The Great God Pan is Not Dead: Alfred N. Whitehead & the Psychedelic Mode of...

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sciborg2

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« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2019, 12:43:16 am »
... even as psychology wasted its time with the delusion of behaviorism.

What do you mean by this?

Behaviorism - at least as I've had it explained - is the denial, or at least ignoring, of internal states. A retired psychologist who's a friend of mine once made a joke:

"It was good for you. How was it for me?"
 -Two behaviorists after sex

Basically without some recourse to internal mental characteristics it becomes difficult to sort behaviors. If I tell a friend, "be more romantic toward your girl" there are a set of behaviors that could be done that are incredibly varied.

"Being romantic" can then give us a way to classify observed behaviors, and saying someone is a "romantic" (or "petty", "compassionate", etc) sort gives us a way to predict their future behaviors. But without these kind of folk psychological terms it's not clear anyone could navigate the world using the theories of mind given to us by behaviorists or their intellectual descendants.
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TaoHorror

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« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2019, 01:18:14 am »
Behaviorism - at least as I've had it explained - is the denial, or at least ignoring, of internal states.

But behavioral psychologists have been the most successful branch of psychology. It’s impressive how effective putting the cart before the horse is. Overly simplistic, but if you’re a bad person suffering from the consequences of being bad, but you can’t see your way through to being a good person, if you start behaving good, you eventually come around and get it and genuinely transform – faster than you would think, could be as fast as a year or two. Behavioral psychologists don’t overtly deny the value of discovering what’s behind the curtain, it’s almost purely a practical application to improve people’s psychology/lives. There may be a few stating the internals don’t matter or don’t bother as it’s unknowable, but that’s not the meat of what they’re trying to accomplish. Root cause is out of scope of what they’re studying and doing, it’s not denouncement.

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« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2019, 01:22:39 am »
Behaviorism - at least as I've had it explained - is the denial, or at least ignoring, of internal states.

But behavioral psychologists have been the most successful branch of psychology. It’s impressive how effective putting the cart before the horse is. Overly simplistic, but if you’re a bad person suffering from the consequences of being bad, but you can’t see your way through to being a good person, if you start behaving good, you eventually come around and get it and genuinely transform – faster than you would think, could be as fast as a year or two. Behavioral psychologists don’t overtly deny the value of discovering what’s behind the curtain, it’s almost purely a practical application to improve people’s psychology/lives. There may be a few stating the internals don’t matter or don’t bother as it’s unknowable, but that’s not the meat of what they’re trying to accomplish. Root cause is out of scope of what they’re studying and doing, it’s not denouncement.

H! Get in here and help me out.

I think we're talking about different things? I am referring specifically to the idea we can explain human behavior without any recourse to cognitive/intentional states. Admittedly this might be my ignorance at play.

Though if you are talking about CBT it might not be as effective as you think? ->

Therapy wars: The Revenge of Freud
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TaoHorror

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« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2019, 01:30:59 am »
I think we're talking about different things? I am referring specifically to the idea we can explain human behavior without any recourse to cognitive/intentional states. Admittedly this might be my ignorance at play.

We may not be, I thought we were.

Though if you are talking about CBT it might not be as effective as you think? ->

I don’t know how effective it has been historically/globally, but honestly with how endemically error-prone psychology is, I’m falling off my chair that it could work at all. It's almost as if Psychology is the anti-physics science with no two outcomes can possibly be the same. CBT has had at least some success with a good deal of it's "failure" likely related to how compliant the patient is. I'm discounting incompetence, a thing that plagues all. For those who are competent treating compliant patients, it works at least enough it cannot be ignored. Here I think we have Free Will and then I see CBT in action which to my thinking thwarts my assertion.

