Jump to content




Welcome to Unexplained Mysteries! Please sign in or create an account to start posting and to access a host of extra features.


- - - - -

What is the meaning of ‘meaning’?


  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1    coberst

coberst

    Extraterrestrial Entity

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 409 posts
  • Joined:06 Oct 2008

Posted 30 April 2010 - 07:23 PM

What is the meaning of ‘meaning’?  

A strange question in one sense but as fundamental a question as one needs to pursue in another sense.

I would say that meaning is an emotion that I recognize when the emotion engendered by an inducer are reflected back to me in the form of feelings.

I go to the theatre so that I can watch a movie while eating my pop-corn.  A movie projector projects images on a screen for my entertainment.

When I empathesize with an object, human or otherwise, I am searching for the emotion of ‘meaning’.  My effort at empathy may or may not be successful.  I internally view an objectification of my emotion if that emotion is triggered, which comes to me as feeling, as those feelings are reflected to me by the object into which I empathesize.

“It is through feelings, which are inwardly directed and private, that emotions, which are outwardly directed and public, begin their impact on the mind; but the full and lasting impact of feelings requires consciousness, because only along with the advent of a sense of self do feelings become known to the individual having them.”

First, there is emotion, then comes feeling, then comes consciousness of feeling. There is no evidence that we are conscious of all our feelings, in fact evidence indicates that we are not conscious of all feelings.

What are the emotions?  The primary emotions are happiness, sadness, fear, anger, surprise and disgust.  The secondary or social emotions are such things as pride, jealousy, embarrassment, and guilt.  Damasio considers the background emotions are well-being or malaise, and calm or tension.  The label of emotion has also been attached to drives and motivations and to states of pain and pleasure.

I would add meaning to this list of emotions.

Antonio Damasio, Distinguished Professor and Head of the Department of Neurology at the University of Iowa College of Medicine, testifies in his book “The Feelings of What Happens” that the biological process of feelings begins with a ‘state of emotion’, which can be triggered unconsciously and is followed by ‘a state of feeling’, which can be presented nonconsciously; this nonconscious state can then become ‘a state of feeling made conscious’.  

Human emotion and feeling pivot on consciousness; this fact has not been generally recognized prior to Damasio’s research.  Emotion has probably evolved long before consciousness and surfaces in many of us when caused by inducers we often do not recognize consciously.

The powerful contrast between emotion and feeling is used by the author in his search for a comprehension of consciousness.  It is a neurological fact, states the author, that when consciousness is suspended then emotion is likewise usually suspended.  This observed human characteristic led Damasio to suspect that even though emotion and consciousness are different phenomenon that there must be an important connection between the two.

Damasio proposes “that the term feeling should be reserve for the private, mental experience of an emotion, while the term emotion should be used to designate the collection of responses, many of which are publicly observable.”  This means that while we can observe our own private feelings we cannot observe these same feelings in others.

Empirical evidence indicates that we need not be conscious of emotional inducers nor can we control emotions willfully.  We can, however, control the entertainment of an emotional inducer even though we cannot control the emotion induced.  

I was raised as a Catholic and taught by the nuns that “impure thoughts” were a sin only if we “entertained’ bad thoughts after an inducer caused an emotion that we felt, i.e. God would not punish us for the first impure thought but He would punish us for dwelling upon the impure thought.  If that is not sufficient verification of the theory derived from Damasio’s empirical evidence, what is?

In a typical emotion, parts of the brain sends forth messages to other parts of the body, some of these messages travel via the blood stream and some via the body’s nerve system.  These neural and chemical messages results in a global change in the organism.  The brain itself is just as radically changed.  But, before the brain becomes conscious of this matter, before the emotion becomes known, two additional steps must occur.  The first is feeling, i.e. an imaging of the bodily changes, followed by a ‘core consciousness’ to the entire set of phenomena.  “Knowing an emotion—feeling a feeling—only occurs at this point.


#2    Jove

Jove

    Alien Embryo

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 19 posts
  • Joined:29 Apr 2010

Posted 01 May 2010 - 03:25 AM

I feel that the implied meaning of the word meaning is relative to whats being discussed.  Meaning being the topic, well then, I would say that meaning is my (un)(sub)(or what have you)conscious (subjective) interpretation of objective occurrence, and that emotion and feelings could only then come after.

