Mind

Mind
   1) To Know the Different Operations of the Mind
   It becomes, therefore, no inconsiderable part of science . . . to know the different operations of the mind, to separate them from each other, to class them under their proper heads, and to correct all that seeming disorder in which they lie involved when made the object of reflection and inquiry. . . . It cannot be doubted that the mind is endowed with several powers and faculties, that these powers are distinct from one another, and that what is really distinct to the immediate perception may be distinguished by reflection and, consequently, that there is a truth and falsehood which lie not beyond the compass of human understanding. (Hume, 1955, p. 22)
   2) The Mind Is Furnished by Experience
   Let us then suppose the mind to be, as we say, white Paper, void of all Characters, without any Ideas: How comes it to be furnished? Whence comes it by that vast store, which the busy and boundless Fancy of Man has painted on it, with an almost endless variety? Whence has it all the materials of Reason and Knowledge? To this I answer, in one word, from Experience. (Locke, quoted in Herrnstein & Boring, 1965, p. 584)
   3) Mythical Thought Is as Rigorous as That of Modern Science
   The kind of logic in mythical thought is as rigorous as that of modern science, and . . . the difference lies, not in the quality of the intellectual process, but in the nature of things to which it is applied. . . . Man has always been thinking equally well; the improvement lies, not in an alleged progress of man's mind, but in the discovery of new areas to which it may apply its unchanged and unchanging powers. (Leґvi-Strauss, 1963, p. 230)
   4) The Mind Has Nothing But Itself to Know Itself
   MIND. A mysterious form of matter secreted by the brain. Its chief activity consists in the endeavor to ascertain its own nature, the futility of the attempt being due to the fact that it has nothing but itself to know itself with. (Bierce, quoted in Minsky, 1986, p. 55)
   5) To Know Is to Represent Accurately
   [Philosophy] understands the foundations of knowledge and it finds these foundations in a study of man-as-knower, of the "mental processes" or the "activity of representation" which make knowledge possible. To know is to represent accurately what is outside the mind, so to understand the possibility and nature of knowledge is to understand the way in which the mind is able to construct such representation. . . . We owe the notion of a "theory of knowledge" based on an understanding of "mental processes" to the seventeenth century, and especially to Locke. We owe the notion of "the mind" as a separate entity in which "processes" occur to the same period, and especially to Descartes. We owe the notion of philosophy as a tribunal of pure reason, upholding or denying the claims of the rest of culture, to the eighteenth century and especially to Kant, but this Kantian notion presupposed general assent to Lockean notions of mental processes and Cartesian notions of mental substance. (Rorty, 1979, pp. 3-4)
   6) The Question of Mind in Relation to Machine
   Under pressure from the computer, the question of mind in relation to machine is becoming a central cultural preoccupation. It is becoming for us what sex was to Victorians-threat, obsession, taboo, and fascination. (Turkle, 1984, p. 313)
   7) Understanding the Mind Remains as Resistant to Neurological as to Cognitive Analyses
   Recent years have been exciting for researchers in the brain and cognitive sciences. Both fields have flourished, each spurred on by methodological and conceptual developments, and although understanding the mechanisms of mind is an objective shared by many workers in these areas, their theories and approaches to the problem are vastly different. . . .
   Early experimental psychologists, such as Wundt and James, were as interested in and knowledgeable about the anatomy and physiology of the nervous system as about the young science of the mind. However, the experimental study of mental processes was short-lived, being eclipsed by the rise of behaviorism early in this century. It was not until the late 1950s that the signs of a new mentalism first appeared in scattered writings of linguists, philosophers, computer enthusiasts, and psychologists.
   In this new incarnation, the science of mind had a specific mission: to challenge and replace behaviorism. In the meantime, brain science had in many ways become allied with a behaviorist approach. . . . While behaviorism sought to reduce the mind to statements about bodily action, brain science seeks to explain the mind in terms of physiochemical events occurring in the nervous system. These approaches contrast with contemporary cognitive science, which tries to understand the mind as it is, without any reduction, a view sometimes described as functionalism.
   The cognitive revolution is now in place. Cognition is the subject of contemporary psychology. This was achieved with little or no talk of neurons, action potentials, and neurotransmitters. Similarly, neuroscience has risen to an esteemed position among the biological sciences without much talk of cognitive processes. Do the fields need each other? . . . [Y]es because the problem of understanding the mind, unlike the wouldbe problem solvers, respects no disciplinary boundaries. It remains as resistant to neurological as to cognitive analyses. (LeDoux & Hirst, 1986, pp. 1-2)
   8) Approaches to the Study of the Mind
   Since the Second World War scientists from different disciplines have turned to the study of the human mind. Computer scientists have tried to emulate its capacity for visual perception. Linguists have struggled with the puzzle of how children acquire language. Ethologists have sought the innate roots of social behaviour. Neurophysiologists have begun to relate the function of nerve cells to complex perceptual and motor processes. Neurologists and neuropsychologists have used the pattern of competence and incompetence of their brain-damaged patients to elucidate the normal workings of the brain. Anthropologists have examined the conceptual structure of cultural practices to advance hypotheses about the basic principles of the mind. These days one meets engineers who work on speech perception, biologists who investigate the mental representation of spatial relations, and physicists who want to understand consciousness. And, of course, psychologists continue to study perception, memory, thought and action.
   . . . [W]orkers in many disciplines have converged on a number of central problems and explanatory ideas. They have realized that no single approach is likely to unravel the workings of the mind: it will not give up its secrets to psychology alone; nor is any other isolated discipline-artificial intelligence, linguistics, anthropology, neurophysiology, philosophy-going to have any greater success. (Johnson-Laird, 1988, p. 7)

Historical dictionary of quotations in cognitive science. . 2015.

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