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The Principles of Psychology / W. James.

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William James, filósofo y psicólogo estadounidense, nació en 1842 en el seno de una familia encabezada por su padre, el filósofo trascendentalista Henry James, y formada también por su hermano, el conocido novelista Henry James Junior. William James concluyó sus estudios de medicina en 1869, pero en los años siguientes se dedicó al estudio autodidáctico de la psicología y fue el primer profesor universitario de esta ciencia en Estados Unidos. Considerado un pionero de la psicología como disciplina independiente de la fisiología, James publicó en 1890 su libro Principios de psicología, una obra precursora directa del funcionalismo que reúne la suma de conocimientos de psicología hasta el último tercio del siglo XIX. El norteamericano prosiguió su obra filosófica hasta su muerte, ocurrida en 1910, con títulos como La voluntad de creer y otros ensayos de filosofía popular (1897), Las variedades de la experiencia religiosa (1902), El pragmatismo (1907), El significado de la verdad (1909), Problemas de filosofía (1911, obra inconclusa) y Ensayos sobre el empirismo radical, publicado dos años después de su fallecimiento.

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... (1890), William James [11], who admired Darwin and believed the human mind was full of instincts, implied that music was a purely cultural invention built on brain mechanisms that evolved to serve other functions. Nearly 150 years later, we are nowhere near consensus on this debate, with detailed arguments on both sides (e.g. ...
... The VLH suggested that brains shaped by evolution for complex vocal learning had 'BPS potential' as a byproduct of their wiring. As parrots are not known to engage in BPS as part of their natural behaviour [93], the discovery of BPS in these animals supported the theoretical position that key components of human musicality rely on brain circuits that evolved for other reasons, and that humans have not evolved neural specializations for music processing [2,11,[15][16][17]94]. ...
Article
The human capacity to synchronize movements to an auditory beat is central to musical behaviour and to debates over the evolution of human musicality. Have humans evolved any neural specializations for music processing, or does music rely entirely on brain circuits that evolved for other reasons? The vocal learning and rhythmic synchronization hypothesis proposes that our ability to move in time with an auditory beat in a precise, predictive and tempo-flexible manner originated in the neural circuitry for complex vocal learning. In the 15 years, since the hypothesis was proposed a variety of studies have supported it. However, one study has provided a significant challenge to the hypothesis. Furthermore, it is increasingly clear that vocal learning is not a binary trait animals have or lack, but varies more continuously across species. In the light of these developments and of recent progress in the neurobiology of beat processing and of vocal learning, the current paper revises the vocal learning hypothesis. It argues that an advanced form of vocal learning acts as a preadaptation for sporadic beat perception and synchronization (BPS), providing intrinsic rewards for predicting the temporal structure of complex acoustic sequences. It further proposes that in humans, mechanisms of gene-culture coevolution transformed this preadaptation into a genuine neural adaptation for sustained BPS. The larger significance of this proposal is that it outlines a hypothesis of cognitive gene-culture coevolution which makes testable predictions for neuroscience, cross-species studies and genetics. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Synchrony and rhythm interaction: from the brain to behavioural ecology’.
... For James to begin his lecture series with the topic of "neurology" was most natural and logical given his medical training, his role as a teacher of physiology for eight years at Harvard, and the fact that he began his previous book on the Principles of Psychology with chapters on the structure and function of the brain (James, 1890(James, /1981. And, if James returned today, he would likely be pleased with the proliferation of citations of "religion" across the field of psychology and with the dramatic increase of the word "spirituality" within the English-language literature of medical and social sciences over the last three decades (Cook, 2004, p. 540;cf. ...
... 54-55, 108-109). Second, as a philosopher, James rejected causal, epistemological, and ontological reductionisms, but provisionally accepted and made use of methodological reductionism (see footnote 1), especially during his prolonged effort to launch a subfield of philosophy-psychology, as an independent new science (James, 1890(James, /1981(James, , 1892(James, /1984). ...
