robertogreco + mind + knowledge   14

To see is to forget the name of the thing one sees | Grand Strategy: The View from Oregon
"“To see is to forget the name of the thing one sees.” This is a quote frequently attributed to Paul Valéry, and the line has a quality that is at once both searching and poetic, making the attribution reasonable. I don’t know if Valéry actually said it (I can’t find the source of the quote), but I think of this line every once in a while: my mind returns to it as to an object of fascination. A good aphorism is perennially pregnant with meaning, and always repays further meditation.

If seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees, and mutatis mutandis for the aesthetic experiences that follow from the other senses — e.g., to taste is to forget the name of thing one tastes, and so forth — we may take the idea further and insist that it is the forgetting of not only the name but of all the linguistic (i.e., formal) accretions, all categorizations, and all predications, that enables us to experience the thing in itself (to employ a Kantian locution). What we are describing is the pursuit of prepredicative experience after the fact (to employ a Husserlian locution).

This is nothing other than the familiar theme of seeking a pure aesthetic experience unmediated by the intellect, undistracted by conceptualization, unmarred by thought — seeing without thinking the seen. In view of this, can we take the further step, beyond the generalization of naming, extending the conceit to all linguistic formalizations, so that we arrive at a pure aesthesis of thought? Can we say that to think is to forget the name of the thing one thinks?

The pure aesthesis of thought, to feel a thought as one feels an experience of the senses, would be thought unmediated by the conventions of naming, categories, predication, and all the familiar machinery of the intellect, i.e., thought unmediated by the accretions of consciousness. It would be thought without all that we usually think of as being thought. Is such thought even possible? Is this, perhaps, unconscious thought? Is Freud the proper model for a pure aesthesis of thought? Possible or not, conscious or not, Freudian or not, the pursuit of such thought would constitute an effort of thought that must enlarge our intellectual imagination, and the enlargement of our imagination is ultimately the enlargement of our world.

Wittgenstein famously wrote that the limits of my language are the limits of my world (Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 5.6 — this is another wonderful aphorism that always repays further meditation). But the limits of language can be extended; we can systematically seek to transcend the limits of our language and thus the limits of our world, or we can augment our language and thus augment our world. Russell, Wittgenstein’s mentor and one-time collaborator, rather than focusing on limits of the self, developed an ethic of impersonal self-enlargement, i.e., the transgression of limits. In the last chapter of his The Problems of Philosophy Russell wrote:
All acquisition of knowledge is an enlargement of the Self, but this enlargement is best attained when it is not directly sought. It is obtained when the desire for knowledge is alone operative, by a study which does not wish in advance that its objects should have this or that character, but adapts the Self to the characters which it finds in its objects. This enlargement of Self is not obtained when, taking the Self as it is, we try to show that the world is so similar to this Self that knowledge of it is possible without any admission of what seems alien. The desire to prove this is a form of self-assertion and, like all self-assertion, it is an obstacle to the growth of Self which it desires, and of which the Self knows that it is capable. Self-assertion, in philosophic speculation as elsewhere, views the world as a means to its own ends; thus it makes the world of less account than Self, and the Self sets bounds to the greatness of its goods. In contemplation, on the contrary, we start from the not-Self, and through its greatness the boundaries of Self are enlarged; through the infinity of the universe the mind which contemplates it achieves some share in infinity.

The obvious extension of this conception of impersonal self-enlargement to an ethics of thought enjoins the self-enlargement of the intellect, the transgression of the limits of the intellect. It is the exercise of imagination that enlarges the intellect, and a great many human failures that we put to failures of understanding and cognition are in fact failures of imagination.

The moral obligation of self-enlargement is a duty of intellectual self-transgression. As Nietzsche put it: “A very popular error: having the courage of one’s convictions; rather it is a matter of having the courage for an attack on one’s convictions!”"

