RE: Non-sensory experiences

From: Lee Daniel Crocker (
Date: Tue Nov 06 2001 - 13:13:11 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?
> Oxymoron.
> *Disclaimer: Unless the non-sensory experience means that the experience
> has little or no consequence, is unimportant, or is a nonissue. Yet, if
> this were the meaning, I'd rather use "low-sensory experience". I don't
> think any experience can exist without some feel, smell, touch, image or
> sound. If the experience is a memory occurring in a void, then the mind
> will still conjure up some sense of feel, smell, touch, image or
> sound. If the experience is a void within a void, then something has
> got to recognize the void as an experience, and the act of recognizing
> it would be connected to some aspect of a sense experience wouldn't it?

While at bottom this seems to be just a semantic dispute about what an
"experience" is, and I think a definition that excludes mental processes
not related to sensory input is a reasonable one, I think you should be
careful to avoid slipping into empiricism here: the idea (rejected by
Popper and others) that all knowledge comes from sensory input. There
really do exist concepts newly formed _in the mind_, and conscious
processes operating on them that have no foundation in sensory
input or memory. They are certainly few and far between, but the
conjectural nature of science and human advancement depend on them.

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC

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