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Aeon Essays -- What favourite childhood books reveal about the psyche by Adam Gidwitz
'Sigmund Freud said a lot of crazy things, but one of his most compelling insights was that the mind is like the city of Rome. Each age has its own architecture, its own monuments, built on top of those from the previous ages. But instead of knocking down those monuments to an older time and replacing them, the mind preserves each landmark. Some, like the Colosseum, are more obvious, while others are hidden in the shadows of Palatine Hill. Even more completely than Rome, each adult keeps the landscape of her childhood intact. If you want to understand that childhood landscape, the foundations on which a person’s life is built, ask her what her favourite books were as a child. -- ... I have a close friend whose favourite book as a child was The Runaway Bunny (1942) by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd. Its first page reads: Once there was a little bunny who wanted to run away. So he said to his mother: ‘I am running away.’ -- ‘If you run away,’ said his mother, ‘I will run after you. For you are my little bunny.’ -- On each subsequent page, the little bunny fantasises about different ways in which he could transform himself and escape his mother. But, like a game of rock-paper-scissors, for each transformation the bunny proposes, his mother has a counter. ‘If you run after me… I will become a fish in a trout stream and I will swim away from you.’ ‘If you become a fish in a trout stream,’ says his mother, ‘I will become a fisherman and fish for you.’ -- On and on this game goes, until ultimately the bunny proposes turning into a little boy and running into a house. ‘If you become a little boy and run into a house… I will become your mother and catch you in my arms and hug you.’ At which point the bunny replies: ‘Aw shucks… I might just as well stay where I am and be your little bunny.’ -- I never thought much about the meaning of The Runaway Bunny until I learned that it was my friend’s absolute, bar-none, ask-for-it-every-night favourite book as a child– at which point I burst out laughing. No book could suit him more. Where his mother was concerned, he was always a rebel. Once, when he was sent to his room as a young boy, he stood at the top of the stairs and shouted at his mother: ‘I have a penis and you don’t!’ As a young adolescent, well before he was legally allowed to drive, he ‘borrowed’ his parents’ car in the middle of the night and drove from the suburbs into New York City. -- On a recent Mother’s Day, he gave his mother a card that said: ‘I don’t have to give you anything because I know you’ll always love me.’ His mother burst into grateful tears. Whatever you think of that card as a Mother’s Day gift (had I been his mother, I would have been tempted to slap him), the mother-son relationship in The Runaway Bunny describes the dynamic between my friend and his mother pretty well. The book is a map, incomplete of course, of his relationship with his mother for years. -- ... When a child asks for the same book three hundred times, she is telling her parents what she needs to learn, what she needs to come to terms with. Adults do the same thing. Books are psychologists, using imagination therapy to elicit secrets that their readers did not know they kept.'
psychology  childhood  mind  reading  readerlywriterly  bibliotherapy 
8 hours ago by adamcrowe
BBC - Future - How curiosity can protect the mind from bias
So, curiosity might just save us from using science to confirm our identity as members of a political tribe. It also shows that to promote a greater understanding of public issues, it is as important for educators to try and convey their excitement about science and the pleasures of finding out stuff, as it is to teach people some basic curriculum of facts.
curiosity  clever  intelligence  science  psychology  bias  mind  brain  research 
yesterday by msszczep
Rationally Speaking | 166 - Eric Schwitzgebel on "Why you should expect the truth to be crazy"
Some theories violate common sense so wildly that you want to just reject them out of hand. For example, "The United States is conscious," or "The most moral act would be to replace all living beings with an orgasmic blob." On the other hand, many theories in physics that sounded similarly crazy turned out to be very well-supported (think of quantum theory, or relativity). So what role should "common sense" play in evaluating new theories? This episode features a discussion with philosopher Eric Schwitzgebel on his theory of "Crazyism," that we should expect the truth to be at least a little bit crazy.

Eric's Blog: The Splintered Mind

Eric's Paper: "The Crazyist Metaphysics of Mind"

Gustaf Arrhenius's Paper: "An impossibility theorem for welfarist axiologies"

