Jump to content

Mind, Consciousness, and the Unconscious


DrmDoc
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello All,

 

While researching how our brain evolved to dream for a book I wrote a few years ago (Neuropsychology of the Dreaming Brain), I learned much more about the nature of mind, consciousness, and unconsciousness than I could find in any one specific text. It amazes me how much we speculate about our mental nature and construct without a cogent perspective of brain evolution. To speculate about the nature of the mind or investigate the nature of brain function without the slightest understanding of how our brain evolved is like, in my opinion, constructing a building without considering its foundation. For example, what is the mind? We speculate the mind to be a mixture of id, ego, and complexes when we have empirical evidence which defines the mind as an environment of cognitive activity within the brain that arises from brain function. If the mind is indeed a product of brain function, we can further quantify the nature of the mind by how and when the brain evolved that function. If the modern brain evolved from some primitive form, we should be able to find and follow the footprints of that form back to its beginning. Should you like to join me in further discussion, I welcome your thoughts.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To speculate about the nature of the mind or investigate the nature of brain function without the slightest understanding of how our brain evolved is like, in my opinion, constructing a building without considering its foundation.

 

Who says that we lack the "slightest understanding?" I can go on Google, Amazon, or a searchable academic database and find dozens of books and hundreds of articles about the evolution of the human brain, of intelligence, and of specific cognitive functions. Are you just saying that individuals speculate on the topic without understanding, or that science lacks it in general?

 

 

For example, what is the mind? We speculate the mind to be a mixture of id, ego, and complexes

 

Who speculates this? Classical Freudians? You've mentioned two parts of the classical Freudian tripartite model of the psyche (leaving out the superego--I'm not certain why) and the concept of a "complex"--by which you mean, perhaps, the Jungian concept of the complex. These theories have been significantly discarded by the mainstream community of psychology. To be so gauche as to quote myself from a previous post:

 

Even the psychodynamic folks, those who are willing to name themselves heirs to a Freudian system, don't even really believe or focus on the early Freudian view of the tripartite personality anymore--they're mostly far more informed by object relations and attachment. Full disclosure, though: being a cognitive-behaviorist, I tend to regard those two as about 90% and 70% bogus, respectively. Depending on the day.

 

At any rate, I'm not sure how any of the question has clear bearing on a discussion of the evolution of the brain, the mind, or cognition, specifically. It might help if this:

 

If the modern brain evolved from some primitive form, we should be able to find and follow the footprints of that form back to its beginning.

 

was expressed without the use of an unclear metaphor. Follow what footprints how?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To speculate about the nature of the mind or investigate the nature of brain function without the slightest understanding of how our brain evolved is like, in my opinion, constructing a building without considering its foundation.

Who says that we lack the "slightest understanding?" I can go on Google, Amazon, or a searchable academic database and find dozens of books and hundreds of articles about the evolution of the human brain, of intelligence, and of specific cognitive functions. Are you just saying that individuals speculate on the topic without understanding, or that science lacks it in general?

 

An arrogant statement? Granted; however, from my perspective, a clear, integrated theory of brain evolution and consciousness emergence does not exist.

For example, what is the mind? We speculate the mind to be a mixture of id, ego, and complexes

 

 

Who speculates this? Classical Freudians? You've mentioned two parts of the classical Freudian tripartite model of the psyche (leaving out the superego--I'm not certain why) and the concept of a "complex"--by which you mean, perhaps, the Jungian concept of the complex. These theories have been significantly discarded by the mainstream community of psychology. To be so gauche as to quote myself from a previous post:

 

These were merely speculative examples in an ongoing discussion rather than an all inclusive, detailed description or discussion of those examples.

 

If the modern brain evolved from some primitive form, we should be able to find and follow the footprints of that form back to its beginning.

was expressed without the use of an unclear metaphor. Follow what footprints how?

 

"…without the use of an unclear metaphor." What? I don't understand. Should I have used an obscure metaphor?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

An arrogant statement? Granted; however, from my perspective, a clear, integrated theory of brain evolution and consciousness emergence does not exist.

