Dreaming: A Conceptual Framework for Philosophy of Mind and Empirical Research

Dreaming: A Conceptual Framework for Philosophy of Mind and Empirical Research

by Jennifer M. Windt

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Overview

A comprehensive proposal for a conceptual framework for describing conscious experience in dreams, integrating philosophy of mind, sleep and dream research, and interdisciplinary consciousness studies.

Dreams, conceived as conscious experience or phenomenal states during sleep, offer an important contrast condition for theories of consciousness and the self. Yet, although there is a wealth of empirical research on sleep and dreaming, its potential contribution to consciousness research and philosophy of mind is largely overlooked. This might be due, in part, to a lack of conceptual clarity and an underlying disagreement about the nature of the phenomenon of dreaming itself. In Dreaming , Jennifer Windt lays the groundwork for solving this problem. She develops a conceptual framework describing not only what it means to say that dreams are conscious experiences but also how to locate dreams relative to such concepts as perception, hallucination, and imagination, as well as thinking, knowledge, belief, deception, and self-consciousness.

Arguing that a conceptual framework must be not only conceptually sound but also phenomenologically plausible and carefully informed by neuroscientific research, Windt integrates her review of philosophical work on dreaming, both historical and contemporary, with a survey of the most important empirical findings. This allows her to work toward a systematic and comprehensive new theoretical understanding of dreaming informed by a critical reading of contemporary research findings. Windt's account demonstrates that a philosophical analysis of the concept of dreaming can provide an important enrichment and extension to the conceptual repertoire of discussions of consciousness and the self and raises new questions for future research.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262028677
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 06/05/2015
Series: The MIT Press
Pages: 824
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Jennifer M. Windt is a Lecturer at Monash University, Melbourne, and the author of Dreaming (MIT Press).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xiii

General Introduction: The Conceptualization Problem of Dreaming xv

Introducing the Conceptualization Problem of Dreaming xv

Methodology xix

Overview of the Chapters xxi

1 Dream Skepticism, Skepticism about Dreaming, and the Problem of Dream Experience 1

1.0 Introduction 1

1.1 The Background Assumptions behind Cartesian Dream Skepticism 2

1.2 Norman Malcolm's Denial of Dream Experience 10

1.3 In Defense of Dream Experience: Malcolm's Critics 21

1.4 Taking Stock: Toward an Alternative Account of the Problem of Dream Experience 38

1.5 Conclusions 40

2 A Short Introduction to Empirical Dream Research: History, Methodology, and Changing Theoretical Conceptions 43

2.0 Introduction 43

2.1 Changing Conceptions of Sleep and Dreaming 43

2.2 The Refinement of Methods and Proliferation of Rival Theories 57

2.3 Conclusions 70

3 The Methodological Background Assumptions of Scientific Dream Research 73

3.0 Introduction 73

3.1 Studying Dreaming in the Sleep Laboratory: Polysomnography and Timed Awakenings 74

3.2 Studying Sleep without Studying Dreaming: Neuroimaging during Sleep 83

3.3 Studying Dreaming without Studying Sleep: Exclusively Report-Based Dream Research 88

3.4 Studying Dreaming through Sleep Behavior I: Sleep Disorders 95

3.5 Studying Dreaming through Sleep Behavior II: Lucid Dreams 105

3.6 Studying Dreaming through Its Losses: Lesion Studies Dreaming 120

3.7 Studying Dreaming without Studying Dream Reports? From Brain Reading to Dream Reading 127

3.8 Conclusions 133

4 Antiskepticism about Dreaming and Dream Reporting: From Default Assumption to Theoretical Justification 139

4.0 Introduction 139

4.1 Inference to the Best Explanation as a Response to the Skeptic 140

4.2 Inference to the Best Explanation at Work: Toward an Antiskeptical Account 145

4.3 Lessons from the Debate on Dream Color: From Moderate Distrust to the Ideal Conditions of Dream Reporting 158

4.4 Transparency and Reportability Restricted: Antiskepticism, the Ideal Conditions of Dream Reporting, and the Conservative Approach 165

