Skip Navigation

2001 - Volume 22, Number 4, Autumn

Metaphor and Consciousness: The Path Less Taken

The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Autumn 2001, Volume 22, Number 4, Pages 343–364, ISSN 0271–0137

In attempting to achieve some form of mapping between consciousness (specifically, consciousness6 ) and cognition, I distinguish between a weak and a strong version of the hypothesis, indicating a change in mode of thinking of a metaphoric-symbolic nature (Glicksohn, 1993). The weak version would claim that metaphors, symbols, analogies and images are used in an attempt to depict the experience, which is not easily translatable into words. The strong version would claim that metaphoric thinking is one of the hallmarks of the experience, and is used both in an attempt to depict the experience and also to convey to the reader, and possibly to induce in the reader, some of the qualities of that experience. My discussion of these two options is preceded by some comments on problems inherent in studying altered or alternate states of consciousness. I also discuss the relationships among physiognomic perception, cognitive dedifferentiation, and symbolic cognition.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Joseph Glicksohn, Ph.D., Department of Criminology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, 52100, Israel. Email: chanita@bgumail.bgu.ac.il
Send correspondence to: Joseph Glicksohn, Ph.D., Department of Criminology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, 52100, Israel. Email: chanita@bgumail.bgu.ac.il Fax: 972-3-6350995.

Complexity Theory, Quantum Mechanics and Radically Free Self Determination

The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Autumn 2001, Volume 22, Number 4, Pages 365–388, ISSN 0271–0137

It has been claimed that quantum mechanics, unlike classical mechanics, allows for free will. In this paper I articulate that claim and explain how a complex physical system possessing fractal-like self similarity could exhibitboth self consciousness and self determination. I use complexity theory to show how quantum mechanical indeterminacies at the neural level (as postulated by Eccles and Penrose) could “percolate up” to the levels of scale within the brain at which sensory-motor information transformations occur. Finally, I explain how macro level indeterminacy could be coupled with self determination to provide a physical system with the capacity for radically free willing.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Mark Pestana, Department of Philosophy, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan 49401. Email: pestanam@gvsu.edu.

The Affiliation of Methodology with Ontology in a Scientific Psychology

The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Autumn 2001, Volume 22, Number 4, Pages 389–406, ISSN 0271–0137

The misconception that the application of statistical methods makes psychology a science is examined. Criticisms of statistical methods involving issues related to the generalization of aggregate-level findings to individuals, the impoverished language of numbers, the application of questions to methods, and the logic of statistical hypothesis testing are reviewed. It is not suggested, however, that statistical methods be abandoned. Instead, it is suggested that shortcomings of statistical methods indicate the importance of making ontological considerations a primary concern. Methodological considerations in the absence of an understanding of the truth or ontological status of what is being studied will inevitably undermine psychologists’ efforts at understanding what it is to be human. Whereas the use of statistical methods in psychological research does not make the discipline a science, the truthful affiliation of methodology with ontology may.

The Process of Knowing: A Biocognitive Epistemology

The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Autumn 2001, Volume 22, Number 4, Pages 407–426, ISSN 0271–0137

The biocognitive theory presented in this paper offers an alternative to the attribution of cause perpetuated by the life sciences in our western culture. Historically, biology has based its epistemology on physics to understand life, whereas cognitive science has grounded its ontology in a convergence of biology, physics, and philosophy to provide models of self that range from a passive acceptance of an outside world to the active creation of an inner world. While Newtonian physics has served us well in the physical sciences, the life sciences continue to embrace the limitations of its reductionism without advancing to the more inclusive concepts offered by complexity and quantum theories. As long as the biological and cognitive sciences remain married to Newtonian physics and Cartesian philosophy, mind will be relegated to an epiphenomenon of biology that will continue to separate cognitive processes from biological functions. Rather than choosing between upward causality that explains cause from the simplest level of the organism and downward causality that explains it from the most complex to the simplest, biocognitive theory offers contextual coemergence where the simultaneous resonance between fields of bioinformation is the genesis of cause. In this model of coemergent causality, cognition, biology, and cultural history are viewed as biocognitions that communicate within a bioinformational field that has both linear processes in Euclidian geometry and non-linear processes in fractal geometry. Because of the simultaneous and reciprocal nature of mind and body communication, it is argued that biology creates thought and thought creates biology. Just as mind and body cannot be separated, to attempt a separation of mind and world would create an artificial split between observer and observation that assumes we can “step out” of the world we are attempting to observe.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Mario E. Martinez, Psy.D., Institute of Biocognitive Psychology, P.O. Box 210295, Nashville, Tennessee 37221. Email: IBP@biocoginitive.com

