Which comes first, mental thought or physical action?
Is it cells that create synapse the physical action that leads to mental thought?
If we have cells creating our thoughts, what creates the cells thoughts? In another words, do cells have physical actions before a mental process?
If the cells do have physical actions without requiring mental process, why don't we have all physical actions without requiring mental process? Our heart beats along with other physical functions without needing us to remind it. Why do not all physical processes run like this without need for our reminding?
This topic is much deeper than what looks on the surface.
You must have heard of conscious and subconscious minds.
We were designed in such a way that our subconscious mind takes care of functions like breathing; circulating the blood throughout our body, digestion etc.
We use conscious mind to think and perform tasks.
Coming back to your question, we think first (mental thought) and act on it. It is not the other way around.
Cells don't have thoughts any more than a memory location has a process.
Thanks Pcunix. Can you explain to me how they function and have the capabilities they do? Have you seen them on youtube? They are pretty amazing.
I don't know if this video is legit or not, but it shows a cell chasing a bacteria. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnlULOjUhSQ
It would take a while to explain here, but you can probably get the answers on google pretty easily.
A heck of a lot is known about how our brain fires, what triggers the process and how it is dealt with.
The "choke" as far as brain capacity is concerned can be seen like the bus in a computer.
We are born with a limited number of connections, (around 45,000 apparently) and as we age we lose many of them.
I wonder if this is accurate, i remember reading somewher that the number is more on the millions
No, check it out. we do not have very many connections and we lose them at a rate of about 10% every decade when we get older.
I can check my psych files if you need confirmation.
I will but I do know that men start pruning theirs heavily around 13, but women do not.
I think you need to clarify what connections there are. Because it really is more that thousands and the 10% loss is not based on age but mental activity. The less you apply your mind to learning, the more you forget. I wish I could find my source, but anyway...whatev.
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_neur … _the_brain
Nothing happens without forethought. Whether it's conscious thought, or not.
i think you're touching on what it means to be alive.
The thing is that we're just a bunch of chemicals running around responding to events and conditions. If you take my DNA chemical (in a few of my cells) and screw around with it... there is not mental, just a physical reaction that will likely lead to cancer.
Why don't we have conscious actions? because we've evolved a system of chemicals that react in such a way that we don't need to be aware of them
What comes first? Well, the physical has to come before the mental, because you can't respond to nothing. The mental IS the physical. For example, when a physical electron zips into your synapse, you are programmed, via billions of years of evolution, to say "yow, that hurt!"
The physical happened (happens) before the mental.
if the mind controls the body than mental must come first
Many people take physical action before having a complete mental thought to guide it. Some people talk at lot, but have nothing to say.
I suspect the actions on a cellular level are interactive..one electrical impulse setting off another, eventually coming back to the first point after making the rounds and gathering a consensus about what to do next, and how to respond.
Some of the responses are learned and stored so the next time the same circumstance comes up, the brain can use a shortcut. You might call it 'second nature', after a number of times.
I don't think you separate and say which comes first. They work together. The brain is a "physical" thing "underneath" the "thoughts part of it".
Some people and/or some situations mean that one or the other will tend to "take over", but at the core, they're working as a team.
Thanks Lisa. I agree they both may play equal roles. I am asking the origin of thoughts. Either the mental or physical has to come first, correct? So are you saying the brain creates the thoughts? If so, do the thoughts create the synapse or do the cells create the synapse in the brain which cause the thoughts? Is it the cells control of what we think or our control?
That goes back to that they're working together - right from the start. I'm no expert in neural systems, but I do know this much:
If you have a brand new baby and put in in a room and never expose it to words, that baby will not know the words and won't have them to "use in his heads" to form thoughts. Perfectly normal babies have been "turned" severely developmentally disabled by leaving them in cribs in orphanages. The fact that I can write whatever thoughts I'm writing here comes from the fact that I've read and heard words for my whole life. So right from the time a person learns the most basic words (if he learns them, which most people) the words for forming and understanding thoughts (which the brain then does) come from outside.
