Tuesday, November 14, 2017

687: Gilbert Ryle and Interpretationalism

Our present main question is how we obtain knowledge about our Self. One way is by means of introspection.
But according to Wittgenstein this does not give is exclusive private knowledge about our Self.
We first have to learn the meaning of concepts in our social context before we can apply them to our private experiences.
There is also an other approach possible. According to supporters of the so-called ‘Interpretation Theory'
there is no fundamental difference between the way we know ourselves and the way we know others. 
Gilbert Ryle (1900 - 1976), the man of the ‘category mistake’ in lecture 681, is one of the philosophers who have claimed 
that the asymmetry normally assumed between self-knowledge and the knowledge of others does not exist. 
Ryle writes: “… in principle, John’s ways to find out about John are the same as John’s ways to find out about his girlfriend Maralyn. “
According to Ryle, it is misleading to claim, as Descartes and other introspectionists seem to do, 
that we actually do two things when we think: thinking on the one hand, and thinking about something introspectively on the other hand. 
According to Ryle, the idea that we can sense our thoughts directly with our inner eye is absurd. 
How does self-knowledge work? Ryle claims that self-knowledge is a matter of interpretation rather than introspection. 
We do not have direct access to our mental states, but conclude that we have certain beliefs, desires and intentions based on perceptions of our physical behavior. 
For example, I'm aware of the fact that I'm tired when I'm yawning all the time. I notice that I'm happy when I jump singing on the bike and love to go to work. 
Furthermore, we often only find out what we really want, if we actually see it before us. You get a beautiful necklace as a gift and you think: Exactly what I had in mind! 
You order a pizza salami and when the waiter puts it in front of you, you think: I'd rather have had the lasagne. 
Although Ryle and other  Interpretationists do not fundamentally distinguish between self-knowledge and knowledge of others, 
they accept that you have access to more  information when interpreting yourself. 
If we try to understand the behavior of others, the information we have at our disposal is often limited to "external" information we derive from sensory perception. 
In the case of self-interpretation, we can often also use 'internal' information, for example about the position of our body and our limbs, 
or about our physical needs, such as hunger, thirst, oxygen deficiency and the like. In addition, we can sometimes "catch up" with an internal monologue.    
Just as we interpret the behavior of others based on the available information, we do that for ourselves too. 
Thus there is no contradiction between direct self-knowledge and indirect knowledge of others.
In fact, the knowledge we have of ourselves and others is indirect. It is based on an interpretation of the evidence that we have at some point. 
This means that in both cases we can make a wrong conclusion, for example because we have insufficient or incorrect information. 
For example, you can conclude that you are nervous while you have only drunk too much coffee 
or you are angry with your partner while you are actually disappointed about something. Such misinterpretations are typically human. 
Because Interpretationists do not fundamentally distinguish between self-knowledge and knowledge of other people, 
they do not seem to value first-person authority much. 
But maybe there are other ways to guarantee the special status of self-knowledge without calling for introspection?

