I’d like to deal with the current Dalai Lama’s critical remarks against Western psychology in detail, but I only have time at the moment to make a few brief remarks.
This is the first in a series of blog posts of mine on Keith Stanovich’s work on rationality and thinking dispositions. I will focus mainly on his 2009 book. What intelligence tests miss: The psychology of rational thought.. While this book was published several years ago, its ideas are still valid, pertinent and worthy of discussion. The following is adapted from Cognitive Productivity, a book which discusses and builds upon Stanovich’s work.
As I have said, ingratitude does not surprise me. What does startle me, in retrospect, is my lack of curiosity.
Hermann Hesse’s Emil Sinclair character
In a previous post I mentioned that I will moderate a humanist meeting on consciousness. This post contains some further information on that for participants, and whoever else might find it relevant.
Here are some of the questions I will raise:
The January 25, 2015 meeting on this topic has been postponed. Watch this space, or send me an email in February, to get the new date.
On [Date TBD], I will moderate a humanist discussion on so called “consciousness”. Given that the content will be of broad interest, I will post a few articles for the participants and other interested readers.
For many years, for several reasons, I argued against using the term “consciousness”. “Conscious”, an adjective, is a helpful term that can trigger meaningful psychological inquiry; but the term “consciousness” all too often interferes with the pursuit of understanding the human mind. It tends to induce a reification fallacy, i.e., to assume that because we have a noun (here consciousness) it must actually refer to something particular. Contrast dog, which has referents, and energy which does not. Energy, like gravity, is a helpful problem-centered concept, i.e., a concept that is used to frame and solve problems. Dog is helpful, but it is not problem-centered. It was not developed to solve a theoretical challenge of understanding the world. Treating consciousness as stuff-like can cause problems.
Here’s a little fact that might help you cautiously approach questions using the term “consciousness”: Continue reading “Consciousness”: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Questions About the Human Mind
I’ve been associated with the Cognitive Science program at Simon Fraser University for several years. Earlier this month, I became Adjunct Professor of Cognitive Science there.
I have an active research program at SFU which is summarized on my SFU home page. Most of my foreground projects at the moment investigate the information processing mechanisms underlying sleep onset and insomnia. They are collaborations with excellent sleep research psychologists at various universities:
To celebrate this fact, the first 20 people who use the “I-Prefer-Leanpub” coupon URL in purchasing Cognitive Productivity from Leanpub will get this book for only $7.99, less than half the current Amazon price![*] (and half the recommended Leanpub price.) The URL coupon code is embedded in all Leanpub links in this post. Explicitly, it is:
Amazon, as you may have heard, has ruffled the feathers of authors and publishers. I won’t comment on that here.
However, I do encourage readers of Cognitive Productivity to purchase the book on Leanpub rather than Amazon, because:
This epistolary essay was written in 2014 (with some later updates) as a response to Lam Wong’s 21 Elements: Relation, Perception and Meaning painting exhibition of Sept. 2014 in New Westminster. I blogged about the exhibition prior to writing this essay.
In 2014, Lam Wong’s 21 Elements: Relation, Perception and Meaning book was published. That book contains photos of all the paintings in his exhibition. A chapter of 21 Elements, written by Lam, which includes pictures of several of the paintings from his book, are available in this PDF.
Photos of the paintings from 21 Elements are available on Lam’s website.
A version of the essay below appears in the second edition of 21 Elements, published in 2022. That’s a limited edition print.
A version of the essay below, interleaved with photos of the paintings, will appear in Discontinuities: Love, Art, Mind. The letter reflects many of the themes of Discontinuities, including, of course, affective epistolary communication.
- Attentively developing expertise through time
- N-ary relations in art and meta machinery
- Perception: The construction of conjectures
- Rational faith and love in the dark
- Language of cognitive-affective mind
- Perturbance: Loss of control of mental processing of motivators
- Attachment, acceptance, love and happiness
- Universality of affect
- Using visual art to improve ourselves
- Consciousness, the great integrator (or integration)
- To the tune of Kevin Shield’s Goodbye
Meta-painting & Science of the Human Mind: An Epistolary Response to Lam Wong’s 21 Elements
Shadows of shadows passing. It is now 1831, and as always I am absorbed with a delicate thought. It is how poetry has indefinite sensations, to which end music is an essential. Since the comprehension of sweet sound is our most indefinite conception, music, when combined with a pleasurable idea, is poetry. Music without the idea is simply music. Without music or an intriguing idea, colour becomes pallor, man becomes carcass, home becomes catacomb, and the dead are but for a moment motionless. Edgar Allan Poe
I had the pleasure of attending, on several occasions, Lam Wong’s 21 Elements: Relation, Perception and Meaning exhibition and of discussing his art with him. As a result, I am moved to share my reflections with you.
I don’t usually blog about my workshops and presentations. But I thought I’d mention two workshops for School District 23 ( Okanagan) that I will give in Kelowna next Friday:
- Reading to learn with tablets and laptops.
- Getting more and better sleep.
The first workshop is based on my book, Cognitive Productivity: Using Knowledge to Become Profoundly Effective, which itself is based on extensive research.
I’ve uploaded this address this evening in order to share the gem, and so that I can link to it in an essay I am writing on Lam Wong’s recent 21 Elements exhibition of paintings on “Relation, Perception and Meaning”. (The essay will be in the next edition of Wong’s book, 21 Elements.) It is fitting that Lamontagne’s paper should itself be so beautifully artistic! Professor of Psychology, on the occasion of him receiving the 2001 University of Ottawa Teaching Award.
Lamontagne’s address is “University Teaching: A critical Rationalist’s Reflexions”.
If you’re a scholar thinking of writing a book, be it for a general or scholarly audience, check out my post on Leanpub’s blog, Lean Scholarly Publishing With Leanpub. All types of authors experience advantages using Leanpub, but there are also some considerations that are particularly relevant to academics.