Wednesday, May 22, 2019

785: Goodbye Subconscious Mind....

-quote- It must be well known that the source of our pleasure, our joy, laughter and amusement, as well as our grief, pain, fear and tears, is nothing else than the brain.
It is this organ in particular that enables us to think, see and hear and to distinguish the ugly from the beautiful, the evil from the good, the pleasant from the unpleasant. 

It is also the brain where the seat of madness and madness, of fears and horrors, storms us, often at night, 

but sometimes even during the day; there lies the cause of insomnia and sleepwalking, of thoughts that do not want to come, of forgotten obligations and of strange phenomena. -end quote-
It wouldn't surprise you, when this is a quote from a famous contemporary neuroscientist. It is not. It is from Hippocrates (460 - 370 B.C.)
And what do we see? Science has arrived at this same perspective again in the 21st century.
For centuries, what went on in our heads, this mind, thinking, feeling, experiencing, knowledge was the playground of philosophy.
Then there was Freud, who claimed our psyche and constructed all kinds of theories about what goes on in there.
Then there came the opposition. The American psychologist Fred Skinner (1904-1990) equates the personality with the behavior that people exhibit. 

That behavior is again determined by the consequences of that behavior. As a result, you can teach people and animals almost everything,
says Skinner, as long as you confirm or reward the right behavior. 
In hundreds of animal studies, Skinner discovered that behavior that is regularly rewarded is more often practiced. 
He called this phenomenon operant conditioning. According to Skinner, it is that operant conditioning that shapes us to the people we are and gives us our unique personality.
In other words, away with this subconscious mind, ego and id in constant battle. There is just behavior, which is reinforced by reward and that made us who we are now.
A second player in the field became Cognitive Psychology. It deals with questions like: How do we store information in working memory? What changes in that process during aging? 
How does mood affect our perceptions? What brain areas allow you to switch between two tasks? And how does all that mental activity affect the body?
And one of its main methods of getting answers is scanning the brain for activity by fMRI etc.
There is a lot of information on the Internet about cognitive psychology. For instance I found a PDF of the book "Memory, Thinking and Language"  (1987)
Titles of chapters like: Thinking and knowledge - The structure of knowledge - Language and knowledge. I thought, oh dear, the psychologists are overtaking philosophical epistemology (theory of knowledge)?
It is our rational and irrational thinking that shapes us and our actions, not some mysterious subconscious. That idea you find in Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy.

For many years, mental health professionals would focus their attention on emotions and behaviors, 
giving less thought to how their clients actually think. 
Psychoanalysis didn’t consider the client’s way of thinking to be especially problematic; instead, it aimed to penetrate the unconscious mind.
Behaviorism also largely ignored the way people think, but for different reasons. The focus was on the client’s behavior rather than their inner experience.
The goal of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy is best summarized as “disputing”, challenging and questioning 
our irrational and dysfunctional beliefs and replacing them with more sensible and functional beliefs.
And thence we may conclude, that Hippocrates was right in his observations.
By the way, I found a PDF-book "Cognitive Psychology". If you're interested in the subject, there you'll find everything:
Thank you for your attention again....

