Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What do you think?

  1. May 18, 2007 #1
    What do you think?

    Mammals evolved on this planet about 200 million years ago. One type of mammal, the hominid, began using audible signals to convey meaning about 4 million years ago. Language, as we comprehend that word, began much less than 4 million years ago.

    What is thought? The dictionary gives us various definitions of thought; I would guess that it is accurate to say that the actions of neural networks that control our sensorimotor actions can be regarded as thought. In other words, such things as memory, control of movements, and processing of sense inputs are all a process of thinking. Thinking produces thoughts. Thinking goes on all the time even while we sleep.

    I guess that we will agree that all mammals had to have the ability to think. This leads to the conclusion that thinking was been happening on this planet at least 200 million years before human language existed on this planet.

    Those individuals who accept the science of evolution must then conclude that humans may think in linguistic forms some small percentage of the time but that most thought is not in linguistic form.

    “It is the rule of thumb among cognitive scientists that unconscious thought is 95 percent of all thought—and that may be a serious underestimates.”

    What does all this mean to you? It means that most of the things that you think are true about thinking are pure non-sense. This also applies to many of the things we all believe that are based upon the philosophical attitudes that fills our life are like wise pure non-sense.

    Quotes from “Philosophy in the Flesh”—Lakoff and Johnson
  2. jcsd
  3. May 18, 2007 #2
    Until we better understand what thought is and what is the difference between conscious thought and unconscious thought, the figure of 95% is not even an educated guess.
  4. May 18, 2007 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I'm not following - what that I think is true is nonsense?
  5. May 18, 2007 #4
    yeah i don't understand either.
  6. May 27, 2007 #5
    99% of everything is pure crap, what else is new?
  7. May 28, 2007 #6
    We have in our Western philosophy a traditional theory of faculty psychology wherein our reasoning is a faculty completely separate from the body. “Reason is seen as independent of perception and bodily movement.” It is this capacity of autonomous reason that makes us different in kind from all other animals. I suspect that many fundamental aspects of philosophy and psychology are focused upon declaring, whenever possible, the separateness of our species from all other animals.

    This tradition of an autonomous reason began long before evolutionary theory and has held strongly since then without consideration, it seems to me, of the theories of Darwin and of biological science. Cognitive science has in the last three decades developed considerable empirical evidence supporting Darwin and not supporting the traditional theories of philosophy and psychology regarding the autonomy of reason. Cognitive science has focused a great deal of empirical science toward discovering the nature of the embodied mind.

    The three major findings of cognitive science are:
    The mind is inherently embodied.
    Thought is mostly unconscious.
    Abstract concepts are largely metaphorical.

    “These findings of cognitive science are profoundly disquieting [for traditional thinking] in two respects. First, they tell us that human reason is a form of animal reason, a reason inextricably tied to our bodies and the peculiarities of our brains. Second, these results tell us that our bodies, brains, and interactions with our environment provide the mostly unconscious basis for our everyday metaphysics, that is, our sense of what is real.”

    All living creatures categorize. All creatures, as a minimum, separate eat from no eat and friend from foe. As neural creatures tadpole and wo/man categorize. There are trillions of synaptic connections taking place in the least sophisticated of creatures and this multiple synapses must be organized in some way to facilitate passage through a small number of interconnections and thus categorization takes place. Great numbers of different synapses take place in an experience and these are subsumed in some fashion to provide the category eat or foe perhaps.

    Our categories are what we consider to be real in the world: tree, rock, animal…Our concepts are what we use to structure our reasoning about these categories. Concepts are neural structures that are the fundamental means by which we reason about categories.

    Quotes from “Philosophy in the Flesh”.

    P.S If we take a big bite out of reality we will, I think, find that it is multilayered like the onion. There are many domains of knowledge available to us for penetrating those layers of reality. Cognitive science is one that I find to be very interesting.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook