The Manifold of Sense - Part II

Written by Sam Vaknin


Continued from page 1

The epistemological status of sensations is much less clear. When we see an object, are we aware of a "visual sensation" in addition to being aware ofrepparttar object? Perhaps we are only aware ofrepparttar 126343 sensation, wherefrom we inferrepparttar 126344 existence of an object, or otherwise construct it mentally, indirectly? This is what,repparttar 126345 Representative Theory tries to persuade us,repparttar 126346 brain does upon encounteringrepparttar 126347 visual stimuli emanating from a real, external object. The Naive Realists say that one is only aware ofrepparttar 126348 external object and that it isrepparttar 126349 sensation that we infer. This is a less tenable theory because it fails to explain how do we directly knowrepparttar 126350 character ofrepparttar 126351 pertinent sensation.

What is indisputable is that sensation is either an experience or a faculty of having experiences. Inrepparttar 126352 first case, we have to introducerepparttar 126353 idea of sense data (the objects ofrepparttar 126354 experience) as distinct fromrepparttar 126355 sensation (the experience itself). But isn't this separation artificial at best? Can sense data exist without sensation? Is "sensation" a mere structure ofrepparttar 126356 language, an internal accusative? Is "to have a sensation" equivalent to "to strike a blow" (as some dictionaries of philosophy have it)? Moreover, sensations must be had by subjects. Are sensations objects? Are they properties ofrepparttar 126357 subjects that have them? Must they intrude uponrepparttar 126358 subject's consciousness in order to exist or can they exist inrepparttar 126359 "psychic background" (for instance, whenrepparttar 126360 subject is distracted)? Are they mere representations of real events (is pain a representation of injury)? Are they located? We know of sensations when no external object can be correlated with them or when we deal withrepparttar 126361 obscure,repparttar 126362 diffuse, orrepparttar 126363 general. Some sensations relate to specific instances others to kinds of experiences. So, in theory,repparttar 126364 same sensation can be experienced by several people. It would berepparttar 126365 same KIND of experience though, of course, different instances of it. Finally, there arerepparttar 126366 "oddball" sensations, which are neither entirely bodily nor entirely mental. The sensations of being watched or followed are two examples of sensations with both components clearly intertwined.

(continued)

Sam Vaknin is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He is a columnist for Central Europe Review, United Press International (UPI) and eBookWeb and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory, Suite101 and searcheurope.com.

Visit Sam's Web site at http://samvak.tripod.com




Born Aliens - Part II

Written by Sam Vaknin


Continued from page 1

Moreover, we must attach some epigenetic importance to some ofrepparttar stimuli. If we do, in effect we recognizerepparttar 126342 effect of early stimuli upon later life development.

At their beginning, neonates are only vaguely aware, in a binary sort of way.

l. "Comfortable/uncomfortable", "cold/warm", "wet/dry", "colour/absence of colour", "light/dark", "face/no face" and so on. There are grounds to believe thatrepparttar 126343 distinction betweenrepparttar 126344 outer world andrepparttar 126345 inner one is vague at best. Natal fixed action patterns (rooting, sucking, postural adjustment, looking, listening, grasping, and crying) invariably provokerepparttar 126346 caregiver to respond. The newborn, as we said earlier, is able to relate to physical patterns but his ability seems to extend torepparttar 126347 mental as well. He sees a pattern: fixed action followed byrepparttar 126348 appearance ofrepparttar 126349 caregiver followed by a satisfying action onrepparttar 126350 part ofrepparttar 126351 caregiver. This seems to him to be an inviolable causal chain (though precious few babies would put it in these words). Because he is unable to distinguish his inside fromrepparttar 126352 outside repparttar 126353 newborn "believes" that his action evokedrepparttar 126354 caregiver fromrepparttar 126355 inside (in whichrepparttar 126356 caregiver is contained). This isrepparttar 126357 kernel of both magical thinking and Narcissism. The baby attributes to himself magical powers of omnipotence and of omnipresence (action-appearance). It also loves itself very much because it is able to thus satisfy himself and his needs. He loves himself because he hasrepparttar 126358 means to make himself happy. The tension-relieving and pleasurable world comes to life throughrepparttar 126359 baby and then he swallows it back through his mouth. This incorporation ofrepparttar 126360 world throughrepparttar 126361 sensory modalities isrepparttar 126362 basis forrepparttar 126363 "oral stage" inrepparttar 126364 psychodynamic theories.

