Strawson’s Idea of Perception as Theory-Laden for the Philosopher, Alva Noe’s Action in Perception, and the Larger Transcendental Preconditions

Noe's "Action in Perception"

By: Jay

(c) copyright, all rights reserved.

A.J. Ayer and other logical positivists have contended that the problem of perception is a central issue in modern epistemology and metaphysics. Ayer himself argued from a position of phenomenalism to what he termed “sophisticated realism.” Ayer represented more or less the end of the “psychologistic” approach to perception, even with later defenses of realism, and P.F. Strawson gives a biting critique of Ayer in his article “Perception and Its Objects.” Likewise, Alva Noe has argued for what he terms an “enactive approach” to perception, outlined in his Action in Perception. In this paper, I will compare the criticisms of both, in regard to the empiricist and psychologistic approach, as well as arguing that Strawson’s view of theory-laden approaches and common sense realism are also crucial for Noe’s thesis.

In order to understand Strawson’s criticisms of Ayer, it is necessary to first understand Locke’s view of perception and then move from this to the application of Strawson’s insights, to Noe, and then my argument for the necessity of a larger context as a precondition resulting from where both are correct.  John Locke argued that human perception is akin to pictures of objects, received from sense impressions that in some form exist in the mind as concepts, or ideas. Locke is, of course, a seminal thinker, along with Hume and Berkeley, in British Empiricism. In this view, the human mind is conceived of as a tabula rasa, or blank slate, which passively receives impressions from the external world, which are then stamped upon the mind, as a kind of seal in wax, or picture in the mind. There are no innate ideas.

In this view, perception is thus not direct, but indirect, or mediated by sensuous qualities or “accidents” (in the classical terminology) we perceive of the object. Objects in the world possess primary and secondary qualities, and these qualities we receive as impressions through sensation are then the only data we pick up from experience. The mind is viewed here, though anachronistic, as a blank tape in a camcorder, which records the impressions. The self or subject then views them, as if there were a “little man,” or homunculus inside the mind of the subject. For Locke, the mind can never penetrate to the substratum, or reach beyond the veil of the senses. Hence, it is an indirect or mediated realism. The objects of the external world are indeed objects with a real ontological status; they have being. However, the mind of the subject can never penetrate to the world in itself, and this ends up being the chief problem for classical empiricism. The Lockian view, what Strawson calls “scientific realism,” ends up presenting us with systematic illusion.[1]

  Continue reading

Jays Analysis Exclusive: Col. Anthony Shaffer Interview (3 pts)

In a Jay’s Analysis exclusive, I talk spycraft, espionage and current policies and strategies with Col. Anthony Shaffer. Col. Shaffer is a Bronze Star Medal recipient and CIA-trained senior intelligence officer with more than two decades of experience in intelligence. He is currently a Senior Fellow and Special Lecturer at the Center for Advanced Defense Studies in Washington, D.C. In this interview, we discuss his new, controversial book “Operation Dark Heart” which has received attention to due the Defense Department’s censorship of portions of the book.

Spycraft and Special Ops on the Frontlines of Afghanistan – And the Path to Victory

 In the interview, I mention the New York Times’ article concerning the buying up and destroying of original copies. The article is here.

MP3 of the Interview is here.

(right click, save as)

“Coretta Scott King Award” Features Upside Down Cross by Gay “Artist”

Aside from the obvious new agey, blend all religions “Illuminist” look of this bizarre thing, it also has an upside down cross.  The symbols’ creator is also a gay “artist”:

Actual Book Cover Award

Esoteric Symbolism and Allegory in Faulkner’s Old Man

The version I read.

Revised. 12/8/10

By: Jay

(c) Copyrighted, all right reserved.

Old Man is part of a Faulkner work titled The Wild Palms, a collection of two stories; Old Man and If I Forget Thee Jerusalem, both of which deal with similar themes, yet are able to stand alone. Old Man is a fascinating tale, rife with allusions to biblical characters, questions of destiny and freedom, gender and sexual issues, natural and spiritual forces, social flaws and rival cultures, operating under a modernist analysis. It also uses humor to make the piece somewhat of a dark satire. Faulkner’s rich usage of symbols, and the stories’ allegorical meanings are worthy of analysis within their own context (as opposed to comparison with The Wild Palms).

