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FALKOR
I am not a scientist
l studied Sociology and made my first masters in Historical Sociology
I want to open my ideas to you and discuss them with you :
Reason of this discussion is that l see the social memory and with it all the sociological dynamics are deleted as technological progress changes our environment and mechanism of thinking and understanding.
l am ready to make brainstorming even at limits of physics and also a lot around Rudolf Carnap '' extension of possible worlds and intension of possible worlds''
but also do not reject approaches of hermetic knowledge of Enoch feeding human understanding since more than 7000 years.

l am glad to see all participants flowing into a new understanding and thank in advance for your time and precious ideas.
FALKOR
rpenner
No one is denying that information could be lost. The Roman civilization didn't respect the philosophical musings of the Greeks, so the tradition of philosophy was lost. Then when the Roman civilization fell, the memory of the Greek tradition was lost -- in most part.
But the books remain.

When the library of Alexandria burned, lots was lost. Much of it, probably trite and trivial.

But the way to guarantee that information is lost is the hermetic tradition of making things secret. By attempting to hold onto knowledge in the form of hypothetical secret libraries, you guarantee the loss of that knowledge. Books are not gold -- they can be copied and their value persists. If books are not keep well-maintained (the physical part of being a librarian) they just rot. If they are written in a dead or uncommon language on plates of gold, the philistines will melt them down.

So F*** the hermetic knowledge! Go out and get new knowledge and let it never perish from this Earth. Publish it in journals. Summarize it in textbooks. Teach it in schools. FIX it when it is shown to be in error. Make progress and never look back at a past we can't recapture.

Especially if that past "Golden age" is just as mythical as the stories of Greek or Egyptian gods. It's basic scientific methodology that before experiments to enumerate the properties of X you need experimental or observational proof of the existence of X. World-spanning civilizations don't fall without leaving physical evidence. Where is it? If the priest-king of some insignificant clot of people claims a library of secret knowledge with which he will hold power of his enemies, he is probably lying. 7000 years of politicians have taught us that.
HenisDov
- Sociology is not a science?
It is obviously a biological science, not only for humans but for ALL organisms regardless of their complexity.

- To deal with human "social memory and with it all the sociological dynamics" you need to start with "Human Culture", via "Organisms' Culture". Only anthropologists may suggest that "Culture" is not definable. It is a clearly definite biological entity:


From "Culture And Intelligence"
http://blog.360.yahoo.com/blog-P81pQcU1dLB..._Q--?cq=1&p=247

- Culture is a biological entity. It is an elaboration/extension of the cell's manipulation beyond its outer membrane. It has been selected for survival of the genome by means of manipulating/adjusting the cell's outer circumstances, in addition to the cell's outer membrane which was selected much earlier for controlling the inner cell's circumstances.

- Being a biological entity culture is definitely a general ubiquitous trait of all living systems, all, regardless of size or of extent of cellularization of the organism, from mono to multi-celled. This is obviously and simply the next complexing evolution level up from celling.

For the genome's survival, i.e. proliferation, it is required first to control the in-cell living atmosphere, and consequently next to control the out-of-cell circumstances. Elementary.

Dov Henis
photojack
FALKOR and everyone,

Culture and cultural traits are an area where sociology and psychology blend and enhance each other. Abraham Maslow came up with "Self-actualization" and its intuition and applicability are central to this topic. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Maslow. Maslow's hierarchy of needs forms a pyramid.

"The base of the pyramid is formed by the physiological needs, including the biological requirements for food, water, air, and sleep.

Once the physiological needs are met, an individual can concentrate on the second level, the need for safety and security. Included here are the needs for structure, order, security, and predictability.

The third level is the need for love and belonging. Included here are the needs for friends and companions, a supportive family, identification with a group, and an intimate relationship.

The fourth level is the esteem needs. This group of needs requires both recognition from other people that results in feelings of prestige, acceptance, and status, and self-esteem that results in feelings of adequacy, competence, and confidence. Lack of satisfaction of the esteem needs results in discouragement and feelings of inferiority.