EDIT: I finally get what you're saying - those who only focus on behavior without at least dipping your toe in the brain/mind is too shallow an exercise to be any good? Hmm - I think you can be a damn good mechanic without knowing engineering. I mean, we haven't figured it out yet, so you're saying don't even try understanding behavior until we do?
« Last Edit: January 12, 2019, 01:34:08 am by TaoHorror »
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sciborg2

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« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2019, 01:39:20 am »
EDIT: I finally get what you're saying - those who only focus on behavior without at least dipping your toe in the brain/mind is too shallow an exercise to be any good? Hmm - I think you can be a damn good mechanic without knowing engineering. I mean, we haven't figured it out yet, so you're saying don't even try understanding behavior until we do?

I think trying to classify human behavior only using observable behavior is going to make for poor predictive/explanatory power.

But human behavior organized by cognitive states does work - which is what I think we are in agreement on? I was referring to the historical attempt of behaviorism to make psychology a science of laws and equations.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2019, 01:41:01 am by sciborg2 »
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« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2019, 02:53:56 am »
Therapy wars: The Revenge of Freud

This was hilarious from this link you shared:

Quote
No brain scan has ever located the ego, super-ego or id

No shit, LOL!
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« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2019, 04:33:17 am »
Therapy wars: The Revenge of Freud

This was hilarious from this link you shared:

Quote
No brain scan has ever located the ego, super-ego or id

No shit, LOL!

Heh, it does seem a bit unfair to say that about Freud's terms when there is much about the mind that hasn't (yet?) been located in the brain...
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« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2019, 07:59:54 pm »
I got the author's book on Noumenautics...if I never return it's because I ended up tripping balls until I died.
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« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2019, 03:09:56 pm »
I mean there is always value in trying to improve mental states. I think in its humanitarian ideal psychology is good stuff, and has saved lives and ideally can save even more.

Similarly math gives us incredible predictive power but when people think everything about reality is amenable to mathematical description we end up with (IMO) deeply wrongheaded ideas like causation is either deterministic/random b/c math only has non-random and random descriptions through functions, prob-stats, etc.

I was thinking about this the other night, because I was out playing a game and the topic of "useless" psychology degrees came up.  That is, I have one and so did another guy.  I say "useless" because we simply never actually did anything in our actual field with them.

I mentioned that my aim was always at more Analytical Psychology than something "experimental," something more clinical and therefor more akin to Philosophy than a hard science.  But it had me thinking, later, and asking, "why?"  What is the use of such a thing.

And that makes me think, that a "less scientific" approach is perhaps something sorely missing from "Western culture" now-a-days.  That is, what we "need" is specifically less "objective truth" and more "subjective perspective."  That seems strange to me, as someone who has a general empirical world-view.  But I'm also very much a phenomenologist and maybe there is something in how to square those two things.

It makes me think back to the end of my time in college, where I was just wrapping up random credits I needed.  I fell in to some philosophy classes, mostly because they were easy to me.  But one professor told us something to the effect of that "Western philosophy" when encountering what they found in places like Africa, regarded them as distinctly "primitive" because they didn't rely in logic, for the most part, they were "lived philosophy" that is, something more like "wisdom" not on what was empirically, or even logically, "true" but rather, how do you live a life that is worth living?

I don't know if that is actually true, or if that is actually what that professor actually told us, but that's how I recall it.  Maybe her actual words were different and that's just how I understood it.  So, what does that have to do with psychology?  Well, maybe that is what something like analytical psychology should be?  More a lived philosophy than a hard science?
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sciborg2

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« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2019, 08:11:26 pm »
I mean there is always value in trying to improve mental states. I think in its humanitarian ideal psychology is good stuff, and has saved lives and ideally can save even more.

Similarly math gives us incredible predictive power but when people think everything about reality is amenable to mathematical description we end up with (IMO) deeply wrongheaded ideas like causation is either deterministic/random b/c math only has non-random and random descriptions through functions, prob-stats, etc.

