June 21, 2000

The 19th Meeting of Mind and Activity

Saturday, July 1, 2000

3:30 pm. - 7:30 pm.
Honkan (Main building)
Room #1555 (on the 5th floor)
Meiji Gakuin University, Tokyo

Brian McVeigh,

After introducing "psychic plasticity," "psychic diversity," "folk psychologies," and "false psychologies," I explore the belief in consciousness, or the belief in a "mental space" that exists "in" the "head," in which a "self" moves about and psychological events and processes transpire. Consciousness is not biologically innate (nature); rather, it is culturally constructed (nurture). Thus, it is an historical invention and cultural convention, shaped by social, political and economic forces. There is no reason to assume that historically humans have always been conscious. Indeed, there is much evidence that they were not conscious and that societies have possessed radically different psychologies. The purpose of consciousness is not to reveal the inner workings of the mind; rather, it is to hide cognitive functioning, to fool us that there are no inner workings of the mind (via tricks of language). The real purpose of consciousness is to assist us in taking short cuts, to navigate through the world by offering us a menu of options that we can "picture" "in" our heads. Because belief in an interiorized mind-space (i.e. consciousness) is such a common and powerful folk psychology, it leads to false assumptions (false psychologies). I propose some parameters and predictions for further research directly related to belief in an introspectable mental: (1) the spatialization of time; (2) metaphoric mind-words; (3) dualism.

Aug Nishizaka,

First, I show how recognition of what to be talked about is displayed and achieved in the actual course of action in telephone conversations. Second, I provide some comments on what cognitive psychology actually does in their researches, based on an 'erroneous' conception of 'recognition'.