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PHD-DESIGN  2000

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Subject:

Re: Intentions and everything

From:

Dr Keith Russell <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Dr Keith Russell <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 24 Oct 2000 12:42:54 +1000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (162 lines)

Brynjulf informs us about the psychological puzzles about intention - two major
issues I have with this

1) I do not presume that there is an unconscious  - given that Kalus and
Brynjulf want to talk about not being able to inspect an act of consciousness
on the part of another I would presume, logically, that if they think that you
can't inspect an act of consciousness then you have no hope of knowing about
let alone inspecting an unconscious event, either of the self or of another.
This sorta makes a large logical hole in the construction of an interiority.

2) There is no interiority that is not mediated, as an object of consciousness
and therefore, in order for any event of consciousness to be available to
consciousness it needs to be mediated - hence all events of consciousness are
intentional - they are only know as objects. Most of these objects are freely
open to the insepction of the world. A very few are mediated (made as objects)
in such a way as to be private. The privacy feature is not much of an issue
since our privacy is structure as part of our intimacy and hence it is mostly
open to the inspection of others, as an object of attention. The idea that I
have some thoughts that you can't know about is really very silly and of no
real account. This is like suggesting that the baker can bake bread at 3.00am
and no-one in the village knows he has baked bread. You may no oberve the
object of consciousness being conscious in another except that you can be
conscious that the other is engaged with an intentional object of consciousness
- such events as "I see that you are thinking". The idea that these events
could be then transmitted in any identivcla form is equally as silly. I cannot
know the event except I know of it - and, if you were to describe it to me, I
would know your description and not the event. Any and all such events will
exceed themself - that is, they will talk back to a possible event, forward to
a possible event, and sideways to other evemnts - but, most importantly, they
will be their own event - it is this self-event that I am interested in.

In conclusion, I suggest that all objects that we attend to as designed objects
are just such self-objects. When the self-object is not inscribed with its own
self-knowing then I refer to it as a dumb object and something I'd rather not
spend time with. I'm not much concerned with any views of any object that any
object maker might make except that such views are their own making and then
become their own self-object. Views such as "I intended to make a radio for
people in 3rd world countries" are really very trivial comments and have
nothing directly to do with any object (radio). Such intentionally is purpose -
"I purpose love".

keith

[log in to unmask] wrote:

