Summary of Deriving an Appropriate Scientific Perspective for Studying the Mind

A summary of each paragraph linked through the first few words of the paragraph.

1. The common-knowledge perspective of how the mind works

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Before we Let’s start with common knowledge, which is pretty reliable, though ultimately debatable.
First and foremost We have minds that travel with our bodies that are aware and capable, making them conscious. Our abilities to feel and think have significant but limited conscious control. We model the world to help us predict what will happen.
The experience We also understand the world through language, using two vocabularies, one of physical words and one of mental words.
Beyond language Our understand of mind includes ideas others have developed about it, both traditionally and from expert study.
I’m not Conventional wisdom says we have souls whose existence is independent of our bodies, while science says we have bodies whose minds are just a side effect or illusion. Neither explains, and we are left assuming they are unfathomable.

2. Form & Function Dualism: things and ideas exist

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We can’t We need an ontology to say what kinds of things exist. Physicalism doesn’t seem to explain our subjective experience.
Alternatively, we Idealism doesn’t account for the persistence of physical things. Dualism could explain both mental and physical, but evidence shows the brain is entirely physical so substance dualism is out. Property dualism is another attempt, but still binds properties directly to physical things. Predicate dualism correctly calls out aspects of the mental that cannot be reduced to the physical, but it does not break predicates down to their underlying parts.
Let’s consider Many thoughts are generalizations that can’t be reduced to the physical. Form and function cannot be reduced to each other.
The mental world Information is the basis of mental existence, being the basis of function, which makes it possible to predict the future. Information uses indirection and representation to create a phenomenal perspective out of observations of noumena, which are the real physical things themselves.
I argue that Physical and mental, aka form and function, are two different kinds of existence, not reducible to each other.
On this view The mind runs in a brain using entirely physical processes, but analysis of the physical form doesn’t explain the function, which has been abstracted away from the physical using physical mechanisms that support indirection.
The two fundamental Function dualism is a dualism of form and function, or matter and mind, that says a physical brain makes the mental mind possible.
Physicalism is We need both physicalism and idealism to explain our lives.
The rise of We must embrace idealism (the existence of function) to explain biological phenomena, which store information in genes, memory, and culture.
So the love-hate Information processing is possible in the physical world, but the information processed is not physical and can’t be understood in physical terms. Physicoidealism gives science the teeth to dig into the study of function.

3. Pragmatism: to know is to predict

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Given that Pragmatism is the theory of knowledge (epistemology) that says knowledge consists of access to patterns that help predict the future for practical uses, i.e. the ability to use information.
Pragmatism takes Pragmatism is often thought of as theory’s ugly cousin, but all theory actually aspires to be pragmatic. Pragmatism embraces our intuitive, subconscious skills while theory can’t.
Thinking is Information is either statistical or logical, i.e. deriving from patterns or from formalized entailments.
Not all thoughts More certain knowledge is internally flagged as such or publicly acknowledged as such.
Because pragmatism Pragmatism is a comprehensive epistemology, unlike rationalism and empiricism, which neglect important aspects of functional existence.

4. How does knowledge become objective and free of preferences, biases, and fallacies?

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Knowledge carries Science can be pretty objective but is not a perfect descriptor of reality.
All of our Models only approximately describe nature, but often with a vanishingly small amount of uncertainty.
Our mastery We can’t completely eliminate subjectivity from science.
How can we We can be fairly objective in the collection of evidence (form), but objectivity over function is much harder to achieve. Computers could help, but we can’t yet program computers to think and in any cases we would still have to program preferences, which are subjective. So we need to examine how we think to see how to do it more objectively, but we weren’t going to do that examination until we developed an objective way to do it. To get past this bootstrapping dilemma, I will make several passes to move from simpler and broader accounts to deeper ones with greater explanatory power.
So then I presume that minds process information, record memories, and gradually expand their capabilities. All past experiences contribute to and influence the present state of mind.
One could view We can deconstruct reasoning into logical and statistical techniques using each to the maximum degree they help.
While we can’t From our experience we develop generalizations, aka concepts, about the world. We have an innate capacity to instantly recognize an instance of a concept.
Let’s move on We naturally form mental models, which are the assumptions and rules that describe problems we typically encounter. Models are concepts viewed from the inside.
While APPLE We naturally recognize a model or concept when we see an example of it, and then we build a model instance, aka constellation of models, to represent this specific example, that references a number of models/concepts supporting this instance.
We reason with Reason works by using logic within each model in a constellation and then using statistical means to weigh the models against each other. We extend our knowledge beyond our personal experience by sharing concepts thought language and by developing more robust (objective) models/concepts through science.
So what steps While software could potentially apply models more objectively, we can’t write that kind of software yet.
There is much Science cultivates a culture of objectivity. Scientific communities resist new paradigms until the evidence for them is overwhelming, which is reasonable so long as the community guards against biases. Science creates an ever more useful model of the world.

5. Orienting science (esp. cognitive science) with physicoidealism and pragmatism

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The paradigm I propose a paradigm of form & function dualism and pragmatism as extensions to the current paradigm.
But wait Biology has tacitly extended the current paradigm to deal with evolution, but it has not articulated what kind of extension this is, so scientific purists remain skeptical of claims made on the basis of evolution.
The social sciences The social sciences have also tacitly extended the current paradigm by including the mind as a black box, but ultimately one can’t do science with black boxes. We need to clearly state what exists and what knowledge is.
Expanding the This new paradigm impacts all of science: properly seating the formal sciences, explaining information flow in biology, and giving the social sciences an explanatory basis.
But my primary The new paradigm chiefly unifies cognitive science. By enabling a structured discussion of mental function from an abstract, functional perspective, it clearly delineates the subfield of theoretical cognitive science, which is my chief pursuit.
It is worth noting Programs are not the same thing as mind even if they are written using words like UNDERSTAND or GOAL, but we can write programs that achieve real (predictive) functions in the world, so such programs can be said to have both form and function.
What are the next We need start thinking about how minds achieve function by decomposing the mental world from the top down, starting (and ending) with the information the mind manages.