Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Authors: Revonsuo, Antti
Tuominen, Jarno
Valli, Katja
Title: The simulation theories of dreaming : how to make theoretical progress in dream science ; a reply to Martin Dresler
Online publication date: 30-Nov-2016
Language: english
Abstract: Among the most pressing challenges for dream science is the difficulty of establishing theoretical unification between the various theories, ideas, and findings that have been presented in the literature to answer the question of how it is possible to construct a solid scientific theory with predictive and explanatory power in dream science. We suggest that the concept of “world-simulation” serves as the core concept for a theoretically unified paradigm to describe and explain dreaming. From this general concept, more specific theories of the function of dreaming can be derived, such as the Threat Simulation Theory (TST) and the Social Simulation Theory (SST), as we argued in our target article. We agree with Dresler that these two functions may not be the only functions of dreaming, but we still have grounds to believe that they are the strongest contenders. In our reply we first clarify why the functions of sleep should be considered separately from the functions of dreaming. Second, we outline what a good scientific theory of dreaming should be like and what it should be capable of. Furthermore, we evaluate the current state of simulation theories within this context. To conclude, we propose that instead of a general multifunctional theory of sleep and dreaming, where no hypothesis is excluded, the future progress of dream science will benefit more from opposing, competing and mutually exclusive theories about the specific functions of dreaming. This, however, demands that the opposing theories and their predictions must be risky, clearly formulated, and empirically testable.
DDC: 100 Philosophie
100 Philosophy
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 05 Philosophie und Philologie
Place: Mainz
URN: urn:nbn:de:hebis:77-publ-553318
Version: Published version
Publication type: Buchbeitrag
License: in Copyright
Information on rights of use:
Citation: Open MIND
Metzinger, Thomas
Pages or article number: Kap. 32(R)
Publisher: MIND Group
Publisher place: Frankfurt am Main
Issue date: 2015
Publisher URL:
Publisher DOI: 10.15502/9783958570894
Appears in collections:JGU-Publikationen

Files in This Item:
  File Description SizeFormat
55331.pdf333.7 kBAdobe PDFView/Open