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SleepBIBLIOGRAPHY [1]Historically,there has been concern with two major questions about sleep: Whatspecific mechanisms start, maintain, and terminate.
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Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Encyclopedia of Sleep and Dreams by Deirdre Barrett ,. Patrick McNamara. A little known fact is that dreams change across a lifetime Humankind has been fascinated with the mystery behind dreams since the beginning of time. Recent breakthroughs in sleep research and the study of dreams now reveal the scientific rationale for this previously unexplained phenomena.

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So while the two disagree about the phenomenology of dreaming, a corresponding debate on the internal as opposed to external or bodily sources of dreaming no longer exists in the contemporary philosophical literature. The most important rival to the hallucination view of dreaming in the contemporary philosophical literature is the claim that dreams are imaginative experiences Gendler This is typically construed as an alternative to the claim that dreams involve percepts i. The claim that dreams involve imagery rather than percepts comes in different strengths and in different variants, and it means different things in the context of different theoretical accounts.

A first way of understanding the imagination view of dreaming is to regard it as a claim about the phenomenology of dreaming. If we assume, as is common in the phenomenological tradition, that imagining is distinguished from standard waking perception in that imagining does not involve the experience of being in a world, and if we additionally assume that dreaming is a form of imaginative experience, then the sense in which we feel present in our dreams might be analogous to cognitive absorption or fictional immersion of the type experienced in waking fantasy, but also in reading a novel or watching a movie McGinn Yet, he argues that because the reflective quality of waking consciousness is absent in dreams, dreaming is a case in which the fictional world has closed upon itself: the imaginary world of dreaming captures us so completely that the very concept of reality is lost in dreams.

Any appearance of reflexive consciousness disrupts and terminates the ongoing dream. This is why Sartre also takes prolonged lucid dreams to be impossible. More recently, the claim that dreaming is phenomenologically like imagining and daydreaming rather than perceiving has been taken up by McGinn , a,b and Ichikawa Both also argue that imagery and percepts are sharply distinguished, claiming that imagining and perceiving are different kinds of mental states that cannot be meaningfully placed on a continuum.

Indeed, because dreaming is often thought to blur the distinction between imagining and perceiving, showing that dreaming is phenomenologically unlike perceiving and resembles waking imagination is an important goal for any attempt to argue that imagining and perceiving themselves are categorically distinct. McGinn proposes a number of criteria for distinguishing dreams and waking mental imagery or what he calls images on the one hand from percepts on the other hand.

He claims, for instance, that images can be willed while percepts cannot; that nothing new can be learned from images, but only from percepts; that the boundary and foreground-background structure of the visual field results from anatomical constraints, but that nothing comparable is the case for images; that percepts are more determinate than images and that the visual field is saturated and detailed, whereas images are gappy; that images but not percepts are attention-dependent ; that percepts are characterized by presence , whereas imaginary objects are posited as absent ; that the identity of imagined objects is not recognized or inferred, but given; that you can see and think of t wo different things at the same time , whereas the same is not true of images; and that percepts are only occluded by other percepts, but not by images.

Dreams fall on the side of imagery, according to McGinn, not because they are in every respect like waking imagery; yet, he thinks there are enough differences between dreaming and perceiving to reject the view that dreams are a hybrid between imagining and perceiving, concluding that dreams are essentially imaginative experiences. Why exactly, then, should dreams be described as imaginative experiences? Instead of discussing all of the supposed differences between dreams and percepts, I focus on those that are commonly taken to be the most relevant and the most controversial.

A particularly important issue for the imagination view of dreaming is whether dreams, like waking imaginings, are subject to the will Ichikawa Because dreams, however, do not seem to be under voluntary control, but rather happen to us, they present an important challenge for the imagination view. Here, imagination theorists claim that dreams, though typically not under voluntary control, are nonetheless subject to the will and the product of unconscious authorship McGinn ; Ichikawa On this view, rare instances of lucid control dreams show that dreams are generally amenable to direct and deliberate control in a way that percepts are not Ichikawa Dreams are also taken to be unlike percepts in that they lack saturation McGinn and the determinacy of waking perception James 47; Stone Perhaps relatedly, dream characters are often identified not by their behavior or looks, but by just knowing Kahn et al.

The question of whether we dream in color is also thought to be relevant to the issue of whether dreaming resembles imagining or perceiving. In his review of historical studies on color in dreams, Schwitzgebel found that while contemporary studies tend to support the view that we dream in color, studies from the —s tended to support the claim that we dream in black-and-white Schwitzgebel 5; cf.

Schwitzgebel He suggests different interpretations of this shift in opinions about colored dreaming. The rise first of black-and-white and then of color television may have led to a change from colored to black-and-white and back to colored dreaming. Alternatively, dreams may have been either black-and white or colored all along, with media exposure only changing the way people report their dreams. A final possibility is that dreams are neither black-and-white nor colored. Again, media exposure changed only reports of colored dreaming, but on this view, dreams themselves are indeterminate with respect to color, perhaps in the manner of fictions or daydreams.

Ichikawa argues that the imagination view of dreaming provides a better explanation of the available evidence on dream color than the percept view. If dreams, like visual imagery, are indeterminate with respect to color, this would explain why dream reports are influenced by fiction-based experiences and media exposure. An empirical prediction, according to Ichikawa, is that media exposure will change not only reports of dreaming, but also reports of waking daydreams.

