"Non-sensory experiences"

From: J. R. Molloy (jr@shasta.com)
Date: Tue Nov 06 2001 - 08:32:36 MST

"Non-sensory experiences" sounds (at best) like an oxymoron to me. At worst,
it sounds like a mis-characterization of cognitive function as a pretext to
invoke supernaturalism. What do you think?
--J. R.

Main Entry: 1ex·pe·ri·ence
Pronunciation: ik-'spir-E-&n(t)s
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin experientia act of
trying, from experient-, experiens, present participle of experiri to try,
from ex- + -periri (akin to periculum attempt) -- more at FEAR
Date: 14th century
1 a : direct observation of or participation in events as a basis of knowledge
b : the fact or state of having been affected by or gained knowledge through
direct observation or participation
2 a : practical knowledge, skill, or practice derived from direct observation
of or participation in events or in a particular activity b : the length of
such participation <has 10 years experience in the job>
3 a : the conscious events that make up an individual life b : the events that
make up the conscious past of a community or nation or mankind generally
4 : something personally encountered, undergone, or lived through
5 : the act or process of directly perceiving events or reality

Sensation's Ghost
The Non-Sensory "Fringe" of Consciousness
ABSTRACT: Non-sensory experiences represent almost all context information in
consciousness. They condition most aspects of conscious cognition including
voluntary retrieval, perception, monitoring, problem solving, emotion,
evaluation, meaning recognition. Many peculiar aspects of non-sensory qualia
(e.g., they resist being 'grasped' by an act of attention) are explained as
adaptations shaped by the cognitive functions they serve. The most important
nonsensory experience is coherence or "rightness." Rightness represents
degrees of context fit among contents in consciousness, and between conscious
and non-conscious processes. Rightness (not familiarity) is the
feeling-of-knowing in implicit cognition. The experience of rightness suggests
that neural mechanisms "compute" signals indicating the global dynamics of
network integration.

--- --- --- --- ---

Useless hypotheses, etc.:
 consciousness, phlogiston, philosophy, vitalism, mind, free will, qualia,
analog computing, cultural relativism, GAC, Cyc, Eliza, cryonics, individual
uniqueness, ego, human values, scientific relinquishment, malevolent AI

We move into a better future in proportion as science displaces superstition.

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