can fully account for the simulation!
Materialist approaches have yet to adequately account for first-person
experience or predict many of the properties that emerge from human
interactions. Experience cannot be collapsed and explained away, but
as multiple perspectives arise from different ways of knowing, they
can be taken together to inform a more comprehensive view.
What is implicitly dualist about acknowledging embodiment? Recognizing
the integral role played by physicality in the shaping of conscious
experience might introduce humility into discussions that so often
don't even seem to be aware of their own solipsism. At least
embodiment encourages awareness of the ecological interactions that
enable us to have these conversations in the first place.
Regarding some of the other posts - It's not surprising to see
attempts to reduce the ineffable to conceptual categories end up, once
again, in the realm of frustrated nihilism. The slippery slope of
relativism always strikes me as misguided relationalism. Why not opt
for relational ontologies (as Barad seems to advocate, as does Smolin)
that focus on the central importance of interactions and qualities?
Aren't relativism and reductionism two sides of the same partially
useful but ultimately frustrated coin?
director, noospheric research division
On Jan 26, 2010, at 3:40 AM, Simon Biggs wrote:
> If what is an assertion concerning a relativistic argument can be
> then I am happy to be considered an absolutist. At the very least I am
> clearly confused ;)
> You reference Varela and the idea of the embodied mind. I would
> rather speak
> of the expanded self or, perhaps more precisely, the distributed self.
> Arguments about embodied minds, to some degree, are still weighed
> down with
> an implicit dualism. The idea of the distributed self posits the
> self as a
> construct or set of constructs that exist within, because of and
> with affect
> upon, various networks (in short, relative agency). These networks
> are of
> many kinds but the social is key to many, if not most, of them. The
> does not exist in this context as an identifiable thing but rather
> as an
> emergent phenomena that appears to have some degree of coherence.
> Latour is
> probably the thinker who has considered this model of self most
> although Don Idhe has also written on this with a particularly
> Whilst I enjoy much of Varela's writings I find his later work pretty
> difficult (his early work with Maturana is brilliant). His Buddhist
> immediately placed him in a position where he could not employ certain
> frameworks, particularly those of a phenomenological and
> post-phenomenological persuasion. Buddhism might be the most
> attractive of
> religions, but it is still a religion. It requires you have faith
> (at the
> very least, in yourself) and that is absolutist.
> I am not assuming the independent existence of things beyond our
> (I wouldn't use the word conceptualisation here as that once again
> risks a
> dualistic interpretation) but identify experience as key. This is
> way of saying that what things might be is likely to be found in their
> relations and interactions rather than in themselves.
> Simon Biggs
> Research Professor
> edinburgh college of art
> Creative Interdisciplinary Research into CoLlaborative Environments
> CIRCLE research group
> AIM/Skype: simonbiggsuk
> From: david mcconville <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Reply-To: YASMIN DISCUSSIONS <email@example.com>
> Date: Sun, 24 Jan 2010 18:24:57 -0500
> To: YASMIN DISCUSSIONS <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Subject: Re: [Yasmin_discussions] Simulation, remediation
> You make an interesting absolute assertion here. It seems that
> asserting that we cannot directly experience "things" is not the same
> as saying that we cannot have direct experience. "Things" are
> representational constructs that arise from our after-the-fact
> analysis. Related to this, Varela et al (in The Embodied Mind)
> critique phenomenologists for trying to "recapture the richness of
> experience" through a "discourse about that experience," (p.19) while
> many others - Buddhists in particular - have cited that scientific
> materialism has no framework for first-person explorations of
> Sakyong Mipham echoes Whitehead's Fallacy of Misplaced Concreteness
> (and centuries of Buddhist teachings) by pointing out that "we're
> always trying to project a concrete world onto a fluid process,
> mistaking our ever-changing experience for a self." Instead of
> attempting to conceptualize after-the-fact, many non-conceptual
> practices are focused on direct experience - not on attempting to
> impossible task of directly experiencing "things" but on letting go of
> this compulsion to conceptualize. Mipham continues "Like the elements,
> this kind of wisdom doesn't need to be propped up. It is a direct
> experience of reality, empty and ungraspable."
> Are you assuming an independent existence of "things" beyond our
> conceptualization of them? Alternately, if all phenomena are converted
> into sense-able processes through our embodied sense perceptions,
> can't it be said that they co-arise with our perception of them?
> Wouldn't this make the after-the-fact attempts to represent the
> experience the true mediation process?
> david mcconville
> director, noospheric research division
> Edinburgh College of Art (eca) is a charity registered in Scotland,
> number SC009201
> Yasmin_discussions mailing list
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HOW TO SUBSCRIBE: click on the link to the list you wish to subscribe to. In the page that will appear ("info page"), enter e-mail address, name, and password in the fields found further down the page.
HOW TO UNSUBSCRIBE: on the info page, scroll all the way down and enter your e-mail address in the last field. Enter password if asked. Click on the unsubscribe button on the page that will appear ("options page").
HOW TO ENABLE / DISABLE DIGEST MODE: in the options page, find the "Set Digest Mode" option and set it to either on or off.