Moving pictures & cognition + Bernardo Kastrup's idealist ontology

#1
Carl Plantinga explores how new approaches to cognition are changing how we understand film
http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/theforum/moving-pictures/

EXCERPT: For more than one hundred years, scholars have been attempting to make sense of the human experience of movies [...] Movies are carefully constructed to provide an evolving series of represented events, conveyed to audiences through complex streams of images and sounds. As film theorist V. F. Perkins put it, movies are like ‘mind recorders’: they mimic human consciousness. Since the 1980s, the central approach to understanding movies psychologically has been cognitive film and media theory, practiced by both film scholars and philosophers interested in aesthetics.

[...] At the heart of these debates, in my opinion, is a fundamental misunderstanding of just what cognition is. We experience movies with our bodies, as we sway with the action, erupt in laughter, or feel that knot of suspense in our stomach. These sorts of observations about the bodily nature of our experience sometimes lead theorists to conclude that certain theories or accounts of films are ‘too cognitive’. How can the word ‘cognition’, with its suggestion of logic-like information processing, account for moods, emotions, and bodily experiences such as flinching, swaying, and weeping? Furthermore, ‘cognition’ seems to imply conscious, self-directed mental activity, rather than the automatic and involuntary processing that dominates our bodily responses to the world and to movies in particular.

Once we understand what cognition is and how it is studied, however, these objections fail to apply. Cognition, simply put, is the mental activities of gaining knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses, plus the results of such activities—comprehension, intuition, insight, perception, and so on. Cognition is neither singular nor linear, with multiple cognitive processes occurring simultaneously and connected in complex ways. Neither is cognition necessarily either conscious or rational. Psychologists write of the ‘cognitive unconscious’ to differentiate it from the Freudian unconscious. Much of cognition occurs beneath consciousness, and is seemingly automatic rather than voluntary. Moreover, cognition is neutral with respect to practical rationality, just as emotion is; in themselves, cognition and emotion are neither rational nor irrational.

The word ‘cognition’ has two different senses that ought to be differentiated at this point. Sometimes ‘cognition’ is used to designate rational and deliberative mental processes, such as inference-making, hypothesis-testing, and more generally, thinking. As such, cognition can in principle be separated from affects such as moods and emotions; it can be conceived of as a ‘cool’ phenomenon. Increasingly, however, we are coming to understand that cognition itself is affected by emotions and moods, for example, and has a firm grounding in bodily experience. With this in mind, cognition ‘proper’ is ‘hot’. Making sense of the world around us, we employ body metaphors, we gauge physiological feedback, and we are influenced by emotion.

The viewer’s understanding of characters, narrative events and progression, and narrational point of view is fundamentally cognitive in nature. What we should say now is not that cognition is separate from affect, the unconscious, and bodily and automatic processes; rather, a full account of cognition encompasses them. Cognition itself is infused with emotion, embodied, and in part automatic. To see how this is true, consider a central means by which viewers experience movies: sympathy and/or empathy with fictional characters. One of the strongest forces in generating spectator affective responses is through the characters in a story. If one aspect of our everyday consciousness is an awareness of the people around us, the movies have the capacity to focus and strengthen this kind of attention to others by offering virtual relationships with fictional characters that we can see and hear [...] The kind of spectator–character relation that theorists have been most interested in is sometimes called ‘identification’, and typically involves some combination of sympathy (feeling for) and empathy (feeling with) the character....

MORE: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/theforum/moving-pictures/



original paper: The Universe in Consciousness

Are we all multiple personalities of universal consciousness?
https://bigthink.com/robby-berman/are-we...sciousness

EXCERPT: . . [Bernardo] Kastrup’s system is based on an ontology growing popular with some philosophers, and with some physicists, called constitutive panpsychism. (We’ve explained this concept in greater detail before at Big Think.) It’s basically the idea that everything, all of the tiny subatomic particles that make up the universe’s mass, have [...] a sense of what it’s like to have an experience. We have consciousness [appearances, manifestations] because it’s everywhere. In this way, it’s all there is.

If so, then, how do separate and mutually aware, interacting individuals arise? One suggestion is that when enough of these conscious particles come together—there’d be countless numbers of them in each of our brains after all—a more complex, self-aware consciousness is created. [...] If conscious particles can join with others to create a larger, more complex consciousness together, does this mean the universe is itself one unimaginably large unified mind? And if so, how can private, personal, concurrent but non-overlapping consciousnesses emerge from the universal consciousnesses, each one of which has its own personality and experiences? This is the ontology’s “recombination” problem, and it’s what Kastrup’s idealism attempts to solve.

[...] Kastrup suggests that if the entire universe is one mind, the presence of dissociative personalities creating individual consciousnesses could answer questions that defeat other ontologies. In this view, each of us is an alter, and just like conventional alters are, we can be aware of and interact with each other without mentally overlapping or seeing into each other’s minds.

[...] This isn’t as out-there as it may at first seem. We’ve written before about cognitive scientists who suggest that the reality that surrounds us could be very different than what we think since what we see, hear, feel, etc, are merely internally generated representations that help us survive external stimuli. In Kastrup’s premise, it’s not actual, physical things out there, but merely bursts of self-excitation coming from elsewhere in the cosmic mind: There is no out there out there.

[...] this version of idealism, if true, resolves a bunch of issues that vex other perspectives, such as the hard problem, and the DID aspect handles the combination problem. In fact, Kastrup lists in his paper five concerns his ontology must, and he feels does, satisfy....

MORE: https://bigthink.com/robby-berman/are-we...sciousness
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#2
(Aug 13, 2018 06:29 PM)C C Wrote: [...] This isn’t as out-there as it may at first seem. We’ve written before about cognitive scientists who suggest that the reality that surrounds us could be very different than what we think since what we see, hear, feel, etc, are merely internally generated representations that help us survive external stimuli. In Kastrup’s premise, it’s not actual, physical things out there, but merely bursts of self-excitation coming from elsewhere in the cosmic mind: There is no out there out there.

[...] this version of idealism, if true, resolves a bunch of issues that vex other perspectives, such as the hard problem, and the DID aspect handles the combination problem. In fact, Kastrup lists in his paper five concerns his ontology must, and he feels does, satisfy....

MORE: https://bigthink.com/robby-berman/are-we...sciousness

The idea of internally generated representations is highly attractive. When consciousness collectively appears in individualized format, it is not merely mutual illusions that cause deceptive common sense interpretations, but the physics and mathematics of perceptual externalization on a greater conversing. God would equate to ultimate reality beyond illusion.
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#3
The idea that there is no actual world is correct. Physicality is only half the story in the comprehensive telling of reality. The other half is spirituality. But we rarely get to experience the latter because of our beliefs and conditioning. Basically evolution. God transcends this ordinary world and we are blind to it because of our dormant spirituality. Our spirituality does not play a part in the determination of reality because it is dead. And rarely does it awaken, only to be forgotten later. But it is even greater on the hierarchy of determinants than physicality because its source is subjectivity, which bleeds into objectivity by merging. When it does the eye of the mind opens.
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