From Bjorn Simonsen (2005.06.30,14:45 EST)]
Mail from Jason Gosnell received 2005.06.29, 05:22
You sent this mail to Bill. Excuse me for intervention. But I write this to
get a chance to be arrested for saying something wrong.
In a long tradition most philosophers have construed "experience"
as something that is always already organized by concepts. This is
true, but experiencing also always goes beyond the concepts that are
implicit in it.
I prefer to say that people construct their experience by making the most
out of the existing hierarchical organization of neurons in the brain. I
think a little baby has experienced the mother's steps on the floor long
before the baby neither can say the word mother nor remember it.
Eugene Gendlin says that experiencing a depression e.g. goes beyond the
concepts we could express before our own experiencing.
I think that is OK.
We have to carry the experience along with us. Experiencing never
becomes a concept. Since experiencing cannot be represented, the
concepts can only indicate various kinds of relations between
experiencing and conceptual patterns.
...............................................It is best known for denying
that there is any truth, or that one can claim to ground any statement
Would a postmodern philosopher deny the statement that "there is no truth"?
What is truth? Would a postmodern philosopher deny that a stone will be
attract toward the earth with a force F=Mg, or would they just deny that
there is any -ism.
I think here is something PCTers can agree.
..................... I maintain that bodily experience can not he
reduced to language and culture. Our bodily sense of situations is a
concretely sensed interaction process that always exceeds culture,
history, and language.
As I wrote above, I think this is correct for a baby sensing her mother, but
I can't imagine how this process exceeds her "history". I think her history
has mad reorganizing possible.
Merleau-Ponty rescued the body from being considered one more
sensed thing like all the other sensed things (as it still is in
For him the body is a sensing, an internal-external orienting center of
perception, not just perceived, but perceiving. But perception is not a
possible starting point from which to understand ourselves and our bodies.
I think PCT disagree with Merleau-Ponty, but PCT agrees with the last
sentence above. For PCT the different matrixes of references are the
starting point from which we understand ourselves and our bodies.
By beginning with perception, philosophy makes it seem that living
things are in contact with reality only through perception.
PCT doesn't start with perception, but PCT says that living things are in
contact with reality only through perceptions.
are in contact with reality. They are interactions, quite without
It depends how we define the concept perception. If we insist that
specialized organic cells called sensing cells should be included in the
concept, he is correct. PCT claim that organs sense with other cells than
It seems obvious that a situation does not consist of the perception
of colors, smells, and sounds. Even the simplest situation cannot be
grasped just in terms of the five senses. Every situation involves other
people and their complex involvements with each other. This cannot
be understood in terms of colors and smells.
Many people use this mode of expression (above). But I don't think anything
I think PCT agree. But I don't think PCT explain why in the same way as
Eugene Gendlin. I think PCT say that we know nothing about a situation in
the real world, but a PCT-er has a model of the extern world and he can
describe the situation from that model.
I also think PCT agree with the last sentence above if the perceptions are
done separate. I think PCT perceives the world in terms of a Vectorial field
of all the five (maybe more) senses.
The living body consists of interactions with others in the world.
"Perception" appears only before or to a body. But the body is
an interaction also in that it breathes, not only in that it senses the
cold of the air. It feeds; it does not only see and smell food.
Our lungs are like machines and we can use a machine if our lungs are not
functioning. I think PCT
makes organisms more understandable when the brain and the body is
BCP has also a comment about a solid beef.
The body senses the whole situation, and it implies, it urges,
it implicitly shapes our next action. It senses itself living the
situation in its whole context.
PCT uses the concept "perceive" in preference to "sense". Sensing in PCT is
a behavior we control at the second level.
It is a gigantic omission to miss the role of the body's
self-sentience, and to try to constitute the world out of
percepts of the five senses.
Suppose, for example, that you are walking home at night,
and you sense a group of men following you. You don't merely
perceive them. You don't merely hear them there, in the space
behind you. Your body-sense instantly includes also your hope
that perhaps they aren't following you. It includes your alarm
and many past experiences - too many to separate out - and surely
also the need to do something, be it walk faster, change your
course, escape into a house, get ready to fight, run, shout (.....).
I think PCT and also other schools cal it imagination.
My (.....) expresses the fact that your body-sense includes more than
we can list, more than you can think by thinking one thing at a time.
And it includes not only what is there. It also implies a next move to
cope with the situation. But this implying of your next move is still
a (.....) since your actual move has not yet come.
Some people are really good in imagining. Some of them are called creative
The life process is self-organizing, but much more intricately
than we can conceptualize. A great undivided multiplicity is always at
With focusing we discover that we are much more organized
from the inside out. Direct access to this intricacy enables us to
think-from much more than the usual concepts and assumptions.
Words can be used to say the most incredible.
No, I prefer PCT.
Eugene Gendlin writes one place "Please notice for a moment that this is
true; you can sense the space behind your back". Then he analyses the
statement, but he never explain if it is correct.
He uses many words and misguides them who read the essay/book.