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Mind. Body. Spirit and Consciousness

Philosophy of Mind is the branch of philosophy that studies the nature of the mind (mental events, mental functions, mental properties and consciousness) and its relationship to the physical body. It intersects to some extent with the fields of neurobiology, computer science and psychology..



Consciousness Conundrums

Understanding the mind Share this story on Facebook Share this story on Twitter By: Linda B. Glaser, Arts Sciences Communications March 7, 2016 The mind that thinks our thoughts is a pretty special place. But is it distinct from the brain? Is there, in fact, a soul directing our thoughts or are they determined entirely by the output of our biology? Could that mouse scampering through your garden be thinking deep thoughts, or are humans really special? Before there was cognitive science, before there was neurobiology — before there was even biology — humanists have wrestled with these questions. Traditionally, philosophy of mind scholars in the West have fallen on one side or the other of the mind/body question. Dualists would say that the mind would function just as it does whether or not it has a body. Dualists say that there is something special about the mind – it’s not just an incredibly interesting and complicated machine. Trees and tables and billiard balls can be explained by physics and biology, but you need to add something extra, some non-physical property, to explain human consciousness.

Seeing Is Believing – Not

Nicholas Silins, associate professor of philosophy, examines the mind through questions relating to perception, drawing on the fields of philosophy, vision science and the theory of probability to answer how exactly we learn from our visual experiences of the world. “The way you see the world can directly give you evidence that the world is the way it seems,” says Silins. “Think about how, when you have a bad headache, you can go straight from your pain to a justified belief you are in pain. Contrast that with using an emissions test to form a belief about the emissions rating of a Volkswagen diesel car, where you’d need to rely on a belief that a defect device didn’t kick in during the test to rig the result.” Against a long, skeptical tradition in philosophy, Silins defends the view that our visual experiences are like the pain, not like the emissions test: they can directly justify our beliefs about the external world without our needing to rely on further beliefs. Some of our beliefs about the external world can then legitimately be taken as foundations for further enquiry, without depending on any further beliefs themselves. Graduate student Lu Teng’s current project studies the epistemological implications of “cognitive penetration.” She’s interested in developing a view of when perceptual experiences are and are not evidentially valuable, drawing on current psychological research. “We tend to think that perceptual experiences tell us about what the external world is like without being influenced by our own mind,” says Teng. “However, recent empirical research indicates that that’s not true: our beliefs, expectations and other mental states can causally influence what we experience.” But if our perception sometimes results from our prior attitudes about the world, rather than being a neutral mirror to the world, this can call into question the ability of our perceptions to justify our beliefs, says Silins. For example, while it might be a good thing for a radiologist to see more in an x-ray than a patient, it could be tragic for someone with racial bias to see a wallet as a gun.

Mind Machine

Technological metaphors have always been used to explain the mind: John Locke described an infant’s mind as a blank slate; Freud compared the mind to hydraulic and electro-magnetic systems. The current favorite metaphor is that the mind is a computer. John Hale, associate professor of linguistics, works in the area of computational linguistics, part of the interdisciplinary enterprise of cognitive science, and works to explain the mind’s unique language-using abilities in terms of particular algorithms, data structures and computer architectures. To arrive at these explanations, he combines formal methods from logic and probability with empirical findings from linguistics, psycholinguistics and brain imaging. “In cognitive science, the mind is viewed as a computer,” says Hale. “If we think of language comprehension as a program that runs in the brain, we can interpret the brain images as snapshots of this program’s execution.”

Theory of Mind

Theory of Mind is the branch of cognitive science that investigates how we ascribe mental states to other persons and how we use the states to explain and predict the actions of those other persons. More accurately, it is the branch that investigates mindreading or mentalizing or mentalistic abilities. These skills are shared by almost all human beings beyond early childhood. They are used to treat other agents as the bearers of unobservable psychological states and processes, and to anticipate and explain the agents’ behavior in terms of such states and processes. These mentalistic abilities are also called “folk psychology” by philosophers, and “naïve psychology” and “intuitive psychology” by cognitive scientists. It is important to note that Theory of Mind is not an appropriate term to characterize this research area (and neither to denote our mentalistic abilities) since it seems to assume right from the start the validity of a specific account of the nature and development of mindreading, that is, the view that it depends on the deployment of a theory of the mental realm, analogous to the theories of the physical world (“naïve physics”). But this view—known as theory-theory—is only one of the accounts offered to explain our mentalistic abilities. In contrast, theorists of mental simulation have suggested that what lies at the root of mindreading is not any sort of folk-psychological conceptual scheme, but rather a kind of mental modeling in which the simulator uses her own mind as an analog model of the mind of the simulated agent. Both theory-theory and simulation-theory are actually families of theories. Some theory-theorists maintain that our naïve theory of mind is the product of the scientific-like exercise of a domain-general theorizing capacity. Other theory-theorists defend a quite different hypothesis, according to which mindreading rests on the maturation of a mental organ dedicated to the domain of psychology. Simulation-theory also shows different facets. According to the “moderate” version of simulationism, mental concepts are not completely excluded from simulation. Simulation can be seen as a process through which we first generate and self-attribute pretend mental states that are intended to correspond to those of the simulated agent, and then project them onto the target. By contrast, the “radical” version of simulationism rejects the primacy of first-person mindreading and contends that we imaginatively transform ourselves into the simulated agent, interpreting the target’s behavior without using any kind of mental concept, not even ones referring to ourselves. Finally, the claim─common to both theorists of theory and theorists of simulation─that mindreading plays a primary role in human social understanding was challenged in the early 21st century, mainly by phenomenology-oriented philosophers and cognitive scientists. Table of Contents Theory-Theory The Child-Scientist Theory The Modularist Theory-Theory First-Person Mindreading and Theory-Theory Simulation-Theory Simulation with and without Introspection Simulation in Low-Level Mindreading Social Cognition without Mindreading References and Further Reading Suggested Further Reading References

