Student Report: Superdeep #14 “Knowing One’s Dreams” by Weifan (Michelle) Mo

(The content of this seminar is a part of Michelle Mo’s signature work, interests or further discussion please contact

Reported by Dongkun Lyu, class of 2025

Michelle attracted us by starting with a general discussion of the intended object(s) of our investigations into dreams and distinguished different disciplines and objects of dream research. The first object is a scientific mechanism underlying the phenomenon of dreaming. The second object is the happenings in the dreams (dream contents) which can be divided into two forms, content assisted by third-party empirical evidence and content which appear to the dreamers in a retrospective sense.

Michelle reinterpreted the second form of happenings in dreams and proposed her first claim:

“Dreams are not solely a product of dreaming, but a conflated product of both dreaming and relevant waking retrospection.”

She reviewed two theories related to dreams’ retrospection encompassing Bill Child (2009)’s Anti-realism and Kendall Walton (1990)’s supplementation. The former, as a reinterpretation of Wittgenstein’s theory, pointed out the significance of the dream impression after waking up in the dream content while the latter highlighted the imagined, fictionalized, and rationalized aspects of the dream.

She then delved into the explanation of two epistemic activities, a recollection of the experience in dreams, and an imaginary process prompted by it.

Then she created a scenario of dream content to enable audiences better understand the process of recollection and imaginary and how human beings’ rationality and impression work through this process.

Q&A session:

After listening to Michelle’s work, professor Mazor raised his confusion about the nuance between remote memory and dreams. Michelle led us to delve into this part since memories have subtle similarities with dreams and matters when clarifying.

She asserted that the happenings (or the content) of memory are objective. There could be another person to examine its truth value. However, dreams are always subjective with first-person authority.

Sue then used a metaphor to describe dreams as a tunnel where people could never come back. Joey and Ludwig then asserted a hypothesis that whether AI could generate dreams in the future or not.