> Dear Keith, Klaus, Norm and All,
>
> After having spent time in our northernmost town of Longyear on the island
> of Spitsbergen in Svalbard a rather interesting trialogue between Keith,
> Klaus and Norm on the universality and extent of intentionality awaited on
> my return. Psychologists are, as far as I know, not in agreement whether
> every human act has to be intentional or not. However, most lean to the
> conclusion that an act requires energy. Therefore the person performing the
> act has to generate motivation in order to energize the act. It is assumed
> that every act by extended logic is goal oriented, or intentional if you
> like, but not necessarily by goals and intentions that are concious, and
> certainly not visible to other persons.
>
> When interpreting a signal from others most psychologists believe that we
> use our subjective cognitive and motivational structures simultaneously in
> an intertwined manner. Cognitive structures are believed to be recalled
> from the unconcious level through some not-so-well understood mechanisms of
> primary (inherited) and learned strings of first- and secondary order
> associations. Likewise motives are recalled both on the basis of
> association and whatever is unsatisfied at that moment at the basic level
> (need driven). For example, if somebody says "I am thirsty", you assume the
> person tells the truth (but then it may be a lie) and s/he wants to satisfy
> his/her thirst, and you unconciously check whether you yourself are
> thirsty. Your own reaction to the other person may both be a consequence of
> what you impute of primary and secondary motives of the other person, as
> well as whatever your own motivation mix and associations are (do you feel
> a thirst?).
>
> This recall of unconcious associations to the concious level seems to be
> absolutely automatic, but not very predictable given our current
> understanding of how our brain works. For example, if you have the
> experience that the other person is used to being served by others, you may
> automatically impute the intention that he/she wants you to fetch a drink
> for him/her. If you like the person or owes him/her a favour, or want to
> establish credit for next time, you might even fetch the drink without
> inquiring more about the intention of the other. If you are thirsty you
> probably fetch a drink for yourself as well. If you don't like the person,
> but are in the mood to satisfy your own newly established thirst, you may
> ask the other person to fetch a drink for yourself while s/he is at it. Or
> you may fetch a drink for yourself but not the other person. That's when
> the fun really starts.
>
> Klaus wrote: ANYONE CAN FORM A VIEW OF ANYONE ELSE'S INTENTIONS, AND EVEN
> ACT ON THAT VIEW.  MOST PROBLEMS OF AN INTERPERSONAL OR INTERNATIONAL
> NATURE ARISE FROM FALSELY IMPUTING INTENTIONS ON OTHERS' ACTION.  THIS IS
> THE REASON WHY IT IS DESIRABLE TO INQUIRE FIRST WHAT THE OTHER'S INTENTIONS
> WERE.
>
> I do agree with Klaus's value judgement. However, it seems to be in our
> nature to draw immediately on our own values and judge the other person
> both in terms of intentions as well as drawing on feelings we have for that
> other person. Some psychologists say that their experiments show that even
> if you have not met a person before, our brain triggers a set of
> associations with which we judge the other person in terms of like/dislike
> and other value-laden dimensions within 3-4 seconds. It would take
> considerable motivation, effort and training to supress that immediate
> value/feeling reaction, and do what Klaus considers to be ideal.
>
> I have talked to several priests about this phenomenon and how they tackle
> it when trying to console and advice people whom they get intuitive
> feelings for. They are professionally obliged to care for and be interested
> in and helping anybody in need regardless of personal feelings and mutual
> chemistry. They say it is extremely difficult to let go of their automatic
> value judgements, to reserve their judgement, and simply hear the other
> person out and try to understand that other person, including their
> declared and undeclared agendas and intentions, before offering any kind of
> help or advice or simply showing bodily reaction. Negative and positive
> feelings and judgements can both be equally blinding! If they are able to
> show no judgement, only interest in the other person, the priests know that
> the other person will reveal much more of his/hers thoughts, feelings, and
> intentions, but never everything. So you end up with somewhat more informed
> guesses as to what the other person is driven by, and can determine
> somewhat better the kind of assistance that will help the other person.
> Sometimes their own needs take control, and the knowledge is misused given
> our social norms. It is not unknown that priests end up in bed with clients
> who temporarily have little defence against warmth and caring.
>
> Even the best efforts by well trained professionals is no guarantee that
> you correctly identify the other person's frame of mind and intentions. You
> may still act on false understanding, and thereby make a situation worse
> without knowing. Sometimes you may discover that the other person's
> intentions are amoral given your own value set. In such situations you have
> all kinds of sequences and permutations of fighting alone or with others,
> using force to stop the immoral actions, trying to make an effort to
> influence the morals of the other party, or you chicken out and leave the
> scene.
>
> To conclude with some philosophical questions: When you say you are
> thirsty, is your intent to become unthirsty, counteract boredom, socialize,
> learn more about me, control me, get blasted, be infatuated by the estetics
> of the drinking glass and its contents, and/or to pee more? Would I be
> likely to tick through and consider carefully each option? Would I be
> likely to examine your intentions - one by one?  Could there be more yet
> uncovered intentions? Can I ever be sure that you know your own order and
> mix of intentions? Would I ever know your real intentions for sure? Does
> any of this matter if I don't care about you one way or the other, or if I
> love/hate you - or does it always matter?
>
> Brynjulf
>
> Brynjulf Tellefsen
> Associate Professor
> Department of Knowledge Management
> Norwegian School of Management
> P. O. Box 4676 Sofienberg
> N-0506 Oslo, NORWAY
>
> Phone direct:  +47-22985142
> Via exchange:  +47-22985000
> Faximile: +47-22985111
> Private phone/fax: +47-22149697
> e-mail: [log in to unmask]



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