Field of Science

Understanding our own minds

Freud was wrong about most things, but one thing he was dead on about was that we have at best limited access to our own minds. Here is an excellent quote from Daniel Dennet's Freedom Evolves:

For Descartes, the mind was perfectly transparent to itself, with nothing happening out of view, and it has taken more than a century of psychological theorizing and experimentation to erode this ideal of perfect introspectability, which we can now see gets the situation almost backward. Consciousness of the springs of action is the exception, not the rule, and it requires some rather remarkable circumstances to have evolved at all.
See also previous posts on related topics:
Your brain knows when do be afraid, even if you don't.
Free will.
Not your granddaddy's subconscious mind.

2 comments:

Subconscious Mind said...

Thanks for the great and motivating post! I fully agree with you especially on letting your subconscious mind help you achieve success. Do check out http://www.subconscious-mind.org, they have a whole host of interesting and helpful articles.

coglanglab said...

Subconscious mind: Since I said nothing about letting your subconscious mind help you achieve success, I suspect this is a rather cynical advertising attempt.

However, although I'm not sure I agree with much of what is on your site, I think it's interesting enough to leave the link intact.