But, something that happens is that talking to a baby will help create "wire" a baby's brain in the direction of development that allows for more advanced thoughts and thought processing. Talking isn't enough to do it, though, a baby needs to feel safe and secure and happy (most of the time) in order to have (what I guess is) the "right blend of brain chemicals/hormones for certain types of development. Nurturing requires talking and meeting emotional needs.
Whether it's babies (or even pets), a newborn starts out with the simplest of brain "workings" (a kind of basic blueprint) on which the whole, intertwined, process of growth and development take place. A newborn baby has awareness and a sense of discomfort, and "inner life" is pretty simple (but a baby is born with that much). Babies (and to some extent that isn't even understood by a lot of people yet, some animals) are born with the potential to develop more advanced thinking (in animals it seems like it can only reach a certain stage of "advanced", but some animals are more "advanced thinkers" than others, especially if they're been well cared for by humans.
Experts have described how a newborn's brain is at birth is like a phonebook with space for x number of entries, but without the actual phone numbers and addresses entered.
Based on that, we're both with x number of basic synapses and the potential to develop more. From birth, for the most part, thoughts create the first set of "more advanced" synapses. Once the brain is fully developed, I'm guessing the degree to which thoughts/experiences affect the formation of new syapses (or even the destruction of the potential to develop them, which happens when nurturing isn't what it should be) is minimal (compared to what goes on with a child under three or four).
What we think as matured individuals comes from things more complex than just synapses, by themselves. To the best of my understanding, using the ability to process thoughts and feelings with those synapses we've already formed; we form our own thoughts, based on what we know, how we feel, what we see, what brain-chemicals and hormones we're "under the influence of" at the time; and at the point the whole thinking/processing/hormones thing is a cycle of different things that take place within us, as the state our our "physiology" (brain and rest of the body, as its affected by our experiences/thoughts at the time) "feed off each other" and work together.
Just as newborn babies are born with only the potential to do things like stand and walk, they're born with the potential to form more advanced thoughts once they're reached a certain level of development (but they only reach that certain level of development "under the influence" of what nurturing they receive, which means, again, that the brain and body are working together since birth.
I've always found the whole thing interesting (as the length of my post here probably reveals. )
Thanks Lisa. I enjoyed reading your post. Very informative and credible I think. Based on the fact that we operate on feedback from birth to create words and thoughts, how do you believe instinct is created?
I believe instinct to be repetitive thoughts that lead to repetitive actions that may eventually become instinct. Can instinct be repetitive actions or memory without thought? Does it take subconscious thought for memory?
In a cell for instance, do you believe the cells can have subconscious memory without thought?
I wouldn't go as far as to call it "operating on feedback". I'd more call it "operating with input being factored in". (The Mendelbrott Set, and the fractal formula that represents it shows it well.)
There are two meanings for "instinct". There's some instinct that we're "hard-wired for". Then there's "instinct" as it applies to something like "instinctively dialing a phone number our "hands learned" (and minds even seem to forget). I don't know enough about how that all works, but I know one thing:
I've been typing since 1965, so you'd think I know the QWRTY keyboard "in my head" really well. Not long ago I got a phone with the QWRTY" keypad (but the letters are on on one side of the keypad, and the keys are so small I can't just set my two hands over the keyboard (the way I can with the PC keyboard) and type without thinking about where the letters are. My hands "know" where those letters are. When I'm trying to SMS someone I sometimes have a hard time, because my "head" doesn't remember where the letters are very well. I can remember "roughly" where letters are (like that a is on the left and t is in the second row. For the most part, though, I don't have anywhere near the memory of where those keys are (at least not when I'm in a hurry and need to find the letters fast). I could probably sit down, take my time, and write where the letters are on a keyboard (but I even think I might use my hands to remind me where each key is).
