Thursday, January 31, 2013

Distinguishing Thought and Experience

Commonly, we distinguish between sense experience and thought, and some hypothesize it into a dualism. I would offer, in my usual pragmatist way, that the distinction should be made according to attention. Sense becomes noetic thought when we attend to it. Attention is not a "spotlight" on experience, which treats the penumbra and darkness as a given waiting to be discovered. Rather, it is an amplification of experience itself that strongly tends to grant symbols their meaning. For example, we no longer merely sense the words, but perceive their meaning.

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