The Discussion

[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:22] herman Bergson: My main point of today is that the main focus on understanding man has shifyed from understanding all kinds of deep inner turmoil to scanning his brain.
[13:22] herman Bergson: That a more materialistic mind actually
[13:22] CB Axel: I can't help but think we need to do both.
[13:23] CB Axel: I'm not sure just watching what parts of the brain are active under different circumstances won't tell us everything.
[13:23] herman Bergson: REBT tries do do that to some extend, I'd say CB
[13:23] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): do we have a materialistic mind or just a brain?
[13:24] herman Bergson: materialist mind is an incorrect expression indeed Beertje...:-)
[13:25] CB Axel: What do you mean by materialistic mind?
[13:25] herman Bergson: I meant by it that we interpret the mind more and more from a materialistic...(the brain) perspecttive
[13:25] CB Axel: Like Madonna? A material girl?
[13:25] herman Bergson: She had nice material, CB :-)
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): haha
[13:25] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Hád....
[13:25] CB Axel: Oh. So just physically what's happening electro-chemically in the brain?
[13:26] herman Bergson: Yes CB
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:26] CB Axel: I'd like to think that we are more than that.
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): tricky stuff happens
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm
[13:26] CB Axel: but that could just be my brain trying to convince itself that it's more important than it really is.
[13:27] herman Bergson: The idea is that there isn't anything else inside us that controls our behavior than matter/brain
[13:27] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): it's just a machine to keep us going?
[13:27] herman Bergson: Allow me to say that that is just like Ryle would say sloppy language, CB
[13:28] herman Bergson: In our language we have an "I" and a "brain"
[13:28] herman Bergson: But in reality they are one and the same
[13:28] CB Axel: I guess I do believe that I am my brain.
[13:29] herman Bergson: That is too simple in my opinion....
[13:29] herman Bergson: You are your consciousness.....
[13:29] herman Bergson: What we know is that the brain generates that....
[13:29] Wisdomseeker (lissena) is online.
[13:30] herman Bergson: But we have no answer how these two..consciousness and brain are related
[13:30] herman Bergson: we only know that they are
[13:31] CB Axel: Did we ever, while saving the world in previous topics, define consciousness?
[13:31] herman Bergson: If we know we could create an artificial consciousness by putting all right chemicals in a jar...shake somewhat and there it is ...a conscious jar :-)
[13:31] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): scary thought
[13:31] CB Axel: I don't think shaking it would be enough. We'd need a bolt of lightning, too. LOL
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and the jar then flies away and attacks you
[13:32] herman Bergson: I like that bolt of lightning as ingredient CB :-)
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): (gets idea for crazy horror film)
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): THE POSSESSED LAB JAR!
[13:32] CB Axel: But I think that is one of the things people studying the possibility of extra-terrestrial life are looking at.
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:33] herman Bergson: Yes  Bejiita....we love to phantasize about it :-)
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): haha
[13:33] CB Axel: What happened on Earth that started life and can that have happened or is it happening on other planets.
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): im good at instant ideas if anything
[13:33] CB Axel: LOL, Bejiita.
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well it would be strange if we were alone since the universe is so big
[13:34] herman Bergson: Indeed did our self consciousness come into being......we don't know
[13:34] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): who says there is just one universe?
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): why would only the conditions for life exist at this very tiny spot in infinity
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa indeed
[13:34] herman Bergson: The question fascinates me.
[13:35] CB Axel: If we could find early life on some other celestial body, it might answer some of these questions.
[13:35] herman Bergson: Well Bejiita, one answer could be that evolution is a random process....anything has no logic in it in relation to matter...
[13:35] CB Axel: Or it might bring up even more questions.
[13:36] herman Bergson: so why should happen elsewhere what happened here if the possible combinations of events are infinite
[13:37] herman Bergson: if it was a kind of logical consequence of  matter, the universe would be crowded by planets with living organisms
[13:37] Ciska Riverstone is offline.
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the reason i think is life mostly thrive in right temperature and also there must be an atmosphere and water
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): earth is just the right distance from the sun, it have atmospher and water
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): = life can exist
[13:38] CB Axel: For life as we know it
[13:38] herman Bergson: There are many planets with the same conditions in other solar systems
[13:39] herman Bergson: That's the point CB.....
[13:39] herman Bergson: Why should life elsewhere have developed just like on earth, except in SF movies
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): small green men
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:40] herman Bergson: And again.....even when life developed in the same way.....
[13:40] herman Bergson: did this self-consciousness trick happened there to....????
[13:40] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): could be
[13:41] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): why not
[13:41] herman Bergson: it is possible but not necessary....
[13:41] CB Axel: So there could be some form of life somewhere crawling around and not even aware that it's life?
[13:41] herman Bergson: I guess it is possible
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): are plants self aware?
[13:42] herman Bergson: Maybe even on Mars....that is  before the planet died
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): do they feel something
[13:42] herman Bergson: That are two different things Bejiita....
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but they are also alive
[13:43] herman Bergson: they are not self aware....but this feeling issue is really under debate
[13:43] CB Axel: People have measured electrical activity in plants that make it seem like the plants react to what's happening around them, like other plants being damaged.
[13:43] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): trees can warn each other when there is an illness
[13:43] herman Bergson: Like plants developed strategies to defend themselves against specific attackers
[13:43] CB Axel: Exactly, Beertje.
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): heard about this too
[13:44] herman Bergson: Yes..things like that Beertje
[13:44] herman Bergson: Due to the way we look(ed) at nature we hardly have any knowledge about it
[13:44] CB Axel nods
[13:45] herman Bergson: but people begin to wonder.....change their perspective....
[13:45] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): at last
[13:45] CB Axel: For too long humans have considered themselves above and apart from nature.
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I had a Venus flytrap once and it was like a pet almost to me, we used to eat together, i fed it what i ate and it seemed to like it, the one day it had just died like that, felt sad for it
[13:45] herman Bergson: Well....we already managed to accept that animals can have real feelings...just like we have
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): was like a pet almost
[13:46] CB Axel: maybe you fed it something that didn't agree with it.
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): not that i know if it is good to give it spaghetti bolognese and taco but
[13:46] CB Axel: LOL
[13:46] herman Bergson: MY thought too CB
[13:46] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): chips and cookies?
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): it seemed to like it at first and a friend told me as long u dont overfeed it
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but processed food indeed might not be the best for them
[13:47] CB Axel: I like spaghetti bolognese and tacos, too, but I'd die if I ate too much of it. And I'm not a plant.
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): haha
[13:47] CB Axel: I'm self-aware enough to know I'm not a plant.
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): :
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:48] CB Axel: That sounds like an interesting experiment, though. See what human foods are good for Venus flytraps.
[13:49] CB Axel: It might give us insight on what foods are good for us, too. :-)
[13:49] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i think flies are the best
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm, i looked at one page recently and it said don't give them human food
[13:49] herman Bergson: as long as it contains the same ingredients as a should work :-)
[13:49] CB Axel: You have peculiar tastes, then, Beertje. lol
[13:49] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): :)
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well prepared food or not i get nutrients from both raw and cooked/fried meat but logically prefer the latter
[13:50] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): (were are off topic).....
[13:51] herman Bergson: We are :-)
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): so time to get something tasty
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): it is as it should be
[13:51] herman Bergson: Indeed Bejiita...a fly perhaps?
[13:51] CB Axel: Fried fly
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well theoretically
[13:51] herman Bergson: A nice moment to conclude our discussion and fly away :-)
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): they say insects are the food of the future and that fried grashoppers and ants are actually tasty, never tried though
[13:52] CB Axel: :)
[13:52] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i ate anough flies on my way to get to school by bike...
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hahaha
[13:52] CB Axel: LOL
[13:52] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yak..
[13:52] herman Bergson: Time to go.....
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i choked on mosquitoes a while ago when out biking in the forest
[13:52] herman Bergson: Class dismissed...
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): haha
[13:52] herman Bergson: Thank you all gain :-))
[13:52] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): :))
[13:52] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa nice again
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): now im gonna get something tasty to munch
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu next time
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:52] CB Axel: Thank you for the class and for ending the fly eating discussion!
[13:52] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman:)
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hahaha
[13:53] CB Axel: see you all Thursday[13:53] herman Bergson: Got to my stomach CB :-)
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:53] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): smiles

No comments:

Post a Comment