» » Minding Minds: Evolving a Reflexive Mind by Interpreting Others (Bradford Books)

eBook Minding Minds: Evolving a Reflexive Mind by Interpreting Others (Bradford Books) epub

by Radu J. Bogdan

eBook Minding Minds: Evolving a Reflexive Mind by Interpreting Others (Bradford Books) epub
  • ISBN: 026252418X
  • Author: Radu J. Bogdan
  • Genre: Other
  • Subcategory: Humanities
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: A Bradford Book (August 11, 2003)
  • Pages: 223 pages
  • ePUB size: 1344 kb
  • FB2 size 1673 kb
  • Formats lrf azw txt mbr


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Minding Minds (MIT Press). Radu J. Bogdan is Professor of Philosophy and Cognitive Science and Director of the Cognitive Studies Program at Tulane University and Regular Guest Professor and Director of the OPEN MIND master program in cognitive science, University of Bucharest, Romania. He is the author of Our Own Minds: Sociocultural Grounds for Self-Consciousness (MIT Press, 2010) and other books. Series: Bradford Books.

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Mental reflexivity, or metamentation-a mind thinking about its own thoughts-underpins reflexive .

Mental reflexivity, or metamentation-a mind thinking about its own thoughts-underpins reflexive consciousness, deliberation, self-evaluation, moral judgment, the ability to think ahead, and much more. Yet relatively little in philosophy or psychology has been written about what metamentation actually is, or about why and how it came about. In this book, Radu Bogdan proposes that humans think reflexively because they interpret each other's minds in social contexts of cooperation, communication, education, politics, and so forth.

In this book, Radu Bogdan proposes that humans think reflexively because they interpret each other's minds in. .

In this book, Radu Bogdan proposes that humans think reflexively because they interpret each other's minds in social contexts of cooperation, communication, education, politics, and so forth. p. cm. "A Bradford book. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-262-02467-5 (hardcover : alk. paper) 1. Philosophy of mind.

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Mental reflexivity, or metamentation -- a mind thinking about its own thoughts -- underpins reflexive consciousness, deliberation, self-evaluation, moral judgment, the ability to think ahead, and much more. Yet relatively little in philosophy or psychology has been written about what metamentation actually is, or about why and how it came about. In this book, Radu Bogdan proposes that humans think reflexively because they interpret each other's minds in social contexts of cooperation, communication, education, politics, and so forth. As naive psychology, interpretation was naturally selected among primates as a battery of practical skills that preceded language and advanced thinking. Metamentation began as interpretation mentally rehearsed: through mental sharing of attitudes and information about items of common interest, interpretation conspired with mental rehearsal to develop metamentation.

Drawing on philosophical, psychological, and evolutionary perspectives, Bogdan analyzes the main phylogenetic and ontogenetic stages through which primates' abilities to interpret other minds evolve and gradually create the opportunities and resources for metamentation. Contrary to prevailing views, he concludes that metamentation benefits from, but is not a predetermined outcome of, logical abilities, language, and consciousness.

Comments: (2)
Nalmetus
Bogdan's thesis is the fact that, "operating in mental rehearsal, interpretation served as emulable blueprint for reflexive thinking". That is, self conscious thought both evolved and continues to evolve from early interpretation abilities.
Bogdan brings together both his philosophical insight into his exploration of how and why we are able to think about thoughts as thoughts as well as a significant amount of psychological literature going back to Vygotsky. The question of metamentation (thinking about thoughts requires understanding of thoughts as thoughts, as mental structures that represent in his words) and how it could possibly 'bootstrap' itself is still very much unexplored by present-day philosopher's; I suspect this is put in the "hard" question bin along with many other aspects of consciousness.
Bogdan's book is fascinating since it, at least to me, demonstrates that philosophers are finally beginning to abandon their ivory (in many senses of the word) towers and get their hands dirty with some empirical evidence. That is, as opposed to Chalmers and his zombies Bogdan actually maps his ideas to some concrete observations.
Bogdan argues that our ability for self-reflexivity develops due to our helplessness as an infant. Because we need a high level of care we must, out of necessity, develop an ability to interpret other minds in a social context. Our prodigious language skills simply develop out of this base interpretation layer as icing on the cake...
This is not a light read by any account; I needed a couple runs through to digest all of his points. However, I believe that may have something to do with the framework I (and those of us ensnared in Western ideas of what philosophy is supposed to do) possess, not his writing. In fact, this is quite a "readable" book while still maintaining rigorous arguments.
Hopefully this book will provoke a lot of new exploration in psychology, philosophy, AI and neurology. Also recommended are Austin's "Zen and the Brain", Perlovsky's "Neural Networks and Intellect" and Wilson's "Spikes, Decisions, and Actions". For some non-linear exploration I suggest Sartwell's "The Art of Living" and Flemons' "Completing Distinctions". Actually, Faber's old "Objectivity and Human Perception" may help understanding Bogdan's developments as well.
Kelerana
Metamentation is where it's at! If you're thinking about thinking you're metamentating. If you're thinking about buying this book, you're a good thinker. But how are you on action?
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