Are our cognitive faculties reliable?

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Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 06:33 am
According to a post on a different forum:

Our cognitive facilities are rather notoriously NOT reliable.

Is that true? It sounds false to me.
 
jgweed
 
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 06:55 am
@kennethamy,
One wonders under what circumstances one could make that assertion. For example, they have evidently been reliable enough to keep me alive; I have avoided cars on the highway, hot pans on the stove, a rattlesnake on the steps, and so forth, if cognitive facilities imply sense impressions.

Granted, one can be mistaken about appearances. The tower, in the distance, appears round but on closer examination is actually square; in this famous example, though, we are able to correct the false impression.

And the very fact that we say our cognitive facilities are NOT reliable seems to imply that we can know they are not, and isn't this saying that sometimes we are "incorrect" but we can determine that this is the case?
 
Khethil
 
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 07:10 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;142511 wrote:
According to a post on a different forum:

Our cognitive facilities are rather notoriously NOT reliable.

Is that true? It sounds false to me.


It's unknowable in any objectively-reliable sense. No matter what measure we construct, ultimately its results enter into someone's mind; the instant that happens, it becomes vulnerable to bias, blockage, warping, mistakes, etc. But all this really says is that there exists the possibility that the results of our perceptions can be flawed. That something can be influenced is not the same as it always is.

I think it wise to keep an open mind on this one: 1) Our cognitive faculties measure and provide input in an incomplete and imperfect way, so prudence in our conclusions is warranted -and- 2) When multiple sense-perceptions combine together to bring forth the same conclusion or multiple minds - all independent - come to the same conclusion as we, we can therefore put more reliability into the result.

Because a process can lead to incorrect conclusions, doesn't automatically mean it always does.

Thanks
 
Pepijn Sweep
 
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 07:13 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;142511 wrote:
According to a post on a different forum:

Our cognitive facilities are rather notoriously NOT reliable.

Is that true? It sounds false to me.


[CENTER]:bigsmile:
Our senses are not reliable. They can be confused, manipulated, damaged.
Drugged

Our cognitive faculties rest on our sensors for fresh im-put.

Out-put is minimal normally.

Greet Pepijn Sweep
[/CENTER]
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 07:16 am
@jgweed,
jgweed;142519 wrote:
One wonders under what circumstances one could make that assertion. For example, they have evidently been reliable enough to keep me alive; I have avoided cars on the highway, hot pans on the stove, a rattlesnake on the steps, and so forth, if cognitive facilities imply sense impressions.

Granted, one can be mistaken about appearances. The tower, in the distance, appears round but on closer examination is actually square; in this famous example, though, we are able to correct the false impression.

And the very fact that we say our cognitive facilities are NOT reliable seems to imply that we can know they are not, and isn't this saying that sometimes we are "incorrect" but we can determine that this is the case?


I agree. It makes you wonder what it would take for our cognitive faculties to be reliable if they are not reliable now.
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 07:16 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;142511 wrote:
According to a post on a different forum:

Our cognitive facilities are rather notoriously NOT reliable.

Is that true? It sounds false to me.
This is very basic psycology, it is the bane of many classic philosophers who doesn't take such modern concepts into account.

Imo Marx didn't take this into account and it's ultimately why commounism failed.
 
wayne
 
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 07:31 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;142511 wrote:
According to a post on a different forum:

Our cognitive facilities are rather notoriously NOT reliable.

Is that true? It sounds false to me.


There is an exercise that involves blind folding some one, convincing them you are holding something hot, then touching them with an ice cube.
Just last week I walked by a note on the board at work, addressed to someone else, several times before it was addressed to me. etc etc etc.

And who knows what I've failed to correct.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 07:33 am
@wayne,
wayne;142535 wrote:
There is an exercise that involves blind folding some one, convincing them you are holding something hot, then touching them with an ice cube.
Just last week I walked by a note on the board at work, addressed to someone else, several times before it was addressed to me. etc etc etc.


