Volume 17, Number 3, Summer
Measurement Units and Theory Construction
Warren W. Tryon, Fordham University
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Summer 1996, Vol. 17, No. 3, Pages 213—228, ISSN 0271—0137
The central thesis of this article is that measurement units are theoretical concepts because measurement presumes theoretical definition. New theoretical constructs can be defined in terms of algebraic combinations of previously defined measurement units. Physics has developed an impressive hierarchical knowledge structure on this basis. The unitless measures favored by psychology preclude the generation of such a knowledge hierarchy. It also leads to definitions of reliability and validity in correlational terms which can result in inaccurate measurement. Psychology has long used time as a fundamental unit. Adoption of a second measurement unit would enable construction of a psychological knowledge hierarchy to begin.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Warren W. Tryon, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Fordham University, Bronx, New York 10458—5198. E-mail can be sent to Wtryon@ Murray.Fordham.edu
Memory: A Logical Learning Theory Account
Joseph F. Rychlak, Loyola University of Chicago
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Summer 1996, Vol. 17, No. 3, Pages 229—250, ISSN 0271—0137
An interpretation of memory from the perspective of logical learning theory (LLT) is presented. In contrast to traditional associationistic theories of learning and memory, which rest on mediation modeling, LLT rests on a predication model. Predication draws on formal and final causation whereas mediation is limited to material and efficient causation. It is held in LLT that memory begins in predicate organization, where framing meanings are logically extended to targets. Passage of time is irrelevant in this meaning extension. The effectiveness of memory depends on the cohesiveness or “tightness” of meaningful organization as framed by a relevant context. Well-organized contexts facilitate memory and poorly organized contexts are detrimental to memory. Possible reasons for good or poor organization in memory are discussed, and relevant research findings cited. The paper closes with a separate definition of memory as a content and as a process.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Joseph Rychlak, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Loyola University of Chicago, 6525 N. Sheridan Road, Chicago, Illinois 60626.
How We Get There From Here: Dissolution of the Binding Problem
Valerie Gray Hardcastle, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Summer 1996, Vol. 17, No. 3, Pages 251—266, ISSN 0271—0137
On the one hand, we think that our conscious perceptions are tied to some stage of whatever processing stream we have. On the other hand, we think that our conscious experiences have to resemble the computational (or brain) states that instantiate them. However, nothing in our alleged stream resembles our experienced perceptions. Hence, a conflict. The question is: How can we go from what we know about neurons, their connections, and firing patterns, to explaining what conscious perceptual experiences are like? No intuitive answer seems plausible. Our perceptual experiences are complex and unified; however, brains divide their processing tasks into small chunks and segregate those smaller pieces across the gray matter. In this essay, I conjecture that what corresponds to our visual perceptions are higher order patterns of bifurcation in an attractor phase space. If I am correct, then the problem of the explanatory gap in philosophy, the binding problem in psychology, and the problem of perception in neuroscience disappear. If the traditional computational perspective is wrong, and sensory processing is not piece-meal, step-wise, and segregated, then there is no need for something in the head to tie things together.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Valerie Gray Hardcastle, Ph.D., Department of Philosophy, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061—0126.
The Case for Intrinsic Theory I. An Introduction
Thomas Natsoulas, University of California, Davis
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Summer 1996, Vol. 17, No. 3, Pages 267—286, ISSN 0271—0137
This is the introductory installment in a projected series of articles in which I shall be advancing the positive case for the “intrinsic” kind of explanatory account of “consciousness4.” “Consciousness4” has reference to a property of individual mental-occurrence instances (the “conscious4” ones) wherein there takes place an immediate awareness of them either upon their occurrence or as part of their very occurrence. The immediacy or directness of such inner awareness amounts to the absence of mental mediation by any other occurrent awareness. An account of consciousness4 that properly comes under the heading of “intrinsic theory” is distinguished by the thesis that a mental-occurrence instance’s being conscious4 is an intrinsic property, rather than an external-relational property of that mental-occurrence instance. My hope for the present series of articles is that, by the end, the case for intrinsic theory will he so evidently strong, or at least so vivid, that all psychologists of consciousness will have to address intrinsic theory and its explanandum of consciousness4. In this article, I set the stage by (a) rendering some of the relevant meanings explicit, (b) spelling out my purpose and approach to making the case for intrinsic theory, (c) providing some context for the discussions to follow, and (d) mentioning important objections to intrinsic theory that have been voiced in the literature.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Thomas Natsoulas, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis, Room 179, Herbert A. Young Hall, Davis, California 95616—8686. Send e-mail to <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Psychoanalytic Mind: From Freud to Philosophy
Book Author: Marcia Cavell. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1993
Reviewed by Christine P. Watling, University of Alberta
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Summer 1996, Vol. 17, No. 3, Pages 287—290, ISSN 0271—0137
[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] Whether theorizing or practicing, psychoanalysts hold certain assumptions about the nature of mind: for example, what “mind” means, and how one should go about interpreting a mind. How does the meaning applied to mind affect both the interpretations given by psychoanalysts and the symbols they use? Focusing on Freud’s psychoanalytic theory, philosopher Marcia Cavell explores the two prongs of this question.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Christine P. Watling, Department of Philosophy, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2E5; or by e-mail to cwatling@ gpu.srv.ualberta.ca