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Can a non-human POV even be theorised upon?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Kyriakos, Jun 13, 2014.

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Can a non-human POV even be theorised upon?

Poll closed Sep 2, 2014.
  1. Yes, it can be theorised upon, and produce decent results.

    13 vote(s)
    56.5%
  2. Yes, it can be theorised upon, but the results will be very limited.

    6 vote(s)
    26.1%
  3. No, it cannot be theorised upon, at all

    4 vote(s)
    17.4%
  4. Don't know/i am not human or you aren't.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. BenitoChavez

    BenitoChavez Whispering Walrus

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    Can a question be an answer?

    As for the whole POV thing, the answer is yes, yes we can. Anyone who feels empathy for a non-human(ie animal), can see from that non-humans point of view.
     
  2. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    Yes, of course. Provided they can write.

    This says nothing about the worth, or validity, of what they write.
     
  3. GoodGame

    GoodGame Red, White, & Blue, baby!

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    It's a fallacy to say that we can't imagine.
    Theorizing requires a degree of imagination.
    Therefore it's a fallacy to say that we can't arrive at theories with limited knowledge.

    However, accurate theorizing requires information that is validated with some degree of precision and accuracy. So therefore, we can't expect to arrive at theories that are credible without some input of validated information.

    So to give an example, if I have no information about an unknown planet at an unknown location in another galaxy than the Milky Way, I can't reach a credible theory about life on that planet, if it even exists.

    Another example, I have some information on the behavioral patterns of mice on Earth. I have some information on the capabilities of intelligent species of animals, up to that of homo sapiens. I could therefore extrapolate the point of view of a mouse that evolved to become intelligent. Because it is extrapolation, it might not be a reliably accurate theory.
     
  4. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    Well, those questions are encompassed by mine. By "write about the POV" I presuming to a very good level of quality.
     
  5. Terxpahseyton

    Terxpahseyton One. And many.

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    Hm I think there are two dimensions about that.
    The purely sensual experience. And the meaning projected on that experience.

    When it comes to the sensual experience - I believe we are essentially damed to be clueless. Like if a being can see more of the light spectrum than we can. There just is no common point of reference to fall back on.

    However, when it comes to the meaning projected on it, I think we will have a common point of reference.

     
  6. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    "E=Perfection;13272532]Well, those questions are encompassed by mine. By "write about the POV" I presuming to a very good level of quality.[/QUOTE]

    Can I write about my own POV, then?

    Under your conditions, the answer would have to be no.
     
  7. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    Writing about your own POV seems to by default tend to alter it (consciously often too, but mostly unconsciously). Besides, consciousness used to examine consciousness itself is something obviously very possible, but it can get pretty dangerous in a 'snake-eating-its-tail' pattern. We aren't just our immediate consciousness, but it is entirely human to want a relative mental stability (in the way each person views stability, of course), for parallel reasons to a human needing to know that if he doesn't move, and is not on something moving without him, he won't suddently be 10 rooms away from where he now is :)

    'Give me somewhere to stand and i will move the world' as that circle-researcher of 3rd century BC Syracuse used to say ;)
     
  8. Tyo

    Tyo HANDS HIGH TO THE SOUND Retired Moderator

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    No, I'd say not. While we might be able to imagine what it'd be like to be a dog or an insect or what have you, there is no scientific (and thus theoretical if we're using the right definition) way to go about finding out exactly how a dog or whatever actually processes information. Yes, we can think of what it means to live purely by instinct, but there is no proof that the way our instinct processes information is the same way a dog's instinct would. We can tell there are similarities (fight or flight is a big one here) but at the very core of this issue, we have no idea how a dog(or any animal) would get A out of B and C. We just know that they have the capability (however limited) to do so.
     
  9. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    By very good I don't necessarily mean of high literally standards. However...

    Perhaps not! To what degree can we describe our own mental experiences? If I attempt to describe something that occurred in my past, how close is my recall to the details of what I experienced?

    There certainly are scientific means of finding out about how a dog processes information. Dogs have brains, and we can analyze them in the same way we can analyze any other physical object.
     
  10. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    ^But POV includes some viable grasp of the senses of the being. Which is why even human POV is very variable for a long list of issues (or near-infinite, etc) but some other parameters are common for all humans. For example humans view stuff in 3d, highly likely in very very similar arrangements of form, and most of them in similar color patterns (colorblind being an exception, but i suppose it is more of a variation and not a core difference; i doubt they see different scales for colors rising to brighter or diminishing to more obscure tone, and so on).
     
  11. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    Well, some humans don't see it all. To what extent can they imagine seeing?

    I am reminded of Helen Keller's Three Days to See:
    http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/33jan/keller.htm

    I myself am [wiki]amblyopic[/wiki] which means I have less capability for [wiki]stereopsis[/wiki] then normal people. Sometimes I try to imagine what it would be like to have more precise depth perception. Would things be "depthier"?
     