The meaning of meaning however, seems similar to me of asking what is the purpose of purpose, or whats the point in there being a point, or whats the reason of reason having to have a reason...

Honestly, and I must be honest, and completely without intended insult, the question seems slightly ego driven.

The most difficult questions I have ever come across are who am I? and what do I want?
Perhaps thats all your asking too.

Then again I must plead, I'm young and found it difficult wrapping my head around the deeper mysteries of this system. Meaning lowers entropy and undoubtedly exists somewhere. How such a thing would be given itself is only beyond me.


#3    coberst

coberst

    Extraterrestrial Entity

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 409 posts
  • Joined:06 Oct 2008

Posted 01 May 2010 - 12:21 PM

What is the definition of the American flag?

It has thirteen horizontal stripes of alternating white and red color.  It has a blue rectangle in the upper left corner with rows of stars for a total of fifty; the rectangle is blue and the stars are white.

What is the meaning of the American flag?

I suspect that if we received 100 statements trying to answer this question we would receive 100 different meanings for the American flag.

Does this tell us anything about the meaning of “meaning”?


#4    Agent X

Agent X

    Illustrious Potentate Of All Time Space And Matter

  • Member
  • 5,086 posts
  • Joined:09 Nov 2006
  • Gender:Male

  • Invent nonsense computer jargon in conversations, and see if people play along to avoid the appearance of ignorance.

Posted 02 May 2010 - 08:14 PM

The meaning of meaning is whatever you want it to be.

Posted Image

#5    coberst

coberst

    Extraterrestrial Entity

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 409 posts
  • Joined:06 Oct 2008

Posted 02 May 2010 - 08:22 PM

I would add that meaning and comprehension are like Siamese twins; you can’t have one without the other.

I would say that comprehension can usefully be compare with a pyramid in that awareness is at the base with consciousness following and with knowing following that and understanding at the pinnacle.  Understanding is a far step beyond knowing and is the creation of new meaning.


#6    Virtual Particle

Virtual Particle

    Government Agent

  • Member
  • 3,424 posts
  • Joined:15 Dec 2005
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Miami,Florida

  • c^2= (d/t)^2 = d^2/t^2 = (d^2) x (1/t^2)...Time is squared

Posted 02 May 2010 - 10:22 PM

View Postcoberst, on 02 May 2010 - 08:22 PM, said:

I would add that meaning and comprehension are like Siamese twins; you can’t have one without the other.

I would say that comprehension can usefully be compare with a pyramid in that awareness is at the base with consciousness following and with knowing following that and understanding at the pinnacle.  Understanding is a far step beyond knowing and is the creation of new meaning.


Coberst you presented a Hierarchy of needs?? In the context of that survival is that which you seek....given of course that a T-bone with some Zatarans Rice is a supermarket away and don't forget the broccoli. Another meanings of meanings is that space and time is a substance in which some particles alternate between wave and particle. While seemingly very few others oscillate between the two and  despite misconceptions? We are moving faster. Another issue, is that time is devoid of a first person without an observer.....That is a complicated one but? It is doable.

Moments are relative in an objective way.....we exist.

Realities evolution is a precedent above our own, is another solution and this is soley from a certain point of view.

Any thoughts?

Edited by Triad, 02 May 2010 - 10:29 PM.

Time is a form of communication
Consciousness transcends all states
that can be perceived as matter
Matter communicates its existence
to consciousness through time        
Man is infinite
God is more
Black Hole Creates Spectacular Light Show

#7    coberst

coberst

    Extraterrestrial Entity

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 409 posts
  • Joined:06 Oct 2008

Posted 03 May 2010 - 04:27 PM

View PostTriad, on 02 May 2010 - 10:22 PM, said:

Coberst you presented a Hierarchy of needs?? In the context of that survival is that which you seek....given of course that a T-bone with some Zatarans Rice is a supermarket away and don't forget the broccoli. Another meanings of meanings is that space and time is a substance in which some particles alternate between wave and particle. While seemingly very few others oscillate between the two and  despite misconceptions? We are moving faster. Another issue, is that time is devoid of a first person without an observer.....That is a complicated one but? It is doable.