My point is, that while I don't know enough about what gets sent/stored where (when it comes to the whole "neurons/cells" types of thing), I don't think my brain has where the keyboard letter are in stored in the same place it has, say, what my own phone number is or which house is mine when I drive up to it. I don't know whether where the memory of where the keys are (at least for me at this point, for example) is stored, and I'm not sure it's stored in what is considered the subconscious. Maybe it is. You (or I) could probably look up where "motor memory" (or whatever it would be called) is stored. I think I've heard that it's stored somewhere other than where "usual" memories are stored.
The subconscious is a term used to apply to the "mind aspect of the brain". I don't think that term would be used to apply to any "memory" (information stored the way information is stored on a computer chip). I'm under the impression that type of memory is very much an "out-and-out on there" (or "in there") kind of thing, rather than "buried deep down").
Here's a link I just found to back up the remark about feeling like where some things are stored shifts to a "different place"/part of the brain:
http://www.brain.riken.jp/bsi-news/bsin … ciale.html
in the phenomenal world, the physical and mental cannot be separated from each other... they are like the wave/particle duality in quantum physics. each can only be expressed in terms of the other. in the noumenal world, the world of causes, the duality is expressed in supernatural terms that bind the two concepts holistically. immersed in a world of manifestation instead of deliberate creation, our view of the phenomana of mental and physical action is necessarily incomplete.
Let me guess: you are trying to build a case for a"soul", right?
It is all chemical. All physical. All comprehensible, given time. No magic dust needed.
where do chemicals come from? how do they know to communicate with each other in such a specific manner? do you understand the concept of "suchness?"
Chemicals don't "know", but in the right configurations can store information. That is what it all is at the most basic level: store and release. Computers work the same way.
where did they come from? where is the world of causes? direct experience leads me to believe there is a lot more to the world of phenomena than meets the eye. string theory posits as many as 15? dimensions but we apprehend only three... why?
Where the "chemicals in life" come from is one thing. The "chemicals in an individual human or animal" are not so difficult to understand scientifically that anyone could safely and objectively assume that individual creatures are tied to those "chemicals in life" any more than one leaf is tied to the weather in another region, or the process of growth for a completely different tree.
Things like string theory address/raise questions about "the basics of how all of life works." We're "small" enough in that grand scheme, and similar enough to animals, that it would take a whole lot of "jumping" to tie individiual, living, Earthly, creatures to the "grand scheme of the Universe" and individual role within the context of it. I'm not saying "something else cannot possibly be going on". I'm saying nobody today has anywhere near sufficient evidence to make that "big jump" to assuming more.
Besides, if we, as individuals, are "connected to the grand scheme in ways we don't now know; we could assume that the "intention" of any "planned, Grand Scheme" would be that we focus on Earthly existence while we're here. If there's more, we'll learn that when we get there. If there isn't, we'll have wasted our precious, short, lives on Earth thinking about stuff that was only imagined.
Because (assuming string theory has any validity) the dimensions are too small.
Of course there is more than you can see. We've known that even before Leeuwenhoek.
That doesn't mean it is mystical or beyond understanding, supernatural or anything else you want to fantasize about.
People always babble on about the "mystery of consciousness". There is no mystery - consciousness is just feedback and echos, nothing more.
Babble is a harsh word, I suppose a person who considers someone else as babbling thinks that what they're saying is worthless. Which definition of babble are you using sir?
I consider anything that paints consciousness as anything but what it obviously is - feedback - to be babble, i.e. nonsense.
So consciousness is obviously chemical feedback.
Chemical, electrical, it's all really the same thing. It wouldn't matter if we found out that cells communicate by gravitational pulses, it is still ordinary stimulous-response and there is nothing magical or mysterious about it.
If consciousness were anything mystical, then why would simple brains obviously be less clever than more complex brains? Why can we be aware of more than a monkey, why are monkeys more clever than mice?
Because their brains are more physically complex. Because there is more feedback, more circuitry at work. If it were mystical, then you'd expect to see some mouse drawing geometric figures in the sand and inviting us to admire their intelligence.
Sooner or later, we will construct machines that plainly exhibit consciousness. Some stubborn people will claim it is "emergent", of course, and others will claim it must be an illusion, but they all will be as wrong then as they are now.