Thank you for your attention… ^_^

The Discussion

[13:23] herman Bergson: In other words....
[13:23] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): dont know what to say since i dont agree
[13:24] herman Bergson: To know yourself isn't anything more special than to know your friend for instance
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): to me that seems very very odd
[13:24] herman Bergson: yes Gemma
[13:24] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): strange thought
[13:25] herman Bergson: and that is because we seem to believe that introspection is special
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes i do
[13:25] CB Axel: I suppose that could be the case when you consider the extra information we have about ourselves.
[13:25] CB Axel: That's the only difference
[13:26] CB Axel: But don't we gain the extra information we have about ourselves through introspection?
[13:26] herman Bergson: yes,but how reliable is that knowledge?
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but still we can "read" our own mind but we cant do telepathy into someone else’s brain so some difference it have to be
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): why we need a psychologist sometimes i guess
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm
[13:26] herman Bergson: They did experiments.....
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): trying sore all out
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sort
[13:27] herman Bergson: They showed people two pictures ...a blond and a brunette woman...
[13:27] herman Bergson: then asked...which one do you like?
[13:27] herman Bergson: When someone said...the brunette they showed the person the picture of the blonde
[13:27] herman Bergson: and asked him why he preferred this one...
[13:28] herman Bergson: only 20 percent noticed that it was not the picture of their choice and gave reasons why they picked the shown photo
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ha
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): not all there
[13:29] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): hmm
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm ok
[13:29] Ciska Riverstone: do not see the relevance
[13:29] herman Bergson: There were similar tests...
[13:29] CB Axel: That could be because it didn't really matter to them.
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right ciska
[13:29] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): or they were thinking about the turkey they would eat
[13:30] Ciska Riverstone: or it could be because they really found this stupid ,)
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): true
[13:30] herman Bergson: People do not seem to know themselves that well regarding their preferences and choices
[13:30] Ciska Riverstone: ( I was in a test once - found it superstupid and did a lot of just answering out of the blue without any connenction)
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hope you passed
[13:31] Ciska Riverstone: people do not like to be nailed down to some sort of choices
[13:31] Ciska Riverstone: it was some marketing thing - I only did it for the price ;))
[13:31] herman Bergson: I agree Ciska...such tests do not explain much....
[13:31] Ciska Riverstone: there are tests which  do show much more
[13:32] Ciska Riverstone: but this particular one
[13:32] Ciska Riverstone: ????
[13:32] herman Bergson: But in the test I mentioned people were shown afterwards which picture they really had chosen....
[13:32] Ciska Riverstone: not sure what they wanted to show
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): what do we mean when we way we know ourselves or others THE SAME WAY
[13:32] Ciska Riverstone: yes
[13:32] herman Bergson: some even didn’t believe it
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hte same process??
[13:32] Ciska Riverstone: maybe they were fed u p like me ;)
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): thinking about the things we learn of others?
[13:33] herman Bergson: it means that we interpret their behavior the same whay as we interpret our own behavior Gemma
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ok well
[13:33] Ciska Riverstone: or their concentration was low - or they do not  really prefer any kind of hair colour over the other
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): interpret is a good work i guess
[13:34] herman Bergson: This theme made me think about the neuroscientific discussion on Free Will
[13:34] CB Axel: Interpreting other's behavior the way we do our own is dangerous.
[13:34] herman Bergson: where some deny free will and
[13:35] herman Bergson: say that our rational part of the brain is just coming up with explanations of our acts afterwards
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes'
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok
[13:35] herman Bergson: I know what I think when I hear what is say, seems to be the idea here :-)
[13:36] herman Bergson: Interpreting behavior of others like we interpret our own dangerous CB?
[13:36] CB Axel: Sure.
[13:36] herman Bergson: In what way?
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): they may be lying
[13:37] CB Axel: I can see a man petting a cat, for instance. I love cats, so I would probably think, "Oh. He likes cats, too."
[13:38] CB Axel: But what if he was just trying to get close to the cat so he could catch it, kill it, and eat it for Thanksgiving dinner?
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): omg
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): OMG!!!
[13:38] herman Bergson grins
[13:38] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Roof Rabbit:)
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehehe
[13:38] CB Axel: Not so dangerous for me, perhaps, but really bad for the cat.
[13:38] herman Bergson: You would notice that sitting at his table CB :-)
[13:38] CB Axel: And me, if he invites me to dinner!
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): eating cats for thanksgiving? i prefer the turkey I think
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and cuddle the cat
[13:39] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): we will never know what another person thinks
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:39] herman Bergson: As I said...you can make mistakes in interpreting behvior....guess we do that often
[13:39] CB Axel: And just look at Donald Trump? I don't think he knows what he thinks. It changes from day to day.
[13:40] herman Bergson: Well..not with 100% certainty indeed Beertje
[13:40] CB Axel: But if I'm petting a cat, I know it's because I like cats.
