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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

how can chip be made from sand
Eke Reply
are nano particles real
Missy Reply
Hello, if I study Physics teacher in bachelor, can I study Nanotechnology in master?
Lale Reply
no can't
where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
has a lot of application modern world
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
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I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
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Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
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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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