There are many who would argue this point better, about machines if you say everyone is wrong but you, this might be true also. I've seen many strange things so a mouse drawing might be possible depending on God's will. Would this convince you of the existance of God? A mouse drawing in the sand? If you consider everyone wrong as they are now. I doubt if even this would convince you.
There are no gods. If it makes you happy to think there are, I'm happy for you, but the idea is completely ridiculous. More ridiculous than a mouse exhibiting Pythagoras' theorem even.
the idea that the universe is a mere accident when such divine order is present everywhere is ridiculous. if you can't look below the surface of manifestation on the physical plane and have not experienced deep reality, maybe the defect is in you and not those who have had transcendent experiences. yes, there is a randomness to our experience on this plane that makes the idea of supernatural forces incomprehensible to some, but science itself points to a hidden world of causes that is outside direct human experience. humans have the capacity to tune into this world of hidden causes if they choose to. they also have the option of believing the world is exactly as it appears but i believe that most people have had at least a few experiences in their life that make them wonder if there is something more to this existence than meets the eye.
actually, the universe might just be pretty ad hoc. They're pretty sure that, unless they discover new energy sources or new forms of matter, that the universe is MOST likely going to just continue expanding forever until it dies a very cold cold death.
The next likely event (much much much less likely), is that the universe will eventually collapse upon itself because of gravity. But, that's unlikely because of escape velocity.
and then the next-to-zero-probability event is that it will eventually balance out.
But, as you can see, barring any sort of miraculous discovery of matter or energy, we're boned.
Of course, this doesn't prove god, nor does it tisprove god. It just simply illustrates the unfortunate point that, no, the world isn't very well designed for life in the long run.
Maybe god wants us to all die a frozen death... or maybe god wants us all to be crushed to an infinitesimally small piece of an uber black hole. ...
but it does not seem that he wants us to be around forever.
the old notions of a universe expanding forever into a heat death or collapsing again in a cosmic crunch are disputed by new scientifc thought about the multiverse. google "transdimensional tunneling" to read articles on how many parallel universes are constantly being spawned in the these empty vacuums and you will see that scientists now believe that the universe (actually the multiverse) is neverending and always regenerating itself.
Since I don't have any degrees in science I can't say your definition of consciousness is scientificly unsound. Speaking from a personal level I feel the consciousness is obviously more then nonsense. If it were compassion wouldn't exist, love hope all the things God gifted man with would could be recreated in the test tube. I know that cloning and things like this science say is possible, but will it really be the same?
There are no gods. You don't need a degree in anything to understand that consciousness is just feedback - all you need is the feedback your own brain should be giving you about how things work.
Perhaps your brain works differently then others, (no offense) this could explain why you believe the way you do. What I mean is, perhaps you've spent so much time trying to explain why their's no soul that you've missed the point.
Yes. My brain works better. I have missed no point - I understand reality and you plainly do not.
I spend no more time explaining why there is no soul than I do explaining why there are no elephants in my back yard.
I understand what God wants me too and that is enough for me. I deal with the reality of the world every day. I have the wisdom to do my job.
I remember the first time I saw you on hubpages, you seemed a kind man. You admitted you didn't believe yet you didn't belittle those who did. Now you seem to have changed. Perhaps it is the need you have to fit in with others who've done well on hubpages, I understand especially at your age where you probably need the income.
I am a kind man. And a defender of your right to believe any ridiculous thing that makes you happy. That does NOT mean that I'm going to stand by and ignore your religious silliness. I DO belittle the belief and always have.
(If you think I need to "fit in", you have really missed the mark )
Your unremitting need to bless people who do not share your belief system is a passive aggressive tactic, by the way.
Forgive me sir, I didn't mean to offend you by saying God Bless. I'm a truck driver and so I don't have the edjucation you do. You can call my beliefs ridiculous and silly and whatever. Perhaps you are a kind man I was just going by your words. Babble, ridiculous, silly. You are what we drivers call a EDJFW.
