectly efficient" itself may be a flaw, it always gets a little tricky when the eyeball looks at itself.
And efficiency is determined, indeed predetermined in many instances, by so many fluctuating and discriminating external conditions and stimuli.
10-13-06, 04:06 PM #11
That is what I was saying - you can't blame the mind only if we can't isolate the mistakes the mind makes from the false input.
P.S. Perhaps perfection is always ONLY a human concept, but it is easy enough to conceptualize without an example. If you have a car that stops working every twenty miles, you could just imagine what it would be like to have the car continue functioning.
10-13-06, 09:39 PM #12
10-13-06, 09:41 PM #13
I luv these quickly quicky reply-ies!
10-13-06, 10:03 PM #14
10-14-06, 05:06 AM #15
10-14-06, 05:10 AM #16
That's what life is all about: experience. But add to that will, aim, goals... sometimes we must be able to fool ourselves temporarily in order to venture into certain... directions.
10-14-06, 05:34 AM #17
10-14-06, 05:36 AM #18
10-14-06, 06:10 AM #19
flaws thwart control
10-14-06, 08:01 AM #20
I was saying the mind was flawed, in the sense that it is capable of producing mutually exclusive beliefs on the same subject with roughly the same information.