Eric's Pick: "Labyrinths" by Jorge Luis Borges
audio  interview  metaphysics  mind  consciousness  epistemology  materialism  naturalism  folk_psychology  idealism  dualism 
2 days ago by dunnettreader
Eric Schwitzgebel - Crazyist Metaphysics of Mind (2014) Australasian Journal of Philosophy: Vol 92, No 4
Crazyism about X is the view that something it would be crazy to believe must be among the core truths about X. In this essay, I argue that crazyism is true of the metaphysics of mind. A position is ‘crazy’ in the intended sense if it is contrary to common sense and we are not epistemically compelled to believe it. Crazyism can be treated as the conjunction of two sub-theses: (1) that something contrary to common sense must be true and (2) that whatever that true thing is, we are not epistemically compelled to believe it. I defend the first thesis on grounds of the probable incoherence of folk metaphysics, from which it follows that any fully fleshed-out metaphysics will inevitably conflict with some piece of that incoherent story. I defend the second thesis on three grounds: peer disagreement, lack of a compelling method for resolving metaphysical disputes about the mind, and the dubiousness of the general cosmological claims with which metaphysical claims about the mind are entangled. -- Keywords: common sense, consciousness, dualism, idealism, materialism, metaphilosophy, metaphysics, -- downloaded to Tab S2
article  metaphysics  mind  epistemology  folk_psychology  cosmology  dualism  idealism  materialism  consciousness  reductionism  naturalism  downloaded 
2 days ago by dunnettreader
Mystery of what sleep does to our brains may finally be solved | New Scientist
Support is growing for a theory that sleep evolved so that connections in the brain can be pruned down during slumber, making room for fresh memories to form the next day. “Sleep is the price we pay for learning,” says Giulio Tononi of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who developed the idea.
science  sleep  memory  research  mind  brain  learning  learn  neurology  neuroscience 
4 days ago by msszczep
Do we really want to fuse our brains together? | Aeon Essays
New research puts us on the cusp of brain-to-brain communication. Could the next step spell the end of individual minds?
brain  mind  psychology  neurology  neuroscience  ai  tech  technology  computer  internet  biology  biotech 
4 days ago by msszczep
(2010) Good Connection Really Does Lead to Mind Meld | WIRED
Uri Hasson's research.

"Brain scans of a speaker and listener showed their neural activity synchronizing during storytelling. The stronger their reported connection, the closer the coupling."

He gave a TED talk in 2016: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDhlOovaGrI
mind  meld  brain  connection  neuro  mirror  neurons 
4 days ago by dandv
Believing the strangest things, loving the alien.
“An embedded AI will change how we do science. Really intelligent instruments will speed and alter our measurements; really huge sets of constant real-time data will speed and alter our model making; really smart documents will speed and alter our acceptance of when we “know” something. The scientific method is a way of knowing, but it has been based on how humans know. Once we add a new kind of intelligence into this method, science will have to know, and progress, according to the criteria of new minds. At that point everything changes.”
future  ai  kevinkelly  mind  science  knowledge 
5 days ago by colm.mcmullan
Ricardo Salles, ed - Metaphysics, Soul, and Ethics in Ancient Thought (2005) - Oxford University Press
Richard Sorabji Bibliography
1. Intellectual autobiography, Richard Sorabji
Metaphysics
2. Intrinsic and relational properties of Atoms in the Democritean ontology, Alexander P. D. Mourelatos
3. Necessitation and Explanation in Philoponus' Aristotelain Physics, Sylvia Berryman
4. A Contemporary Look at Aristotle's Changing Now, Sarah Broadie
5. On the individuation of times and events in orthodox Stoicism, Ricardo Salles
6. Stoic metaphysics at Rome, David Sedley
7. Platonism in the Bible: Numenius of Apamea on Exodus and eternity, Myles Burnyeat
The Senses and the Nature of the Soul
8. Platonic Souls as Persons, A. A. Long
9. Aristotle versus Descartes on the concept of the mental, Charles H. Kahn
10. Perception Naturalized in Aristotle's de Anima, Robert Bolton
11. The Spirit and the letter: Aristotle on perception, V. Caston
12. The discriminating capacity of the soul in Aristotle's theory of learning, Frans A. J. de Haas
13. Alexander of Aphrodisias on the nature and location of vision, Bob Sharples
Ethics
14. Plato's Stoic View of Motivation, Gabriela Roxana Carone
15. The Presence of Socrates and Aristotle in the Stoic Account of Akrasia, Marcelo D. Boeri
16. Extend or identify: Two Stoic Accounts of Altruism, Mary Margaret McCabe
17. Competing Readings of Stoic Emotions, Christopher Gill
18. Were Zeno and Chysippus at odds in analysing emotion?, A. W. Price
19. Seneca on Freedom and Autonomy, Brad Inwood
books  ancient_philosophy  Plato  Aristotle  Stoicism  soul  moral_philosophy  metaphysics  Seneca  Democritus  ancient_Greece  ancient_Rome  Hellenism  mind  Descartes  emotions 
6 days ago by dunnettreader
Breaking bad habits by hijacking the transitions your brain undergoes
When a transition occurs (eg. getting home from work), think "No. Right. Now": Reject everything What is the right thing you should do? Do it right now The brain is especially susceptible to this when transitions occur (changes of context).
productivity  brain  mind  hack  break  habits 
7 days ago by dandv

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