     Old Man takes place in Mississippi in 1927 during a flood of the Mississippi River, where two convicts are chosen to paddle down river and rescue stranded refugees. Of the two, one is described as “plump,” while the protagonist is “tall and thin.”  Neither criminals are exceptionally bright, and have been engaged in manual labor on a levee at a place called “The Farm” for seven years, yet had oddly not seen the water itself in. They are thus isolated, nameless individuals who subsist at an animalistic level, as the “Farm” terminology suggests. In fact, we later learn that the anonymous tall convict had derived the idea to rob a train from reading pulp fiction novels.      

     His youthful reasoning was apparently that if he took the best ideas from all the novels he had read, his robbery would prove successful. This is an amusing use of irony where a completely fictional reality comes to dominate the psychological motivations for a young southern male’s decision to rob trains, ultimately for his teenage girlfriend, which lands him in jail.  The male/female dynamic will be one of the main themes of the novella, and Faulkner takes a particularly negative and antagonistic view of the social norms of his day, especially that of married life and the status quo. Several examples arise in which Faulkner makes this point as the convict is swept along by the river’s fatalistic currents.

     When the flood breaks loose, the tall convict is unaware of what is happening: He has never seen the river itself and asks a “Negro man” what has happened, who responds that it is “De old man.” The river, then, is a key player in this story, and is the Mississippi itself. The name suggests the ancient preternatural powers of nature that are brute, untamed, uncivilized and determining. Another theme in the story is that of the reality of man’s free will in the face of raw nature, which seems to sweep us along, with no concern for social strata or human virtue or vice. Continue reading

Snake Breaks Into the Nashville Country Scene!

Political commentator and tough (‘Merkan) guy, Snake Plissken (aka ‘Rattler”) describes his experiences concerning breaking into the Nashville country scene. Well, we should say, his plans to break in. Eventually. Snake also tells stories and gives tips on alluring women and writing a hit song.

The Devil Predicts the Videodrome Slavegrid

Not that I think God let us down, but this accurately predicts what the “web” will become and what Fakebook is.

“The memory card will become the principal artificial limb of a person, at once an identity card, a checkbook, a telephone, and a fax machine–in sum, nomadic man’s passport. It will be a kind of artificial self. 
To use it will only require plugging it into the global electronic networks of information and commerce, the oases of the new nomads.’

‘In the coming world order, there will be winners and there will be losers. The losers will outnumber the winners by an unimaginable factor. They will yearn for the chance to live decently, and they are likely to be denied that chance. They will encounter rampant prejudice and fear. They will find themselves penned in, asphyxiated by pollution, neglected through indifference. The horrors of the twentieth century will fade by comparison.”

-Banker Jacques Attali

Peter Gabriel Tells Us Who Made Him ‘Big Time’

Usually I end up disagreeing with a lot of ‘conspiracy’ sites’ analyses of symbolism. One good example is the All-Seeing Eye and the pyramid. For example, Solomon says in Proverbs that God’s “eye[s] are all-seeing.” I’m not sure we know the origin of the Egyptian usage of the All-Seeing Eye, but what determines the meaning of a symbol would be the usage and intention, not the viewers imported meaning. I’m not a deconstructionist or into Derrida. That said, those on the dark side do use the symbol as a reference to Satan or Lucifer or the panoptic surveillance society. It’s also possible that this is meant as a satire or criticism of the “industry.”