The Concrete State: The Basic Components of James’s Stream of Consciousness

The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Autumn 2001, Volume 22, Number 4, Pages 427–450, ISSN 0271–0137

The basic components of James’s stream of consciousness are considered concretely and in a way that tends to be relatively neutral from a theoretical perspective. My ultimate goal is a general description of the states of consciousness, but I try here to be more “observational” than “theoretical” about them. Giving attention to James’s reports of his personal firsthand evidence, I proceed as though I were conversing with this most phenomenological and radically empirical of psychological authors. I disagree with James on some points but, also, I find many of his claims acceptable and base my own view on a thesis fundamental to his perspective: A stream of consciousness consists of a succession, one at a time, of unitary states and all of the other mental occurrences that are conscious (e.g., thoughts, feelings, perceptual experiences, or intentions) are features of such states. This is an effort to see more clearly together with James, not an exercise of correcting errors in how he treated of our topic.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Thomas Natsoulas, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, One Shields Avenue, University of California, Davis, California, 95616-8686. Email: tnatsoulas@ucdavis.edu

The Concrete State Continued

The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Autumn 2001, Volume 22, Number 4, Pages 451–474, ISSN 0271–0137

I continue here to consider concretely the states of consciousness that are held to be the fundamental durational components of James’s famous stream — my ideal purpose being to arrive eventually at a general description applicable to every one of them. I closely attend therefore to James’s account of the sense of personal identity, not for its own sake but for what it further reveals regarding the specific states of consciousness that James called individually “the present, judging Thought.” These states, which are the inner awarenesses, remembrances, and appropriations of other states of consciousness in the same stream, are supposed to provide us with a sense of our own diachronic continuity. According to James, they are the only “I” there is. I bring out among other things that, notwithstanding James’s rejection of an entitative Ego responsible for apprehending and appropriating the states of consciousness and other components of our empirical “me,” James in effect assigned this job to the total brain process. Embodying all the information required, it is this physical process that is proposed to produce each Thought full-blown.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Thomas Natsoulas, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, One Shields Avenue, University of California, Davis, California, 95616-8686. Email: tnatsoulas@ucdavis.edu

Book Reviews

Animal Minds: Beyond Cognition to Consciousness


The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Autumn 2001, Volume 22, Number 4, Pages 475–478, ISSN 0271–0137

[Note: Early paragraph, no abstract available.] Donald R. Griffin has been compiling empirical evidence on animal cognition since the 1970s. His newest revised and expanded edition of Animal Minds: Beyond Cognition to Consciousness, includes extensive coverage of animal behavior. From tiny insects through crustaceans, fish, birds, and on to mammals, Griffin documents observed animal behavior with intent to shed light on the minds of diverse species.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Dr. L.A. Kemmerer, 64 Lavron Brother’s Road, Hoquiam, Washington 98550. Email: jkemmerer@techline.com.

Private Heresies


The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Autumn 2001, Volume 22, number 4, Pages 479–482 ISSN 0271–0137

[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] Sculptor Aleksandra Kasuba presents in her book, Private Heresies, “a record of physical and mental sensations, the minute energy events arranged in a progression from the simplest at the core to the most complex in the enveloping layers of movements” (p. 6). Around the time of what we would now consider early adolescence, Kasuba began recording “impressions of . . . inner states” in her notebooks. In her third or fourth entry, Kasuba recounts drawing “Venus de Milo for Beauty, scales for Truth and a heart for myself” (p. 1). Perhaps it goes without saying that an artist sees the world differently from the rest of us. One might argue that only artists see the truth or reality as it is. In turn, the artist attempts to explain the truth to the masses via its representation in works of art. It is then the duty of the public to attempt to understand. Unfortunately, more often that not, the masses fail, retreating into their own interpretations, due to their shortcomings. Kasuba’s autobiography of sensations presents the truth. To be sure, it is a challenging work, but whoever accepts the challenge of reading it will not be disappointed.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Scott Stalcup, Department of English, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Indiana 47809.


Back to 2001