Volume 21, Number 4, Autumn

Consciousness and Conscience
Thomas Natsoulas, University of California, Davis
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Autumn 2000, Volume 21, Number 4, Pages 327–352, ISSN 0271–0137

The “intrapersonal together sense” is one of several meanings of the English words conscious and consciousness. C.S. Lewis identified the intrapersonal together sense as analogous to the “interpersonal sense” of these same words: a sense that goes back, too, to ancient times, millennia before the two words entered the English language. Whereas the interpersonal sense of consciousness picks out a certain kind of relation that exists, has existed, or will exist between two or a few people, the intrapersonal together sense refers to a process instantiated wholly by a single person yet analogous to that particular interpersonal relation. In addition to the interpersonal sense and the intrapersonal together sense, this article distinguishes the related concept of “consciousness in the guilty sense”: which has reference to a subcategory of consciousness in the intrapersonal together sense. A person conscious in the guilty sense has come to judge that he or she has committed or is committing now a legal or moral transgression — this kind of consciousness turning into an application of “conscience” insofar as the judgment passed involves moral self-condemnation and produces feelings of guilt. All of the above are mutually similar kinds of consciousness and they are cases of “awareness-with.” However, although simple awareness-with is one of their crucial ingredients, they are each more complex than the kind of awareness-with that consists of no more than undergoing inner, direct awareness of one’s states of consciousness.

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

Experiences of Radical Personal Transformation in Mysticism, Religious Conversion, and Psychosis: A Review of the Varieties, Processes, and Consequences of the Numinous
Harry T. Hunt, Brock University
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Autumn 2000, Volume 21, Number 4, Pages 353–398, ISSN 0271–0137

After an overview of the phenomenology of numinous experience in mysticism, conversion, and related states in psychosis, the intersection and distinction between contemporary transpersonal psychologies of spiritual development and psychodynamic/clinical perspectives on pathological states is addressed from cognitive–developmental, psycho-physiological, personality, and socio-cultural perspectives. Debates about the nature of mystical and conversion experiences have a long history in the psychology of religious experience and raise fundamental methodological issues concerning the potential inclusiveness or narrowness of the human sciences. A genuine psychology of numinous experience and its impact on life histories must find its way between the twin dangers of “over-belief” and false reductionism.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Harry T. Hunt, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada L2S 3A1.

Self-Organization in the Dreaming Brain
Stanley Krippner, Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center
Allan Combs, University of North Carolina at Asheville
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Autumn 2000, Volume 21, Number 4, Pages 399–412, ISSN 0271–0137

This paper approaches dreaming consciousness through an examination of the self-organizing properties of the sleeping brain. This view offers a step toward reconciliation between brain-based and content-based attempts to understand the nature of dreaming. Here it is argued that the brain can be understood as a complex self-organizing system that in dreaming responds to subtle influences such as residual feelings and memories. The hyper-responsiveness of the brain during dreaming is viewed in terms of the tendency of complex chaotic-like systems to respond to small variations in initial conditions (the butterfly effect) and to the amplification of subtle emotional and cognitive signals through the mechanism of stochastic resonance, all in combination with psychophysiological changes in the brain during both slow wave sleep and REM sleep dreaming. Such changes include the active inhibition of extroceptive stimulation and, especially in REM sleep, alterations in the brain’s dominant neuromodulatory systems, bombardment of the visual cortex with bursts of PGO activity, increases in limbic system activity, and a reduction of activity in the prefrontal regions.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Allan Combs, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, CPO #1960, University of North Carolina at Asheville, One University Heights, Asheville, North Carolina 28804–8508.

Eliminativist Undercurrents in the New Wave Model of Psychoneural Reduction
Cory Wright, University of California, San Diego
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Autumn 2000, Volume 21, Number 4, Pages 413–436, ISSN 0271–0137

“New wave” reductionism aims at advancing a kind of reduction that is stronger than unilateral dependency of the mental on the physical. It revolves around the idea that reduction between theoretical levels is a matter of degree, and can be laid out on a continuum between a “smooth” pole (theoretical identity) and a “bumpy” pole (extremely revisionary). It also entails that both higher and lower levels of the reductive relationship sustain some degree of explanatory autonomy. The new wave predicts that reductions of folk psychology to neuroscience will be located in the middle of this continuum; as neuroscientific evidence about mental states checks in, theoretical folk psychology will therefore be moderately revised. However, the model has conceptual problems which preclude its success in reviving reductionism, and its commitment to a syntactic approach wrecks its attempt to rescue folk psychology. Moreover, the architecture of the continuum operates on a category mistake that sneaks in an eliminativist conclusion. I argue that new wave reductionism therefore tends to be eliminativism in disguise.

The author wishes to thank Michael Lynch, John Howard, Ron Endicott, John Bickle, Kenneth Sufka, for their inspiration and helpful comments. Requests for reprints should be sent to Cory Wright, Department of Philosophy, 0119, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, California 92093–0119. Email: sarahbellum@mad.scientist.com

Causation and Corresponding Correlations
William V. Chambers, Experior Assessments
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Autumn 2000, Volume 21, Number 4, Pages 437–460, ISSN 0271–0137

Corresponding correlations is a method that allows us to infer formal causation from correlational data. In this paper, causal terms are traced to their philosophical and etymological roots. It is argued that causes are parts of their mutual whole (effect). Nominalism, normal distributions and disjunctive causes are linked. Causal manifolds and sampling by potential are used to model conjunctive causes. Corresponding correlations are then demonstrated through simulations, in which causal relations are differentiated from spurious correlations. An algebraic method for unraveling confounded variables is presented. Distinctions between laws and causes are made and related to corresponding correlations. The conclusion is that corresponding correlations should be a significant advance in causal inference.

Requests for reprints should be sent to William V. Chambers, Ph.D., Experior Assessments, 2100 NW 53 Avenue, Gainesville, Florida 32653.

Book Review
Mad Travelers: Reflections on the Reality of Transient Mental Illness
Book Author: Ian Hacking. Charlottesville, Virginia: University of Virginia Press, 1998.
Reviewed by Jason T. Ramsay, University of Toronto
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Autumn 2000, Volume 21, Number 4, Pages 461–466, ISSN 0271–0137

[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] When I first worked with patients suffering from what was once termed neuroses, I came to see that they were in the grips of a paradox. Neuroses is an old term, but it can still be used to encompass disorders that have at their core a forceful desire to escape from the self and a paralyzing inability to do so. To be sure, this observation is not new. The self can be burdensome. Obsessive self-concern, compulsion, excessive anxiety, depression and dissociative disorders can all be viewed from the perspective of this conundrum. This draws on Western folk notions that there is a self, everyone has one, and that it is a causal force. Through our folk psychology the self has been reified by constructs such as self-esteem, self-love and self-discipline. There are numerous turns of phrase for describing the need to escape ourselves such as You should strive to be selfless or You can remake yourself.

Request for reprints should be sent to Jason Ramsay, Human Development and Applied Psychology, University of Toronto–OISE, 252 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Canada M5S 1V6. Email: jramsay@oise.utoronto.ca