The symbol is a reference to an omniscient Deity. That being the case, in can refer to the one true Deity, or it can be used by anyone to refer to anything – some false god. However, in Peter Gabriel’s case, I think it’s a reasonable conjecture that he means it in an occultic sense. At 1:15 we see an image of who made him ‘Big Time.’ And on another note – Vigilant Citizen hinted the other day on Fakebook that his site is the top ripped off site now. I hope he isn’t refering to yours truly and Peter Parker, since we were doing this on my old site before Vigiliant Citizen existed, as well as others doing it years before any of us. Furthermore, Vigilant Citizen’s analyses are becoming the same – a perpetuation of the fiction that MKULTRA and the “Illuminati” literally control everything-every big video and film, everyone’s very psyche, which is just not true. Most of what he calls Illuminati programming is often just writers and artists using archetypes and Jungian symbols; not supergodmen using alters to control everyone. In fact, the articles there are being titled ‘Esoteric’ analyses now. -Jay

“Our Destiny: Digital Nomads in a Virtual Void”


David Richards

November 12, 2010

Britain is a surreal place to be living right now.

The infamous Ministry of Defense trend report for 2007-35 projects the British middle classes ‘becoming revolutionary, taking on the role of Marx’s proletariat.’

I should be seeing the start of the ferment.

Our living standards are being attacked: people are losing their jobs, there is fast inflation, taxes are increasing and every year hordes of young people leave university to few job opportunities.

And yet there is virtually no anger at all. The conversation between people is as trivial and inane as ever.

Most social life in my town of 25,000 people is found in cafes and pubs. Primarily young mothers and housewives inhabit the cafes, while the pubs, charging £3 a pint, are now too expensive for most people to visit regularly.

Everyone else is locked indoors.

The streets are surprisingly subdued. I often take long walks lasting many hours and encounter few other souls. It is eerily quiet.

Even on a Friday night in Coventry, a City of 300,000 people nearby, the high street is surprisingly lifeless. The young are not out mixing and causing trouble as they should be.

When experiencing this shocking lack of activity and desire for life, you may wonder: Where is everyone?

Floating in cyber space.

They are at home gorging on limitless free TV shows, movies, songs and social networking. Their leisure time is spent engrossed in a fantastical ‘second life’.

Television is a tremendous tool of distraction. Internet is even more dangerous. It is a black hole of amusement that swallows people’s lives and destroys whole cultures.

It is why few will panic as Rome burns. Continue reading

TSA Disrobe and Grope Kids and Elderly; Illegals & Awlaki Roam Free

Elderly white Al-Qaeda operatives discovered!

By: Jay

In a flurry of media attention directed at the absurd invasions of privacy by the TSA, scores of such abuses are now coming to the fore. The mass media has been forced to report on the issue, but will people now begin to realize the glaring contradictions in the Great and Holy Bureaucracy? By that, I am referring to the sick joke that is “terrorism,” amnesty and open borders.

The same establishment that actively works to give complete amnesty to illegals, provides assistance and aid through sanctuary cities, voter registration, college tuition, and various other exemptions, turns around and surveils, harasses and grabs the crotches and breasts of every American citizen who doesn’t want to be radiated in a huge naked body scanner. Nothing better exposes the fraud of the war on terror than this fact: if the bureaucracy was truly concerned about terrorists coming in and out of the country, there would be secured borders.

On top of all that, it is now known that Anwar al Awlaki dined at the Pentagon soon after the 9/11 attacks, as Fox reports. So let that sink in. The top man in Al-Qaeda is invited to the Pentagon–the mastermind responsible for all the recent airport mail “bombs,” Times Square Bombing, Fort Hood, and so forth was invited to, and dined at, the Pentagon after 9/11. And who is the focus of the searching and groping and DNA swabs at the airports? Young girls and elderly men. Even greater absurdity is the fact that no one is profiled, since that would not properly be multi-cultural, yet if Arabs really were the great threat, profiling would obviously make sense.

Instead, as the MIAC and Homeland Security reports showed, the focus of the massive domestic “security” apparatus is veterans, gun owners and conservatives–especially the evil “Ron Paul” types. So the focus is admittedly nothing to do with terrorists. It doesn’t just stop at old men and young girls: it also extends to young children–the dreaded three year-old Al-Qaeda operatives. There is absolutely no evidence or reason to suspect that American citizen’s children are a security threat, but that is not the real reason. A key factor that is ignored by the mainstream media is the psychological effect of such procedures, which are used to cull the populace into a herd mindset: that we are dehumanized cattle to be herded about as goons with badges get off on feeling everyone up. Continue reading