 

We're agreed--wholeheartedly. However, I can't agree with your original contention, which was a very different statement:

 

To speculate about the nature of the mind or investigate the nature of brain function without the slightest understanding of how our brain evolved

 

That's a much stronger statement than "we don't have a clear, integrated theory." In fact, I might go ahead and suggest that the state of 90% of current scientific endeavor is somewhere between "without the slightest understanding" and "clear, integrated theory." Also, I don't think it's particularly arrogant to suggest that:

 

I can go on Google, Amazon, or a searchable academic database and find dozens of books and hundreds of articles about the evolution of the human brain, of intelligence, and of specific cognitive functions.

 

I was trying there to note that this information is available and describe how it is available, certainly not that I currently possess all of it. Does that make sense? As part of that, I was trying to establish the ground for this question:

 

Are you just saying that individuals speculate on the topic without understanding, or that science lacks it in general?

 

 

I'm still not clear of your response to that. You continue to fixate on my personal attributes and motivations, which isn't making things any clearer. I'll save you the time and counterclaim that my self-aggrandizing nitpicking isn't getting us any closer either. Thank god that's over and done with. On a second issue:

 

"…without the use of an unclear metaphor." What? I don't understand. Should I have used an obscure metaphor?

 

You just missed the text above the quote box up there, which I'll underline right here. I said, fully:

"It might help if this: 'If the modern brain evolved from some primitive form, we should be able to find and follow the footprints of that form back to its beginning.' was expressed without the use of an unclear metaphor. Follow what footprints how?" I was challenging (and continue to challenge) you to more fully flesh out very specifically what you mean by "footprints:" what they are, how we find them, what is this thing called "following" them, and so on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's a much stronger statement than "we don't have a clear, integrated theory." In fact, I might go ahead and suggest that the state of 90% of current scientific endeavor is somewhere between "without the slightest understanding" and "clear, integrated theory." Also, I don't think it's particularly arrogant to suggest that:

 

I can go on Google, Amazon, or a searchable academic database and find dozens of books and hundreds of articles about the evolution of the human brain, of intelligence, and of specific cognitive functions.

 

You misunderstand; my reference to arrogance regarded my initial comments, which I sought to clarify in subsequent comments regarding the non-existence of a clear, integrated theory.

 

I was trying there to note that this information is available and describe how it is available, certainly not that I currently possess all of it. Does that make sense?

 

If you reread my comments, you should find that I was expressing no assumption regarding information in your possession.

 

Are you just saying that individuals speculate on the topic without understanding, or that science lacks it in general?

 

I'm still not clear of your response to that. You continue to fixate on my personal attributes and motivations, which isn't making things any clearer. I'll save you the time and counterclaim that my self-aggrandizing nitpicking isn't getting us any closer either. Thank god that's over and done with.

 

Again, if you reread all my comments in this discussion, you will find that I expressed no direct or indirect comments regarding your personal attributes or motives. In answer to your question, I consider any theory or statement regarding the nature of consciousness as speculative that does not include foundational aspects of brain evolution. Although your comments appear to suggest there is literature that cogently merges the nature of consciousness with brain evolution, I have not found any. If you are aware of such, I'd be delighted to review and discuss it.

 

You just missed the text above the quote box up there, which I'll underline right here. I said, fully:

"It might help if this: 'If the modern brain evolved from some primitive form, we should be able to find and follow the footprints of that form back to its beginning.' was expressed without the use of an unclear metaphor. Follow what footprints how?" I was challenging (and continue to challenge) you to more fully flesh out very specifically what you mean by "footprints:" what they are, how we find them, what is this thing called "following" them, and so on.

 

No, I understood the text above because I wrote it. What I didn't understand was having written that text without using a metaphor that was unclear, which suggests to me your belief that I should have used an unclear or obscure metaphor to better explain my position. In review of your subsequent comments, perhaps you meant I should have used a metaphor that is clearer to you. By footprint I meant some neural evidence of that earlier form, which we can walk (metaphorically) or trace back to a beginning. Nitpicking over innocuous details such as this, forestalls more meaningful discussions—in my opinion.

Edited by DrmDoc
Link to comment
Share on other sites

to OP:

 

I can do this thing with my concious mind, where I close my eyes and picture two lines, and I am able to rotate them. I was wondering if you could too? They usually rotate simultaniously. You have to sort of twitch your eyes a bit to begin the rotation, it may be something to do with the eye itself; just to add, not trolling, I literally can do this. Just wondering if you've come across this yet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Although your comments appear to suggest there is literature that cogently merges the nature of consciousness with brain evolution, I have not found any. If you are aware of such, I'd be delighted to review and discuss it.

