|LoFi version for PDAs||Help Search Members Calendar|
|Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )||Resend Validation Email|
Posted: Jul 16 2006, 07:41 PM
Group: Power Member
Joined: 4-December 05
Positive Feedback: 60.32%
Feedback Score: -43
You can’t beat somethin with nothin!
You cannot understand something with nothing different with which to compare and contrast. I have discovered an evolving first paradigm for cognitive science that has provided me with this necessary something about which to compare tradition.
Based on what I have read in the last several years I am convinced that we have inherited “significantly false philosophical views of what a person is”.
Traditional Western views hold that:
*Our ability to reason is essentially isolated from our body.
*Objects in the world have distinct categories independent of our perception.
*Human reason is essentially unaffected by our biology.
*There is a Universal Reason that characterizes the objects in the world and the human essence is the ability to connect with this Universal Reason, this Universal Reason separates us from the other animals.
*Another error is that will, the ability to use reason to interact with the world, is radically free. Radically free will can over ride our biology.
*Traditional Western philosophers have embraced a human dualism consisting of a material and a spiritual component each distinct and different in kind. On one hand we have a material body but on the other hand a spirit mind. The spirit mind functions independent of the material body. Tradition says that *** and Jane are bipartite creatures unlike all the other creatures in the world.
*Thought, especially theoretical thought, is characteristic of spirit with the associated matters of morality and other creative activities of mind.
*Human consciousness is free of biology and is self-determining.
*The human mind as spirit transcends the material world.
Little wonder why Darwin’s theory is so difficult for so many Americans to comprehend and accept.
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.
I think that cognitive science has developed a possible paradigm that will significantly change our Western views over time. Do you agree?
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.