Synthese 199 (3-4):6495-6522 (2021)

Authors
Melanie G. Rosen
Trent University
Abstract
The experience of skilled action occurs in dreams if we take dream reports at face value. However, what these reports indicate requires nuanced analysis. It is uncertain what it means to perform any action in a dream whatsoever. If skilled actions do occur in dreams, this has important implications for both theory of action and theory of dreaming. Here, it is argued that since some dreams generate a convincing, hallucinated world where we have virtual bodies that interact with virtual objects, there is a sense in which we can perform virtual actions. Further, we can also perform skilfully, although not all apparent skilful performance is as it seems. Since the dream world is generated by the dreamer’s own mind, it can be difficult to determine whether the dream world simply allows goals to be achieved without the abilities that would be required in a similar waking scenario. Because of this, individual dream reports alone are insufficient to determine what skills are demonstrated in a particular dream. However, taken with evidence from REM sleep behaviour disorder, incompetent dreams, lucid dreams and motor-skill practise, it is likely that skilled virtual dream performance at times involves both opportunity for virtual behaviour and the display of competence. Evidence from cognitive science suggests that dreamers can also lose competence through forgetting and other cognitive incapacities but, more surprisingly, it is possible to gain abilities in a robust sense, consistent with the idea that some dreams, at least, are virtual realities rather than imagination.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s11229-021-03079-7
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,079
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Aspects of the Theory of Syntax.Noam Chomsky - 1965 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
What 'Must' and 'Can' Must and Can Mean.Angelika Kratzer - 1977 - Linguistics and Philosophy 1 (3):337--355.
The Unreliability of Naive Introspection.Eric Schwitzgebel - 2006 - Philosophical Review 117 (2):245-273.

View all 66 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Dream Content: Individual and Generic Aspects☆.Allan Hobson & David Kahn - 2007 - Consciousness and Cognition 16 (4):850-858.
Dreams.Thomas Metzinger & Jennifer Michelle Windt - 2007 - In D. Barrett & P. McNamara (eds.), The New Science of Dreaming. Praeger Publishers.
Self‐Representation and Perspectives in Dreams.Melanie Rosen & John Sutton - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (11):1041-1053.
Consciousness, Dreams and Virtual Realities.Antti Revonsuo - 1995 - Philosophical Psychology 8 (1):35-58.
Forgetting Dreams.D. M. Johnson - 1979 - Philosophy 54 (209):407 - 414.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2021-02-26

Total views
13 ( #768,909 of 2,506,036 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #209,628 of 2,506,036 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes