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The Immeasurable Mind

Author: William R. Uttal
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Is psychology a science? Unlike Darwinian theory in biology or relativity and quantum theory in physics, psychology lacks the basic quantitative or conceptual foundation for a consensus view about how the mind works. Is psychology on the verge of developing such a foundation? "Probably not," answers psychologist William R. Uttal in this iconoclastic and critical examination of psychology’s underlying principles, assumptions, and concepts. In five in-depth chapters and one appendix, he explores the following key issues: What do we mean by "science" and can psychology be legitimately described as a science? What are the general principles that should be applied to any science? What is the role of mathematics in psychology? Given the current fragmented state of the discipline, is it possible to identify the general principles of a scientific psychology? Is experimental psychology just applied epistemology and not really scientific? Uttal comes to the conclusion that psychology is a science only to the extent that it is behaviorist in orientation. By comparing his discipline to other sciences, he identifies its limits, establishes a set of principles that help to define psychology as a science, and suggests plausible future developments.

Time Space And Number In Physics And Psychology Psychology Revivals

Author: William R. Uttal
Publisher: Psychology Press
ISBN: 1317557549
Size: 44.92 MB
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The crux of the debate between proponents of behavioral psychology and cognitive psychology focuses on the issue of accessibility. Cognitivists believe that mental mechanisms and processes are accessible, and that their inner workings can be inferred from experimental observations of behavior. Behaviorists, on the contrary, believe that mental processes and mechanisms are inaccessible, and that nothing important about them can be inferred from even the most cleverly designed empirical studies. One argument that is repeatedly raised by cognitivists is that even though mental processes are not directly accessible, this should not be a barrier to unravelling the nature of the inner mental processes and mechanisms. Inference works for other sciences, such as physics, so why not psychology? If physics can work so successfully with their kind of inaccessibility to make enormous theoretical progress, then why not psychology? As with most previous psychological debates, there is no "killer argument" that can provide an unambiguous resolution. In its absence, author William Uttal explores the differing properties of physical and psychological time, space, and mathematics before coming to the conclusion that there are major discrepancies between the properties of the respective subject matters that make the analogy of comparable inaccessibilities a false one. This title was first published in 2008.

Mind And Brain

Author: William R. Uttal
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 026201596X
Size: 10.74 MB
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Cognitive neuroscience explores the relationship between our minds and our brains, most recently by drawing on brain imaging techniques to align neural mechanisms with psychological processes. In Mind and Brain, William Uttal offers a critical review of cognitive neuroscience, examining both its history and modern developments in the field. He pays particular attention to the role of brain imaging--especially functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)--in studying the mind-brain relationship. He argues that, despite the explosive growth of this new mode of research, there has been more hyperbole than critical analysis of what experimental outcomes really mean. With Mind and Brain, Uttal attempts a synoptic synthesis of this substantial body of scientific literature. Uttal considers psychological and behavioral concerns that can help guide the neuroscientific discussion; work done before the advent of imaging systems; and what brain imaging has brought to recent research. Cognitive neuroscience, Uttal argues, is truly both cognitive and neuroscientific. Both approaches are necessary and neither is sufficient to make sense of the greatest scientific issue of all: how the brain makes the mind.

The Neuron And The Mind

Author: William R. Uttal
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317208099
Size: 26.94 MB
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This book, a companion to William R. Uttal’s earlier work on macrotheories theories of mind-brain relationships, reviews another set of theories—those based on microneuronal measurements. Microneural theories maintain the integrity of individual neurons either in isolation or as participants in the great neuronal networks that make up the physical brain. Despite an almost universal acceptance by cognitive neuroscientists that the intangible mind must, in some way, be encoded by network states, Uttal shows that the problem of how the transformation occurs is not yet supported by empirical research findings at the micro as well as at the macro levels of analysis. Theories of the neuronal network survive more as metaphors than as robust explanations. This book also places special emphasis on the technological developments that stimulate these metaphors. A major conclusion drawn in this book is that it is not at all certain that the mind-brain problem is solvable in the sense that many other grand scientific problems are.

Macroneural Theories In Cognitive Neuroscience

Author: William R. Uttal
Publisher: Psychology Press
ISBN: 1317392736
Size: 24.23 MB
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In this book, William R. Uttal continues his analysis and critique of theories of mind. This book considers theories that are based on macroneural responses (such as those obtained from fMRI) that represent the averaged or cumulative responses of many neurons. The analysis is carried out with special emphasis on the logical and conceptual difficulties in developing a theory but with special attention to some of the current attempts to go from these cumulative responses to explanations of the grand question of how the mind is generated by the brain. While acknowledging the importance of these macroneural techniques in the study of the anatomy and physiology of the brain, Uttal concludes that this macroneural approach is not likely to produce a valid neural theory of cognition because the critical information—the states of the individual neurons—involved in brain activity becoming mental activity is actually lost in the process of summation. Controversial topics are considered in detail including discussions of empirical, logical, and technological barriers to theory building in cognitive neuroscience.

Reliability In Cognitive Neuroscience

Author: William R. Uttal
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262018527
Size: 14.28 MB
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Cognitive neuroscientists increasingly claim that brain images generated by new brain imaging technologies reflect, correlate, or represent cognitive processes. In this book, William Uttal warns against these claims, arguing that, despite its utility in anatomic and physiological applications, brain imaging research has not provided consistent evidence for correlation with cognition. Uttal bases his argument on an extensive review of the empirical literature, pointing to variability in data not only among subjects within individual experiments but also in the new meta-analytical approach that pools data from different experiments. This inconsistency of results, he argues, has profound implications for the field, suggesting that cognitive neuroscientists have not yet proven their interpretations of the relation between brain activity captured by macroscopic imaging techniques and cognitive processes; what may have appeared to be correlations may have only been illusions of association. He supports the view that the true correlates are located at a much more microscopic level of analysis: the networks of neurons that make up the brain. Uttal carries out comparisons of the empirical data at several levels of data pooling, including the meta-analytical. He argues that although the idea seems straightforward, the task of pooling data from different experiments is extremely complex, leading to uncertain results, and that little is gained by it. Uttal's investigation suggests a need for cognitive neuroscience to reevaluate the entire enterprise of brain imaging-cognition correlational studies.

Handbook Of The Sociology Of Emotions

Author: Jan E. Stets
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 9401791309
Size: 24.20 MB
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Handbook of the Sociology of Emotions Volume II presents all new chapters in the ever developing area of the sociology of emotions. The volume is divided into two sections: Theoretical Perspectives and Social Arenas of Emotions. It reviews major sociological theories on emotions, which include evolutionary theory, identity theory, affect control theory, social exchange theory, ritual theory, and cultural theory among others. Social arenas where emotions are examined include, but are not limited to, the economy and the workplace, the family, mental health, crime, sports, technology, social movements and the field of science. All the chapters review the major theories and research in the area and each chapter ends with some discussion of directions for future research. The Sociology of Emotions is a fast growing and vital field in the broad discipline of Sociology. This volume II follows the Handbook of the Sociology of Emotions which was first published in 2006. In 2008, this first handbook received the “Outstanding Recent Contribution” in the Emotions Section of the American Sociological Association. With contributions from leading scholars from different areas in the discipline, such as neurosociology, culture, economics, mental health, gender, social movements, discussing state-of-art theory and research on emotions in sociology this volume will generate wider appeal to the sociological community.

Mind

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A journal of philosophy covering epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of logic, and philosophy of mind.