Outline of a new approach to the nature of mind

Abstract

I propose a new approach to the constitutive problem of psychology ‘what is mind?’ The first section introduces modifications of the received scope, methodology, and evaluation criteria of unified theories of cognition in accordance with the requirements of evolutionary compatibility and of a mature science. The second section outlines the proposed theory. Its first part provides empirically verifiable conditions delineating the class of meaningful neural formations and modifies accordingly the traditional conceptions of meaning, concept and thinking. This analysis is part of a theory of communication in terms of inter-level systems of primitives that proposes the communication-understanding principle as a psychological invariance. It unifies a substantial amount of research by systematizing the notions of meaning, thinking, concept, belief, communication, and understanding and leads to a minimum vocabulary for this core system of mental phenomena. Its second part argues that written human language is the key characteristic of the artificially natural human mind. Overall, the theory both supports Darwin’s continuity hypothesis and proposes that the mental gap is within our own species.

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