distinct mental action

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Reply Mon 27 Apr, 2009 09:23 pm
I am wondering how many distinctly different kinds of mental action are possible to man. Looking and thinking are different it seems to me. One can be done with open eyes, the other not. Of all the words that we have, such as: wondering, imagining, reasoning, observing, and concentrating, how many are strictly necessary? Why should we prefer to use the word examine over observe? The words conjure up different images by association. Is that all? Dreaming is clearly different from either. I can be alert or sleepy, but I can also be drowsy, half-awake, wide-awake, or just merely confused as I am now. There is inductive and deductive reasoning, lateral and linear thinking. In the other direction, there is stream of consciousness, brainstorming, planning, and I don't know. So how many basically different kinds of mental action are there? None? 2? 4?
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Tue 28 Apr, 2009 11:34 am
@Ultracrepidarian,
Ultra:
A distinct action of any sort is reliant upon the system that classifies them. There are as many distinct actions as a system classifies. It is like Pluto was a planet then it wasn't. Pluto didn't change the classification system did.
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 28 Apr, 2009 06:30 pm
@Ultracrepidarian,
There are no mental actions...The brain chemicals are delivered by the blood supply or excreted by the cells so they are cellular actions and not mental... Thought is thought, and action is action is action...
 
Ultracrepidarian
 
Reply Tue 28 Apr, 2009 10:25 pm
@Fido,
What are the classes of mental action? How should we systematize our understanding of mental processes? If we decide there are certainly eight, but nine if you count dreaming, then we can argue about dreaming. But until we figure out the black and the white, there can be no gray.

Pluto is no longer considered a planet, but rather a dwarf planet. But there is still some dispute, is that right?

---------- Post added at 12:26 AM ---------- Previous post was Yesterday at 11:25 PM ----------

Fido, are you saying that action is necessarily non-mental? Would the term process do instead? I'm okay with changing the wording if it helps the presentation of the question.
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Wed 29 Apr, 2009 12:44 am
@Ultracrepidarian,
Ultra:

Quote:
What are the classes of mental action? How should we systematize our understanding of mental processes? If we decide there are certainly eight, but nine if you count dreaming, then we can argue about dreaming. But until we figure out the black and the white, there can be no gray.

Pluto is no longer considered a planet, but rather a dwarf planet. But there is still some dispute, is that right?


Pluto is still a planet in many people's minds. The dispute is not about Pluto, the dispute is about the category into which Pluto would fall. Pluto's size has nothing to do with it, it is the size of the categorical parameters that matter. Just like in the question how many mental states are there, the system is an arbitrary categorization schema most likey codified and cannonized by an "authoritative body of experts". Much like the demotion of pluto the actual states/actions of mind remain static, it is the parameters, prototypical center, and domain overlap that change according to the body delimiting the categories.

Human natural categorization establishes a prototype or central domain with a fuzzy set of characteristics and has a series of heirarchical somewhat holarchical ladder rungs with lateral overlapping with other similar but prototypically different categories. As far as natural domain/category placement there really is no black and white, it is all grey. It is the black and white that are artificially and arbitrarily manufactured to fit the needs and beliefs of category maker.
 
Ultracrepidarian
 
Reply Wed 29 Apr, 2009 01:59 am
@GoshisDead,
Take this type on your screen. Do you see any black and white? I will admit that there is some gray here around the edges, if you are willing to admit the objective existence of the black and white.

It's the difference between day and night.

As for Pluto, I could call it a planet or a dwarf planet. If I can recognize the natural domain/category placement of sun and asteroid, I'm doing okay. Is the question of how many different colors there are on a traffic light an arbitrary categorization schema canonized and codified by so-called "experts", and if so why aren't there more accidents?

Some central domain prototypes are not as plain as the hand in your face, and our thinking can be confused when it comes to gray areas. I know because I have my own first hand experience with confusion. But, but, where am I going with this?

Btw, holon, neat word.