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): imagine knowing him
[13:40] CB Axel whispers: To pet, not to eat.
[13:40] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Trump has Alsheimer
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): never figure that out
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Trump just splutter non consistent goo
[13:40] CB Axel: I can't know for sure what the other guy petting the cat is thinking.
[13:41] CB Axel: Not by looking at his behavior.
[13:41] herman Bergson: Just keep a close watch on him CB ...you might save a cat's life ^_^
[13:41] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lol
[13:41] CB Axel: Behavior over time, I guess, would tell me. But jumping to conclusions about a stranger could be dangerous.
[13:41] herman Bergson: But CB....
[13:42] Ciska Riverstone: mh - but how do you get out of that usually?
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): it will take a lot to convince me that the method or results are the same
[13:42] herman Bergson: never been in the situation asking your self...what  am I doing now????
[13:42] Ciska Riverstone whispers: (by introspection ;) )
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): those people must havve been disputed by others
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): I am aure
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): sure even
[13:42] CB Axel: Yes, but I can usually answer that quickly.
[13:42] CB Axel: Through introspection.
[13:43] Ciska Riverstone: yes
[13:43] herman Bergson: By interpreting your behavior...:-)
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ryle that is
[13:43] CB Axel: Not necessarily.
[13:43] herman Bergson: We'll see next time Gemma...don't worry :-))
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i wont
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): never intended to
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:44] CB Axel: I can ask myself, "Why am I finding myself attracted to someone who is bad for me?"
[13:44] herman Bergson: Very philosophical Gemma :-))
[13:44] CB Axel: I can't answer that through looking at my behavior.
[13:45] herman Bergson: As Ryle said....you have some mor einformation about yourself than just your behavior...
[13:45] herman Bergson: you also can notice your personal feelings for instance
[13:45] CB Axel: And that information is found through introspection.
[13:46] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): for others we have just the behavior information
[13:46] herman Bergson: yes
[13:46] CB Axel: Right, Beertje!
[13:46] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yay:)
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok
[13:47] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): but what do we have more for ourselves?
[13:47] herman Bergson: That is actually the question Beertje....
[13:48] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): and you will tell us that the next time?
[13:48] herman Bergson: We are searching for a self and a way to know this Self...
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): all our life experiences from childhood
[13:49] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): hmm
[13:49] herman Bergson: Yes they exist Gemma....it makes us who we are.....
[13:49] herman Bergson: but those who assume the existence of a self
[13:49] herman Bergson: assume that there is something persistent through time in us....like a soul or so
[13:50] Guestboook van tipjar stand: CB Axel donated L$100. Thank you very much, it is much appreciated!
[13:50] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): maybe we don't have a soul at all
[13:50] CB Axel: Persistent through all time or just through our lives?
[13:50] herman Bergson: and in the search of this Self, I still havent found something like that in my thoughts and experiences
[13:51] herman Bergson: through time = our life
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): again some of these words are interchangeable depending you personal belief
[13:51] herman Bergson: And atm we ask..how can we KNOW this Self...
[13:51] CB Axel: That which persists through our lives is our memories.
[13:52] herman Bergson: I mean something persisting through our lifetime...
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:52] herman Bergson: Guess we have  to continue thinking about it :-)
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I guess
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:53] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): what about people with Alzheimer? they don't have memories
[13:53] CB Axel: True
[13:53] herman Bergson: MAybe next time a little closer to an answer ^_^
[13:53] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): they do of old days
[13:53] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): for a while anyway
[13:53] CB Axel: I'm looking forward to next time. °͜°
[13:53] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): maybe is the word of the day
[13:53] herman Bergson: Me too CB ^_^
[13:53] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): month
[13:54] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:54] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:54] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): project
[13:54] herman Bergson: Almost looks like I am loosing my self more and more here atm :-)
[13:54] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yep
[13:54] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): why Herman?
[13:54] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): needs to run off
[13:54] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:54] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): too much red wine?
[13:54] herman Bergson: just kidding Beertje :-))
[13:54] CB Axel: Bye, Gemma.
[13:55] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu ghema
[13:55] herman Bergson: So thank you all for your participation again :-))
[13:55] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:55] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): bye Gemma
[13:55] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.
[13:55] herman Bergson: Class dismissed...
[13:55] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bye
[13:55] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman
[13:55] CB Axel: See you all on Tuesday. °͜°
[13:55] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we get closer and closer but will we reach a conclusion
[13:55] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well see
[13:55] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu next time
[13:55] CB Axel: Goedenavond, peeps

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