I was thinking about this the other night, because I was out playing a game and the topic of "useless" psychology degrees came up.  That is, I have one and so did another guy.  I say "useless" because we simply never actually did anything in our actual field with them.

I mentioned that my aim was always at more Analytical Psychology than something "experimental," something more clinical and therefor more akin to Philosophy than a hard science.  But it had me thinking, later, and asking, "why?"  What is the use of such a thing.

And that makes me think, that a "less scientific" approach is perhaps something sorely missing from "Western culture" now-a-days.  That is, what we "need" is specifically less "objective truth" and more "subjective perspective."  That seems strange to me, as someone who has a general empirical world-view.  But I'm also very much a phenomenologist and maybe there is something in how to square those two things.

It makes me think back to the end of my time in college, where I was just wrapping up random credits I needed.  I fell in to some philosophy classes, mostly because they were easy to me.  But one professor told us something to the effect of that "Western philosophy" when encountering what they found in places like Africa, regarded them as distinctly "primitive" because they didn't rely in logic, for the most part, they were "lived philosophy" that is, something more like "wisdom" not on what was empirically, or even logically, "true" but rather, how do you live a life that is worth living?

I don't know if that is actually true, or if that is actually what that professor actually told us, but that's how I recall it.  Maybe her actual words were different and that's just how I understood it.  So, what does that have to do with psychology?  Well, maybe that is what something like analytical psychology should be?  More a lived philosophy than a hard science?

Yeah I think psychology is a field that could benefit from the acceptance of what the philosopher Putnam calls "pragmatic pluralism"...there may simply not be laws (or at least laws we can discover) for human behavior. Or the laws are variant across individuals coming from different experiences.

Some things work for some people some of the time. Try to sort out what makes people mentally healthy, for as long as you can and as deep as you get that mental healthiness to go. A very different science compared to physics, or even economics, but perhaps all the more useful for our day to day living for it...

Your example of the different cultures behaviors and philosophies makes me think of some stuff the philosopher Freya Matthews looked at, why China seemed to embrace ideas of mind/matter unity (a sort of top-down panpsychism) compared to the West.

Obviously part of that turns on the history of Europe at a particular point and the goals of the Church, but she notes the Greeks and the idea of theoria.

All to say I do think we can forget how deep our "conditioning" toward particular views/ideas can go...I mean it wasn't until after college I ever asked myself, "Why don't the Laws of Physics change?"
« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 08:12:58 pm by sciborg2 »
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« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2019, 08:47:14 pm »
Yeah I think psychology is a field that could benefit from the acceptance of what the philosopher Putnam calls "pragmatic pluralism"...there may simply not be laws (or at least laws we can discover) for human behavior. Or the laws are variant across individuals coming from different experiences.

I'd like to think that was something that Jung was actually attempting to do, via his sort of analytical "phenomenological" approach.  Or at least in theory.  It's more about understanding the tenancies we have.  This tends to lead to that, and so on.  Less about "laws" because each individual as a sort of "perpetual feedback machine" is necessarily going to be different.  That doesn't mean that we can't learn things generally, but keep in mind that the general signifies little, exactly, to the individual.
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« Reply #26 on: January 18, 2019, 07:06:28 pm »
Some more material from the author:

Peter Sjöstedt-H introduces Whitehead’s organic awareness of reality.

Quote
For Whitehead the bifurcation of the world into organic and inorganic is also false. Consider descending a line of complexity from Homo sapiens to starfish, to cells, to DNA molecules, to less complex molecules, to atoms, and then to the subatomic. For Whitehead this descent is towards what he calls ‘actual entities’ or ‘actual occasions’, or ‘occasions of experience’, which we might think of as ontologically non-composite events.

