|03-05-2008, 08:51 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2007
Our subjective mental life
Our subjective mental life
We constantly make subjective judgments regarding abstract things, such as morality, difficulty, importance; we also have subjective experiences such as affection, desire, and achievement.
The manner in which we reason, and visualize about these matters comes from other domains of experience. “These other domains are mostly sensorimotor domains…as when we conceptualize understanding an idea (subjective experience) in terms of grasping an object (sensorimotor experience)…The cognitive mechanism for such conceptualizations is conceptual metaphor, which allows us to use the physical logic of grasping to reason about understanding.”
Metaphor is pervasive throughout thought and language. Primary metaphors might properly be considered to be the fundamental building blocks for our thinking and our communication through language.
The theory of primary metaphors has four parts:
1) Johnson’s theory of conflation—in the early years of childhood the sensorimotor experiences are often conflated with the subjective (nonsensorimotor) experiences and judgments. An example might be when a newborn experiences the warmth of the embrace by its mother and that literal experience becomes conflated with a later subjective experience of affection. That is why our feeling of affection is accompanied by a sense of warmth. “During the early period of conflation, associations are automatically built up between the two domains. Later, during a period of differentiation, children then able to separate out the domains, but the cross-domain associations persist.”
2) Grady’s theory of primary metaphor—complex metaphors are like molecular structure with primary metaphors as the atomic elements.
3) Narayanan’s neural theory of metaphor—the associations made during conflation “are realized neurally in simultaneous activations that result in permanent neural connections being made across the neural networks that define conceptual domains…that constitute metaphorical entailments.”
4) Fauconnier and Turner’s theory of conceptual blending—Distinct separate conceptual domains can be coactivated thereby creating a blending, which creates new and unique conceptual blends.
“The integrated theory –the four parts together—has an overwhelming implication: We acquire a large system of primary metaphors automatically and unconsciously simply by functioning in the most ordinary of ways in the everyday world from our earliest days…we all naturally think using hundreds of primary metaphors.”
In summation, we have many hundreds of primary metaphors, which together provide a rich inferential structure, imagery, and qualitative feel. These primary metaphors permit our sensorimotor experiences to be used to create subjective experiences. Thus abstract ideas are created that are grounded in everyday experiences.
Do you have any idea how abstract ideas might be created other wise?
Quotes from Philosophy in the Flesh” by Lakoff and Johnson
|10-22-2011, 05:34 AM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2011
Initially, abstract ideas are going to be "subjective".
But through communication with others and the use of logic "objective" abstract ideas can form.
But even then, one can make the argument that they are always subjective.
There seems to be deeper question that you are asking here.
What is the implication if the methods you outlined were the only ways these ideas can form?
|10-22-2011, 06:51 AM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2010
There are other theories about what thinking is.
There are other experiences regarding abstract ideas creation as well.
According to my experience even newborn babies can have the ability to think in a much more complicated way than it is commonly recognized. What methods do scientists use to make their conclusions about how the associations of the newborns are built up? Is it really possible to prove the validity of those methods? If they are not able to check somehow the thoughts of the newborns any method cannot be trustful enough.
Of course I also cannot prove that I had the experience like mine. But I remember the day when I was born, you may believe me or not. I remember being wrapped too tight, so that I could't move my arms and legs, and I thought : "Oh, this world is not good. There is no freedom here". Were these primary metaphors? If so, where did the word "this world" as compared with some other world come from?
I think people are born with the ability to build up abstract ideas immediately after being born, and maybe even earlier. Of course I cannot prove that. I can only rely on this experience and my memory which has worked so fine.
There is also a scientific theory(by Bekhtereva) that the thoughts come to our mind from the outside, they are not the product of our brain.
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