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The neuroscience revolution has revived interpretations of religious experiences as wholly dependent on biological conditions. William James cautioned against allowing such neurological reductionism to overwhelm other useful perspectives. Contemporary psychologists of religion have raised similar cautions, but have failed to engage James as a full conversation partner. In this article, we present a contemporary, applied version of James's perspective. We clarify the problem by reviewing specific James-like contemporary concerns about reductionism in the neuropsychological study of religion. Then, most centrally, we employ three of James's conceptual tools-pragmatism, pluralism, and radical empiricism-to moderate contemporary reductionism. Finally, we point to a constructive approach through which neuroscientists might collaborate with scholars in the humanities and psychosocial sciences, which is consistent with our conclusion that it is often no longer fruitful to separate neurobiological studies from studies that are psychosocial or sociocultural.
... Interestingly, James was fully aware of this potential negative influence on his own views. He remarked that such a "hypothesis is pretty sure to meet with disbelief' ( James, 1890James, /1950). The reason is that there is no folk theory corresponding to the Jamesian view of emotion. ...
... Interestingly, James was fully aware of this potential negative influence on his own views. He remarked that such a "hypothesis is pretty sure to meet with disbelief' ( James, 1890James, /1950). The reason is that there is no folk theory corresponding to the Jamesian view of emotion. ...
... A fundamental aspect of human phenomenology is the sensation of being an embodied agent in the world (Blanke & Metzinger, 2009;De Vignemont, 2018;Limanowski & Blankenburg, 2013;Seth & Tsakiris, 2018). Our experience in and of the world is constructed through our bodily sensations and actions, which as William James pointed out, "is always there" (James, 1890). The basic embodied sense of selfhood, termed Bodily Self-Consciousness, comprises two primary aspects. ...
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The experience of the self as an embodied agent in the world is an essential aspect of human consciousness. This experience arises from the feeling of control over one's bodily actions, termed the Sense of Agency (SoA), and the feeling that the body belongs to the self, Body Ownership (BO). Despite long-standing philosophical and scientific interest in the relationship between the body and brain, the neural systems involved in SoA and BO and especially their interactions, are not yet understood. In this preregistered study using the Moving Rubber Hand Illusion inside an MR-scanner, we aimed to uncover the relationship between BO & SoA in the human brain. Importantly, by using both visuomotor and visuotactile stimulations and measuring online trial-by-trial fluctuations in the illusion magnitude, we were able to disentangle brain systems related to objective sensory stimulation and subjective judgments of the bodily-self. Our results indicate that at both the behavioral and neural levels, BO and SoA are strongly interrelated. Multisensory regions in the occipital and fronto-parietal regions encoded convergence of sensory stimulation conditions. However, the subjective judgments of bodily-self were also related to BOLD fluctuations in regions not activated by the sensory conditions such as the insular cortex and precuneus. Our results highlight the convergence of multisensory processing in specific neural systems for both BO and SoA with partially dissociable regions for subjective judgments in regions of the default mode network.
... Additionally, we argue that CTM's continuous cycling through prediction, feedback and learning (section 1.6) together with the stream of consciousness (section 1.1.3), play a role in CTM's feelings of consciousness (see (James, 1890). The feelings are further enhanced by (parallel) predictive dynamics in CTM's Model-of-the-World where planning and testing is constantly carried out, often before action is taken by the CTM. ...
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The quest to understand consciousness, once the purview of philosophers and theologians, is now actively pursued by scientists of many stripes. We examine consciousness from the perspective of theoretical computer science (TCS), a branch of mathematics concerned with understanding the underlying principles of computation and complexity, including the implications and surprising consequences of resource limitations. In the spirit of Alan Turing's simple yet powerful definition of a computer, the Turing Machine (TM), and perspective of computational complexity theory, we formalize a modified version of the Global Workspace Theory (GWT) of consciousness originated by cognitive neuroscientist Bernard Baars and further developed by him, Stanislas Dehaene, Jean-Pierre Changeaux and others. We are not looking for a complex model of the brain nor of cognition, but for a simple computational model of (the admittedly complex concept of) consciousness. We do this by defining the Conscious Turing Machine (CTM), also called a conscious AI, and then we define consciousness and related notions in the CTM. While these are only mathematical (TCS) definitions, we suggest why the CTM has the feeling of consciousness. The TCS perspective provides a simple formal framework to employ tools from computational complexity theory and machine learning to help us understand consciousness and related concepts. Previously we explored high level explanations for the feelings of pain and pleasure in the CTM. Here we consider three examples related to vision (blindsight, inattentional blindness, and change blindness), followed by discussions of dreams, free will, and altered states of consciousness.