Whitehead asserts everything to be organic. As he succinctly puts it: “Biology is the study of the larger organisms; whereas physics is the study of the smaller organisms” (Science and the Modern World, VI, 1925). The in/organic division is then ultimately false, sanctioned by the purported mechanical universe idea, once again resulting from Descartes’ mind/matter split. Most importantly here, to Whitehead, actual entities have a degree of sentience – of awareness, feeling and purpose – as do systems, or ‘societies’ as he names them, that are organically constructed from actual entities. Consciousness as we humans have it is therefore a complex nested system of subordinate sentiences: the redefined ‘organisms’ we traced in the path from Homo sapiens to subatomic particles, each of them being self-organising systems, are also sentient to degrees, according to the integrated complexity involved. Each cell in our body is such an instrument of sentience – instruments which focus their effects in the hall of the skull. Such consciousness requires a human brain because the brain channels together the awarenesses of the subordinate entities. Where actual entities have formed into non-self-organising aggregates – such as doors and windows – there is no unified sentience associated with the aggregate itself – only the myriad lesser sentiences of which the aggregate is composed: the sentiences of the molecules, atoms, and subatomic particles. Note the implication that although a brain is required for high-level animal-type consciousness, a brain is not required for mere sentience. Analogously, although an orchestra is required for a symphony, an orchestra is not required for a violin solo. Sentience, or experience, already exists as part of reality.

The concept of universal sentience is known as panpsychism, or as it is called with respect to the philosophy of organism, panexperientialism. Although panexperientialism may seem extreme to many of us raised in a post-Cartesian culture, it is arguably the most logical and parsimonious outlook on the nature of reality. The hard problem of how sentience evolutionarily emerged from insentience is resolved by denying the existence of insentience. Sentience has always existed, only its complexity evolved – a change in degree rather than the problematic change in kind.

To support Whitehead’s thinking about this, it may be noted that we have no evidence demonstrating that (so-called) matter is insentient. It may be retorted that we neither have evidence that (most) matter is sentient – a leveling that has no immediate default position. But the panexperientialist position is more parsimonious and able to resolve many traditional problems in the philosophy of mind, and so is the plausible account. It is parsimonious in that it reduces a dualism to a monism: matter and mind are one, that is, the same thing – both terms are merely abstractions from a unified concrete reality. Or we might say, matter is mindful – emotive and creative. This position also eliminates any mysterious causal connections between mind and matter (as seen, for instance in epiphenomenalism), and it fully adopts the causal efficacy of the mind as well as of matter, since they are of the same kind. So-called mechanical causes as such, involving physical force, are but abstractions from the concrete reality that includes the associated mentality. In this respect, Whitehead is akin to Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) with his idea of Will as the inner affect of observed external forces, or Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) with his notion of the Will to Power. Wielding Occam’s Razor, in organic realism we directly perceive causality because perception is causality: it’s the flow of so-called ‘external objects’ fusing into, and thereby altering, the subject. This makes David Hume’s ‘Problem of Causality’ – that we do not perceive causality itself – false; and therefore it makes Immanuel Kant’s critical project (that is, his whole later metaphysics) based on Hume’s purported problem of causality redundant. It seems Kant woke from his dogmatic slumber into an axiomatic blunder.
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« Reply #27 on: January 19, 2019, 05:40:11 pm »
If true, this would explain a few things ... like how I can drive for an hour on the highway, yet have no conscious recollection it. Everything we can do can be done by computation/calculation, doesn't require consciousness - how can/does that happen. Now we know  :)
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sciborg2

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« Reply #28 on: January 20, 2019, 08:04:16 pm »
If true, this would explain a few things ... like how I can drive for an hour on the highway, yet have no conscious recollection it. Everything we can do can be done by computation/calculation, doesn't require consciousness - how can/does that happen. Now we know  :)

Hmmm, but we can't upload the driving program - we have to learn how to drive before we can do it on "auto-pilot". There's a French Philosopher, Ravaisson, who IIRC noted we develop habits by training aspects of our selves like they are animals in the "stable" of the our mind.

Also seems like such activities are within a spectrum between unconscious and conscious, that division feels like a false dichotomy?
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