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Is a dream a object?

  1. Oct 2, 2003 #1
    Or is the meaning of a word a object?
    What is the definition of object.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 2, 2003 #2
    A object is physical, and a dream is non-physical, therefore, Dream is not an object. The meaning of a word is not an object, meaning is non-physical.
     
  4. Oct 2, 2003 #3
    then concepts are not objects to your definition of object.
     
  5. Oct 2, 2003 #4

    Eh

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    Dreams are a process. A specific type of activity in the visual cortex and other parts of the brain, to be precise.
     
  6. Oct 3, 2003 #5
    Then a process is a object or not
     
  7. Oct 3, 2003 #6

    Eh

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    No, a process is an evolving relationship among things.

    Think of it this way. Is a picture an object? Sure. If we have a large number of these photos, and move them fast enough in sequence to give the illusion of a motion picture, is the animation a thing? By definition, it would seem not.
     
  8. Oct 5, 2003 #7
    But if a process is an evolving relationship among things, things can be defined as objects, correct? In which case in order for a dream to be a process it must be an evolving relationship among objects. So does a dream CONTAIN objects, then?
     
  9. Oct 5, 2003 #8

    Eh

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    If an image is an object, yes.
     
  10. Oct 5, 2003 #9
    Therefore a dream consists of objects going through a process- just as wind, fire, and frogs (among other things) do. Wind would not be wind if it were still, fire would not be fire without the chemical reactions that make it up, and frogs would not be frogs without the chemical/mental processes going on within them. If a frog, then, is an object (and if wind and fire are objects) then a dream would appear to be just as validly an object.
     
  11. Oct 5, 2003 #10

    Les Sleeth

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    The problem I think is not defining "object" first. My unabridged dictionary defines it as a "discrete, tangible thing." So did my MS Word dictionary.

    By that definition, I don't think a dream qualifies as an object. We normally interpret a "thing" to be something that exists with constancy over a period of time. But a dream is a projection, similar to how a movie is a projection. The film being projected through to create a movie is a thing, but the projected image itself is not considered a thing because it doesn't have sufficient substance. Likewise, a dream is not substantial enough to be considered an object.
     
  12. Oct 5, 2003 #11
    But would we really not consider the projection an object? We would consider a hologram an object, would we not? Likewise a hallucination might be considered an object.

    Also, how do you know that a dream IS a projection after all?
     
  13. Oct 5, 2003 #12

    Eh

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    Not if you define an object to be a still frame image. Of course, in reality everything in the universe is a process, so nothing would ever fit that definition. It's all about what definitions are acceptable.
     
  14. Oct 5, 2003 #13

    Les Sleeth

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    The purpose of language is to be able to communicate, and part of that activity is being able to distinguish between things. So the word "object" was originated for a reason . . . it was to be able to describe, in communication, things with substance. Therefore, when you blur the distinction between substance and non-substance, all it does it create confusion for the sake of having a philosophical discussion. I don't see a real issue here . . . a dream is not an object based on the definition of an object.
     
  15. Oct 5, 2003 #14
    Part of our original inquery is "what is the definition of an object", so we can't say "A dream is not an object based on the definition of an object" without first finding the definition of an object.

    Simply saying "things with substance" is not enough. The definition must be discovered through a logical train of thought if it is to be discovered at all.
     
  16. Oct 5, 2003 #15

    Les Sleeth

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    What's the matter . . . don't you have a dictionary? Why do we have to question the meaning of a word that's been around for centuries?

    No English-speaking and/or educated person is confused about the meaning of "object." Now, if you have reason to suggest that there is more substance to dreams than is currently known, then please cite the evidence. That at least would make this discussion more than semantic sophistry.
     
  17. Oct 5, 2003 #16
    We are not questioning the meaning of the WORD object, but of the concept. A little harder to grasp, but still...

    In any case I do not have reason to suggest that dreams have more "substance" than you are implying. However, I have no reason to believe that they only have that amount of "substance" either. Depending upon your views of reality, human imagination, and consciousness (among other things), you might view dreams as more than simply an illusion caused by the brain of a sleeping person. It is entirely possible, for example, that dreams are just as "real" as waking experiences, especially if reality is subjective. If concepts exist somehow, then dreams, as concepts, exist in that same way. I could go on and on down the list of possibilities. The point is that no definitions should be taken for granted in this (or nearly any) philosophical enquiry.
     
  18. Oct 5, 2003 #17

    Les Sleeth

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    The subject here is not whether dreams are real! No one (except hard core materialists) is suggesting that something has to be substantial to be real. This is a sematic question . . . what is it that characterizes an "object"?

    And regarding definitions being taken for granted, well, that is exactly the purpose of a definition -- to solidify meanings so people can communicate without confusion. But you seem to want to confuse the meaning of an object to create a reason for a philosophical discussion. I don't see the value in it unless you hve reason to claim a dream is more substantial than we now believe.

    I say, this subject has no philosophical implications unless you know dreams have more substance than we suspect.
     
  19. Oct 5, 2003 #18

    hypnagogue

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    Can we agree that an 'object,' whatever it might be, must be objective in nature? (That doesn't seem like too much of a stretch, does it? :wink:) If so, the question of dreams being objects becomes rather trivial.
     
  20. Oct 5, 2003 #19
    Ingenious... I agree completely.
     
  21. Oct 6, 2003 #20

    selfAdjoint

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    But there are things that wiggle out of that definition. Take blue. You see blue and don't have to think about it. Likewise I see blue and don't have to think about it. And we agree on the things we see as blue.

    But what you see as blue and what I see as blue have no relationship to each other at all.
     
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