... This means not only that each representation of the play cannot be identical to others but also that each spectator's understanding does not only results from semiosis raised by the consecutive scenic signs she/he chooses to attend during the show, but that they also get intermingled with other experiences arising from her/his personal culture, mood, and positioning vis-à-vis the spectacle watched. The consequence is that the stream of consciousness (James, 1890) lived by the different members of the audience should be expected to be variegated. However, although consciousness is a black box inaccessible to a synchronic examination of its flow, there are methods able to offering glimpses on how the semiotic process of experience evolves. ...
Book
This book is the first to discuss in detail the different sides of Jaan Valsiner’s thought, including developmental science, semiotic mediation, cultural transmission, aesthetics, globalization of science, epistemology, methodology and the history of ideas. The book provides an overview, evaluation and extension of Valsiner’s key ideas for the construction of a dynamic cultural psychology, written by his former students and colleagues from around the world. See: https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783030778910#aboutAuthors
... Naturally, researchers have long sought a more accurate representation of the mind that can account for how a person perceives, interprets, and responds to their world. In social and personality psychology, a central focus has been on the role of psychological processes, such as encodings, affects, goals, beliefs, and expectancies, in shaping how individuals construct their worlds (Dewey, 1894;Cooley, 1902;James, 1890; see also Adler, 1930;Allport, 1937;Bandura, 1986;Fishbein & Ajzen, 1974;Heider, 1958;Horney, 1937;Kantor, 1924;Kelly, 1955;Kelley, 1973;Lazarus, 1991;Lewin, 1935;Murray, 1938;Rotter, 1954;Syngg & Combs, 1949;Rogers, 1951). Such psychological processes are assumed to account for why people differ from one another (between-person, trait-level differences). ...
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People’s behavior is characterized by stable if…then… profiles, or if in x situation then behavior a, but if in y situation then behavior b. But how do researchers conceptualize and measure if…then… profiles? Drawing from Cognitive-Affective Processing System (CAPS) theory, we discuss recent developments in assessing if…then… profiles, and how such profiles can provide a window for elucidating key aspects of the underlying personality system. Specifically, the Highly-Repeated Within-Person (HRWP) approach assesses how a behavior varies as a function of key features in a situation, and operationalizes if…then… profiles as regression betas. We illustrate how the HRWP approach can be applied to data from often-used social cognitive tasks, wherein an individual is exposed to a large number of situations that differ on a dimension that has been experimentally-manipulated by the researcher, and their behaviors to the situations are tracked. The HRWP approach allows researchers to more precisely assess a given individual’s if…then… pattern, make stronger causal inferences about a given individual’s personality system, and empirically investigate, rather than simply assume, if there are meaningful differences between individuals in the causal processes.
... In 1875, he taught the first course in experimental psychology and founded the first laboratory for the new discipline at Harvard University. Three years later he began writing the textbook Principles of Psychology, which would take him twelve long years to complete (James, 1890a). ...
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After a long inquiry into the fields of psychology, psychopathology, religious experience, mysticism and philosophy, William James arrived at a pantheistic worldview in which God was no longer the Absolute knower of the idealistic philosophy, but an immanent closely linked to human beings and the end of the process of world unification. This article follows William James’s evolution from his beginnings as a psychologist and founder of American psychology to his final solution to the philosophical problem of the One and the Many through a pluralistic pantheism. I examine his notions of ‘stream of consciousness,’ feelings of relation and emotions, as well as the super-human consciousness he found in religious mystical states; I then review his doctrine of indeterminism and his overcoming of the logic of identity by a vision of the world as a federal Republic in which Deity is construed as finite, much greater than human beings but nonetheless in need of their cooperation. In the conclusions, I analyze this view of the Divinity in its intellectual and social context as well as the result of William James’s personal experience as a psychologist in search of a vision of the world in which God had a more intimate relationship with humans and a leading role in promoting universal good.
