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Zizek's new Parallax View

  1. Sep 5, 2006 #1

    selfAdjoint

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    Zizek's new "Parallax View"

    Here is a wonderful review of Zizek's new book The Parallax View. A complex appreciation, full of quotable delights, of a work of the same description (which I have not yet read). I do have The Ticklish Subject to which the new volume is supposed to be a completing sequel, and I keep going back to it. I am not always enlightened but am sometime creatively and positively endarkened :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2006
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  3. Sep 6, 2006 #2
    Interesting, but I disagree with this (taken from the review) :

    Such determination assumes there is more than one perspective for each object, and that the "observer" has access to each point of triangulation. In determining the objects of conscious perception, one and only one observer has access to a single and unique point of perspective (which is internal to the conscious entity) - the consciousness itself. There are no other perspectives of those conscious objects which are possible - hence "triangulation" in this context is impossible. This very fact shows why Chalmers' attempts to show that we need a brand new physics to understand consciousness is misguided.

    Best regards
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2006
  4. Sep 7, 2006 #3

    selfAdjoint

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    I read it as saying that determination of anything is irretrievably a social activity. And social activity, of course in irrational (see my response to your last post in the "Is reality only in the mind? thread on the Philosophy forum).
     
  5. Sep 7, 2006 #4
    Why necessarily social? Are you suggesting that one agent in isolation is unable to determine anything?

    Best Regards
     
  6. Sep 7, 2006 #5

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    I am not myself suggesting anything; I was reporting what I thought Zizek was saying. And perhaps I read it wrong. A parallax, and Zizek seems to be using the term fairly close to the optical understanding, requires two viewpoints and some kind of shared information between them. For example our binocular vision. But rather than two individuals, perhaps he intends two different internal states of one individual. The states could simultaneously be present in one consciousness, I suppose.
     
  7. Sep 7, 2006 #6

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    I wanted to copy a couple of paragraphs from Jameson's review to highlight some of the key issues about the Parallax View that we are in danger of redefining away.

    Rather than forming a "psychic unity", the Lacanian and Zizekian individual is broken in the middle, and the parallax is between the sundered selves.
     
  8. Sep 7, 2006 #7
    Agreed - two viewpoints does not necessarily entail any kind of "social" interaction - one single agent can have two viewpoints. The implication that determination of anything via two viewpoints is "irretrievably a social activity" is what I was questioning - I don't see that Zizek is saying this.

    The point I was making in my earlier post (and this is what I found so very interesting and powerful about Zizek's triangulation metaphor) is that it is impossible in principle to have two viewpoints of the objects of conscious experience - consciousness is one phenomenon or property of the world that is locked into a single viewpoint accessible by a single agent. And it is this very simple fact which confounds and confuses and frustrates the likes of Chalmers et al.

    Best Regards
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2006
  9. Sep 8, 2006 #8

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    I don't get the point of this argument. Are you stating that Lacan and Zizek ar simply wrong and that consciousness is necessarily unital? Or are you claiming that Chalmers says that?

    In the first case how does the failure of the parallax idea confute Chalmers? In the second case I demur; surface awareness may be unital but surface awareness is known to be a conflation of various (sometimes confllicting) agency "viewpoints", together with outright fictions designed to make a smooth appearance.
     
  10. Sep 8, 2006 #9
    Triangulation of an object requires at least 2 different perspectives (points of view). Conscious perception (experience) (the conscious impression you have when you see a particular red ball in particular conditions, for example) are "unital" (to use your word). There is no way that you can get another perspective on exactly that same conscious perception - if you look at the ball from another angle then you are actually getting a different conscious perception of the object "red ball" - you are not getting a different perspective on the same conscious perception of the object (there is an important difference).

    (in other words, by moving to another vantage point you can get a different perspective on the object "red ball", but you can NOT get a different perspective on the object "your original conscious perception of the red ball" - your conscious perception of the red ball from the new vantage point is a different conscious perception, it is not a different view of the same/original conscious perception)

    This is what makes consciousness difficult to understand (ie the fact that there is always only a single unique perspective on any particular conscious experience, and that is the experience itself), and leads people like Chalmers to suggest that we need a whole new physics to understand it. We don't. We only need to understand that consciousness is "unital".

    Surface awareness? I'm talking about conscious phenomenal experience (which is unital); where does surface awareness come into it?

    Best Regards
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2006
  11. Sep 9, 2006 #10

    selfAdjoint

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    Where does it not? I believe that "conscious phenomenal experience" is that constructed figment I call surface awareness. None of my sense impressions come to me directly; all are mediated by a long chain of processes, competing processes,of which I am not directly aware. Indeed your example of the red ball is a beautiful example; my right eye has one view of it and my left eye another one, parallax shifted. Processes in my brain combine the two and generate the dynamically shifting three dimensional vision I see. Not only parallactic but time varying as my motions change the parallax angle toward the ball.

    Nor is there any difference in my experience of the redness of the ball, three different band-pass filters exist embodied by molecular chemistry in my retinas, and the color I ultimately see will be determined (after a bunch of neuronal processing) by the differences of the intensites of the radiation field detected by these three kinds of filters. Once again this is dynamic as the light changes, but my conscious perception at the far end of that processing chain lags behind the filter detection, and fill-in techniques have to be used to simulate a unital experience.

