October 15, 2012

Descartes, Bergson, Freud, Myers, & James

[Stumblingmystic September 10, 2010 at 11:52 am I can vouch for that memory chapter in Irreducible Mind being a fantastic philosophical critique of the Western reductionistic understanding of memory!]

[Henri Bergson (1859–1941) Since its publication in 1896, Matter and Memory has attracted considerable attention (see, for example, Deleuze 1956). In the Preface that he wrote in 1910, Bergson says that Matter and Memory “is frankly dualistic,” since it “affirms both the reality of matter and the reality of spirit” (Matter and Memory, p. 9). Copyright © 2011 by Leonard Lawlor Valentine Moulard; substantive revision Tue Jul 12, 2011 SEP]

[Mind in Indian Buddhist Philosophy 3.2 Sensation and Perception; substantive revision Fri Oct 12, 2012 SEP
The Sanskrit term most commonly associated with sensory activity, indriya (‘sensation’ or ‘power’), is found in the Rg Veda (I, 55; II, 16), a collection of hymns dealing with various religio-philosophical topics central to the Brahmanical tradition. Here the senses are likened to lesser deities acting on behalf of Indra, the king of the gods, as messengers to the lower realms. As manifestations of Indra's specific powers, the senses thus understood correspond to his capacity for knowledge (buddhīndriya) and action (karmendriya).
This early mythological narrative in which lesser deities are the agencies of sensory activity in humans bears some structural similarity to Descartes’ account in his Treatise of Man and Passions of the Soul of the animal spirits which flowing from the pineal gland control the activity of sensation, imagination, as well as bodily movements.]

[Sigmund Freud The unconscious - From Wikipedia
The concept of the unconscious was central to Freud's account of the mind. Freud believed that while poets and thinkers had long known of the existence of the unconscious, he had ensured that it received scientific recognition in the field of psychology. However, the concept made an informal appearance in Freud's writings. It was first introduced in connection with the phenomenon of repression, to explain what happens to ideas that are repressed; Freud stated explicitly that the concept of the unconscious was based on the theory of repression. He postulated a cycle in which ideas are repressed, but remain in the mind, removed from consciousness yet operative, then reappear in consciousness under certain circumstances.]

[William James (January 11, 1842 – August 26, 1910) Instincts From Wikipedia 
Like Sigmund Freud, James was influenced by Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection. At the core of James' theory of psychology, as defined in Principles of Psychology (1890), was a system of "instincts." James wrote that humans had many instincts, even more than other animals. These instincts, he said, could be overridden by experience and by each other, as many of the instincts were actually in conflict with each other. In the 1920s, however, psychology turned away from evolutionary theory and embraced radical behaviorism.] 

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