... In 1875, he taught the first course in experimental psychology and founded the first laboratory for the new discipline at Harvard University. Three years later he began writing the textbook Principles of Psychology, which would take him twelve long years to complete (James, 1890a). ...
Article
Full-text available
After a long inquiry into the fields of psychology, psychopathology, religious experience, mysticism and philosophy, William James arrived at a pantheistic worldview in which God was no longer the Absolute knower of the idealistic philosophy, but an immanent closely linked to human beings and the end of the process of world unification. This article follows William James's evolution from his beginnings as a psychologist and founder of American psychology to his final solution to the philosophical problem of the One and the Many through a pluralistic pantheism. I examine his notions of 'stream of consciousness', feelings of relation and emotions, as well as the superhuman consciousness he found in religious mystical states; I then review his doctrine of indeterminism and his overcoming of the logic of identity by a vision of the world as a federal Republic in which Deity is construed as finite, much greater than human beings but nonetheless in need of their cooperation. In the conclusions, I analyze this view of the Divinity in its intellectual and social context as well as the result of William James's personal experience as a psychologist in search of a vision of the world in which God had a more intimate relationship with humans and a leading role in promoting universal good. No el absoluto, sino el último: William James frente al misterio de Dios R E S U M E N Tras una larga trayectoria de investigación en los campos de la psicología, psicopatología, experiencia religiosa, misticismo y filosofía, William James propuso la hipótesis de un panteísmo pluralista en el que Dios no era el conocedor absoluto del idealismo post-kantiano, sino un inmanente estrechamente unido a los seres humanos y la meta final del proceso de unificación del universo. El artículo estudia la evolución de James desde sus inicios como psicólogo y fundador de la psicología experimental norteamericana hasta el panteísmo pluralista como solución al problema filosófico de lo Uno y lo Múltiple. Presta especial atención a la "corriente de conciencia", los sentimientos de relación y las relaciones conjuntivas, junto con la conciencia sobrehumana que James encontró en los estados místicos. Asimismo, examina su doctrina del indeterminismo y su visión del mundo a imagen de una República federal en la que la Deidad es finita, más poderosa que los seres humanos pero, sin embargo, necesitada de su cooperación. En las conclusiones se evalúa esta imagen de la Divinidad en su contexto social, teniendo en cuenta la experiencia de William James en cuanto psicólogo a la búsqueda de una relación íntima con la naturaleza, el mundo humano y un Dios personal que es el fundamento de la ética y la moralidad.
... Thinking is for doing (James, 1890) and mental processes are tuned to the requirements at hand. Consistent with this assumption, people are more likely to engage in detail-oriented effortful processing when something seems wrong than when things seem to be going fine (e.g., Vallacher & Wegner, 1987). ...
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Thinking is accompanied by metacognitive experiences of ease or difficulty. People draw on these experiences as a source of information that can complement or challenge the implications of declarative information. We conceptualize the operation of metacognitive experiences within the framework of feelings-as-information theory and review their implications for judgments relevant to consumer behavior, including popularity, trust, risk, truth, and beauty.
... The current special issue presents several critical individual difference theories, many of which rest on robust theoretical and empirical foundations stretching back to fundamental theories propelling and regulating human behaviour and, crucially, their persistence in that behaviour (e.g., risk, interest, perceived control, and the need for competence; Atkinson, 1957;James, 1983James, /1892Rotter, 1966;White, 1959). Much of this theoretical and empirical direction can and should be applied to the language classroom, as it has, and continues to be applied to every other domain of learning within formal education. ...
