Two Minutes with Dr. Yahya: The Arab Manifesto: Kant’s View of the Mind


Two Minutes with Dr. Yahya: The Arab Manifesto: Kant’s View of the Mind

Arab American Encyclopedia-AAE

In this article, we will focus on Immanuel Kant’s (1724-1804) work on the mind and consciousness of self.

Some commentators believe that Kant’s views on the mind are dependent on his idealism (he called it transcendental idealism). For the most part, that is not so. At worst, most of what he said about the mind and consciousness can be detached from his idealism. Though often viewed as a quintessentially German philosopher, Kant is said to have been one-quarter Scottish. Some philosophers (often Scottish) hold that‘Kant’ is a Germanization of the Scottish name‘Candt’, though many scholars now reject the idea. It is noteworthy, however, that his work on epistemology, which led him to his ideas about the mind, was a response to Hume as much as to any other philosopher.

In general structure, Kant’s model of the mind was the dominant model in the empirical psychology that flowed from his work and then again, after a hiatus during which behaviourism reigned supreme (roughly 1910 to 1965), toward the end of the 20th century, especially in cognitive science. Central elements of the models of the mind of thinkers otherwise as different as Sigmund Freud and Jerry Fodor are broadly Kantian, for example.

Three ideas define the basic shape (‘cognitive architecture’) of Kant’s model and one its dominant method. They have all become part of the foundation of cognitive science.

  1. The mind is complex set of abilities (functions).      (As Meerbote 1989 and many others have observed, Kant held a functionalist      view of the mind almost 200 years before functionalism was officially      articulated in the 1960s by Hilary Putnam and others.)
  2. The functions crucial for mental,      knowledge-generating activity are spatio-temporal processing of, and application      of concepts to, sensory inputs. Cognition requires concepts as well as      percepts.
  3. These functions are forms of what Kant called      synthesis. Synthesis (and the unity in consciousness required for      synthesis) are central to cognition.

These three ideas are fundamental to most thinking about cognition now. Kant’s most important method, the transcendental method, is also at the heart of contemporary cognitive science.

  • To study the mind, infer the conditions necessary      for experience. Arguments having this structure are called transcendental      arguments.

Translated into contemporary terms, the core of this method is inference to the best explanation, the method of postulating unobservable mental mechanisms in order to explain observed behaviour.

To be sure, Kant thought that he could get more out of his transcendental arguments than just ‘best explanations’. He thought that he could get a priori (experience independent) knowledge out of them. Kant had a tripartite doctrine of the a priori. He held that some features of the mind and its knowledge had a priori origins, i.e., must be in the mind prior to experience (because using them is necessary to have experience). That mind and knowledge have these features are a priori truths, i.e., necessary and universal. And we can come to know these truths, or that they are a priori at any rate, only by usinga priori methods, i.e., we cannot learn these things from experience (B3) (Brook 1993). Kant thought that transcendental arguments were a priori or yielded the a priori in all three ways. Nonetheless, at the heart of this method is inference to the best explanation. When introspection fell out of favour about 100 years ago, the alternative approach adopted was exactly this approach. Its nonempirical roots in Kant notwithstanding, it is now the major method used by experimental cognitive scientists.

Other things equally central to Kant’s approach to the mind have not been taken up by cognitive science, as we will see near the end, a key part of his doctrine of synthesis and most of what he had to say about consciousness of self in particular. Far from his model having been superseded by cognitive science, some important things have not even been assimilated by it. (656 words)  www.hasanyahya.com

Read the writer’s 170 books HERE or Here

أقرأوا للكاتب بعضا من 170 كتابا هنا أو هنا وشكرا .والله يرعاكم .

