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Re: [xmca] Polls are closed: Manfred Holodynsk's article is choice
Greg et alia,
Seems to me that the research on levels of brain functioning both helps and challenges our thoughts about these issues. Plus it has points of compatibility with LSV's lower and higher functions.
System X (reflexive) seems to be a level at which networks of neurons respond to fluxes of energy within the perception-action cycle of an organism moving in and acting on its environment. The “envorganism” (Kockelman, 2006). There are no mental states here; no mental representations. These networks operate like an analog computer rather than a digital one; they *embody* what one might call a world-function. Guided both by basic human needs and by current practical interests, they produce an ongoing intelligent course of activity. And they do this in contact with the semiotic affordances of the environment (indices, icons, and, ontogenetically later, symbols).
This level operates outside of consciousness, but its 'output' is the stable world we perceive ourselves to be in. That brings us to System C.
System C (reflective; conscious) is a level at which the brain is the biological basis for 'simulations' (online; modal; task oriented) with which we handle the need for deliberate, voluntary controlled action. These simulations are representations, but not the formal, abstract ones of traditional cognitive psychology. They are consciously experienced, but that doesn't mean that there is 'a mind' in which they exist. I can summon up a short-lived simulation of a dollar, but this doesn't mean that my mind contains abstract representations of dollar bills.
So we have, in broad terms, the beginnings of an account of consciousness (and unconsciousness) that is simultaneously biological and cultural, and that is non-dualistic (no brain/body, or brain/world, or mind/world, or mind/body, or mind/brain distinctions are involved).
One way of reading Holodynski's article is that he is describing some aspects of the way that System C gets built as a kind of superstructure to System X only through the involvement of adults who already have both systems.
On Mar 17, 2013, at 3:42 PM, Greg Thompson <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> I think that there is an incredibly important assumption here in your
> comment that has been side-stepped by other responses thus far
> You wrote:
> "leaving aside surgical intervention, neurons only react to other neurons
> by direct electrochemical interaction."
> If this were true, we would never be able to make any contact with the
> world "outside" of our brains - neurons would just be talking to neurons
> and they would have no connection with the "world out there" (or any world
> for that matter!), and in which case, we would not be able to see, hear,
> touch, smell, feel, balance, etc.
> But we can do all these things. Thus, there must be a process of moving
> from one to the other - from light striking the retina to neurons firing in
> the retina and on down the brain (but where is "seeing"?). So "mirror
> neurons" aren't necessarily impossible (although it may still be incomplete
> or wrong for other reasons).
> [and I hope you'll notice a parallel here between the concern articulated
> in this email and my previous response to the division that you introduced
> in an XMCA post some time ago between the dollar in your pocket and the
> dollar in your head. As if the WORD and the THING are in fundamentally
> different realms - never to meet one another]
> But I think that there is an intuition in your comment about neurons that
> nicely "lights up" one of the central problematics of Western science: how
> do you get from physical stuff to mental stuff?
> I suspect that this question-as-problem arises from a confused
> understanding of what we mean by both "physical" and "mental". On the one
> hand, we neglect the semiotic, information-based properties of the physical
> (and Gregory Bateson is a great place to look for a better understanding
> here). And similarly, on the other hand, we neglect the physical aspects of
> what we understand to be "mental" (and here, perhaps Charles Peirce is a
> good place to look here).
> And a bigger problem within which both of these troubles sit is our
> tendency of our understanding towards entification rather than seeking the
> relational and processual nature of both the so-called "physical" and the
> so-called "mental." And that's a whole other problem altogether.
> But I've said a lot (too much?) already.
> On Sun, Mar 17, 2013 at 6:15 AM, Andy Blunden <email@example.com> wrote:
>> Robert, if I were to suggest that "mirror neurons" are a metaphyical
>> belief which have no more basis in existence than phlogiston or ether,
>> would that actually change anything? Have you ever been misled by the
>> mistaken observation of "mirror neuron" activity, or has observation of a
>> mirror neuron ever explained some otherwise inexplicable event? So far as I
>> know, leaving aside surgical intervention, neurons only react to other
>> neurons by direct electrochemical interaction.
>> Robert Lake wrote:
>>> Hi everyone,
>>> I am a relative newcomer to CHAT research, so this (mostly rhetorical)
>>> question is probably
>>> old hat to many of you. It concerns Holodynski's article as it may or may
>>> not relate to the notion of mirror neurons as described by Ramachandran.
>>> If I understand this correctly, in Holodynski's view, a caregiver mirrors
>>> back to the child, his or her own emotions through gesture and facial
>>> expressions. What if the child's emotions/expressions fall into the range
>>> of autism spectrum disorders? Can ZPD's be created that in turn help create
>>> and develop "empathy" neurons in us regardless of our age level? Are there
>>> some cultures that are more emotionally and perhaps empathically evolved?
>>> Thank-you MCA team and Professor Holodynski for this article. I think it
>>> represents the a key component for the future of cultural/historical
>>> Fascinated and curious,
>>> Robert Lake
>>> On Sat, Mar 16, 2013 at 10:59 PM, Andy Blunden <firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:
>>> email@example.com>> wrote:
>>> The article for discussion is now available at:
>>> mike cole wrote:
>>> We will make available Manfred Holodynski's article - The
>>> Theory of Emotions: A Cultural Historical Approach to the
>>> Development of Emotions - available
>>> for discussion as soon as possible. Then let the discussion begin!
>>> xmca mailing list
>>> firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>
>>> -- ------------------------------**------------------------------
>>> *Andy Blunden*
>>> Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/ <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/
>>> Book: http://www.brill.nl/concepts
>>> xmca mailing list
>>> firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>
>>> *Robert Lake Ed.D.
>>> *Associate Professor
>>> Social Foundations of Education
>>> Dept. of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading
>>> Georgia Southern University
>>> P. O. Box 8144
>>> Phone: (912) 478-0355
>>> Fax: (912) 478-5382
>>> Statesboro, GA 30460
>>> /Democracy must be born anew in every generation, and education is its
>>> /-/John Dewey.
>> *Andy Blunden*
>> Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
>> Book: http://www.brill.nl/concepts
>> xmca mailing list
> Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
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