Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Taste in Music, Playing it in front of others, changing opinions, explained by simulation theory of mind

Sometimes when I like a cd I want to play it in front of someone else.


Sometimes when that person doesn't like the music, though, I find my taste for the music waning.

I think I am very strongly inclined to simulate the thoughts of people around me.

Simulation theory of mind has helped me get a grip on this in a lot of ways.

But I would say it is an interesting case when I am playing someone music I like, but then I see that they don't like it (facial expressions, words, etc.) and my mind imagine a mind that dislikes it and then I don't like it quite as much.

In Goldman's Simulating Minds he quotes Hume, I think, when he said that when the novelty of a story of poem has worn on us, we can show it to a friend. By having our friend experience the novelty of it for the first time we too can enter his mind and reexperience the piece as fresh, as original. We see the novelty of the work from our friends eyes, and get closer to the novelty we felt.

This is the other way around I suppose. We like a song, we want to play it for someone to reexperience the novelty of it, but then they don't like it. For me, and again I think I am simulatively/empathetically inclined, and when someone didn't like a song I could feel myself liking it less. Very interesting stuff.

I like using simulation theory of mind to facilitate my reflections on my own memories, or in my daily observations of people. It seems to explain a lot, actually.

I was thinking of how as a a kid I really like the cd by the band Cake, and how I played it for my dad and could see he didn't like it, then I felt myself liking it less. This has happened with my dad a couple times. We have different taste in music, so when I play him something I like that he doesn't, which happens often, then I feel my mind bending to be like his mind. I feel myself drifting towards simulation. I experience what it is like for him not to like the music I like. This happens less these days. But when I was younger I was less comfortable differing in opinions with my dad.

But yeah, simulation theory of mind is fascinating and I think can shed light on a lot of stuff.

My last post, 'Narrative as an Investigatory Tool," is much more interesting than this post. But I had this one in mind about a month ago and wanted to do it quick.

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