Superdeep#17: “Lucid Dreams Elucidated” By Nathan Hauthaler, Weifan Mo and Siyu Wang

Reported by Dongkun Lyu

The seminar was divided into three parts. Sue first introduced the Ontology of the Lucid Dream, Michelle then discussed several different “Selves” in the dream, and finally Nathan proposed the research on knowledge in dreams and related action philosophy.

Ontology of the Lucid Dream (by Sue)

Sue introduced that the Lucid Dream is a dream that the agent consciously experienced during sleep and remembers afterward. Some essential attributes of a Lucid dream encompass that the agents are aware that they are dreaming and continue to do so with free volition.

The spectrum of several different dreams, the direction of the arrow represents the degree of consciousness, drawn by Siyu Sue Wang.

Sue then introduced another term, Dream sign, which refers to those impossible (anti-logical or anti-physical) phenomena in reality but possibly happening in dreams. The agent of the Lucid dream is able to be aware of this situation. Sue then ended her part by distinguishing “being aware” which is a physically and psychologically aroused, actively involved participant, and “witnessing” with more of the predominance of the observer.

“Self” in the dream (by Michelle)

Michelle started her part by resorting to articulating that difference between dream consciousness and waking consciousness hinges on the different identification of self in a world. Considering the “self” in the dream, Evan Thompson has raised a pair of selves in dreams: “the dreaming self” (the self-as-dreamer) and “the dream ego” (the self-within-the-dream). In this sense, the Lucid dream is the dream that the agent (as the dreaming self) is able to guide the dream ego by accessing waking memories.

Michelle also explained shifted perspectives in lucid dreams: self both as an observer witnessing the dream state and as a subject experiencing the dream body.

Nathan’s part

Nathan first asserted two considerations about change and intentional agency which are determination including the type of action and individual action, and practical knowledge (knowledge of intentional action). Then he connected determinacy and knowledge in the lucid dream by articulating that dreams are generally indeterminate and our capacity for determining the contours of dreams hinges on our knowledge of dreaming ourselves, and our agency in dreams (self-and practical knowledge part).

Continuing this discussion, Nathan then proposed the practical knowledge of lucidity. He first introduced determinative power as a capacity to generate parts of our dream world at will not just to interact with it) in lucid dreams and distinguished lucidity via determinative power. This lucidity could be due to two forms of practical knowledge including our knowledge of our lucid practical capacity and our practical knowledge constituted by our exercise of that capacity.

The audience present focused on asking Sue and Michelle some relevant defining questions based on their dream experiences. Ludwig proposed to Nathan the contradiction caused by the general capacity contained in the practical knowledge in the dream that does not exist in reality. The three speakers responded and gave answers.