Why are you apologizing to this person Mr. srwnson? He's clearly an Elitist -he thinks he's better then everybody else. Just listen to his words. "My Brains better,"
He even wants to dictate to hubpages how to run their website.
Why don't you have the education?
The world is full of free and easily attainable education. You have the time to post here, surely you have the time to further your knowledge?
Religious belief decreases with intelligence and education. The more you know about science AND religion, the more likely you are to see how silly it is. We live in a wonderful age where anyone who can afford an internet connection has immense opportunity to educate themselves in any area.
Because someone has to keep the country moving. I have the time to post here because I have a 10hr sleeper break every 24hrs. I however may not always be in a part of the country with internet access. If you knew as much about other peoples livse as you seem to think you do, you'd know that.
You have access right now.
Rather than waste time arguing with me, go learn something new if you feel that your education is deficient.
You have opportunities for knowledge that have not been available at any previous time in history. Take advantage!
By the way, I think that LDT drivers have a very tough life. Traffic can screw up your earnings and leave you in the hole if you are running your own rig. If not, you may be abused by overly demanding bosses who can put you in harms way by unreasonable demands.
I am not in a position to judge what reforms should and should not be made, but from what I do know, it can be a very difficult way to earn a living.
I once thought of doing that, many years back. I have poor spatial skills and could barely master a little travel trailer, never mind a big rig, so that idea went away quickly.
i believe Einstein has the best answer to "where did chemicals come from" --- E=mc2.
They've seen this in laboratories - two particles that who's binding force doesn't decrease with distance (think of magnets, but when you pull them apart, the force doesn't get weaker) have a peculiar behavior when you stretch them apart. As you pull them further and further apart.... particles begin to pop out of nothingness.
You can check this out, and many other cool things, in the on-youtube.com video series "physics for future presidents".
It's probably not "out of nothing", but out of the energy that is present.
At least as far as we know.. but if particles do really pop out of nothing for no reason, you'd expect to see a slow but steady accumulation of new matter. It's certainly possible that such creation is simply too small to notice or that it is conveniently balanced off by particles returning to energy - I suspect that it's all rather beyond our abilities to observe accurately enough right now.
E=mc2 is not a formula that explains where atoms come from. it is merely descriptive of the properties of matter and energy and is itself incomplete, else we would already have a Grand Unified Theory.
i didn't say that "God" did it. i am saying that each of us has the potential of realizing our own individual God-nature if we choose. there are too many aspects of reality that are left unexplained by the physical sciences and are swept under the rug. if we are only matter/energy beings, then science itself points to the fact that matter/energy can neither be created or destroyed meaning that we are all potentially infinite beings. Bell's Theorem states (and has been found to be irrefutable) that any model of reality must include superluminal connections, i.e., information gets around faster than the speed of light and that information itself is not bound by the very physical laws in the universe it encodes. either reality contains deeper levels of communication that we have not yet grasped or we must conclude that deep reality itself doesn't exist. i know for a fact that i exist and i have experienced glimpses of deep reality in ecstatic states. as real as the "ordinary" reality we observe in our mundane lives. since these experiences are as vivid and real to me as the fact that i am sitting here, i, myself, can only conclude that there are deeper levels of reality open to human experience. you might argue that these are mere hallucinations brought on by some "chemical" state in the brain, but belief in chemicals is as much a belief as a belief in a deeper reality, especially when the consciousness can recall and experience these states in full consciousness and recall them as easily as ordinary consciousness. you may never have experienced these states, but that does not mean that they do not exist, any less than the extra dimensions now posited by theories like string and M theory. all you can truly state is that you have never experienced a deeper reality, you cannot testify as to whether it exists or not. the nature of consciousness is intimately tied in with our notions of reality.
actually E=mc2 shows that matter is energy. Adding an intense amount of energy to hydrogen creates helium, which is heavier than the original 2 hydrogen individually - some of the energy became matter.