4.5 Antiskepticism about Dream Reporting and the Debate on First-Person Reports in Consciousness Research 180

4.6 Conclusions 195

5 Dreaming as Quasi-Perceptual Experience: The Traditional View 199

5.0 Introduction 199

5.1 The Philosophical Literature 201

5.2 The Empirical and Psychological Literature 229

5.3 Conclusions 247

6 Dreaming as Imaginative Experience: The Rival View 251

6.0 Introduction 251

6.1 The Philosophical Literature 254

6.2 The Empirical and Psychological Literature 274

6.3 Conclusions 290

7 Are Dreams Subjective Experiences (I)? Phenomenal Selfhood and Bodily Experiences in Dreams 295

7.0 Introduction 295

7.1 The Bodily Duplicate Hypothesis and the No-Body Hypothesis 297

7.2 A Review of Bodily Experiences in the Dream State 304

7.3 A Conceptual Framework for Describing Phenomenal Embodiment in the Dream State 318

7.4 Taking Stock: The Weak-Phenomenal-Embodiment Hypothesis 338

7.5 Conclusions 347

8 Are Dreams Disembodied Experiences? The Role of the Body and of the Brain in Shaping Bodily Experience in Dreams 349

8.0 Introduction 349

8.1 The Functional-Disembodiment Hypothesis 350

8.2 The Bodily Sources of Dreaming 355

8.3 The Neuronal Basis of Bodily Experience in Dreams 379

8.4 Taking Stock: The Weak-Functional-Embodiment Hypothesis and the Body-Brain-Body Problem 382

8.5 Conclusions 396

9 Are Dreams Subjective Experiences (II)? The Phenomenology of Thinking and the Problem of Dream Belief 399

9.0 Introduction 399

9.1 The Doxastic-Duplicate Hypothesis and the No-Belief Hypothesis 400

9.2 The Cogitative-Duplicate Hypothesis and the No-Cogitation Hypothesis 405

9.3 A Conceptual Framework for Describing the Cogitative and Doxastic Dream Self 412

9.4 The Neuronal Basis of the Cogitative Dream Self 438

9.5 Taking Stock (I): The Weak-Cogitation Hypothesis 442

9.6 Taking Stock (II): The Problem of Dream Belief Revisited 449

9.7 Conclusions 455

10 Are Dreams Deceptive Experiences? Deception, Delusion, and Insight 459

10.0 Introduction 459

10.1 The Deception Hypothesis and the No-Deception Hypothesis 460

10.2 The Delusion Hypothesis and the Insight Hypothesis 462

10.3 A Conceptual Framework for Describing Different Scenarios of Actual Dream Deception 468

10.4 Taking Stock (I): Reassessing the Skeptical Threat 502

10.5 Taking Stock (II): Dreams, Delusions, and Insight 508

10.6 Conclusions 513

11 From Oneiragogia to Full-Fledged Dreaming: The Immersive-Spatiotemporal-Hallucination Model of Dreaming 515

11.0 Introduction 515

11.1 From the Phenomenal Core of Dreaming to the Immersive-Spatiotemporal-Hallucination Model 516

11.2 Oneiragogia: Sleep-Wake Transitions and the Gradual Relocation of the Self 530

11.3 Objections to the Immersive-Spatiotemporal-Hallucination Model of Dreaming 550

11.4 Conclusions 564

12 Relocating Dreams on the Conceptual Map: Consequences and Perspectives for Future Research 567

12.0 Introduction 567

12.1 Dreams, Amodal Agent Models, and Illusory Self-Location 570

12.2 Immersive Virtual Reality, Substitutional Reference Frames, and Vection: The Mirror Image of Dreaming? 581

12.3 Wandering Minds, Predictive Brains, and Relocated Selves 591

12.4 Reflections on the Functions of Dreaming 604

12.5 Conclusions 617

Notes 619

References 675

Index 765

What People are Saying About This

Evan Thompson

This magnificent book is the best philosophical study of dreaming, bar none. It's also an outstanding work of cognitive science, with huge importance for sleep and dream research, as well as the neuroscience of consciousness. Offering superb synthesis and original theory, this book sets a new standard for the science and philosophy of dreaming in the twenty-first century.

Daniel C. Dennett

This is the most comprehensive book on dreaming that I have ever encountered. Windt makes a substantial contribution to the science and philosophy of dreams; her taxonomy of hypotheses is well argued and sufficiently articulated to permit other thinkers either to adopt them or propose revisions to them, knowing what they are accepting or rejecting. That map of the terrain is in itself a valuable gift to the field. Dreaming is well written, superbly researched, imaginative, and very astutely reasoned. It has my highest recommendation.

Antti Revonsuo

Jennifer Windt's Dreaming is without doubt the most comprehensive—and the most sensible—philosophical treatise on the dreaming mind ever written. Dreaming lays the foundation for a unified future science of dreaming, consciousness, and self.

From the Publisher

This is the most comprehensive book on dreaming that I have ever encountered. Windt makes a substantial contribution to the science and philosophy of dreams; her taxonomy of hypotheses is well argued and sufficiently articulated to permit other thinkers either to adopt them or propose revisions to them, knowing what they are accepting or rejecting. That map of the terrain is in itself a valuable gift to the field. Dreaming is well written, superbly researched, imaginative, and very astutely reasoned. It has my highest recommendation.

Daniel C. Dennett , author of Sweet Dreams: Philosophical Obstacles to a Science of Consciousness

Wake up, William James. Dream consciousness is calling and wants to talk to you.

J. Allan Hobson, MD , Professor of Psychiatry, Emeritus, Harvard Medical School; Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

This magnificent book is the best philosophical study of dreaming, bar none. It's also an outstanding work of cognitive science, with huge importance for sleep and dream research, as well as the neuroscience of consciousness. Offering superb synthesis and original theory, this book sets a new standard for the science and philosophy of dreaming in the twenty-first century.

Evan Thompson , Professor of Philosophy, University of British Columbia; author of Waking, Dreaming, Being and Mind in Life

Jennifer Windt's Dreaming is without doubt the most comprehensive—and the most sensible—philosophical treatise on the dreaming mind ever written. Dreaming lays the foundation for a unified future science of dreaming, consciousness, and self.

Antti Revonsuo , Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Skövde, Sweden; Professor of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland; author of Inner Presence: Consciousness as a Biological Phenomenon and Consciousness: The Science of Subjectivity

Endorsement

Jennifer Windt's Dreaming is without doubt the most comprehensive—and the most sensible—philosophical treatise on the dreaming mind ever written. Dreaming lays the foundation for a unified future science of dreaming, consciousness, and self.

Antti Revonsuo, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Skövde, Sweden; Professor of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland; author of Inner Presence: Consciousness as a Biological Phenomenon and Consciousness: The Science of Subjectivity

J. Allan Hobson

Wake up, William James. Dream consciousness is calling and wants to talk to you.

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