[Came here today because https://twitter.com/rogre/status/403632186944790528 + https://twitter.com/rogre/status/403632476154626048 + https://twitter.com/rogre/status/403636512656334848
thus the tagging with Robert Irwin, Lawrence Weschler, and Clarice Lispector]
paulvaléry  wittgenstein  thought  language  aphorism  mind  memory  senses  familiarization  robertirwin  lawrenceweschler  naming  categorization  predication  freud  bertrandrussell  self  philosophy  claricelispector  knowledge  knowledgeacquisition  self-enlargement  nietzsche  brasil  brazil  literature 
november 2013 by robertogreco
The Aporeticus - by Mills Baker · I have often thought that the nature of science...
"I have often thought that the nature of science would be better understood if we called theories “misconceptions” from the outset, instead of only after we have discovered their successors. Thus we could say that Einstein’s Misconception of Gravity was an improvement on Newton’s Misconception, which was an improvement on Kepler’s. The neo-Darwinian Misconception of Evolution is an improvement on Darwin’s Misconception, and his on Lamarck’s… Science claims neither infallibility nor finality."

David Deutsch…in The Beginning of Infinity…demonstrates that although we will, barring extinction, continue to refine & improve our knowledge infinitely, we will also never stop being able to improve it. Thus we will always live w/ fallible scientific understanding (& fallible moral theories, fallible aesthetic ideas, fallible philosophical notions, etc.); it is the nature of the relationship between knowledge, mind, & universe.

But it remains odd to say: everything I know is a misconception."
sensemaking  understanding  scientificunderstanding  fallibility  universe  mind  2012  millsbaker  philosophy  karlpopper  darwin  chalresdarwin  alberteinstein  theories  knowledge  whatweknow  misconception  science  daviddeutsch  philosopy  charlesdarwin 
february 2012 by robertogreco
A Sharper Mind, Middle Age and Beyond - NYTimes.com
"To isolate the specific impact of schooling on mental skills, Dr. Lachman & her colleagues tried to control for other likely reasons one person might outshine another—differences in income, parental achievement, gender, physical activity & age. After all, we know that the children of affluent, educated parents have a raft of advantages that could account for greater mental heft down the road. College graduates are able to compound their advantages because they can pour more resources into their minds & bodies.

Still, when Lachman & Dr. Tun reviewed results, they were surprised to discover that into middle age and beyond, people could make up for educational disadvantages encountered earlier in life."

[This doesn't make much sense to me. Is this really the cause & effect? "[A] college degree appears to slow the brain’s aging process." Or are people inclined to go to college wired this way, or the jobs that they're likely to have after college allowing them to keep their minds sharp?]
dementia  margielachman  knowledge  genecohen  brain  intelligence  howardgardner  psychology  patriciacohen  williamosler  neuroscience  mind  minds  aging  education  age  from delicious
january 2012 by robertogreco
Half an Hour: An Operating System for the Mind [Stephen Downes on the Core Knowledge "Challenge to the Partnership for 21st Century Skills"]
Two quotes (not the whole story): "When you teach children facts as facts, & do it through a process of study & drill, it doesn't occur to children to question whether or not those facts are true, appropriate, moral, egal, or anything else. Rote learning is a short circuit into the brain. It's direct programming. People who study & learn, that 2+2=4, know that 2+2=4, not because they understand the theory of mathematics, not because they have read Hilbert & understand formalism, or can refute Brouwer & reject intuitionism, but because they know (full stop) 2+2=4." ... "We are in a period of transition. We still to a great degree treat facts as things & of education as the acquisition of those things. But more and more, as our work, homes and lives become increasingly complex, we see this understanding becoming not only increasingly obsolete, but increasingly an impediment...if you simply follow the rules, do what you're told, do your job & stay out of trouble, you will be led to ruin."

