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What he said about the three states of mind makes sense - of course there is more to mental functioning than knowing, willing or intention and feeling however those three functions could describe most of the surface functions of the mind - that is, what is simply going on not necessarily how the mind is doing it.

Later in the book he talks about concepts - it is important to point out that concepts are first simple and then they move to being more complex concepts as one thinks more about them. The three stages he talks about are abstraction, comparison and generalization:

  • The common account of conception here followed, as made up of a sequence of three stages, comparison, abstraction and generalization, rather describes the ideal form of the process as required by logic than the mental process actually carried out. As we saw above, a vague analysis or abstraction precedes that methodical comparison of things by which the abstraction becomes precise and perfect, that is to say, definite points of likeness (or unlikeness) are detected. With respect to generalisation, is has already been pointed out that this is to some extent involved in abstraction. To see the roundness of the ball is vaguely and implicitly to assimilate the ball to other round objects. It is to be added that an imperfect grasp of general features as such commonly precedes the methodical process here described. The child realises in a measure the general function of the name 'horse' before he carries out a careful comparative analysis of the equine characters. At the same time the use of the word 'generalisation' is important as marking off the clear mental grasp of the class-idea as such, that is, the idea of an indeterminate number of objects, known and unknown, answering to a certain description.

That is a simple explanation of concepts, however. Concepts that involve the self are more complicated, and concepts also have personal intentions involved and associated with them. In this next quote Don Perlis talks about intending with expressions and intentions (such as when coining an expression and using self-reference). When someone says an expression they are intending it to refer to something (its referent), and they also intend for the listener to understand that they intend the intending. They also are referring to themselves - to their present, past and future activity:

  • What is it then, for an agent to "take" one thing to "refer" to another? Consider a primitive case: coining an expression, explicitly linking a symbol s to a referent r. This would seem to be no more nor less than an intention to use s as a stand-in for r in certain contexts. Following this trail, we now ask what it is to intend something, and we are smack-dab in the middle of both philosophy of language and philosophy of mind. And to reinvoke Grice, every utterance is a case not merely of intending, but also of intending listeners to understand that the utterer intends that intending. Can all this happen in the absence of a fairly sophisticated (and quite possibly conscious) cognitive engine? Moreover, the natural languages that we use for expression of intentions are-as noted-their own metalanguages, allowing loopy self-reference made possible by our intentions to so refer: We speak of ourselves, not just past or future, but our immediate present self and present activity including the activity of noting that activity.
  • So, once again, does meta have a me? If meta involves reference, and if reference involves agency with intentions, including intentional self-referring activity, and if that in turn is at least a hint of a self, then yes.


Perlis, D. (2011) There's No "Me" in "Meta" - Or Is There? In Cox, M and Raja, A (Eds). "Metareasoning". Massachusetts institute of Technology.

Sully, James. (1892) "THe Human Mind. Longmans, Green and Co. London.

Trigg, J and Kalish, M. 'Explaining How the Mind Works: On the Relation Between Cognitive Science and Philosophy' Topics in Cognitive Science 3 (2011) 399–424

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, How does cognition influence emotion?. OpenStax CNX. Jul 11, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11433/1.19
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