KARL JASPERS FORU
TAs 102-104 (Vimal)
Commentary 7 (to R7)
MIR VERSUS WORKING-MIR
by Herbert FJ Müller
29 February 2008, posted 8 March 2008
I don’t know the terms ‘MDR’ and ‘EMR’.
I have not been in nirvana either, but from descriptions I understand that it means emptying one’s mind, and that would mean disappearance of mental structures, which agrees with the idea that mental structures are formed (and dissolved) in the mind. Kant said that we cannot know MIR but that it is needed for thinking, which agrees with the notion that it is a mental tool.
What do you mean by ‘experiences that are not SE’ ? Who experiences them ? This is rather unclear to me. If they are supposed to be mind-independent (you seem to say they are SE-independent) they imply naϊve MIR-belief. You say they are similar to ‘strings’ which would mean that they are ‘physicalist’ mind-independent matter – but you also claim not to be a materialist, which would imply the opposite.
‘Matter is already there’ : that means materialism. There is an important difference between structuring and inventing reality-experience. (From my paper ‘Brain in mind’, 2007 :)
“ There is a difference between “structuring” and “inventing or creating or causing”. This is decisive for questions such as: do we only structure the world, or do we also create it ? The conflation of the two is not compatible with the 0-D-structuring view.
(i) We do not create the acoustic nerve or the planet Jupiter; there is no place for invention, since there are reliable earlier spontaneous (non-deliberate and non-verbal) subject-inclusive structures, such as visual-gestalt forms. Deliberate verbal structures are, or can be, added to them in order to include them in deliberate world-and-self-and-all structures.
(ii) But we have to invent structures where working-structures are needed or desired, but no earlier spontaneous structures are available: to create a song, to structure our identity or self (to a degree), a political constitution, or a religion, etc.
This does not imply that the former, (i), are pre-structured (ontic MIR-) objects: they require our structuring – mainly non-deliberate, but also deliberate – and can then be treated as as-if- or working-MIR (the latter, (ii), can too).
All of reality is our subject-inclusive structure, within the limits of operational possibilities: the structures do not arise by themselves. But only some of it is our creation in the sense that we make it. The traditional way to distinguish between these two kinds of structure is to assume that the non-invented ones are mind-independently pre-structured. But, as just discussed, there is no need for MIR-ontology-realism; it is replaced by von Glasersfeld’s criterion of the “viability” of the structured items, as per feedback during use of the structures.
To repeat: all of reality is our structure and must be able to pass the feedback test, but we invent only some of it. ”
From where does the ongoing experience come ? It is what we have, our start point. It is ‘given’, as some people put is, but given in an unstructured state, all structures include the subject’s activity, either automatic or deliberate. If you say they come from somewhere else then you are in MIR-belief, for instance materialism, subject-exclusive objectivity. But one can say that, in a working-objectivist view, they are dependent on biological processes (i.e., as-if-MIR).
MIR-belief is human construction but erroneously believed to refer to something outside SE. The corrected version is as-if-MIR (or working-MIR, where the tool-nature of this MIR notion is clear).
Crystallization of matter within mind : see  above.
‘Most neuroscientists will say that the ‘neural net’ is a materialist entity’. That is quite true : they do because most neuroscientists are materialists, i.e., subject-exclusive objectivists. And the consequence is that they cannot deal with the mind-brain problem.
Herbert FJ Müller
e-mail <herbert.muller (at) mcgill.ca>