---------- Post added at 03:06 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:59 AM ----------

Oh, jeez, someone is going to say that the background is actually a shade of blue or something. And other people will find that a convincing point. So, what I want you do is open up notepad or microsoft word. Copy and paste. And then address the point. I'm so embarrassed.

---------- Post added at 03:12 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:59 AM ----------

No, no, leave it the way it is. Recognize that the contrast between the colors allows you to read the words.
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Wed 29 Apr, 2009 02:32 am
@Ultracrepidarian,
Exactly my point, everything you pointed out was an arbitrary (and by arbitrary I don't mean you pulled things out of your crack and slapped it up as the system, by arbitrary I mean the actual symbolism used is irrelevent to the function of the system. We could have used whatever colors for stop lights we felt like or have another system entirely. The system itself is arbitrary and decided by "so called experts" or "so called authority structures" the black and white of paper and ink is an inept analogy as its not a system of codification, the actual words typed is another story altogether.

Your previous posts, infact the very question in the original post bolsters this explanation. If you were not in question of the category system you wouldn't be asking how many mental actions there are. If you weren't arbitrarily adding subcategories to the system you wouldn't be debating about whether or not a dream is a mental action etc...
 
Fido
 
Reply Wed 29 Apr, 2009 06:06 am
@Ultracrepidarian,
Ultracrepidarian wrote:
What are the classes of mental action? How should we systematize our understanding of mental processes? If we decide there are certainly eight, but nine if you count dreaming, then we can argue about dreaming. But until we figure out the black and the white, there can be no gray.

Pluto is no longer considered a planet, but rather a dwarf planet. But there is still some dispute, is that right?

---------- Post added at 12:26 AM ---------- Previous post was Yesterday at 11:25 PM ----------

Fido, are you saying that action is necessarily non-mental? Would the term process do instead? I'm okay with changing the wording if it helps the presentation of the question.

Sure; it helps, and yet if you follow the brain up from lower organisms you might find we have all the original and others grown on top of others...So if you say that brain roughly equals mind, then askk: what mind... Just as we can see the pros and cons of any choice, we also have many levels to our personalities, and that is what makes us what we are, and makes us complex and real..
 
Ultracrepidarian
 
Reply Wed 29 Apr, 2009 09:13 pm
@Fido,
The traffic light colors being arbitrarily chosen, I disagree, but I'll let that go.

I don't know what you mean. What I was trying to do was to seize on this.
Quote:
As far as natural domain/category placement there really is no black and white, it is all grey. It is the black and white that are artificially and arbitrarily manufactured to fit the needs and beliefs of category maker.

Why aren't black and white themselves categories?

or stars, asteroids, long, short, alive, dead, square, circle, animal, mineral etc. Why aren't all of these categories which only fit our needs, but are arbitrary and do not conform to any objective reality?
 
Fido
 
Reply Wed 29 Apr, 2009 09:29 pm
@Ultracrepidarian,
Catagoriies always conform to reality even if they are not reality... They still have to represent reality faithfully or we will die... Truth is life... Who cares if truth is also a form of fiction...It still has to be close to the mark, and close to objective even if it is subjective....
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Thu 30 Apr, 2009 12:47 am
@Ultracrepidarian,
Ultracrepidarian wrote:

Why aren't black and white themselves categories?

or stars, asteroids, long, short, alive, dead, square, circle, animal, mineral etc. Why aren't all of these categories which only fit our needs, but are arbitrary and do not conform to any objective reality?