Finally, self-actualization sits at the apex of the original pyramid." wikipedia.

This view is so intuitive and applicable across the total spectrum of human and animal culture, I am surprised that it is not more widely known. To me it is "Darwin's theory" for psychology AND sociology combined. biggrin.gif

I looked into Carnap at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolf_Carnap and found little that was directly applicable. He was a theorist on an almost esoteric level and his views have little daily relevance. Of the historically important writers in psychology, Carnap is conspicuously absent. ohmy.gif

"Historically important writers, B.F. Skinner · Jean Piaget · Sigmund Freud · Albert Bandura · Leon Festinger · Carl Rogers · Stanley Schachter · Neal E. Miller · Edward Thorndike · Abraham Maslow · Gordon Allport · Erik Erikson · Hans Eysenck · William James · David McClelland · Raymond Cattell · John B. Watson · Kurt Lewin · Donald O. Hebb · George A. Miller · Clark L. Hull · Jerome Kagan · Carl Jung · Ivan Pavlov." from wikipedia.

And of these, Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow stand out as the ones whose theories have stood the test of time and have not been countered or modified beyond recognition as have some of the others. Freud was a pioneer, but his theories have largely been discounted and/or so modified as to be barely recognizable. It's not surprising that all of his students diverged in such radically different directions! The conditioned response theories of Pavlov and Skinner have limited applications, but Maslow "hit the nail on the head" with self-actualization! rolleyes.gif
Rusty Shackleford
QUOTE
And of these, Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow stand out as the ones whose theories have stood the test of time and have not been countered or modified beyond recognition as have some of the others. Freud was a pioneer, but his theories have largely been discounted and/or so modified as to be barely recognizable. It's not surprising that all of his students diverged in such radically different directions! The conditioned response theories of Pavlov and Skinner have limited applications, but Maslow "hit the nail on the head" with self-actualization!


I quite agree that Maslow and Rogers seem to have an intuitive correctness to them. However, the problem with both of their theories is that they are purely speculative with no evidence to support them. They are interesting theories and can be useful in some situations, but they are really no different than some of the wild theories presented by poster's on these forums. There is no evidence or application of science in these psychological disciplines, so unfortunately, they are only philosophies.

I think that you will find that Behavioral Psychology in the tradition of Skinner to be far more important than you have given credit. It is without a doubt the future of psychology, and it is completely based in science.

photojack
Rusty Shackleford, Don't you think the conditioned response theories of Pavlov and Skinner have limited applications, as I mentioned, applicable mainly to instinctual responses? They do not reach the higher echelons of the pyramid. I think its establishment in psychological theory extends to it much more than a mere philosophical position. The study of ethology would back the origin and development of this pyramidal model from the "lower" animals up through reptiles, mammals and mankind.

"Maslow also proposed that people who have reached self-actualization will sometimes experience a state he referred to as "transcendence," in which they become aware of not only their own fullest potential, but the fullest potential of human beings at large. He described this transcendence and its characteristics in an essay in the posthumously published The Farther Reaches of Human Nature." wikipedia quote.

I read "The Farther Reaches of Human Nature" while in college and it "converted" me to the science behind SOME, but not all psychological theories. One of the more enlightening revelations was that unlike Freud, Maslow studied the geniuses and other high achievers and formulated his concepts from that perspective and not from studies of psychotics and people with other personality disorders that Freud used to formulate his theories. That is a fundamental difference and resulted in the widespread acceptance of his self-actualization concept. More than philosophy? My inclination is that its broad applicability to the mentally balanced and the creatively,intelligent right-hand side of the bell curve confirms its scientific basis. This has developed into an interesting thread, touching on sociology, psychology and philosophy. Let the minds roam! biggrin.gif
Rusty Shackleford
QUOTE
Rusty Shackleford, Don't you think the conditioned response theories of Pavlov and Skinner have limited applications, as I mentioned, applicable mainly to instinctual responses? They do not reach the higher echelons of the pyramid. I think its establishment in psychological theory extends to it much more than a mere philosophical position. The study of ethology would back the origin and development of this pyramidal model from the "lower" animals up through reptiles, mammals and mankind.


