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Taxonomy of Mind

From: Jason
Sent on: Thursday, April 15, 2010 3:42 PM

Below is the topic for the upcoming Science of Mind discussion which will occur 2010 April 17, 1:00pm.  For location details and to RSVP, see the Meetup event announcement

Looking forward to another engaging discussion,


April 17
Taxonomy of Mind

An approach which has often proven useful in philosophy, science, business, software development, and the construction of ikea furniture is to first assess the constituent parts of a system and their relationships prior attempting to understand how the system functions as a whole or how subsystems will behave in particular contexts.  For the first organized discussion of Science of Mind, we will explicitly set out the explananda which will be the focus of future discussions in order to establish a common sense of what makes up a mind and develop an intuition for what will be relevant aspects of the mind when particular topics arise.  Over the next couple of days, I invite all of you try introspecting your own mental states and processes, noting as many diverse states and processes as you can, and reflecting on the relationships between them.  There are also some suggested readings below.  We can use these as a common foundation for considering the following questions:

What's in a mind? What are the target phenomena that a scientific understanding of the mind should seek to include? How are these aspects of the mind related?

Some suggested readings:

the table of contents and glossaries of your psychology and philosophy of mind books

Scientific Classification and Taxonomy at the Epistemological Lifeboat

check out a pdf Golossary of Taxonomic Terms at Taxonomy Strategies, LLC

a related approach to taxonomy is ontology (not to be confused with the philosophical concept), here described by wikipedia

for the ambitious among you, see the Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy's entry on Scientific Explanation

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