In reverse, when you blow apart a chunk of uranium, the total amount of matter at the ending weighs less than the original chunk of uranium. The matter became energy.
Matter is like an uber-battery.
You could blow apart uranium all day long, but it is compressing it (with explosives) that causes the chain reaction to begin.
E=mc2 is merely descriptive... it is acausal... it is a definition not an explanation... it also does not explain the 15% of the universe that is dark matter or the 70% that is dark energy so it is necessarily incomplete... saying that matter has a relationship to energy does not explain where it came from... succeeding theories of physics provide more elaborate frameworks of reality but the holy grail of the GUT escapes scientists because a description of reality that only includes that which is observable on the physical plane will always be incomplete.
There IS nothing but the physical plane.
Your mystic-babble is just noise. Dark Energy? First, that is one of several possible explanations to explain gravitational observations that don't work otherwise, but more importantly, where has ANYONE ever suggested that it would be anything mystical or supernatural?
Brain chemicals and hormones in the body are generated by the body, itself. Something like the adrenal gland responds to a stressed out body (which may be stressed out as a result of thoughts). Once a person is "under the influence of stress hormones" his thoughts and ability to process them can be affected. As most people know, different parts of the brain are involved with different processes that take place in the body and brain, itself.
I'd guess it's safe to say that the ability for a body to generate its own "chemicals" is yet another potential newborn creatures are born with. A brand new baby's body isn't as capable of regulating things (like body temperature) as an more mature child's body is. A child's lack of experience/knowledge mean a child's brain isn't as as capable of "managing its own thoughts" and having a little more control over emotional responses (the form of first thoughts and then physical).
I pretty much assume we all start our lives unconnected to anything other than the genetic predispositions or even genetic "determinations"; and that "soul" is either something that is our "on Earth" living "core, as a person". Or else, there's the chance it could live on after we do.
Of course, there is the "overall" connection of all things in life, as far as how "all of life works". There's also a different kind of connection associated with any impact our existence on Earth has on others or the Earth. Other than that, I pretty much think each of us is a more complex version of the individual leaves that come out on trees in Spring and then die, fall off the tree, and are replaced with new leaves the next Spring.
That's just kind of my case against "soul", the way a lot of people see it. Not saying I'm right. Just saying there's a valid case against it (in the interest of being objective).
You speak of origin of thought, this is not self publicity but I've written a hubs on this topic. http://hubpages.com/hub/Consciousness__ … _the_Brain and some related hubs from that one.
The mental activity can be separated from the physical though it's not currently measurable by science except in relation to meditative states where there is a major change in brain waves, as the stress of thoughts have less impact on the physical body, Meditative states also have a marked effect on the chemistry of the brain.
There is a major body of work called The Fourfold Model by Dr Samuel Sagan where there is a separation created by the physical body, the etheric or life force also known as qi (found primarily in plants and also within the human body), the impact of thoughts and emotions on the physical body and the etheric body , (the Astral body), and the last frontier of a higher mind, akin to a higher intelligence beyond that of the normal animal mind.
The etheric is interesting in the natural rhythm that is held, as if there is a primal knowledge within the cells. This is not the realm of mental activity, but more in line with a genetic memory. There is a knowledge there that does not require our mental activity to stimulate it. The heart pulses not because we tell it to, but because that is the genetic function of the heart to do so. Same can be said for the breath, even though there is evidence by your own experience that you can manipulate it easily with thoughts, left to it's own natural function the breath is done on automatic pilot!
It's a fascinating topic when you study the actions of your own body using the model. Takes a fair amount of discipline but you can separate the functions.
This is all way too deep for my little head.
I act and speak before I think, and I've suffered the consequences too.
We could hijack it for instance, do you prefer soft, natural cotton basics or lingerie that has a little something extra?
Thought *is* the action of neurons. Neuronal activity doesn'r "cause" thought, it *is* thought. Just as kicking is something legs do, thinking is something brains do.
Exactly. And they do it with chemical and electrical circuitry, not with magic.