No, the scope of behaviorism is much broader. As a teaching/training tool, it is unparalleled. If an organism can learn, behavioral techniques can be applied to shape it's behavior. It also has a greater success rate when dealing with mental illness than any of the other psychology disciplines, including pharmacological psych (the ever popular pills).

I also believe that behavioral models more accurately reflect the study of ethology. Behaviorism can explain both instinctual and learned behavior. More importantly, behaviorism uses science to understand mental process, versus using philosophical models gleaned purely from insight and mental logic.

As I said, I find Maslow's model interesting, and seemingly intuitive, but unsubstantiated by evidence. Ignoring the absence of evidence for a moment, the model itself has some potentially serious flaws. Self-actualization is poorly defined, and many view it to be psychobabble because it cannot be objectified. Furthermore, many feel that his pyramid has a definite cultural bias that makes it inapplicable to members of some societies. Many also feel that there is a definite "spiritual" aspect to this theory, especially when you start talking about things like "transcendence". Then there is the abstract nature of concepts like happiness, success, achievement etc.

photojack
Rusty, I can see your points. No model is going to fit perfectly. And the "transcendence" can, and should be taken with a grain of salt. Is your objection to the pyramid based on an Egyptian model! Remember, the Aztecs and Mayans developed them also. Joking aside, it could be adapted to the "bell curve" model and maybe even more appropriate than some would care to admit! I would be interested in seeing an analogy using behaviorism to explain morality, creativity and altruism, especially if some of the more basic needs (lower on the pyramid) are NOT met.

Maybe it is from some of the controversies I remember concerning B. F. Skinner during my college days that are bringing my doubt to behaviorism.

"He also wrote a number of controversial works in which he proposed the widespread use of psychological behavior modification techniques, primarily operant conditioning, in order to improve society and increase human happiness; and as a form of social engineering." wikipedia.

From the wikipedia definition of behaviorism, "Behaviorism is an approach to psychology based on the proposition that behavior can be studied and explained scientifically without recourse to internal mental states."

It's the "without recourse to internal mental states" that bothers me. And this is covered by Maslow's model much more convincingly. And none of the many versions of behaviorism adequately explain those higher echelons of Maslow's model either.

"Versions, from wikipedia.

There is no classification generally agreed upon, but some would say it as true, and some would add to or modify this list. (Numbers added for clarity.)
1. Classical: The behaviorism of Watson; the objective study of behavior; no mental life, no internal states; thought is covert speech.
2. Methodological: The objective study of third-person behavior; the data of psychology must be inter-subjectively verifiable; no theoretical prescriptions. It has been absorbed into general experimental and cognitive psychology.
3. Radical: Skinnerian behaviorism; is considered radical since it expands behavioral principles to processes within the organism; in contrast to methodological behaviorism; not mechanistic or reductionist; hypothetical (mentalistic) internal states are not considered causes of behavior, phenomena must be observable at least to the individual experiencing them.
4. Logical: Established by Oxford philosopher Gilbert Ryle in his book The Concept of Mind (1949).
5. Teleological: Post-Skinnerian, purposive, close to microeconomics.
6. Theoretical: Post-Skinnerian, accepts observable internal states ("within the skin" once meant "unobservable", but with modern technology we are not so constrained); dynamic, but eclectic in choice of theoretical structures, emphasizes parsimony.
7. Biological: Post-Skinnerian, centered on perceptual and motor modules of behavior, theory of behavior systems.
8. Interbehaviorism: Founded by J. R. Kantor before Skinner's writings and currently worked by L. Hayes; E, Ribes; and S. Bijou. Centered in the interbehavior of organisms, field theory of behavior; emphasis on human behavior." wikipedia.

None of these allow for differing internal mental states. A psychotic individual would obviously respond differently than an "Einstein!" As a summation near the end of the wikipedia article, they are still raising my earlier objections to behaviorism as not being applicable to creativity and the like!

