Re: Introspection and Explanation

From: Dunsdon, Graham (
Date: Fri Feb 14 1997 - 11:12:56 GMT

On Wed, 12 Feb 97 14:31:19 GMT Harnad, Stevan wrote:

> So if seeing a red chair is an experience, a feeling, we could call that
> "EXTRAspection" because we are aware of something OUTside our bodies
> and our minds. "INTROspection" is what we do when we are aware of
> what is going on INside our minds, for example, when we imagine a pink
> elephant.

OK, I think I've understood so far that mind = awareness =
(extraspection + intraspection). Stevan, you then say:
> All feelings are actually taking place in our minds, of course,
> rather than out in the world. The hallucinated red chair is an
> example: What it feels like to see a red chair is the same when there
> really is a red chair you are looking at and when you just hallucinate
> the chair. It FEELS the same, and feelings are in the head. We
> understand this, and we understand the difference between seeing a real
> red chair and hallucinating one. The difference between the two cases
> is something we arrive at by introspection, by reflecting on what's
> going on in our mind.
> Unfortunately, introspection -- reflecting on what's going on in our
> mind -- does not explain how our minds work.

So I must now add feelings to the equation, ie., mind = feelings =
extraspection + intraspection. And, as you say, cogsci deals with
extraspection representations . How then, will cogsci recognise the
inputs and workings of intraspection in terms of the EFFECTS on the
cogsci models?

Stevan, Presumably, cogsci says intraspection is hard coded in the
machine - the black box. But intraspection's logic may have a big
impact upon extraspection. Take, for example, the first few e-mail
notes from th PY104 group. Introspection may have produced a coherent
(to the writer) message (which now becomes a physical representation)
to be shared with the group; but was considered unintelligible or at
best unclear by some. Thus,intraspection expressed as extraspection
through language can either be sense or nonsense - depending not just
on the use of a common spoken language but also, I suggest, by a
congruent introspective experience/ association.

Do cogsci models cope with this sense - nonsense continuum(?) by
assuming in effect no intraspective intervention; or do they assume
that intraspective structures in each individual mind/brain
relationship are the same? In fact, back to my starting point: mind =
awareness = (extraspection+introspection).

If this statement is true, has anyone in cogsci any short-medium term
plans to begin to integrate introspective psychology as a fellow member
of the interdisciplinary team? Dunsdon, Graham.

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