Revolution in the Mind Sciences P2

Daniel Vinograd

by this rigorous observation and internal phenomena I think he was the ne I think more than anybody else that launce the true revolution , the first great revolution ND it wasn’t in physical sciences. In a similar fashion Darwin spent about 25 years in very meticulous, rigorous, careful observation of biological phenomena. of course in the <> we all know about that , that its wasn’t just the <> he was doing years of study observing and in 1859 came up with this great monumental work , the organ of the species , that would not have happened had he not been meticulously observing that biological phenomena.

it was not just staying home at his estate and thinking very deeply about biological , it was not by doing really good physics it was by observing biological phi novena carefully and then drawing from that and developing his specatcular theory about evolution .

Then we get to 1890, we get to the closing years of the 19th century, the first decade of the 21st century and the person I believe is of equal stature William James. I have to admit he’s one of my heroes so really look out for this guy. He was brilliant, he was a MD, he was a biology, he was a spectacular philosopher, and he wrote the greatest American treats on religious experience. he was a psychologist , he started the first Nero science lab exponential Psychology Lab in the Unite d States in Harvard. he was a brillaiant philosper, religious studies scholar, scientis , MDF , bioligist , pscychologit and he was so dogma free. thats what i love about this guy . he wasnt buying into any dogma . He was an impurist, in fact he started school of philosophy called Radical Empiricism.

William James came to the mind and this is something that has been postponed for 300 years from the time of Copernicus. can you imagine 300 years of the development of science, physics , chemistry, biology , astronomy , geology etc. 300 years before they actually started the scientific study of the mind . That should throw you back for a moment if you’ve not quite thought of it in those terms. This is bizarre.

The mind is that which you are doing all the science. It would be like somebody giving you an instrument and saying “use this instrument you’ll discover a lot of things” and waiting 300 years before you actually look at the instrument itself. That is weird but there’s very good reason for it and today we have too short of time to really explore them in depth.

Of course for those 300 years the natural sciences establish the reputation, a spectacular reputation, and a well earn reputation for setting objective, quantifiable, physical phenomena. So you can bring in the full weight of mathematics, the technology that is there starting from the telescope moving right through all the extraordinary masses in technology.

the mental phenomena , emotions , thoughts , mental images, desires , memories , expectation , the whole array, the visual perception , auditor , mental perception , dreams these are e not objectives they’re subjective. They’re not quantifiable they’re qualitative. They’re not physical. The last time you have a dream, look at contents of the dream and ask what physical attributes the contents of your dream have. The answer is none. Your desires, your hopes and fears, your feelings, your thoughts and mental images. They don’t have any physical attributes at all. You observe them and they’re not physical. They certainly don’t appear physical, if they are physical then they’re really concealing something.

William James was pressing perhaps the greatest t challenge in the history in science with its 300 years of spectacular success. we because he himself was biologist and MD , we’ve gotten extremly good using scientific methods to explore the objective , quantifiable physical and now can we take this same expertise , the same methodological rigor and apply it to that which is by nature subjective, qualitative and perhaps nonphysical. he said let’s do it in the old fashion way and that is let psychology be above all the study of mental phenomena as we experience them immediately and for that like physics, like biology what as <> a revolution in the mind scientist, let us start and do it the old fashion way, carefully, meticulously, rigorously observe the phenomena themselves.

He proposed this and he didn’t do it. They tried it for about twenty or third y years and then ethyl stopped. William James wasn’t the only person. William James started the first experimental physiology lab at Harvard in 1879 and here was his mission statement in terms of methodology, he said ” introspect of observation is what we have to rely on first and foremost and always. The word introspection need hardly be different, it means of course the looking into our own minds and recording what we there discover.”
In other words just as Galileo was an imperialist and Darwin was an imperist when we finally got around to the mind lets be equally imperial and stuff the phenomena themselves.

In presenting this he did not at all disparage or try to marginalize e studying the mind by way of behavior. The whole behavioral sciences inferring states unconsciousness, mental processes and so forth by way of behavior, he dint not disparage that.

We’re looking g at the effects of mental processes by studying behavioral output. then of course they knew back then that the brain is crucially important in generating mental states, processes and so forth so causally look at the mind indirectly by looking at the neuron causes giving rise to mental phenomena, look at the mind indirectly by looking that the behavior output our effects of mental phenomena but first and foremost and always look at the metal phenomena and let your science be biased upon the actual, careful observation of the phone themselves.

In the same year that William James started his first experimental lab at Harvard<>, the germ histologist in Germany started he same in the same year he started his own experimental physiology lab and he echoed a very similar theme. he said the service which is the experimental method of what we call the scientific method, the surface witch the scientific method can yield consist essentially in perfecting our inner observation or rather as I believe in making this really possible e in any exact sense `<> are you happy right now or sad, uninterested r bred, agitated rear calm. You don’t need to look at your behavior. You don’t have to go to an EAG or a FMRI and ask it how I am doing. To some level, to some rudimentary level right now you must have some idea what’s going in your mind. Are there lots of thoughts arising? Are you falling asleep? emotional states , cognitive stats , the focus of your attention , the slatterns of your attention but what both William James and <>, these two giants on the two sides of the Atlantic ocean was suggesting is take your folk psychology , your folk untrained intersection and start refining it , honing it, intensifying it , make this as sophisticated method of enquiry . This is the battle cry, this is the great challenge of the mind scientist.

1913 especially in American, john Watson at John Hopkins University, William James was just cooling off in the grave and another movement came in it was almost like a palace coupe. John Watson in 1913 said from now on the scientific study of the mind is going to avoid all psychological subjective terms. We will not use the term belief and emotion, thoughts, perception. We’re not going to use any of those subjective terms at all. They have no place in psychology this is bizarre. we’re going to have the science of the mind but by the way we won’t use any mental terming at all we’re going to treat the mind as if it’s a black box containing only disposition <> for behavior and we’re going to confine ourselves to studying the non-mind by way of behavior.

In other words it wouldn’t have flatten, like stamping on a thin can. We’re going to flatten the study of mental phenomena, treat the m as if they don’t exist and reduce psychology to the study of behavior. its back to the good old fashion way of objective , quantifiable and physical rather than picking up the gauntlet that James have thrown out and said” its time to start something afresh” attend to the natural phenomena and john Watson said no thanks.

these radical behaviorist , these have been going on from 1913 building a momentum , 1953 forty years later B.F. Skinner comes out and says ” mental phenomena do not exist . ” there is no such thing as emotion ., mental images, thoughts, desires, hopes and fears, they don’t exist at al. in fact consciousness is a word that refers to nothing at all . It’s a superstition. Your jaws should be dropping to your knee caps at this point. He said “after all they can’t exist, the y don’t have physical attributes”

this is the absolute trauma over dogma over experience because they’ve decided now B.F. Skinner writing in 1953, the only things that exist are physical and the properties of the physical mental phenomena clearly they don’t have any physical attributes therefore they don’t exist . He kept on saying that until 1974, he never learnt. He wasn’t some high yahoo at <> State University, he was a full professor at Harvard University and it looks like he’s brain dead. It really should astound us that such an intelligent operon, I say with respect, can say such a ridiculous thing. it compares to Dick Hart’s statement , also operating under the dogma – the roman catholic church in the 17th century, when he equated consciousness with human immortal soul ” only human being shave immortal souls animals don’t” I f you equated a consciousness with an immortal soul, you are now in one step logic have to come to the conclusion that animals are not conscious because they don’t have an immortal soul, they don’t go to heaven or hell ,therefore your dog has no consciousness which means no feelings.

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