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This review positions current conceptions of interest and its development as a critical and (importantly) sustainable source of motivation for learning a new language across formal education. We begin with the gap in our understanding of motivation to learn a new language generated by the longstanding dominance of applied linguistics identity/socio- cultural theoretical frameworks in school learning environments. The Four-Phase Model (Hidi & Renninger, 2006), and an extension with specific relevance for the highly structured nature of formal education, is reviewed and implications for second and foreign language learning classrooms are drawn. This review concludes with future directions for interested language learning researchers and essential first steps for instructors seeking to support the initiation and continued development of students’ interest in their language learning classrooms.
... [and that] The breaches between thoughts are the most absolute breaches in nature." (James, 1981/1890, quoted in Leary, 2018; see also Strawson, 2015, especially chapter 5). In other words, each individual has a uniquely intimate and private relationship to his or her own consciousness. ...
... Antecedents may be found in the work of psychologist William James (1910); in the writings of phenomenologists Edmund Husserl (2001) and Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1962), from the first half of the 20 th century; in the publications of biologists Jakob von Uexküll (1957,1982), from the same period, , a generation later. Varela, mentioned above, was a student of Maturana and co-authored publications with him (Maturana, Varela 1980, 1998. ...
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The paradigm of embodied cognition provides a perspective for rethinking the nature of experience, intersubjectivity, and the interaction of the human animal with its physical and sociocultural environments. Embodied cognitive science can be a productive framework for the study of aesthetic experience and visual communication, enabling us to transcend the cognitivist paradigm of the twentieth century, understood here as the view that cognition is the rule-based manipulation of symbolic representations in a disembodied and decontextualized mind. Summaries of key concepts of embodied cognition are provided , with suggestions for their use in the exploration of aesthetics and visual language.
... On a dynamical systems interpretation, neuronal-level events on the elementary scale synchronize (by phase-locking) and form aggregates that manifest themselves as incompressible but complete acts on the integrative scale, which characterizes the phenomenological level corresponding to conscious experience. At the level of pre-reflective consciousness, characterized by Husserl as the experienced living present (or what William James [1890] called the specious present), we find basic, but fully constituted cognitive operations (an act of perception or memory, for instance). Motorically it corresponds to a basic action (e.g., reaching, grasping). ...
... James described consciousness as a stream: a field with a focus and a margin (James, 1890b), a plurality of waking and subliminal states (James, 1902), and pure experience embodied in feeling and sensation (James, 1912). The underlying nature of consciousness or the self, he believed, is a unified field of pure experience with no content other than itself, where the processes of representation are fluctuations or qualified states of this underlying field (James, 1912). ...
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F or many, the notion of a humanistic neuroscience may seem to be an oxymoron. Neuro-science and physiological psychology emerged during the 18th century within the climate of a staunch materialistic worldview, which aimed to reduce all subjective qualities to objective qualities. Humanistic psychology, on the other hand, has always been grounded within a phenomenological worldview, in which the assumptions of empiricism, including the dichot-omy of a subject versus an object, are questioned radically and in which experience is given priority in the investigation of reality (Bugental, 1964; Giorgi, 2005; Rogers, 1964). At first glance, these projects seem opposed. However, alongside reductionistic and mechanistic approaches to neuroscience, there have always existed alternative, nonreductive and holistic approaches to biology, which have sought to preserve the integrity of experience. Rather than standing in opposition to biology, humanistic psychology, from the beginning , was strongly influenced by thinkers who were attempting to develop holistic approaches to biology and the mind-for example, Johann Wolfgang-Ponty, among others. Today, an integration and culmination of these approaches can be identified as neurophenom-enology, which we identify as the basis for a genuinely humanistic neuroscience. In his 1996 paper, "Neurophenomenology: A Methodological Remedy for the Hard Problem," Francisco Varela pioneered the link between cognitive neuroscience and phenom-enology. The aim of this project was to address what David Chalmers (1995) identified as the "hard problem" of consciousness. Chalmers first identified the "easy problems" of consciousness , such as how the brain can discriminate, categorize, and react to stimuli in the environment; integrate information within a cognitive system; report mental states; access its own internal states; focus attention; control behavior deliberately; and distinguish between wakefulness and sleep. Chalmers thought that it would only be a matter of time before 15
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This paper addresses three main concerns about William James’s understanding of attention. In the first section, I will consider the question whether or not James’s famous claim that “every one knows what attention is” should be understood as implying that his theory is a folk psychological theory of attention. After arguing against this interpretation, the second part of the paper spells out four main tenets in James’s theory: attention is presented as transcendental, active, structuring, and embodied. Particular emphasis will be laid on the key role of bodily movements. The third and final section draws some conclusions concerning the intentionality of agency. According to James, the genesis of the intentions to act has to be located in attentional movements and comportments towards the surrounding world. At variance with some readings of James as a full-fledged phenomenologist, I suggest to complement his essentially pragmatist approach with the aid of phenomenology as providing useful input for further inquiries.