Black and white are categories with various subcategories amd supercatergoies embedded in them, so are stars, asteroids, long, short, etc... Think of it this way, what people try to do with artificial categorization is make a binary system (black)/not black, in other words try and define it in a dictionary-like manner, BLACK adj. the presence of all color.... this is not a category, it is a defenition. The mind as far as the cognitive scientists can tell registers not a defenition but a sense of blackness with varying degrees of faithfulness to the blackness prototype that fall under other superheadings such as light and dark and sub headings pitch black or gun metal black, both types of black one meaning true black the other being a metalic gloss black. These overlap with other prototypes and their super and sub categories such as night, black (the race) etc... What is a star or asteroid?, at what point does short become long? are we not paritally dead (dying) at the same time we are living? where does the term "he's dead to me" come from. is a square the angle, the shape, the tool, or the dufus? IS a circle perfectly round or do the ends just have to touch? they all conform to objective reality as language and categorization is simply our way of relating to reality, they just don't conform in a binary manner. The binary function is superimposed for ideological convenience.

When i said it starts out grey, that was a metaphor for, it does not start as a defenition/binary concept, it starts out as a fuzzy prototype. The when i said the black and white are arbitraily superimposed, it was metaphor for we then define things to suit our needs, although when we speak and think that is not how we speak or think. The simple fact that we use metaphor, we transpose meaning and all the womnderful things we do with language show that categories cannot be strictly defined and confined, without retarding our ability to innovate and evolve.
 
Ultracrepidarian
 
Reply Thu 30 Apr, 2009 04:33 am
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead wrote:
Black and white are categories with various subcategories amd supercatergoies embedded in them, so are stars, asteroids, long, short, etc...


Yes, we've covered that. Are they arbitrarily manufactured to satisfy our "needs"? What are our needs, anyway? Do they conform to any objective reality?

GoshisDead wrote:
Think of it this way, what people try to do with artificial categorization is make a binary system (black)/not black, in other words try and define it in a dictionary-like manner, BLACK adj. the presence of all color.... this is not a category, it is a defenition. The mind as far as the cognitive scientists can tell registers not a defenition but a sense of blackness with varying degrees of faithfulness to the blackness prototype that fall under other superheadings such as light and dark and sub headings pitch black or gun metal black, both types of black one meaning true black the other being a metalic gloss black. These overlap with other prototypes and their super and sub categories such as night, black (the race) etc...


The first sentence is unclear. Do you mean to say that black is not real, but shades of black are? Night is usually black, but I wouldn't say that this makes it "overlapping" any sooner than I would say that cats or holes are "overlapping". As for "the black race", the same objection applies I think unless you refer to an individual as "a black" and mean not color but race. This is probably what you meant since "overlapping" makes sense here, because one word has two different meanings.

GoshisDead wrote:
What is a star or asteroid?, at what point does short become long? are we not paritally dead (dying) at the same time we are living? where does the term "he's dead to me" come from. is a square the angle, the shape, the tool, or the dufus? IS a circle perfectly round or do the ends just have to touch? they all conform to objective reality as language and categorization is simply our way of relating to reality, they just don't conform in a binary manner. The binary function is superimposed for ideological convenience
.

Stars and asteroids are objects. Short becomes long when you change it. Try scissors. Dying and being dead aren't the same thing. I don't know where that expression comes from. You could google it. I meant the geometric shape. Circles don't have ends, they have a circumference. I wish I knew what you meant. I get that you're saying language is confusing. I get it. I relate, because it confuses me all the time.

GoshisDead wrote:
When i said it starts out grey, that was a metaphor for, it does not start as a defenition/binary concept, it starts out as a fuzzy prototype. The when i said the black and white are arbitraily superimposed, it was metaphor for we then define things to suit our needs, although when we speak and think that is not how we speak or think. The simple fact that we use metaphor, we transpose meaning and all the womnderful things we do with language show that categories cannot be strictly defined and confined, without retarding our ability to innovate and evolve.


I'm tired of disagreeing. Yeah, I agree. We shouldn't try to label things and pin things down or stuff them in our mental cubbyholes if they don't really fit.
But, but shouldn't we at least have a look under the hood? See if we can spot the various doohickeys and what not?
Thinking is different from dreaming, right? and feeling, oouu, how about feeling? That's weird, isn't it?
 
 

 
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