Doing Your Mind

Research, comments and musings about active minds.

Concepts

Mindlessness, consumption and skills.

I have recently read two books by Ellen Langer, Mindfulness and Counterclockwise. The content and moral of both are largely the same – that we are better off in all manner of ways when we are mindful1. The essence of mindfulness is being aware not just what what is (or what appears to be) but […]

Quality work, a review of Richard Sennett’s “The Craftsman”.

What is it about good workmanship that leaves us more fulfilled? Whether as the one producing or the one appreciating the quality of the work, there is something more to be said for work that is the product of commitment, discipline and care, rather than that of someone going through the motions. Work done for […]

Perceptual Modalities: The Overlooked Ecological Viewpoint.

I’ve just received the off-prints of a paper of mine being published in the Journal of Consciousness Studies on perceptual modalities, and what the enactive approach would have to say about the matter. Basically, I argue that there is a distinction between sensory modalities and perceptual modalities, with the latter being complex and structured not […]

The Psychological Environment, a review of Harry Heft’s “Ecological Psychology in Context”

This review is long overdue. It also worked out a little longer than I had initially intended, but here it is nonetheless. – It is disappointingly rare to see a psychologist making a genuine attempt at answering a question that is fundamental to the discipline. As an endeavour, Psychology is fragmented, a complex set of […]

Moral affordances

I’ve just finished reading the young adult novel The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, which is a superb if sometimes infuriating read. The details of the plot aren’t too important for our present purposes, but a central component of the book is the protagonist Todd Hewitt’s relationship with the eponymous blade. Not […]

Representation in oscillations

I’ve just started reading György Buzsáki’s (2006) Rhythms of the Brain, which looks very promising. The book is an examination of the brain as a set of oscillators (at the neuron and neuron-group levels – he points out that there are many forms of periodicity in the brain and central nervous system that he was […]

Relativity versus selectivity in the enactive approach

Men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly found, given, and transmitted from the past. While reading Harry Heft’s Ecological Psychology in Context I came across this quotation by Marx. The gist of this […]