About Arab American Encyclopedia-USA - Hasan Yahya

HASAN YAHYA was born at a small village called Majdal-YaFa (Majdal Sadiq) in Mandate Palestine (1944). He migrated as a refugee to Mes-ha, a village east of Kufr Qasim, west of Nablus (in the West Bank), then moved with his family to Zarka, 25 km north of Amman – Jordan. He finished the high school at Zarka Secondary School, 1963. He was appointed as a teacher in the same year. Studied Law first at Damascus University, then B.A from Lebanon University in Arabic literature and Eastern Cultures (1975). He moved to Kuwait. Where he got married in 1967. He was working at Kuwait Television, taught at bilingual School, and Kuwait University. In 1982, Hasan left to the United States to continue his education at Michigan State University. He got the Master Degree in 1983, the Ph.D degree in 1988 in Education (Psychology of Administration ). In 1991, He obtained his post degree in Social research, the result was a second Ph.D degree in Comparative sociology-Social Psychology. He was the only Arab student who enrolled ever to pursue two simultaneous Ph.D programs from Michigan State University and fulfill their requirements perfectly. Professor Yahya employment history began as a supervisor of a joint project to rehabilitate Youth (inmates out of prison) by Michigan State University and Intermediate School Districts. Worked also as a Teacher Assistant and lecturer in the same university. He was offered a position at Lansing Community College as well as Jackson Community College where he was assistant professor, then associate professor, then full professor (1991-2006). He taught Sociology, psychology, education, criminology and research methods. He supervised 19 Master and Ph.D candidates on various personal, economic psychological and social development topics. Professor Yahya published Hundreds (1000 Plus on this site) of articles and research reports in local, regional, and international journals. His interest covers local, regional and global conflicts. He also authored, translated, edited and published over 280 plus books in several languages, in almost all fields especial education, sociology and psychology. These books can be found on Amazon and Kindle. He also, was a visiting professor at Eastern Michigan University to give Research Methods and Conflict Management courses. Prof. Yahya accepted an offer to join Zayed University Faculty Team in 1998, then he served as the Head of Education and Psychology Department at Ajman University of Science and Technology 2001-04. Dr. Yahya established several institutes in Diaspora, the Arab American Encyclopedia, Ihyaa al Turath al Arabi Project, (Revival of Arab Heritage in Diaspora.Recently he was nominated for honorary committee member for the Union of Arab and Muslim Writers in America. He was affiliated with sociological associations and was a member of the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS) at USA. Social Activities and Community Participation: Dr. Yahya was a national figure on Diversity and Islamic Issues in the United States, with special attention to Race Relations and Psychology of Assimilation (generations 1,2 &3). He was invited as a public speaker to many TV shows and interviews in many countries. His philosophy includes enhancing knowledge to appreciate the others, and to compromise with others in order to live peacefully with others. This philosophy was the backgrounds of his theory, called “ Theory C. of Conflict Management”. And developed later to a Science of Cultural Normalization under the title: “Crescentology. The results of such theory will lead to world peace depends on a global Knowledge, Understanding, appreciation, and Compromising (KUAC)” Recently Prof. Yahya started "Publish your book FREE Project", to serve young Arab Writers. Dr. Yahya accepted the offer to be the chief editor of the International Humanities Studies Journal -I-H-S-Jerusalem, since July 2014. (Revised Sept. 2014) ولد الدكتور حسن عبدالقادر يحيى في مجدل يابا من أعمال يافا – فلسطين عام 1944. تلقى علومه الابتدائية في مدرسة بديا الأميرية في الضفة الغربية أيام احتوائها ضمن المملكة الأدردنية الهاشمية وتخرج في جامعة بيروت حاملاً الإجازة في اللغة العربية وآدابها، ودبلوم التأهيل التربوي من كلية القديس يوسف بلبنان، ودبلوم الدراسات العليا (الماجستير) ودكتوراة في الإدارة التربوية من جامعة ولاية ميشيغان بالولايات المتحدة عام 1988، وشهادة الدكتوراه في علم الاجتماع المقارن من الجامعة نفسها عام 1991. عمل في التدريس والصحافة الأدبية. أديب وشاعر وقاص ، ,كما عمل في تلفزيون الكويت الرسمي كمعد ومنسق برامج ثم اتجه إلى الكتابة والتأليف في علوم كثيرة تخص علمي النفس والاجتماع والتنمية البشرية ، والتغير الاجتماعي والسكان وألف ونشر العديد من المقالات (1000 +) والكتب باللغتين العربية والإنجليزية (أكثر من 330 كتابا) ، منها ست مجموعات قصصية وست كتب للأطفال ، وأربع دواوين شعرية باللغتين أيضا. وعدد من كتب التراث في الشعر والأدب والأخلاق الإسلامية والتربية والأديان . وهو الآن أستاذ متقاعد في جامعة ولاية ميشيغان. . وكان عضوا سابقا في جمعية العلماء المسلمين في أمريكا . وجمعية علماء الاجتماع الأمريكية - ميشيغان، وهو مؤسس الموسوعة العربية الأمريكية في الولايات المتحدة ضمن مشروع إحياء التراث العربي في بلاد المهجرز كما تم ترشيحه مؤخرا ليكون عضو مجلس التحرير لمجلة الدراسات الإنسانية العالمية. وقد قبل أن يتسلم رئاسة تحريرها اعتبارا من نهاية يونيو 2014 His email: askdryahya@yahoo.com Thank you!
This entry was posted in Arab Manifesto, Global Affairs, Knowledge Base, Philosophy & Logic, Practical Psychology, psychology, Research Methods, Science, Sociology and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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