  12. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    ^Depth (as in 'material' space) perception (though) can also vary in the same human, cause it appears to be highly linked to mental perception and intro/extroversion focus. For example small children are said to be far more focused on depth differences, possibly for the main reason that they live more in the present than their adult version will. It may be also linked to the sense that a new environment and some path there seemingly lasts for longer the first time you go about it, than the next time(s), possibly also due to the deeper mind mechanisms not having to adjust more so as to identify anything consciously or unconsciously needed for the person.

    I vividly recall being very interested in the depth of space in some elementary school trips to large sporting campuses, or a park and so. Nowdays i would be very unlikely to focus much on that and instead i would more automatically think or be confronted by mental connections, not sensory spacial input which used to flow more in the foreground of my consciousness when i was in elementary school.
     
  13. Tyo

    Tyo HANDS HIGH TO THE SOUND Retired Moderator

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    That's actually a pretty solid argument for the "no" side. While you might be able to muse the idea and imagine how it might be like to have "better" depth perception, but you may never truly know what it could be like.

    In regards to what I said before about scientifically deducing it, I may have been too general. Let me put it like this:

    Before we had CAT scans, we couldn't tell how we process thoughts biologically, but people had a good idea how people thought in general. This is what I mean. We can't at this point hope to tell how a dog thinks and processes information. We can see what parts of the brain "light up" and see if it's similar to how a person would look at it - which I would imagine would be different - but we don't know what is abstractly going on. It is precisely like describing color to a blind man, without being able to use poetic dialogues. We can think about it, but at this time I can't see how we can tell for sure how a dog might get A out of B and C, like I said.

    I'll give an example. There was an experiment conducted to test the intelligence of crows, where the crow in question had to reach a piece of food from a tube it was too small to fit in. It used displacement of water, which the tube was filled with, to reach the piece of food which was floating on top of the water.

    The crow obviously went through a thought process - as would a person in the same scenerio - but is it possible for us to know exactly how the crow reasoned to use displacement? Can we scientifically explain what happened from the Crow's point of view, being a crow? That is essentially the same question.
     
  14. BvBPL

    BvBPL Pour Decision Maker

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    It isn't impossible to understand the perceptive abilities of a dog. Dogs are red-green colorblind and have so much better hearing than us. What is different is how the dog processes the information. Whereas our brains are wired to make vision our highest sense, in the dog it is scent that is paramount.

    Consider that, in the human, scent is oft consider the sensory gate to memory. Learned men tell us that it is the final sense to fail in a failing man. Is the same true of dogs? Who can say?

    Regardless, the description of an alien sense must be translated into manner understandable to a (presumably) human audience.
     
  15. gay_Aleks

    gay_Aleks communism will win.

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    If we ever encounter aliens, the way their POV will be "translated" will be naturally anthropomorphous. Which would be also valid both ways - the alien will use it's own POV to "translate" our POV.
     
  16. Agent327

    Agent327 Observer

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    That's a bit tautological. Point of view already implies sentience.

    But on the OP, a non-human POV doesn't seem that hard with some imagination. If we consider human POV as rational/irrational, then e.g. using a biological POV gives the result that humans are top predator. Does that mean we rule the planet? Hardly. Humans depend on such inconspicuous critters as bacteria for their mere survival. Do bacteria have a 'point of view'? (Or, does POV already imply a human approach to begin with?)
     
  17. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    I think that POV implies at least that the being senses itself as something other than the things it is interracting with (either external, or even- to some albeit different degree- mental phenomena it is focusing on).

    It can also be said (in my view) that a 'POV' can exist even if the being does not get aware of its own self, but still has clearly a sensory perception of its environment (however it senses that environment). So an ant likely has no sense of itself being something, but it likely has a sense of existing, and doing something.

    Basically a sensory input seems to me to be the basis of a life-form being different to a computer or other non-thinking/sensing objects one can create. A system for sensing stuff by itself is not tied to anything sensed through it, cause primarily it is a system allowing life (which seems to need a larger mental realm formed in the being's sense/thought there than anything the being is conscious of at any time).
     
  18. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    I agree; I'm a mystery to myself.

    In fact, someone else might be a better judge of me than I am. I mean, it's going to be easier for someone else to compare me with a third person than it is for me to compare myself to them. Or not?
     
  19. Agent327

    Agent327 Observer

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    :hmm:

    And here I was thinking POV means point of view... :hammer2:

    But seriously, I think I'll stick with sentience. A PC has no POV, simply because it's not sentient. (Or, because it's an object - not a subject.)
     
  20. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    I agree that a PC has no point of view. But an ant (which also seems to not be sentient as in sensing itself as something tied to having senses in the first place) has a point of view cause it has to be assumed that it senses something. Btw, do not identify 'sensory input' with mechanical routines that have zero life either (and thus zero point of view).
     

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