 

 

http://www.epjournal.net/

http://pinker.wjh.harvard.edu/books/index.html

http://www.amazon.com/gp/search?index=books&linkCode=qs&keywords=1851683569

theres a few for you. Personally I think Pinker puts things in ways that virtually anyone can understand if you're not that into neurobiology.

 

And I'm going to take the liberty of explaining your footprint example, feel free to correct me. You assume that we don't know the process which each part of the brain evolved, but there is evidence on which part of the brain came before another. One way is seeing what brain areas we have in common with other animals and another is using cranial endocasts.

 

to OP:

 

I can do this thing with my concious mind, where I close my eyes and picture two lines, and I am able to rotate them. I was wondering if you could too? They usually rotate simultaniously. You have to sort of twitch your eyes a bit to begin the rotation, it may be something to do with the eye itself; just to add, not trolling, I literally can do this. Just wondering if you've come across this yet.

 

 

Anybody can do this.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The mind is modeled in the theoretical ombregyre, the empirically undetectable but predicted 22% of the missing mass of the Universe. The macroombregyre theoretically explains the vortex that is a supermassive black hole in a galactic core. On a microcosmic scale, the ombron is the quantal form of that gyre also known as a up or down quark - likewise a particle that cannot be empirically detected due to the so-called color confinement.

 

Because there are ombrons - the quantal term to describe the quark - in every nucleon in My Body and in My Universe, this explains how I use My Conscious Mind to move and experience My Body and Universe.

 

Peace,

 

Ik

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The mind is modeled in the theoretical ombregyre, the empirically undetectable but predicted 22% of the missing mass of the Universe. The macroombregyre theoretically explains the vortex that is a supermassive black hole in a galactic core. On a microcosmic scale, the ombron is the quantal form of that gyre also known as a up or down quark - likewise a particle that cannot be empirically detected due to the so-called color confinement.

 

Because there are ombrons - the quantal term to describe the quark - in every nucleon in My Body and in My Universe, this explains how I use My Conscious Mind to move and experience My Body and Universe.

 

Peace,

 

Ik

 

I'm sorry but what the hell are you talking about

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<sigh>

 

I'll go ahead and suggest that everybody tiptoe quietly around anything that appears almost totally

 

to OP:

 

I can do this thing with my concious mind, where I close my eyes and picture two lines, and I am able to rotate them. I was wondering if you could too? They usually rotate simultaniously. You have to sort of twitch your eyes a bit to begin the rotation, it may be something to do with the eye itself; just to add, not trolling, I literally can do this. Just wondering if you've come across this yet.

 

unlreated, or...

 

The mind is modeled in the theoretical ombregyre, the empirically undetectable but predicted 22% of the missing mass of the Universe. The macroombregyre theoretically explains the vortex that is a supermassive black hole in a galactic core. On a microcosmic scale, the ombron is the quantal form of that gyre also known as a up or down quark - likewise a particle that cannot be empirically detected due to the so-called color confinement.

 

Because there are ombrons - the quantal term to describe the quark - in every nucleon in My Body and in My Universe, this explains how I use My Conscious Mind to move and experience My Body and Universe.

 

patently insane. Welcome to SFN.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah, I submit to my colleagues for examination the concept of Feyerabendian incommensurability.

 

Gotta love the name-calling when I confront a framework that is beyond by current Weltanschuung.

 

What I am talking about what My Mind is and how I use it, as deduced from theory. That was the question in the OP, was it not?

 

Peace,

 

Ik

Edited by TheTheoretician
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Yes, still can't wait to hear more about how this process (this "walking") actually works. Go on...

To paraphrase this process from prior comments elsewhere, when evolutional biology provides very little about the emergence of specific behavioral qualities expressed through brain function, we begin by evaluating the anatomic minutia of each brain segment relatable to existent primitive species with those qualities, then look for similar species in the fossil record, explore the likely compelling evolutionary pressure (environment, population, survival resources, etc.) influencing the behavior of those prior species and, based on those pressures, surmise the demands (e.g., feeding) leading to the emergence of the neural developments (e.g.,Glossopharyngeal and Intermediate Facial), known to promote those behavioral qualities.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.