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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2012 > Apr > Apr 22

Re: Ufology And Psychiatry - Summary

From: Cathy Reason <Cathym.nul>
Date: Sun, 22 Apr 2012 12:26:27 +0100
Archived: Sun, 22 Apr 2012 08:33:38 -0400
Subject: Re: Ufology And Psychiatry - Summary


>From: Eugene Frison <cthulhu_calls.nul>
>To: <post.nul>
>Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2012 10:56:18 -0500
>Subject: Re: Ufology And Psychiatry - Summary

<snip>

>>Psychologists on the other hand proceed from the premise that
>>all human perception is unreliable. The purpose of all
>>experiments is then to provide an ever-lengthening list of
>>examples of unreliable perception. It matters not that these
>>examples are largely artifacts - the premise dictates the
>>conclusion.

>This might have some weight if the premise that all human
>perception is unreliable is false. But it's not. It has so much
>backing it up that it's a pretty solid premise to start with.

So it's a solid premise because it has a lot backing it up, and
the evidence which backs it up must be ok because it's based on
a solid premise. This is completely circular reasoning.

>I don't know how you can argue that human perception produces an
>accurate picture of reality. I'm going to repeat one of my
>earlier comments: physics informs us that all matter is
>constructed out of molecules, that molecules are composed of
>atoms, that atoms consist of subatomic particles, and that
>subatomic particles are energy - energy that is colorless,
>odorless, temperatureless. Recent research indicates that these
>quanta exist as ubiquitous fields of energy, are holographic in
>nature, and are holograms projected from a higher dimensional
>structure. Reality is based on interference patterns. Is that
>what you see when you look at a tree, a car, or a dog? Because I
>know I certainly don't. I don't know anybody else that does
>either.

You're confusing the limits of perception with its reliability.
It's also true we can't see in X-rays or infra-red. We can't,
unaided, see what's going on on the other side of the world.
These are clearly limits to perception. But, we don't usually
say that our perceptions are "unreliable" just because they have
well-understood limits.  It just means there is much more to
the universe than we can see with our unaided senses. Similarly
with an optical telescope. An optical telescope can't see X-
rays or individual molecules either, but to call it "unreliable"
on that account would be merely silly.

Your reasoning here is the sort of thing I was referring to in
my earlier post. You've collected together a ragbag of
perceptual anomalies and inferred from these that human
perception must therefore be systematically unreliable.


>There is no such thing as red or blue light. There is a field of
>energy composed of electric and magnetic vectors propagating at
>right angles through space, of a frequency (rate of vibration)
>that causes the brain to create the experience of red or blue.
>There is no red or blue color anywhere in the electromagnetic
>field itself.

Now I think you're confusing the mechanisms of perception with
the phenomenology. And it's true that the phenomenology of
perception is something we don't really understand - hence the
notorious "hard problem" of consciousness. It's also true that
some people believe the same sort of functional approaches we
use to understand the mechanisms of perception should also work
on the phenomenology. I don't agree with this and believe it
leads to all sorts of conceptual confusion, so to that extent, I
think you have a point.

But when it comes to the mechanisms of perception, what we
really want to know is whether those mechanisms are reliable
enough to extract from the world the information we need to
survive in it. And that is pretty much guaranteed by natural
selection.

>What psychology does when it proceeds from this premise is no
>different from what other fields of science do when they proceed
>from a premise that they view as valid (having been well
>established) in their field.

It's true that all sciences involves assumptions. But in most
sciences, these assumptions are stated explicitly and always
subject to revision and test. It's true this doesn't always
happen the way it's supposed to. The difference is that in
psychology it hardly ever happens the way it's supposed to.


Cathy



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