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old project draft edited by the excellent Jared Gassen in maybe 2014, waiting for updates with recent research on orientation to the good.
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For both Edward Thomas and Robert Frost, the interdependence of the human and material worlds is a form of co-creation in which human activity is crucial. Rather than the poets “anticipating” later theory, however, it may be truer to say that Thomas, Frost and contemporary theorists are entangled in one another. I argue here for an affinity between new materialist accounts of emergent interdependence and the way language is used in poetry. Thomas and Frost illustrate that affinity and suggest some of its implications. Moreover, these qualities in their poetic use of language are not unique to poetry but draw on aspects of language in general—aspects which the new materialism is likely to bring forward, although currently it tends to ignore them.
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A definition of virtual or virtuality is not an easy task. Both words are of recent application in Philosophy, even if the concept of virtual comes from a respectable Latin tradition. Today’s meaning brings together the notions of potentiality, latency, imaginary representations, VR, and the forms of communication in digital media. This contagious, and spontaneous synonymy fails to identify a common vein and erases memory as a central notion. In the present essay, I’ll try to explain essential features of the concept of virtual, taking the investigation of memory troubles in Pierre Janet’s work as an exemplification. Pierre Janet’s work represents a rare combination of medical observation and description of symptoms of mental illnesses, therapeutic guidance in hypnosis and philosophical writing about the main psychological themes of an epoch in transition from a Metaphysics of the Soul to the modern Experimental Psychology. Pierre Janet’s intellectual evolution since the 1880s until the end of his life (1947) is dominated by the philosophical project of a theory of the psychic system supported by three basic pillars: a concept of personality, a theory of memory and a sketch of a general theory of conduct. Such complex endeavour cannot be abstracted from the initial connections with Jean-Martin Charcot’s school at La Salpêtrière which meant a turning point in the tradition of the “animal magnetism” concerning the treatment of epileptic-hysterical symptoms along with the contributions of Hyppolite Bernheim’s “Nancy School” of hypnotism. J.-M. Charcot’s or H. Bernheim’s theorising about the organic and psychological aspects of the hypnotic treatment of the hysterical symptoms was already aware of the difficulty in dealing with the extent of the dissimulation of the patients regarding the symptoms of the illness, under hypnotic suggestion, even if Charcot insisted in the identification and cataloguing of the organic expressions, such as contractures or the posture of the body in arc during the attacks. The precise location of the “great hysteria” in the organic-psychic corridor was itself a riddle. If a symptom is a special type of sign, in the case of the “great hysteria” nobody knew for sure what it stood for. The clinical symptom of the attack stood for an organic trouble with cerebral causes, a psychological interruption of the normal sensorial and muscular movements or a disguise of the female desire? Pierre Janet described many hysterical patients, somnambulism and multiple personality since his articles in La Revue Philosophique de la France et l’ Étranger, a Journal founded by the philosopher, experimental psychologist and his intellectual predecessor Théodule-Armand Ribot. The description of the case of the “great hysterical” Lucie, treated by him, is an example of a theoretical hypothesising on multiple personality and discontinuity of memories fragments. There are more cases revealing the same relation between hysteria, somnambulism, personality dissociation and “alternating memory”. Decisively inspired by and corroborating P. Janet’s ideas, S. Freud conceived also the essential of the hysterical sicknesses as disorders of memory. The theme of memory came even more to the foreground in the dissertation L’Automatisme Psychologique (1889). Here, the strange world of somnambulism was scrutinised along with hysterical contractures and convulsions, anaesthesia, the compulsion to repetition, obsessions, “automatic writing” in hysterical patients, multiple personality and “alternating memories”. In the depicted cases memory could not be taken as a homogenous series of remembrances or as a stock of disposable information but as a variable of the depth of the personalities’ inner formation. The so-called “seconde existence” of some somnambulists referred not only unconscious representations and unconscious thoughts but complete or inceptive latent personalities provided with multiple virtual existences and multiple memories. Hypnosis was the privileged technique to access to such multiple memories ignored by the official personality. Later and after the writing of his M.D. Dissertation, Contribution à l’ Étude des Accidents Mentaux chez les Hystériques (1893), P. Janet addressed again the themes of memory and alternating memories in a series of lectures at the Collège de France (1927–28) but now according to the larger framework of a general theory of conduct which included a description of the social actions participating in the narrative construction of personal memories, and the role of social memory.