A potential problem for this view, however, is that a number of follow-up studies Schwitzgebel ; Schwitzgebel et al. The available evidence suggests that a majority of participants report dreaming in color, and a small percentage describe grayscale or even mixed i. For this reason, it would seem that the evidence on color indeterminacy is too inconclusive to translate into an obvious explanatory advantage of the imagination view as compared to the percept view.

Another challenge for the imagination view is how to explain the emotional character of dreaming. Dreams are sometimes described as hyperemotional, in that a majority of dreams involve strong and often negative emotions Merritt et al. A particular challenge is how to deal with nightmares, which can be a cause of genuine suffering to those who experience them frequently Blagrove et al. Despite these objections, the imagination view also has a number of advantages. By assimilating dreams to a commonplace mental state, such as waking fantasy and daydreaming, rather than a rare occurrence, such as hallucinations, it provides a more unified account of mental life Stone It also has consequences for Cartesian dream skepticism.

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As suggested somewhat sarcastically by Locke,. Locke IV.

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Austin thought the phenomenological differences between dreaming and wakefulness to be so obvious that. A problem with this latter view is, of course, that many philosophers have embraced this alleged absurdity, suggesting that appeals to intuitive obviousness are not particularly reliable where the phenomenology of dreaming is concerned. It is also important to note that the imagination view of dreaming is not committed to the claim that dreaming literally feels like imagining or that imagining is categorically distinct from perceiving.

This need not, however, be taken as a phenomenological claim. In particular, he uses the concepts of imagination and fancy to describe perception as well, noting that sensations seem to be caused by external objects, not by pressure on and movement of the sensory organs.

Yet, it is not clear that he thereby takes dreaming to feel different from waking perception, or that he thinks there is a necessary distinction between conscious experiences in the phenomenological sense in dreams and wakefulness. By avoiding such claims, this weaker version of the imagination view also avoids many of the challenges to stronger versions discussed above. In the scientific literature, the imagination view of dreaming is complemented by cognitive theories of dreaming. According to Foulkes , dreaming is a form of thinking with its own grammar and syntax.

Encyclopedia of Sleep and Dreams

Yet, he allows that. Foulkes 5. Solms , to emphasize the dependence of dreaming on visuospatial skills and on a specific network involving the limbic, paralimbic and association areas of the forebrain. It also integrates evidence that dreaming develops gradually and in tandem with visuospatial skills in children Foulkes a, ; but see Resnick et al.

Yet, they explicitly allow that dreams often have a vivid, hallucinatory quality and regard their claim about the imaginative character of dreaming as one about the flow of information processing in dreams, which they expect to be top-down, as in waking imagery, rather than bottom-up, as in perception. A number of researchers have also begun to consider dreaming in the context of theories of mind wandering Schooler et al.


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The philosophical implications of this comparison between dreaming and waking mind wandering are only just beginning to be explored Metzinger a,b. Aside from claiming that dreaming involves imagery rather than percepts, the second important strategy for defending the imagination view is to argue that dream-beliefs are not real beliefs, but propositional imaginings.

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Sosa 4 defends a version of the imagination view according to which dreams involve percepts, but believing and intending in a dream does not entail in actuality having any such beliefs or intentions. Ichikawa defends the stronger position that dreaming neither involves percepts nor beliefs. Denying that dream-beliefs have the status of real-beliefs only makes sense before the background of a specific theoretical account of what beliefs are and how they are distinguished from other mental states, such as delusions or propositional imaginings see Schwitzgebel for an introduction.

For instance, Ichikawa argues that dream beliefs do not have the same functional role as real beliefs because they lack connection with perceptual experience and fail to motivate actions. For this reason, he thinks that interpretationist or dispositionalist accounts of belief speak against the view that dreams involve real beliefs.

If we observe a person lying asleep in bed, there are no grounds upon which we could ascribe to them a particular belief, allegedly held within a dream. A more sweeping denial of dream belief involves the claim that dream-beliefs contradict commonsense assumptions about what it means to have a belief. For instance, dream beliefs are often inconsistent with longstanding waking beliefs, and occasionally, treating them as real beliefs would require the ascription of two contradictory beliefs to the sleeping subject. I cannot, it seems, both believe that I am being chased by a lion and that I am lying peacefully in bed at the same time Sosa 5.

Moreover, dream-beliefs are apparently acquired and discarded without any process of belief revision Ichikawa — Similar arguments have been used to deny that dream-thoughts, judgments, affirmations, assertions, or wonderings are real instances of their kind cf. Malcolm ; Sosa This analysis of dream-beliefs has consequences for skepticism. If dream beliefs are propositional imaginings, then we cannot falsely believe, while dreaming, that we are now awake, but can only imagine that we are.

Indeed, on this version of the imagination view, we cannot believe anything at all while dreaming—and so we also cannot have any false beliefs, including the false belief that we are now awake Sosa If successful, this inability to have beliefs while dreaming, or so the argument goes, would protect us from dream deception. As Lewis points out, a person might.


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Lewis And for the same reason one could, of course, entertain the erroneous thought that one is now awake. The question then becomes whether beliefs are strictly necessary for dream deception or whether other mental states such entertaining, thinking etc. For instance, as Reed argues, dreams can still count as deceptive even if they do not involve strongly appraisive beliefs, but only minimally appraisive instances of taking for granted.

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