Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Confabulation

Originally posted on January 8, 2018

That’s a word that talks about when one ties together images so that they seem to make sense—at least to the person doing the connection. It’s flagrant in cases of  alcoholic encephalopathy—Korsakoff’s Psychosis; or in some strokes of the right parietal cortex. It happens also when you’re dreaming—stuff that happens in your dreams seem plausible in the moment! They may or may not fulfill the qualities of logic. The mind has a near- infinite capacity for confabulation, which serve to justify one’s ,more deeply-held beliefs. These are plausible at some level, serving to confirm the beliefs.

The question, "What’s the truth?" is very pre-post-modernist, very early 20th century. There was a belief in there actually being "a" truth that could be elucidated by right-thinking people. But a century of propaganda analysis, of dissection of forms of illusion and logical fallacy, of comparative religion, etc., have demolished this rather plausible hypothesis. The reaction, "Of course there’s a truth," fits human preferences, motivations. "Untruth" seems to be the product of wickedness. That some people can be essentially good, righteous, and yet harbor misleading ideas is literally unthinkable to many people.

Indeed, it’s such a deeply-held conviction that I am loath to argue it. But so many people argue about what is truth nowadays that I’m more ready to re-present this view!

These biases help us to realize that even our enemies can "mean well,"  Even our supposed enemies don’t want to break contact in the interpersonal. It is not useful to think that they are "mean spirited." They just want people for people to get what they are saying. The error is that they really think that their concepts tie together. They seem to, and it’s bewildering to them that others don’t see this. But post-modern theories challenge this, and the concept of confabulation challenges it even more.


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