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Mind with regard to Meaning
Peter Moddel
SSE 2009 :
Viterbo, Italy
• The tale of the black box
• At one time, the mind was spoken of as the ‘black box’ – the
behaviorists’ black box - out of reach of observation and for this
reason research was directed at behavior, something observable
that apparently resulted from whatever was happening inside the
black box. In that box was the experience of knowing, and all that
goes with it: wanting, choosing, liking, fearing, hoping, a sense of
directing our thoughts and behaviors, etc. It was the subjective
experience of living.
• The black box has gone out of fashion, partly as a result of the study
of neurology and other disciplines that penetrate the border where
mind and subjectivity begin. They observe on ever more minute
scales the processes that seem to be the cause/effect trails of what
is going on in the black box of mind. By following these trails, mental
processes have been described thus bringing light into the black box
and releasing the unknowns.
Or so it seemed!
What actually happened is that the unknown subjective dimension
of mind - all that was hidden in the black box - was broken down
into minute steps and, like much of our countryside today, was
criss-crossed with innumerable routes and trails until no box
remained. But the question, what is the personal experience of
knowing? was never answered. It might seem that the box was
opened but its blackness remains as present as ever, hidden away
in the tiny gaps between neurological events, or perhaps in some
very different realm.
A common danger of much scientific research is seeing reduction
of scale as progress – as if smaller units means closer to an answer.
What takes place - when we notice something?
- when ‘knowing’ happens?
- when we experience the activity of mind?
In an intuitive moment, qualities of what is to
be revealed are interrelated and become a
whole – an object revealed in a moment of
perception.
When there is perception there is form.
Another example is sight, which requires a field of
vision. In order to produce this field, it is necessary
to create a relationship between the luminosities of
all in the field of view. It is when such a relationship
is deciphered – a scale of luminescence by which
one spot in the field of view stands in a rapport with
other spots - vision happens. The light goes on, so
to speak, and there is sight and we see!
For perception to arise and the experience of
knowing, there needs to be this subjective act of
correlation.
Even more than this, since an act of correlation
implies the introduction of a scale of values
where a certain value serves as a basis of
correlation.
The activity of mind is the production of meaning
To summarize:
An act performed by a subject creates meaning
and through this act perception arises.
To summarize:
An act performed by a subject creates meaning
and through this act perception arises.
Meaning is found by creating/finding a code, or
scale, which allows what is observed to become
integrated.
To summarize:
An act performed by a subject creates meaning
and through this act perception arises.
Meaning is found by creating/finding a code, or
scale, which allows what is observed to become
integrated.
This integration gives rise to a personal moment
of consciousness that reveals an object of
perception.
Conclusion:
By mind we imply the potential to grasp meaning.
This implies a subjective experience –
the subjective experience of knowing something.
There is:
An object
There is:
An object
A subject
There is:
An object
A subject
A moment of consciousness
There is:
An object
A subject
A moment of consciousness
The experience of presence
There is:
An object
A subject
A moment of consciousness
The experience of presence
Perception
There is:
An object
A subject
A moment of consciousness
The experience of presence
Perception
Intelligibility
There is:
An object
A subject
A moment of consciousness
The experience of presence
Perception
Intelligibility
Meaning
Consciousness is many
perceived as a unity, as a single whole.
It is the act of forming such a whole that
brings the light of consciousness
Mind with regard to Meaning
Peter Moddel
SSE 2009 :
Viterbo, Italy

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Mind with regard to Meaning

  • 1. Mind with regard to Meaning Peter Moddel SSE 2009 : Viterbo, Italy
  • 2. • The tale of the black box • At one time, the mind was spoken of as the ‘black box’ – the behaviorists’ black box - out of reach of observation and for this reason research was directed at behavior, something observable that apparently resulted from whatever was happening inside the black box. In that box was the experience of knowing, and all that goes with it: wanting, choosing, liking, fearing, hoping, a sense of directing our thoughts and behaviors, etc. It was the subjective experience of living. • The black box has gone out of fashion, partly as a result of the study of neurology and other disciplines that penetrate the border where mind and subjectivity begin. They observe on ever more minute scales the processes that seem to be the cause/effect trails of what is going on in the black box of mind. By following these trails, mental processes have been described thus bringing light into the black box and releasing the unknowns.
  • 3. Or so it seemed! What actually happened is that the unknown subjective dimension of mind - all that was hidden in the black box - was broken down into minute steps and, like much of our countryside today, was criss-crossed with innumerable routes and trails until no box remained. But the question, what is the personal experience of knowing? was never answered. It might seem that the box was opened but its blackness remains as present as ever, hidden away in the tiny gaps between neurological events, or perhaps in some very different realm. A common danger of much scientific research is seeing reduction of scale as progress – as if smaller units means closer to an answer.
  • 4. What takes place - when we notice something? - when ‘knowing’ happens? - when we experience the activity of mind?
  • 5. In an intuitive moment, qualities of what is to be revealed are interrelated and become a whole – an object revealed in a moment of perception.
  • 6. When there is perception there is form.
  • 7. Another example is sight, which requires a field of vision. In order to produce this field, it is necessary to create a relationship between the luminosities of all in the field of view. It is when such a relationship is deciphered – a scale of luminescence by which one spot in the field of view stands in a rapport with other spots - vision happens. The light goes on, so to speak, and there is sight and we see!
  • 8. For perception to arise and the experience of knowing, there needs to be this subjective act of correlation. Even more than this, since an act of correlation implies the introduction of a scale of values where a certain value serves as a basis of correlation.
  • 9. The activity of mind is the production of meaning
  • 10. To summarize: An act performed by a subject creates meaning and through this act perception arises.
  • 11. To summarize: An act performed by a subject creates meaning and through this act perception arises. Meaning is found by creating/finding a code, or scale, which allows what is observed to become integrated.
  • 12. To summarize: An act performed by a subject creates meaning and through this act perception arises. Meaning is found by creating/finding a code, or scale, which allows what is observed to become integrated. This integration gives rise to a personal moment of consciousness that reveals an object of perception.
  • 13. Conclusion: By mind we imply the potential to grasp meaning. This implies a subjective experience – the subjective experience of knowing something.
  • 16. There is: An object A subject A moment of consciousness
  • 17. There is: An object A subject A moment of consciousness The experience of presence
  • 18. There is: An object A subject A moment of consciousness The experience of presence Perception
  • 19. There is: An object A subject A moment of consciousness The experience of presence Perception Intelligibility
  • 20. There is: An object A subject A moment of consciousness The experience of presence Perception Intelligibility Meaning
  • 21. Consciousness is many perceived as a unity, as a single whole. It is the act of forming such a whole that brings the light of consciousness
  • 22. Mind with regard to Meaning Peter Moddel SSE 2009 : Viterbo, Italy