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This paper investigates changes in approaching human cognition between Behaviorism and cognitive psychology. While the first approach considered behavior as the main object of psychology; the second hypothesized that psychological research should be centered in mental processes. Cognitive psychology views cognitive activities as an information processing. We differentiated also between computational and connexionist views of the functioning of the human mind. Finally we outlined knowledge representations models. Keywords: Cognitive Psychology; Cognitive science; Information Processing; Knowledge representations.
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I will argue that accounts of mineness and pre-reflective self-awareness can be helpful to panpsychists in solving the combination problems. A common strategy in answering the subject combination problem in panpsychism is to deflate the subject, eliminating or reducing subjects to experience. Many modern panpsychist theories are deflationist or endorse deflationist accounts of subjects, such as Parfit’s reductionism of personal identity and G. Strawson’s identity view. To see if there can be deflation we need to understand what the subject/self is. One aspect of consciousness left unexplored and unappreciated by panpsychist theories is pre-reflective self-consciousness/self-awareness. Theories of the self, inspired by phenomenology, that are serious about subjectivity, could be of use in arguing against the deflationary reductionism of the experiencing subject. These theories show that there is more to the subject of experience than just its experiences (qualities). Even without arguing for any precise account of the nature of the self, it can be shown what phenomenology of subjective character of consciousness and pre-reflective self-awareness contributes to the combination problem debate.
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Synchrony, or the moment-by-moment coordination between people in social situations, has been connected with increased liking and rapport. However, this type of synchrony is an underexplored area with regard to autonomic nervous system activity. The purpose of this research was to study physiological synchrony between participants in couple therapy by focusing on the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), which reflects arousal and emotional reactions. The data comprised 12 couple therapy cases (24 clients, 10 therapists) participating in the Relational Mind in Events of Change in Multiactor Therapeutic Dialogues (2013-2016) research project. Electrodermal activity (EDA) and heart rate were recorded from the clients and therapists at the start and at the end of the therapy. The aim of the research was threefold: to study the physiological reactions and synchrony that can be observed between participants in couple therapy, to analyze whether the levels of EDA synchrony change throughout the therapy processes, and to assess whether the possible changes in EDA synchrony are related to the therapeutic alliance or the therapy outcome. The results showed that between the participants of couple therapy, significant SNS synchrony occurred, which was not due merely to chance or to the presence of similar features within the therapy sessions. At the start of the therapy, the couples had the lowest level of SNS synchrony, whereas the co-therapists had the highest synchrony. The only significant SNS changes observed were in the couples, whose mutual synchrony increased towards the end of the therapy. The changes in SNS synchrony between the couples, and between the clients and the therapists, mostly showed a positive relationship with the increasing alliance and with the clients’ better wellbeing – although one specific pattern of decreasing synchrony seemed to be beneficial. The results highlight the role of embodiment in human interaction, and assist in understanding the healing mechanisms of therapy
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