Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Different Take On The Idea Of Mind

More on Fuller tomorrow, particularly about how he saw us as problem solvers, but first another point of view on mind.

Fuller saw mind as uniquely human, and noticing patterns in sensory information processed by human brains. Gregory Bateson saw mind as immanent in all life, roses, redwood forests, the US Senate, you, me. Rather than dividing existence between mind and matter. Bateson divided it between life and non-life.

Here are his six criteria for mind:

1. Mind is an aggregate of interacting parts or components.

2. The interaction between parts of mind is triggered by difference.

3. Mental process requires collateral energy.

4. Mental process requires circular (or more complex) chains of determination.

5. In mental process, the effects of difference are to be regarded as transforms (i.e. coded versions) of events which precede them.

6. The description and classification of these processes of transformation disclose a hierarchy of logical types immanent in the phenomena.

It might be an interesting exercise to try to map Fuller's idea of mind onto Bateson's criteria. Right now, I'm dubious, but I haven't actually sat down and asked myself -- for instance -- "What are the interacting parts of Fuller's mind?"

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