"Behaviorism is both a psychological movement and a philosophy of mind. The basic premise of radical behaviorism is that the study of behavior should be a natural science, such as chemistry or physics, without any reference to hypothetical inner states of organisms. Other varieties, such as theoretical behaviorism, permit internal states, but do not require them to be mental or have any relation to subjective experience. Behaviorism takes a functional view of behavior." wikipedia.

So... What do you think? Enquiring minds want to know! wink.gif
Rusty Shackleford
Some schools of Behaviorism do "take recourse to mental states". Under these models, internal states like thinking and feeling are just more behavior to be explained.

As for myself, I tend not to subscribe to any one school of thought, and tend to take a biological scientific approach. This involves a synthesis of evolutionary, physiological, and behavioral disciplines. I guess if you are into classification, you could say that my thoughts most closely resembles radical behaviorism. Summarized here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radical_behaviorism

To me, internal states, emotions, feelings, thoughts and the like, are just biological phenomenon. They can therefore best be understood through a naturalistic scientific approach. What are emotions? Are they, at their root, not just biochemical reactions to environmental stimuli? Humans are just mammals after all, and subject to the same evolutionary heritage. These "internal states" are then best seen as physiological responses from biological organisms. Behaviorism helps to explain the mechanisms by which these physiological process take place.

QUOTE
I would be interested in seeing an analogy using behaviorism to explain morality, creativity and altruism, especially if some of the more basic needs (lower on the pyramid) are NOT met.


Behaviorism doesn't recognize Maslow's hierarchy and so doesn't attempt to explain things according to this logic. I also would struggle to make such analogies because I would have to make hypothesis to support a unsubstantiated hierarchy. I also feel that Maslow's ideas do not accurately reflect real world situations. Doesn't morality, altruism, and creativity exist among populations who are not getting their physiological needs met (needs at the lowest level)? Are not people from poverty stricken regions who barely get enough to eat also creative? Are not some moral and altruistic?
sirfiroth
QUOTE (photojack+Mar 6 2007, 05:09 AM)


"Behaviorism is both a psychological movement and a philosophy of mind. The basic premise of radical behaviorism is that the study of behavior should be a natural science, such as chemistry or physics, without any reference to hypothetical inner states of organisms. Other varieties, such as theoretical behaviorism, permit internal states, but do not require them to be mental or have any relation to subjective experience. Behaviorism takes a functional view of behavior."  wikipedia.

So... What do you think?  Enquiring minds want to know! wink.gif


Behavior is subjective, IMHO We live in a world derived by arbitration and consensus based on the concepts and elements in place at the time. The standards of the civilized world are fluid, ever changing, continually placing new and more stringent demands on individuals.
Environmental influences single greatest contributing factor to an individuals Psychic makeup.
To study Behaviorism involves a broad swath of disciplines for the student not to become Judge. To study fellow human beings for what purpose? While it is a psychological endeavor it will never rise to the level of true philosophy, but is definitely of the minds' ego.

my 2 cents

___________
No matter where you go, or what you do, you do so within the confines of your own head.
photojack
Rusty Shackleford, I like your response. It showed a lot of prior thought and awareness of many behavioral disciplines. I know Maslow's pyramid looks static as a diagram on paper (or screen). Like brain activity mapping on human subjects, areas that "light up" as they jump from hemisphere to hemisphere, in Maslow's model, would jump or "bubble" from level to level as brain responses influenced their conformation.

"To me, internal states, emotions, feelings, thoughts and the like, are just biological phenomenon." Rusty Shackleford quote.

These internal states, electrical, electro-chemical or whatever, leave permanent changes behind in the brain synapse connections, structure and memory. I tend not to subscribe to any one school of thought also. That's why I posted, hoping for new perspectives. I have previously considered those same objections to the pyramid... " Are not people from poverty stricken regions who barely get enough to eat also creative? Are not some moral and altruistic?" What Maslow was stating was that they flow more easily when lower levels are met. Security brings about the leisure to engage engines (mind) to warp speed! wink.gif
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