Emotions and the Markov Blanket

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martinhall
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Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2022 12:17 pm
Location: England

Emotions and the Markov Blanket

Post by martinhall »

Hey everyone, does anyone have a clear picture of how emotions and/or feelings fit into the states model of the Markov Blanket as used by B.K. to explain concepts of the mental universe and alters?
I can't decide whether emotions are considered an internal state, sensory or even external (impinging on the dissociative boundary). Perhaps emotions could be classified within multiple states depending on the context or root of the emotion.
I read the paper Making Sense of the Mental Universe, outlining the Markov Blanket model, a couple of times, but there's only brief mention of emotions and feelings on p41 and p42.
This question arised for me after watching a video of B.K's presentation Physics without metaphysical assumptions @ Mind and Agency Conference with the Schmidt Inst.
p.s It's great to be here on the forum to have the opportunity to discuss these matters with other enthusiasts, as somebody who doesn't have any friends or colleagues to chat philosophy with. This is my first post - nice to meet you all :)

Cheers,
Martin
martinhall
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Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2022 12:17 pm
Location: England

Re: Emotions and the Markov Blanket

Post by martinhall »

Update - I read the paper for a third time and saw the line on page 38 (summarised) 'henceforth I will refer to all non-perceptual mentation as thoughts...' so that probably accounts for the unelaborated detail on how emotions fit into the Markov Blanket.
j.joerg@posteo.de
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Re: Emotions and the Markov Blanket

Post by j.joerg@posteo.de »

Hi Martin,
I have not read the papers yet, but I im researching into emotions and I can give you my view on the topic.

In my understanding of emotions, they are states of the living system (the inside of the markov blanket). The whole living system gets changed by an emotion, which includes the nervous systems and the brain. That is why emotions basically change internal sensations, external perceptions and the way cognitions operates. They change what is perceived, how it is perceived, how it is evaluated and how it gets processed by the brain...

At the end of the day, the root of an emotion is always internal, since a living being is an autopoietic system. But since living beings do not operate at random (or at the liking of conscious cognition), but in a way that proved successful over the course of 4 billion years of evolution, there is a high correlation with external events. But this correlation is not really causal...

Greetings Johannes
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AshvinP
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Re: Emotions and the Markov Blanket

Post by AshvinP »

martinhall wrote: Mon Jul 04, 2022 4:54 pm Update - I read the paper for a third time and saw the line on page 38 (summarised) 'henceforth I will refer to all non-perceptual mentation as thoughts...' so that probably accounts for the unelaborated detail on how emotions fit into the Markov Blanket.

And there's the basic error which ensures all subsequent reasoning will only veer off into completely abstract territory, with no significance for the actual living experience of people in this non hypothetical world.

Why are thoughts "non-perceptual"? Anything we can think about is a perception, and we can certainly think about our thoughts. This is only utilized as an ontological division so one can feel as if they directly perceived truth in the world, without thinking. Then there is no possibility of the conclusions about what is perceived being in error - if they weren't interlaced with thoughts the whole way, then how could a thinking error have been made? The materialist makes a thinking error about outer perceptions, but when it comes to inner perceptions (which I refuse to call perceptions), not me!
"Two souls, alas, are housed within my breast,
And struggle there for undivided reign.
One, to the earth with passionate desire,
And closely clinging organs still adheres;
Above the mists the other doth aspire
With sacred ardor unto purer spheres.”
-Goethe, Faust
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