Re: Non-sensory experiences

From: Lee Daniel Crocker (
Date: Wed Nov 07 2001 - 11:42:58 MST

> > While at bottom this seems to be just a semantic dispute about what an
> > "experience" is
> No, I think it's about whether one wants to believe in the supernatural, which
> would be necessary in order to conclude that experience can exist without
> sensory phenomena of any kind whatsoever, no matter how small or weak. It can
> be turned into a semantic dispute only if we define the terms in other than
> their dictionary meanings....

Any argument that relies on a dictionary doesn't really merit much
respect, but I'll take the bait anyway. I think we're tallking about
the third sense of the word "experience" you list here:

> 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

While I certainly agree that the vast majority of these events are
sensory, there is no more reason to believe they _all_ are without
exception than there is to believe that every memory location in a
computer has a value that came from some input port. Yes, probably
the vast majority of them did. But some of them were copied from
ROM (built-in concepts), some of them had totally random values from
startup (I assume neurons can have random values as well, since their
function is based on randomly-bouncing ions), and some have values
calculated by chaotic processes that can't possibly be predicted
from inputs or associated with particular inputs. To claim that
this view is "supernatural" is nonsense. Senses exist; mental
processes exist; to dogmatically assume that one is the only
source of the other, which is a fabulously complex process we are
only just beginning to understand, is totally unjustified,

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

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat May 11 2002 - 17:44:18 MDT