Thanks. If you are angry about something, the neurons are creating the angry thoughts. If you choose to change your angry thoughts, did you choose what the neurons were making you think of to what you wanted them to make you think of?
If a depressed person goes to get antidepressants to change the chemical balance and thoughts in their brain, did the neurons make them think to do this or did the persons awareness and choice decide this?
The neurons aren't creating thoughts. The are reacting to inputs. You experience the feedback from large groups of cells(and the hormones released) as "anger".
Feedback. Stimulus-response. Nothing more.
Thanks. Then what creates the thoughts? If the neurons are reacting to the chemical or electrical inputs by synapse, wouldn't they be creating the thoughts? I think anger is the emotional response of upsetting thoughts, I may be wrong. What do you mean feedback, stimulus, response, nothing more? There are always variables and unknowns in how to think and react to a stimulus or whether to react at all.
Thoughts are simply complex responses and feedback. You make the error of believing that your "thought" is anything different from a branch test in a computer program. Far more complex, and utilizing different methods, but conceptually the same.
It you want to think that chemicals are the only means by which your brain functions...fine. Yet you should realize the workings of the mind are subject to that wonderful blender known as imagination.
Most people assume that the real world is outside, that the way to live life is by contact an external reality, by seeking input, mental or physical, from without. "Most of us have never considered severing outwards contacts in order to see what happens inside. We would rather explore the far side of the moon or the bottom of the ocean than the hidden depths within ourselves.
But in fact the universe exists for each of us only when we experience it with body and mind. It is never elsewhere, it is always here and now.
I used to tell my kids: think before you do something.
After long experience I keep quiet now. I guess physical comes first, at least in my family...
Perhaps the nested dolls or nested collanders concept applies: the physical body connected to the mental body, the mental body connected to the spiritual body....
This question is for PC or anyone else that wants to answer.
In cases of people that can override their biological instinct in instances such as blocking out pain, is this free will or genetic determinism?
In 1933, a young researchist posthumously deemed "The Father of Russian Psychology", had watched children at play and conducted discreet experiments to determine the nature of cognitive functions and their relationship to action, i.e., to figure out which came first, the idea or the action. He concluded that, "Like all functions of consciousness, it (imagination) originally arises from action." (Vygotsky, 1978).
What he meant was that young "raw" minds (0-3 years) act largely on reflex and respond to, more than manipulate, their environment. For all their tantrums, they are rather helpless and it dawns on them that they need to refine strategies. They begin to think, to imagine, to create virtual realities, to use instruments to help them draw lines between imagination and reality (i.e., what they want and what they can't have). Toys, symbols, tools, prompts, costumes, and language, itself, assist the developing mind at these stages, until those instruments of mediation between the virtual and the real formulate a cognitive virtual reality, housing simultaneously the consciousness and a full awareness of that consciousness, through a transformational process peculiar to human beings - from reflexive action to thought and then to external speech and action or withholding of action, the human consciousness is galvanized, structured, transformed, and continually refined and refining others.
Will is the primal driving force behind all this socialization and transformation - will, alone. Without will, a child is trained like a monkey, to answer questions correctly without comprehension, to "talk a lot but have nothing to say", to identify and label but not be able to generate original categorical taxonomies for organizing his inner and outer worlds, in short, to perform without imagination or originality, like a trained monkey.
So, in answer to both your hypothetical dichotomies, according to Vygostky, thought comes after action, in all cases, and blocking pain is an act of will, not genetic predetermination.
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by Irfan6 years ago
I recently watched a documentary on nat-geo about the pyramids and machu picchu and other archaeological sites ... it talked about the way the stone is cut to such precision, which cannot even be matched by stone...
by marinealways248 years ago
Do you control your thoughts or do your thoughts control you? In cases of depression, is this simply a matter of not being able to control thought along with some chemical inbalances?
by Ta-Iset2 years ago
I have recently read a book, and saw a documentary about the Ancient Egyptian's, things no one's ever considered before. Scholars have long said that they were primitive. I don't feel that they told the whole story, I...
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