But what is that supposed to show? Sometimes, even very reliable cars may need repair. And if you expose very reliable cars to punishing conditions for which they were not constructed, that car may break down too. Would that make the car unreliable?
 
wayne
 
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 07:35 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;142536 wrote:
But what is that supposed to show? Sometimes, even very reliable cars may need repair.


In this case we are only repairing the damage
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 07:38 am
@wayne,
wayne;142539 wrote:
In this case we are only repairing the damage


True, but the car may have broken down for it to need repair. Would that mean it was an unreliable car? Nothing is perfect. And reliable does not mean "perfect" (never breaks down).
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 07:38 am
@HexHammer,
HexHammer;142528 wrote:
This is very basic psycology, it is the bane of many classic philosophers who doesn't take such modern concepts into account.

Imo Marx didn't take this into account and it's ultimately why commounism failed.
You mean he had too much confidence in his perspective?

I think too little reliance on cognition results in an affliction called OCD.

Too much reliance can interfere with problem solving. A good detective doubts basic assumptions.

If you're planning to make a rocket and boost it off to the moon with a human in it... that's confidence squared. And it's awesome.
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 07:39 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;142511 wrote:
According to a post on a different forum:

Our cognitive facilities are rather notoriously NOT reliable.

Is that true? It sounds false to me.
Presumably you've seen the context in which this was posted and are familiar enough with the board and poster to dismiss this as just more of the usual.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 07:42 am
@ughaibu,
ughaibu;142543 wrote:
Presumably you've seen the context in which this was posted and are familiar enough with the board and poster to dismiss this as just more of the usual.


Actually, I thought that the poster was one of the few reliable posters on that board. Anyway, the question is an interesting and important one. So it really does not matter about the poster, or the board.
 
wayne
 
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 07:44 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;142541 wrote:
True, but the car may have broken down for it to need repair. Would that mean it was an unreliable car? Nothing is perfect. And reliable does not mean "perfect" (never breaks down).


Yes, I see your point, but I think it cuts both ways. Unreliable doesn't mean it's not safe to drive to the grocery store.
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 07:45 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;142545 wrote:
the question is an interesting and important one
I think it's neither, the assertion is obviously false, as pointed out by Jgweed in the first reply.
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 07:49 am
@Arjuna,
Arjuna;142542 wrote:
You mean he had too much confidence in his perspective?

I think too little reliance on cognition results in an affliction called OCD.

Too much reliance can interfere with problem solving. A good detective doubts basic assumptions.

If you're planning to make a rocket and boost it off to the moon with a human in it... that's confidence squared. And it's awesome.
Don't mean Marx had too much confidence, just that he saw things in a very simpleminded and over simplifyed way.
Imo he didn't grasp much of psycology with many of it mind's pitfalls, such as naivity, group think/flok instinct, suggestion, greed ..etc.

Unfortunaly the same goes for a lot of philosophers in here, who only have a purely theoretic view on the world, they don't really have any experience of the real world other than what books tells them.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 07:49 am
@ughaibu,
ughaibu;142547 wrote:
I think it's neither, the assertion is obviously false, as pointed out by Jgweed in the first reply.


Well, Descartes, among others, thought it was true enough so that empiricism should be rejected as a way of achieving knowledge. And, it even led Hume to a kind of skepticism.
 
wayne
 
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 07:55 am
@kennethamy,
Still, I've learned not to argue too loudly, "my" perceptions are notoriously unreliable and I may end up eating my words.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 07:57 am
@wayne,
wayne;142555 wrote:
Still, I've learned not to argue too loudly, "my" perceptions are notoriously unreliable and I may end up eating my words.


Very prudent of you.
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 07:58 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;142551 wrote:
Well, Descartes, among others, thought it was true enough so that empiricism should be rejected as a way of achieving knowledge. And, it even led Hume to a kind of skepticism.
The earliest such argument, of which I'm aware, is from Arcesilaus. His argument relies on a premise that I see no reason to accept: The content of all true impressions is potentially indistinguishable or indiscernible from that of false impressions
Arcesilaus (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
And I would reject this premise for reasons such as Jgweed gave. Are there any arguments that rely on only plausible premises?
 
 

 
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