The Study Of The Mind Mind

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The Study Of The Mind: Mind & Thinking Essay, Research Paper The Study of the Mind: Mind & Thinking The objective of The Mind is to provide the reader with a unique overview of the thinking of human kind. Self-understanding is one of humankind?s most ancient quests. Who am I? What is my relationship to the world around me? These questions marked the beginnings of philosophy. They are initiations in the search for mind, for, at least in the one respect; we are unique among all creatures. Only we are curious about our origins, the meaning of existence, and the nature of the inner world that we experience whenever we reflect, remember, and think. Thinking is as natural and inevitable as breathing, but when we try to pin down what it is that we actually do when we think,

we run into difficulties. In part, this is because many aspects of our thinking are not available to our awareness. We cannot sum up everything that we believe, for example; yet the beliefs that we fail to communicate may be as or more important than what we speak about. This paradox has much to tell us about the nature of mind. ?The mind is a language without words, a language that links us through the whole history of mankind. If you like, it?s a fellowship from one human mind to another.? At first glance a definition of the mind seems obvious. After all, we speak of it daily. We talk of making up (or losing) one?s mind, call some of our neighbors ?mindless,? and sometimes suggest that someone ?does not know his own mind.? Scientist and thinkers in pursuit of mind have tried to

identify those qualities that make it unique. One quality is the ability to be conscious of self, the ability to understand one?s place on the planet and time. Thinking shapes mental models. The art of navigating a ship is a demonstration of what we all do all our lives: construct models, solve problems, and anticipate the future. These mental processes reach their culmination in the human brain. ?The brain exists in order to construct representations of the world,? says Dr. Johnson-Laird. ?Very simple organisms have no brains, construct no representations of the world. And the reason we probably have such large brains in part because we live in a very complicated world, a complicated social world. We?re social animals. So the brain has to do a great deal of computation in order

to solve the very intricate problems that social life poses for us.? On some occasions, our thinking is like that of the navigator of the carrier. We employ words, concepts, and highly abstract representations of the world around us. At other times, in difficult, sensitive, or challenging situations, we think in the way the native navigator does, and intuit or think in the way the native navigator does, and intuit or ?feel? our way. There are no fixed rules, no set approaches that will constantly work at such times. But though we, like the native navigator, ?play it by ear? interpreting the situation as he interprets the direction, shape, and feel of the ocean swells that rock his tiny craft, the mental models in both these kinds of thinking are similar, drawing on a store of

accumulated knowledge and experience. Thinking is easier to name than to define, but we can begin to explore what it is by noting elements of thinking. Consider the following biographical sketch: Jonathan dropped out of school in the mid-sixties, drifted into anti-war activities, experimented with drugs for a while, and eventually returned to take a degree from Berkley in 1970. Today Jonathan lives in Greenwich Village. Question: Which is more likely, that Jonathan is a teacher at the New School and an occasional user of cocaine. But the logically more correct answer is that Jonathan is a teacher at the New School. None of these scenarios is the result of stupidity, flawed thinking, or malfunctioning within the mind. Rather, they illustrate how the mind actually works. Put in