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Discussing the science of the mind

  1. Jun 30, 2004 #1

    I am always looking for an interesting topic to study. Some time ago I decided that the brain--how it functions, what we do when we think, what is the difference between the activity of the intellect and the activity of emotions, etc.--would be a great subject to attempt to understand.

    I discovered there is no science of the brain yet. There is no paradigm, like Darwin’s, directing an understanding of the brain (mind?). In fact, I don’t think there is general agreement as to a name for any prospective science. What is it, science of mind or science of the brain? What is mind?

    There are several disciplines attempting to develop such a science. Neurology, psychology and linguistics are a few of such disciplines hoping to establish a foundation for the study of “mind”. I have spent some time studying linguistics, as propounded by Chomsky, and think that this discipline offers some significant possibilities.

    I decided that I am pretty well left to my own devices. I have to decide for my self, through reflection, what this situation is.

    One conclusion I have come to is that if the “intellect” is given no task by the “will” the intellect just wonders around, constantly busy, just picking at random some activity. Often I suspect the activity “it” chooses is to worry. Our faculties of the brain play the same worry tape over and over in the head.

    My point is that if the will does not assign a task to the intellect then the massive potential of the intellect is wasted. We waste our intellect because we have not prepared our mental functions to choose worth while tasks for the intellect.

    We waste our most precious gift, the gift of intellect, on nonsense. We have been given, at birth, the greatest “machine” in the world—with an ability that is “ faster than a speeding bullet, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound etc. etc.”—a “machine” of vast potential that wonders about unused because we lack the necessary consciousness to recognize its unparalleled dimensions and how to put that potential to work on useful tasks.

    I am convinced that if the intellect is given tasks “it” will solve those assignments when we are about our mundane tasks of the day. While I am digging up a tree stump my intellect is developing this essay. All I have to do is go to the computer and start typing. All of this you see herein is what my intellect has created while I was sleeping and going about my daily routines. What a terrible waste, this intellect left to wonder undirected.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 1, 2004 #2
    one man's joy is another's hell they say, and i say that as long as my intellect is stuck to the perspective and judgement of a human being, my *ego*, both nonsense and sense are nonsense from the POV of the whole environment.
  4. Jul 1, 2004 #3
    What, you havent heard of the Scientology?
    :rofl: :rofl:

    One does not need to be a biologist, linguistical analysist, priest, or apostle to know that we all have to quite distinct aspects of ourselves.

    Thinking/Percieving and Feeling/Experiancing. There is thier seperate fuctions, yes, but there is also their joined function (or natural synergy, if you will)

    Sometimes science has a hard time utilising this princaple because mind cannot understand feelings, and tosses the role they play out the window...

    will is a product, true will, of both of them,not just mind...(by mind too I mean conscious mind, where as subconsious mind is more of the same nature as feelings or feeling i ntelligent)
  5. Jul 2, 2004 #4
    Regarding the mind, I found a great deal of activity but no authority. When I attack an area in which I know nothing I try to find an authority that will allow me to quickly get into the subject. I found no authority in matters of mind.

    I decided that everyone must at least verify through introspection anything said in this area. If I read a comment about mind that I find not to agree with the way my mind works I cannot accept it. I decided that the best thing for me to do is to attempt to construct a model, develop categories no matter how far off they might eventually be, continue through introspection and modify categories as I become familiar with the subject. After this then I will try to compare what others have to say with my model.

    I would like to see adults, people who have their jobs and know their paradigms of their profession and have time to develope an intellectual life develope an intellectual life--like a new hobby. I would like people to reject the standard anti-intellectual attitude of our culture and recognize that they should develope and maintain a vigorous intellectual life throughout life. Especially as they grow older.
  6. Jul 2, 2004 #5

    I used this method many times during my working career. As a management consultant, I was exposed to many different situations. Each time I started a new project, I would develop a broad profile outlining those things I expected to find in my initial analysis once on site. By going in with a pre-conceived idea, even if wrong, it proved to be much more productive, because it's easier to modify ones thoughts than to start from scratch with no previous knowledge, even if that knowledge is manifested in your own mind.

    As to your final statements pertaining to adults, I think you are making a mistake when you refer to such a large segment of the population in such a general way. I would not criticize anyone until I walked a mile in his shoes.

    Just my thoughts.......stay active.
  7. Jul 3, 2004 #6

    I love to walk but your requirement that I walk in all those shoes before I make a judgement that includes most people is a tuff assignment. I am relatively certain that at least 94 % of all English speaking adults are morons. By the way, did you know that 72 % of all statistics are made up on the spot?
  8. Jul 3, 2004 #7
    Your information is a bit outdated. Within the last thirty years Radical Behaviorists have become the first branch of the sciences to successfully bridge the cognitive and behavioral sciences using a pragmatic contextualist approach.

    To answer your question, "mind" is a simply another word, another concept. Words and concepts only have demonstrable meaning according to their function in a given context. Hence, if we are to discuss the concept of mind in any meaningful way, it can only be done using specific contexts.

    For more information, look up the Relational Frame Theory website.
  9. Jul 3, 2004 #8

    Thanks for the info. I did a quick look see at RFT and thus my understanding is very limited. Just off hand I would question that RFT would have a theory that would meet the standards of paradigm as espoused in Thomas Kuhn "The Structure of Scientific Revolution", which is kind of the definitive book on the matter as I understand it.
  10. Jul 3, 2004 #9
    statistics question?

    You really didn't take that comment literally, did you?

    On the intelligence question, which qroup do you classify yourself? You left yourself open for that one! Seriously, I think a more acturate description would be to state that you are probably more intelligent that 94% of the population. So, I can only assume you are speaking figuratively and not literally.
  11. Jul 4, 2004 #10


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    I've never found a reason to deny Theodore Sturgeon's dictum: "90% of science fiction is crap, but then 90% of everything is crap."
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