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How does the mind decipher meaning?

Or I might ask another question - what exactly does that mean? What is meaning in the mind anyway?

An example would be an expression or any saying basically - say someone says 'red apples taste good'. That statement has a certain significance for both the listeners and the person making the statement. Depending on their experience and understanding of how red apples taste their understanding of the statement is going to differ.

That was just a verbal example, however. The mind also gets meaning from its surroundings and physical phenomena. The red apples by themselves, for instance, might give the person an experience from just seeing the apples but probably more of one when they eat one of the apples.

So there is verbal or intellectual experience and physical or phenomenal experience - the important question then is how do these two types of experience relate to each other - here Heil states Davidson's theory (Heil, J):

  • Davidson argues that ... every mental token is identical with some physical token. Your being in pain at midnight is (let us imagine) identical with some physical (presumably neurological) event occurring in your body at midnight, although there is no prospect of translating talk of pain into neurological talk.

That theory received a lot of criticism, and I can see why. It doesn't seem like that would ever be literally true - as a guideline it might make some sense that mental events or states correspond with what is going on physically with the body at any time, however they probably aren't exact because different factors are going to be determining someones mental cognitions than the factors determining their physical biology.


According to the classical theory of concepts, concepts have are complex mental representations that have a definitional structure (the concept fits properties according to its definition).

Other theories developed such as the prototype theory and the dual theory. The prototype theory suggests that concepts fit a stereotypical prototype (kind of like Jungian archetypes). The dual theory developed later and suggests that concepts have a 'core' and an 'identification procedure'. However 'Conceptual Atomism' suggests that concepts don't have any structure and they just correspond with what they represent - be that casual or historical.

In another article of mine m52492 I reference James Sully (1892) who points out that concepts have three parts - abstraction, comparison and generalization. That suggests that people go through a process of thinking for each concept - they compare the concept to other concepts, generalize the concept - but first just have an abstract picture of the concept.

His simple explanation basically just points out that concepts involve thinking 'more' about each concept - including generalizing it. The other theories of concepts all have valid points as well however. The prototype theory suggests generalization is involved (as prototypes are generalized). And the dual theory suggests that identification is involved (which is similar to comparison). While the atomism theory suggests that it is just a simple thought process - which would be the 'abstraction' phase of understanding the concepts.

Questions & Answers

Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
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.
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
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
At high concentrations (>0.01 M), the relation between absorptivity coefficient and absorbance is no longer linear. This is due to the electrostatic interactions between the quantum dots in close proximity. If the concentration of the solution is high, another effect that is seen is the scattering of light from the large number of quantum dots. This assumption only works at low concentrations of the analyte. Presence of stray light.
Ali 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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