2009/9/1 Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com>:

> There's something going on, but I don't know why you would suppose it's
> not analyzable in terms of physics.

Well, what I would say is that the temporal psychology of the specious
present is very odd in the face of either the flux or block view of
time in physics.  Introspection convinces us (me anyway) that there is
some psychologically significant duration beyond the momentary that is
indispensable to sensory experience (think of how we grasp melodies as
opposed to pitch).  On a physical analysis of the brain, we clearly
cannot argue under the flux approach for any influence that isn't
actually present within any given moment as having any relevance to
experiential content, so we're forced to assume some sort of
physically-structured 'temporal' encapsulation of multiple snapshots,
of more than momentary total duration, that relies on the
incorporation of memory of what's just past.

And yet it seems clear nonetheless that there is the experience of
change *within* such capsules.  And if we argue that this change isn't
within the capsule, we would have to believe in some integration of
successive capsules through time, and then we're either appealing to
data that's no longer accessible at the time it's supposed to be
efficacious, or we've flipped into a block view.  So it seems like
there's something missing in our conception of how experiential time
could translate from the physical to the psychological and vice versa,
because it seems we can't help appealing to both quasi-flux and
quasi-block models to save the appearances.

> When something completely unexpected or
> unfamiliar happens that involves sound and sight it becomes noticeable
> that sounds are processed by the brain quicker than are sights - which
> would be expected on simple information content grounds.  Ordinarily
> your brain coordinates the sights and sounds and you are not conscious
> of this difference.  But for something really unfamiliar and unexpected
> you get a confusion of hearing things "out of sync" with sights which
> you, on reflection, later realize where aspects of the same event.

Yes I agree that this argues for different basic 'frame refresh' and
'block size' for different classes of perceptual data.

David

>
> David Nyman wrote:
>> On 1 Sep, 09:49, Flammarion <peterdjo...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>>
>> There are two points you make that I'd like to comment specifically
>> on:
>>
>>
>>> OK. Memory is relevant to consciousness. It is relevant
>>> specifically to access consciousness. it is also easily explained
>>> physically and not therefore part of the HP and not
>>> therefore of much philosophical interest.
>>>
>>
>> I agree that this is not part of the HP.  It is however highly
>> relevant to the grain issue and the apparent conscious-unconscious
>> dichotomy, which are two of the things you have been pressing me on.
>> Hence given such relevance I can hardly agree that it lacks
>> philosophical interest.
>>
>>
>>>>  By the way, if you have a
>>>> simple extrinsic account of the phenomena of the specious present, I'd
>>>> be genuinely interested in more detail.
>>>>
>>> I think I gave one. Slow communications in the brain=short term
>>> information storage=specious present
>>>
>>> You could hardly *not* have one.
>>>
>>
>> Yes, I thought this was probably what you had in mind.  This is what I
>> meant by the assumption of a simple traverse through time, and hence
>> your proposal is at odds with either flux or block models of time.
>> The "slow communications" you refer to, under the flux interpretation,
>> would simply decompose into multiple slices, which taken individually
>> could not plausibly constitute the specious present.  Hence "short
>> term information storage" outside such individual slices already
>> presupposes some form of integration 'through time' - i.e. across
>> slices.  This points to the fact that there is something deeply
>> counter intuitive about our actual experience of the 'present moment'
>> with respect to either of the standard temporal analyses.
>>
>> My strong suspicion (and be clear I'm not putting it any higher than
>> this) is that the same mechanism that synthesises and presents
>> integrated temporal experience (think of melody as opposed to pitch)
>> is also central to the qualitative aspect of self-conscious states.
>> IOW there's something going on that both integrates and differentiates
>> the internal worlds we inhabit, in this characteristic way, that is
>> not analysable in terms of simple linear process through the standard
>> time dimension of physics.
>
> There's something going on, but I don't know why you would suppose it's
> not analyzable in terms of physics.  I've experienced  non-integrated
> perceptions a few times.  When something completely unexpected or
> unfamiliar happens that involves sound and sight it becomes noticeable
> that sounds are processed by the brain quicker than are sights - which
> would be expected on simple information content grounds.  Ordinarily
> your brain coordinates the sights and sounds and you are not conscious
> of this difference.  But for something really unfamiliar and unexpected
> you get a confusion of hearing things "out of sync" with sights which
> you, on reflection, later realize where aspects of the same event.
>
> Brent
>
>> I would also suspect that this is relevant
>> to why qualia have been so elusive on the basis of such analyses.  The
>> basic 'temporal' notion bears some family resemblance to ideas such as
>> Barbour's time capsules, although in discussion he did not commit
>> definitively on the precise relationship between this conception and
>> the full duration of the specious present.
>>
>> David
>>
>>
>
>
> >
>

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