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On 04/24/01 08:50, Robin Faichney said this-
>In fact, some people will insist that to suggest that subjectivity is
>irreducible is mysticism. I say they are wrong.
That does appear to be the main stumble/hurdle/disagreement between you
two worthy adversaries, but, I must admit I'm not quite to the point of
understanding it, so, humor me.
Here, from the dictionary, 'subjectivity' -
1.a. Proceeding from or taking place within a person's mind such as to be
unaffected by the external world. b. Particular to a given person;
2. Moodily introspective.
3. Existing only in the mind; illusory.
4. Psychology. Existing only within the experiencer's mind.
- there is what looks like an obsolete meaning at #8 -
8. Relating to the real nature of something; essential.
- that I think we are all ignoring.
I think, and hope, that you two are speaking about #3, and its extension
Robin thus says that the emergent phenomenon we call self (the engine of
subjectivity) is irreducible, and Joe says, from what I can figure out,
quite the same thing, in that the activity of 'mind' that has as its
vantage an 'I' (the engine of subjectivity) is not possible without the
complex of brain and body and experience that evolution has created for
From the little I know, we can minimalize this subjectivity (constrain
the experiences of the person, find animals that have rudimentary forms,
study the serendipitous accident victims with injured brains and sensory
systems, study the morphologically altered, etc.), or limit the response
area (through experiments with sensory deprivation or limited stimuli) to
discover patterns or models of behavior that we can apply to fully
And there are unethical ways to study these things as well.
If the self is the motion of a mound of grains at the (topologically
continuing) instant of its deconstructing, then, I for one, agree that,
at one level, it is not possible to look at anything but the movement of
this deconstruction, as the structure underneath must remain.
I'm not sure, though, that studying things such as animals and damaged
humans, is not a study of the reduction of this structure that could
yield (and has yielded) data capable of being expanded. This seems to me
to be the reason behind such studies, as they offer ethical means of
defining this structure without intentional damage.
So this engine of subjectivity will not run without all its cylinders,
but, there are badly performing engines.
I know that is not 'reducibility', but is it not _not_ irreducibility?
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