This self-containment and self-sufficiency, this lack of recognition ofrepparttar 126365 environment are why children until their third year of life are such a homogeneous group (allowing for some variance). Infants show a characteristic style of behaviour (one is almost tempted to say, a universal character) in as early asrepparttar 126366 first few weeks of their lives. The first two years of life witnessrepparttar 126367 crystallization of consistent behavioural patterns, common to all children. It is true that even newborns have an innate temperament but not until an interaction withrepparttar 126368 outside environment is established dorepparttar 126369 traits of individual diversity appear.

At birth,repparttar 126370 newborn shows no attachment but simple dependence. It is easy to prove:repparttar 126371 child indiscriminately reacts to human signals, scans for patterns and motions, enjoys soft, high pitched voices and cooing, soothing sounds. Attachment starts physiologically inrepparttar 126372 fourth week. The child turns clearly towards his mother's voice, ignoring others. He begins to develop a social smile, which is easily distinguishable from his usual grimace. A virtuous circle is set in motion byrepparttar 126373 child's smiles, gurgles and coos. These powerful signals release social behaviour, elicit attention, loving responses. This, in turn, drivesrepparttar 126374 child to increaserepparttar 126375 dose of his signaling activity. These signals are, of course, reflexes (fixed action responses, exactly likerepparttar 126376 palmar grasp). Actually, untilrepparttar 126377 18th week of his life,repparttar 126378 child continues to react to strangers favourably. Only then doesrepparttar 126379 child begin to develop a budding social-behavioural system based onrepparttar 126380 high correlation betweenrepparttar 126381 presence of his caregiver and gratifying experiences. Byrepparttar 126382 third month there is a clear preference ofrepparttar 126383 mother and byrepparttar 126384 sixth month,repparttar 126385 child wants to venture intorepparttar 126386 world. At first,repparttar 126387 child grasps things (as long as he can see his hand). Then he sits up and watches things in motion (if not too fast or noisy). Thenrepparttar 126388 child clings torepparttar 126389 mother, climbs all over her and explores her body. There is still no object permanence andrepparttar 126390 child gets perplexed and loses interest if a toy disappears under a blanket, for instance. The child still associates objects with satisfaction/non-satisfaction. His world is still very much binary.

Asrepparttar 126391 child grows, his attention narrows and is dedicated first torepparttar 126392 mother and to a few other human figures and, byrepparttar 126393 age of 9 months, only torepparttar 126394 mother. The tendency to seek others virtually disappears (which is reminiscent of imprinting in animals). The infant tends to equate his movements and gestures with their results that is, he is still inrepparttar 126395 phase of magical thinking.

The separation fromrepparttar 126396 mother,repparttar 126397 formation of an individual,repparttar 126398 separation fromrepparttar 126399 world (the "spewing out" ofrepparttar 126400 outside world) are all tremendously traumatic.

The infant is afraid to lose his mother physically (no "mother permanence") as well as emotionally (will she be angry at this new found autonomy?). He goes away a step or two and runs back to receiverepparttar 126401 mother's reassurance that she still loves him and that she is still there. The tearing up of one's self into my SELF andrepparttar 126402 OUTSIDE WORLD is an unimaginable feat. It is equivalent to discovering irrefutable proof thatrepparttar 126403 universe is an illusion created byrepparttar 126404 brain or that our brain belongs to a universal pool and not to us, or that we are God (the child discovers that he is not God, it is a discovery ofrepparttar 126405 same magnitude). The child's mind is shredded to pieces: some pieces are still HE and others are NOT HE (=the outside world). This is an absolutely psychedelic experience (andrepparttar 126406 root of all psychoses, probably).

If not managed properly, if disturbed in some way (mainly emotionally), ifrepparttar 126407 separation individuation process goes awry, it could result in serious psychopathologies. There are grounds to believe that several personality disorders (Narcissistic and Borderline) can be traced to a disturbance in this process in early childhood.

Then, of course, there isrepparttar 126408 on-going traumatic process that we call "life".



Sam Vaknin is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He is a columnist for Central Europe Review, United Press International (UPI) and eBookWeb and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory, Suite101 and searcheurope.com.

Visit Sam's Web site at http://samvak.tripod.com




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