[summary here: http://www.daveswhiteboard.com/archives/2818 ]
knowledge  literacy  criticalthinking  skills  connectivism  education  stephendownes  programming  brainwashing  cognition  automatons  directinstruction  cv  tcsnmy  history  future  agency  activism  learning2.0  change  gamechanging  information  learning  truth  relevance  infooverload  filtering  unschooling  deschooling  psychology  brain  attention  mind  diversity  ict  pedagogy  e-learning  theory  elearning  21stcenturyskills  21stcenturylearning 
september 2009 by robertogreco
The Expert Mind: Scientific American
"A 1999 study of professional soccer players from several countries showed that they were much more likely than the general population to have been born at a time of year that would have dictated their enrollment in youth soccer leagues at ages older than the average. In their early years, these children would have enjoyed a substantial advantage in size and strength when playing soccer with their teammates. Because the larger, more agile children would get more opportunities to handle the ball, they would score more often, and their success at the game would motivate them to become even better."
education  learning  science  psychology  research  work  creativity  mind  knowledge  life  brain  expert  expertise  training  chess  athletics  sports  age 
february 2009 by robertogreco
What Makes the Human Mind?  (November-December 2008)
"Hauser summarizes the distinguishing characteristics of human thought under four broad capacities. These include: the ability to combine and recombine different types of knowledge and information in order to gain new understanding; the ability to apply the solution for one problem to a new and different situation; the ability to create and easily understand symbolic representation of computation and sensory input; and the ability to detach modes of thought from raw sensory and perceptual input.
science  evolution  human  nature  animals  neuroscience  mind  anthropology  thought  creativity  language  knowledge 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Get Smarter: 12 Hacks That Will Amp Up Your Brainpower
"1. Distract Yourself 2. Caffeinate With Care 3. Choose Impressive Information 4. Think Positive 5. Do the Right Drugs 6. Juice Your IQ Score 7. Know Your Brain 8. Don't Panic 9. Embrace Chaos 10. Get Visual 11. Exercise Wisely 12. Slow Down"
brain  productivity  memory  neuroscience  comprehension  memorization  education  efficiency  learning  lifehacks  knowledge  mind  tips  gtd  science  psychology  sleep  drugs  health  medicine  howto 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Technology Review: Blogs: Ed Boyden's blog: How to Think: Managing brain resources in an age of complexity.
"Synthesize new ideas constantly. Never read passively. Learn how to learn (rapidly). Work backward from goal. Always have long-term plan. Make contingency maps. Collaborate. Make mistakes quickly. Document everything obsessively. Keep it simple"
thinking  habits  gtd  life  lifehacks  learning  knowledge  mind  metacognition  productivity  creativity  brain  tips  howto  strategy  simplicity  via:kottke  projectmanagement  teaching  ideageneration  ideas  collaboration  complexity 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Innovative Minds Don’t Think Alike - New York Times
“Look for people with renaissance-thinker tendencies, who’ve done work in a related area but not in your specific field,” [Rabe] says. “Make it possible for someone who doesn’t report directly to that area to come in and say the emperor has no c
innovation  knowledge  mind  psychology 
january 2008 by robertogreco
M a y b e L o g i c A c a d e m y
" Courses are grounded in the philosophy and perspective of maybe logic, an approach which emphasizes the fallibility and relativity of perception and tends to approach information and observations with questions, probabilities and multiple perspectives r
academia  alternative  elearning  education  cognitive  consciousness  religion  psychology  philosophy  online  mind  logic  learning  knowledge  robertantonwilson 
september 2007 by robertogreco
Dunning-Kruger effect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"the phenomenon whereby people who have little knowledge systematically think that they know more than others who have much more knowledge"
awareness  behavior  belief  brain  business  cognitive  culture  debate  education  elitism  evaluation  facts  human  humannature  ideas  intelligence  knowledge  leadership  learning  management  metacognition  mind  perception  personality  philosophy  psychology  self  teaching  thinking 
july 2007 by robertogreco
List of cognitive biases - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Cognitive bias is distortion in the way humans perceive reality (see also cognitive distortion). See also the list of thinking-related topic lists. Some of these have been verified empirically in the field of psychology, others are considered general cat
advertising  brain  bias  branding  cognition  criticalthinking  decisionmaking  decisions  definitions  design  development  economics  fallacies  human  intelligence  knowledge  learning  logic  mind  research  neuroscience  sociology  perception  reasoning  reason  philosophy  perspective  thought  thinking  writing  words  language 
may 2007 by robertogreco
26 Reasons What You Think is Right is Wrong
"A cognitive bias is something that our minds commonly do to distort our own view of reality. Here are the 26 most studied and widely accepted cognitive biases."
advertising  brain  bias  branding  cognition  criticalthinking  decisionmaking  decisions  definitions  design  development  economics  fallacies  human  intelligence  knowledge  learning  logic  mind  research  neuroscience  sociology  perception  reasoning  reason  philosophy  perspective  thought  thinking  writing  words  language 
may 2007 by robertogreco

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