Moments are relative in an objective way.....we exist.

Realities evolution is a precedent above our own, is another solution and this is soley from a certain point of view.

Any thoughts?

Time an abstract idea.

Time, motion, and change are such basic philosophical concepts that we see them being considered by all philosophers throughout Western philosophical thinking.  These are fundamental concepts about which philosophers theorize and they are fundamental concepts about which every DickandJane deal with constantly in their ever-day actions and thoughts.

All of these concepts are abstract ideas that are constructed of multiple metaphors resulting from literal ever-day experiences.  Our society thinks of metaphors as being the venue of poets; however, metaphors are not arbitrary or culturally and historically specific. “Rather, they tend to be normal, conventional, relatively fixed and stable, non arbitrary, and widespread throughout the cultures, and languages of the world”

Most importantly we must recognize these metaphors as being abstract but also that they are grounded in specific experiences.

Philosophers have theorized as to whether time really is; is it bounded, is it continuous or divided, does it flow like a river, is time the same to everyone, and is it long or short.  These are common questions for DickandJane but philosophy seems to discount most of these human quizzes as being irrelevant.  Often philosophers point out paradoxes embodied within these questions.

We have a rich and diverse notion of what time is. Time is not a thing-in-itself that we conceptualize as being independent.  “All of our understandings of time are relative to other concepts such as motion, space, and events …We define time by metonymy: successive iterations of a type of event stand for intervals of “time”.”  Consequentially, the basic literal properties of our concept of time are consequences of properties of events: Time is directional, irreversible, segmentable, continuous, and measurable.

We do have an experience of time but that experience is always in conjunction with our real experiences of events.  “It also means that our experience of time is dependent on our embodied conceptualization of time in terms of events…Experience does not always come prior to conceptualization, because conceptualization is itself embodied.  Further, it means that our experience of time is grounded in other experiences, the experiences of events.”

It is virtually impossible for us to conceptualize time as a stand alone concept without metaphor.  Physics defines motion, i.e. velocity, in terms of distance and time, thereby indicating motion is secondary to time and distance.  However, metaphorically we appear to place time as dependent upon the primitive sense of motion.  “There is an area of our visual system of our brain that is dedicated to the processing of motion.”

MOVING TIME METAPHOR

“There is a lone, stationary observer facing in a fixed direction.  There is an indefinite long sequence of objects moving past the observer from front to back.  The moving objects are conceptualized as having fronts in their direction of motion.”

The time has long past for that answer.  The time has come.  Time flies by.  Summer is almost past.  I can see the face of trouble.  I cannot face the future.  The following days will tell the story.

In this metaphor I conceptualize time as an object moving toward me.  The times that are in front of me are conceptualized as the future and the times that have passed me are the past.   The present time is that time that is now beside me.  This is why we speak of the here and now.  My position is a reference point, thus tomorrow is before me and yesterday is past me.  I can see the future and the past is gone forever.

MOVING OBSERVER or TIME’S LANDSCAPE

The second major metaphor for time represents a moving observer wherein the present is the position on the path in which the observer is positioned.  

In this metaphor the observer is moving through time.  Time is a path that I move through.  Time, i.e. the path can be long or short, time can be bounded.

There is trouble ahead.  Let’s spread this project over several days.  We reached summer already.

In this metaphor we construct temporal correlates with distance measurements: long, short, pass, through, over, down the road, etc.

Quotes from Philosophy in the Flesh by Lakoff and Johnson


#8    Virtual Particle

Virtual Particle

    Government Agent

  • Member
  • 3,424 posts
  • Joined:15 Dec 2005
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Miami,Florida

  • c^2= (d/t)^2 = d^2/t^2 = (d^2) x (1/t^2)...Time is squared

Posted 03 May 2010 - 07:20 PM

An interesting thing for me about time is the present in realtion to, the wave form of matter. You see, in regards to information? Anything that has ever happened is an aspect of the present....as an example...

Posted Image


Further reading

Any thoughts?

Edited by Triad, 03 May 2010 - 07:21 PM.

Time is a form of communication
Consciousness transcends all states
that can be perceived as matter
Matter communicates its existence
to consciousness through time        
Man is infinite
God is more
Black Hole Creates Spectacular Light Show




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users