2020

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2019

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2018

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2017

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2016

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2015

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2012

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2011

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2007

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THE Valmik Music BAND

Chapters of the White Yajurveda[17] Chapter No. Ritual Name Days Nature of Ritual Reference 1-2 Darsapurnamasa (Full and new moon rituals) 2 Offer cow milk to fire. Separate calves from the cows. [35][36]

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Hymns Rigvedic deities The Rigvedic hymns are dedicated to various deities, chief of whom are Indra, a heroic god praised for having slain his enemy Vrtra; Agni, the sacrificial fire; and Soma, the sacred potion or the plant it is made from. Equally prominent gods are the Adityas or Asura gods Mitra–Varuna and Ushas (the dawn). Also invoked are Savitr, Vishnu, Rudra, Pushan, Brihaspati or Brahmanaspati, as well as deified natural phenomena such as Dyaus Pita (the shining sky, Father Heaven), Prithivi (the earth, Mother Earth), Surya (the sun god), Vayu or Vata (the wind), Apas (the waters), Parjanya (the thunder and rain), Vac (the word), many rivers (notably the Sapta Sindhu, and the Sarasvati River). The Adityas, Vasus, Rudras, Sadhyas, Ashvins, Maruts, Rbhus, and the Vishvadevas ("all-gods") as well as the "thirty-three gods" are the groups of deities mentioned.[citation needed] Mandala 9 comprises 114 hymns, entirely devoted to Soma Pavamana, the cleansing of the sacred potion of the Vedic religion.[citation needed] Mandala 10 comprises additional 191 hymns, frequently in later language, addressed to Agni, Indra and various other deities. It contains the Nadistuti sukta which is in praise of rivers and is important for the reconstruction of the geography of the Vedic civilization and the Purusha sukta which has been important in studies of Vedic sociology.[78] It also contains the Nasadiya sukta (10.129) which deals with multiple speculations about the creation of universe, and whether anyone can know the right answer.[7] The marriage hymns (10.85) and the death hymns (10.10–18) still are of great importance in the performance of the corresponding Grhya rituals.


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22-25 Ashvamedha 180 or 360 Only by King. A horse is released, followed by armed soldiers, wherein anyone who stops or harms the wandering horse is declared enemy of state. The horse is returned to the capital and is ceremoniously slaughtered by the soldiers. Eulogy to the departed horse. Prayers to deities. [42] 26-29 Supplementary formulas for above sacrifices [43] 30-31 Purushamedha Symbolic sacrifice of Purusha (Cosmic Man). Nominal victim played the part, but released uninjured after the ceremony, according to Max Muller[44] and others.[45] A substitute for Ashvamedha (horse sacrifice). The ritual plays out the cosmic creation. [46] 32-34 Sarvamedha 10 Stated to be more important than Purushamedha above. This ritual is a sacrifice for Universal Success and Prosperity. Ritual for one to be wished well, or someone leaving the home, particularly for solitude and moksha, who is offered "curd and ghee (clarified butter)". [47] 35 Pitriyajna Ritual funeral-related formulas for cremation. Sacrifice to the Fathers and Ancestors. [48] 36-39 Pravargya According to Griffith, the ritual is for long life, unimpaired faculties, health, strength, prosperity, security, tranquility and contentment. Offerings of cow milk and grains to yajna fire. [49] 40 This chapter is not an external sacrifice ritual-related. It is Isha Upanishad, a philosophical treatise about inner Self (Atman, Soul). The verse 40.6 states, "The man who in his Self beholds all creatures and all things that be, And in all beings sees his Self, then he doubts no longer, ponders not. [50]

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Upnishad

The Mundaka Upanishad, embedded inside Atharvaveda, is a poetic-style Upanishad, with 64 verses, written in the form of mantras. However, these mantras are not used in rituals, rather they are used for teaching and meditation on spiritual knowledge.[59] In ancient and medieval era Indian literature and commentaries, the Mundaka Upanishad is referred to as one of the Mantra Upanishads.[60] The Mundaka Upanishad contains three Mundakams (parts), each with two sections.[61][62] The first Mundakam, states Roer,[61] defines the science of "Higher Knowledge" and "Lower Knowledge", and then asserts that acts of oblations and pious gifts are foolish, and do nothing to reduce unhappiness in current life or next, rather it is knowledge that frees. The second Mundakam describes the nature of the Brahman, the Atman (Self, Soul), and the path to know Brahman. The third Mundakam continues the discussion and then asserts that the state of knowing Brahman is one of freedom, fearlessness, liberation and bliss.[61][62] The Mundaka Upanishad is one of text that discuss the pantheism theory in Hindu scriptures.[63][64] The text, like other Upanishads, also discusses ethics.[65]

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Mandala 1 comprises 191 hymns. Hymn 1.1 is addressed to Agni, and his name is the first word of the Rigveda. The remaining hymns are mainly addressed to Agni and Indra, as well as Varuna, Mitra, the Ashvins, the Maruts, Usas, Surya, Rbhus, Rudra, Vayu, Brhaspati, Visnu, Heaven and Earth, and all the Gods. This Mandala is dated to have been added to Rigveda after Mandala 2 through 9, and includes the philosophical Riddle Hymn 1.164, which inspires chapters in later Upanishads such as the Mundaka.[5][76][77] ]