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Paradigm of Brain

  1. Jul 7, 2004 #1

    The study of brain is now at the same point as was the study of biology before Darwin. There is no paradigm of mind.

    For anyone wishing to understand brain does this mean that we cannot go on? Does a lack of a paradigm halt all investigation by the laymen? Are we laywomen without recourse in our interest in mind? Must we fold our tent and go home until we are summoned forth with a paradigm in hand?

    Let us examine the positive side of this matter. AD (after Darwin) students of biology merely go to school where a teacher will tell them all about the Theory. We will walk away from class with the knowledge of the paradigm and all of its associated algorithms. Haven’t we, who come after the paradigm, missed all the fun? Haven’t we missed the experience of learning for ourselves just how a paradigm is developed?

    It seems to me that ‘brain’ is a perfect place for us to develop an understanding of how a paradigm is born. It is a perfect place because each of us has our own private laboratory. Laboratories free of charge, without the expense of technicians, wherein we can develop our own hypothesis and test empirically the validity of that hypothesis. We can apply the scientific method on our very own theory. We need not mention our hypothesis to others until we feel confident that it has some value. We need not display our foolishness until our ego forces us to pronounce to the world our discovery.

    With the existence of a paradigm the didactic teaching technique, which forms the foundation of our educational system, saves us all this effort.

    We do not have to understand how assumptions are made and tested. We do not have to waste time imagining theories that, when compared to reality, are proven incorrect. We do not have to waste months of intellectual effort questioning our own inner reality to ascertain the structure of mind.

    We do not have to read books written by authors working in fields of study that may help us in our lonely efforts. We do not have to suffer the solitude that is necessary for intellectual contemplation. We do not have to develop an understanding of how one goes about finding the logic of discovery. We do not have to read the experiences of other intellectual explorers looking for helpful hints. We do not have to read books about such discoveries as DNA, or Newton’s discoveries, or Feynman’s work on the inner world of the atom. We do not have to read the history of the development of Relativity.

    With the presence of a paradigm a teacher can easily package all the necessary paradigms and algorithms that our chosen profession demands of us. Most important we do not need to waste time studying Critical Thinking so that we will have at hand the levels and plumb-bobs which make up the logical standards of cogent thought.

    The paradigm and its associated algorithms allow us to continue our intellectual slumber.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 16, 2004 #2


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    What makes you think the brain is somehow distinct from the rest of biology? There's a vast field known as neuroscience, which is a sub-discipline of biology, that focuses quite extensively on the brain (as well as other aspects of the nervous system). Every year, approximately 35,000 neuroscientists from around the world come together for a conference - hardly a field without paradigms, experiments, or hypotheses.
  4. Jul 17, 2004 #3
    My knowledge of paradigms as developed from reading Thomas Kuhn's book "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" leads me to conclude that while neuroscience may have many and various paradigms they do not have a paradigm that encompasses the area of study that might be classified as cognition and mind. I sus pect that if you were to ask the individuals in the science of neuroscience they will concur. My search of this matter is certainly not exhaustive and if I am incorrect please identify the paradigm. I do not wish to denegrate any successes in the field of neuroscience.
  5. Jul 17, 2004 #4
    the problem with that thesis is, that the human brain often misinterprets data towards what it is used to... it will replace things that it think should be present and enforce perception on the individual...
    so the brain as such, on its own, cannot be trusted with the task of creating a globally valid paradigm... even though people like descartes would like to think so... no matter how much you think about a problem and come to a conclusion that you have no reason to doubt, it is not neccessarily the truth...
  6. Jul 17, 2004 #5
    Your information is outdated, and I wonder if your assertion is more a reflection of your personal beliefs or what.

    Over the last thirty years or so Radical Behavorists have become the first to bridge the cognitive and behavioral sciences in a meaningful manner by adopting a Pragmatic Functional Contextualist approach. In other words, there now exists a scientifically proven theory of the mind which directly correlates to hard quantifiable behavioral and physiological evidence.
  7. Jul 17, 2004 #6
    this is going to seriously hurt some religious people and hippies :wink: ... but i suspect they'll dismiss it anyway...
  8. Jul 17, 2004 #7
    I am a hippy, and a rather spiritual one at that.

    What this new discovery really challanges is mainstream western thought, but then, the mainstream is still stuck on two thousand year old Aristotelian logic while the rest of the world has moved on to more useful perspectives. :tongue2:
  9. Jul 17, 2004 #8
    hehehe... true dat...
    and in reality there should be no hinder to the notion that god could have used neurology to create mind and conciousness, but somehow, people tend to lean more to the dismissal... me, i think humans is an animal race, but i still don't see much conflict with religion there either... religious people tend to think so tho'... i suspect this has to do with the megalomania that possesses people in general... they never really get over their teen years "center of the universe" self image....
  10. Jul 17, 2004 #9
    to me, there's a big difference tween the brain and the mind. having lived through my hippie years, i submit that the mind is as unique as each individual and will never be subject to scientific quantification.

    olde drunk
  11. Jul 17, 2004 #10
    Like anything else in life, the mind is subjected to scientific quantification whether you believe it or not. However, I would point out that just because scientific theories and evidence exists on the subject, that does not mean even scientists believe it is the last word on the subject or even true. It simply means they have theories that provide useful answers on the subject.
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