    And THIS, all this, is the reality which I call conscious perception, and no philosophical category that is offered for my acceptance can get it by asserting a more direct ontological status than this empirical process. Nullius in verba!
     
  12. Sep 9, 2006 #11
    “There is no ‘redness’ in nature, only different wave lengths of radiation.”
    - Alfred Korzybski, “The Nature of Language in the Perceptual Processes,” reprinted from Perception: An Approach to Personality (1951).

    What is perceived to be the cause may not necessarily produce the effect. If you believe that you see “red,” you are mistaken. That is the difference between, perception and reality, the difference between faith and science.
     
  13. Sep 9, 2006 #12
    You are talking of different views (perspectives) of the red ball - I am talking of your "view" of your conscious experience. Your eyes may give two different physical viepoints of the ball, but within your consciousness you have one and only one viewpoint of any single conscious experience. The conscious experience of seeing the ball with your right eye is not another viewpoint on the conscious experience of seeing the ball with your left eye - they are two different conscious experiences.

    It matters not what one calls it - whether I call it "seeing red" or you call it "perceiving the effects of electromagnetic radiation of a particular wavelength hitting your retina" the effect is the same. I am not mistaken if I believe that I am seeing red, because "seeing red" is how I define the process that follows electromagnetic radiation of a particular wavelength hitting my retina.

    Best Regards
     
  14. Sep 9, 2006 #13
    Your response demonstrates the problem of perception, which is structurally false to fact. This problem was first observed by David Hume, and, more recently, Alfred Korzybski. See David Hume, Concerning Human Understanding and Concerning the Principles of Morals (1777); and Alfred Korzybski, Science and Sanity, An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics (1933).
     
  15. Sep 9, 2006 #14
    Why not discuss it here instead?

    Best Regards
     
  16. Sep 9, 2006 #15

    selfAdjoint

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    Hoo Boy, Hume and Korzybski, Lacan and Zizek (and you don't get far in Zizek without entraining Hegel and probably Kant). Back to the books!

    But back to our discussion, moving finger. The fact that are nervous systems are configured to store one stream of constructed "fresh memories" in our working memories, does not prclude those memories being radically parallactic, only thinly papered over to suggest a false consistency. I have personal experience (but see my caveat on the other thread) of this.

    Or consider the Neckar cube. You can switch from seeing it above to below, but with some practice I believe I can get into the superposed state of seeing it both ways. Maybe I kid myself.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2006
  17. Sep 9, 2006 #16
    Are your conscious states indeed parallactic, or is it just that you interpret some of them in this way because they possess similarities to each other? Again, experiencing two conscious states involving the preception of a red ball (or Neckar cube) may be gaining two perspectives on the single red ball (or single Neckar cube), but it is not necessarily gaining two perspectives on a single conscious perception of these objects.

    Indeed, in the case of the Neckar cube you have at least two different conscious perceptions (usually alternating, but perhaps as you say in your case you can superimpose them) when there is only one physical perspective on the object! This is the exact opposite of "getting two different perspectives on one object" - it's getting two objects (ie two different conscious perceptions of the cube) from one perspective!

    Best Regards
     
  18. Sep 9, 2006 #17

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    I have the sense of "bothness", if it's a false sense then it's just a new falsity amid the carnival of figments that physologists assure us consitute those new-made memories we call conscious awareness.

    Actually, and this is still OP, I got to the bothness state by drawing the Neckar cube; Doing that you notice that you are actually drawing a two-dimensional hexagram, and my consciousness of that provided a sort of "parallactic datum" if you will (I bet you won't :devil: ) which produced the bothness experience; i.e. I now have always the two-dimensional interpretation in the back of my mind (does your mind have a back?), and that enables me to see the up and down perspectices simultaneously, or so it seems to me.
     
  19. Sep 9, 2006 #18
    Don't know. I've never seen it from that perspective :biggrin:

    Best Regards
     
  20. Nov 15, 2006 #19
    The envelopes and the red ball.
    Receiving and Retaining ‘’what’’ information.
    Not ‘’all the posible states of this red ball’’ are manifested to us.
    And Not all manifestations are received.
    And Not all is permanently retained.
    We process and add to complete.
    Ones relationship with this information about this object has certain common factors with another persons relationship with his information about this same object.
    It is all these common factors in the information received and processed that produce a situation such that culminate in an affirmation about this object.
    An affirmation with variables.
    The reason i believe that no physical perception of one and the same thing by two diferent people , is ever identical , even if they were endowed with perfectly identical sensorial abilitys, is in the capacity of adding!
    Ie back of my head.
    The adding not only envisages the adding of condiments to the common factors in the reality perceived but in the conscious and subconscious ‘’questioning’’ processes that are always taking place.
    My experience has told me many times that ‘’if only i had asked the right questions’’...etc
    No two persons will ask all the same questions or add all the same ingrediants.
    And the correct questions in all circumstances is something else thats never achieved.
    Each one of us has a series of envelopes to open.
    Each envelope has a text and photographs that we send to ourselves.
    But very few are opened and used correctly in the course of a lifetime.
     
  21. Nov 15, 2006 #20
    and because the point is ''two diferent perceptions of same object or event BY SAME PERSON'' i have to add that one is not always sending the same envelopes to himself.
    He will not open the first one before he has sent a second one on the same TOPIC.
    he is always trying to add more and more info more ingredients more questions until finally he may open them all up to conclude.
     
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