5 Answers

  1. Everyone knows that thinking is an “internal” mental process that sometimes occurs in our brains. This is, of course, a very interesting topic, but, unfortunately, we still don't know much about this process. Over time, progressive neuroscience will provide us with a full account of what, where, and how… In the meantime, we will close this topic. What matters to us is not how thinking occurs, but its result-thought, and the connections of thoughts among themselves. Therefore, in the future, when talking about thinking, it will often mean not a mental process that occurs in each individual head, but reasoning that has a generally significant character and consists of separate but interrelated thoughts.

    But, you may say, if we talk about thinking only from the point of view of thought and reasoning, then we will miss an important component of each of its individual acts – imagery, associativity, emotionality, that is, what happens only in the mind. All this is true, but here the main reference point is the concept of truth. If subjectivity affects the truth of thought and reasoning, then it is expressible by generally valid means; if it does not, then it can be ignored. Let me explain this.

    Everyone knows that thinking, as a subjective process, can be figurative, or it can be linguistic, i.e. we can think both with the help of words and with the help of images, but in fact it is a single process. The human brain has two hemispheres: the left – mostly related to language and logic, and the right – figurative, spatial, and associative. In every act of thinking, both hemispheres work together-we think in both words and images. At the same time, we combine words-images in various combinations that we need.

    Everyone who knows what an apple is can imagine it, but everyone will do it in their own way. We can mentally change the color of an apple from green to yellow, and then to red, and mix them. All these manipulations will give possible color combinations of real apples. But we can go beyond reality and imagine black or blue apples. I, for example, have never seen such fruits in my life. But nothing is impossible here – by breeding or genetic engineering, it is probably possible to create such apples. If you continue to fantasize, you can imagine a cubic or pyramidal apple of blue color; you can attach arms and legs to it, insert windows and doors into it, and so on. As a result, we imagined an apple that can be depicted in a picture or described in a book, but cannot be grown on a tree. In this case, we mentally performed manipulations with one object, thing, individual-an apple-changing or adding properties to it. The results of these manipulations can be expressed using sentences that will have different truth functions:

    1) ““Green apple” – true

    2) “There is an apple with arms and legs” – false

    The first sentence is actually true, and anyone who has access to apples can verify its truth. The second is a priori false, since fruits lack limbs, otherwise they are not fruits.

    People began to combine parts and properties of different objects since they became people, and during this time they came up with a lot of useful, but non-existent things in nature, such as an axe, a bow… a computer, as well as many impossible but conceivable things and creatures. For example, the ancient Greek centaur.

    So far, I have talked about the expressiveness of figurative representations in a generally meaningful and linguistic form. It seems to me that everything that can be represented in images can be expressed in language, but not vice versa. There are many words whose meanings are very difficult, and sometimes impossible, to represent figuratively, for example, such meaningful words as” freedom”,” justice”, or, conversely, such a meaningless expression consisting of understandable words as”round square”.

    As for associations. They are undoubtedly also involved in the process of thinking – some to a greater extent, some to a lesser extent. They are influenced by literally everything: tradition, life experience, emotional state, vocabulary, and the form of the language unit that causes the association. In free fantasy, they seem to dominate. In a positive sense, they are useful if they contribute to the development of an interesting thought, but again expressed in language. But more often, associations are harmful, especially when you perceive other people's messages. Most uneducated people think associatively rather than rationally. In the perceived information, they introduce excessive, additional, one might say fictitious content that distorts the correct interpretation of something perceived. So, for example, in clouds and abstract patterns, such people are more likely to see figures, faces, symbols, or even special signs for them, and in a language message not its direct meaning, but a far-fetched hidden content. In principle, all people are inclined to this. But to varying degrees. Simply, the lower the intellectual culture, the more it manifests itself. For savages, the whole world is full of signs, spirits, and gods.

    Finally, a few words about emotions. In general, they are almost devoid of informative content. What remains can be reduced to simple statements: like it, don't like it, don't care. Here the situation is similar with associativity – the lower the level of scientific education, the less arguments and more emotions. And this applies not only to complete ignoramuses, but also to people with literary and humanitarian education. But we're all human, we're all emotional, and it's hard to get rid of that sometimes.

    So, what is thinking in general? This is a mental, purely subjective process that results in thought. If no thought has been born, then at least a question appears, the answer to which would be the desired thought. If there was no thought, no question, then probably there was no act of thinking itself.

    Someone will say that the thought that is born is subjective. I agree, if it was not born, but remained in the head-then yes, but in this case it is as if it was not born. If it does come to light, i.e., if it is expressed orally or in writing, then it is no longer subjective, but true or false. Although there are often situations when something expressed is not really a thought-but so… a set of words that gives an unsophisticated person the impression of something wise and deep, although in fact it does not contain even an elementary thought. In other words: people sometimes talk nonsense, and some of them are considered professionals in this field and these people are called philosophers. But not all philosophers are like that.

    A thought can be true, false, or hypothetical, i.e., one whose truth status is still uncertain, but can be determined over time. There are no meaningless thoughts, but sentences can be such, and since the spoken thought always appears to us in the form of a sentence, it is necessary to have a means to distinguish sentences containing a thought from those that do not contain it.

    A thought is always a statement of something about something, and is expressed in an affirmative sentence containing at least one subject, one predicate, and a logical connective that provides a connection between the subject and the predicate. This is a classic view of the logical structure of an elementary sentence. The subject of an utterance is what the sentence says; the predicate is what the given sentence says about the subject. The subject is always a certain object, the individual in question. A predicate can be anything that is stated about the subject, and it can be expressed in any part of speech. The essence of elementary thought lies in the fact that some property is attributed (endowed, approved) to some thing, to an individual, where by property I mean any predicate expression. If a given individual really has this property, then the sentence is true, if not, then false.

    In classical logic, the above is illustrated by similar examples:

    Man (is) mortal.” “Man” is the subject of an utterance; “mortal” is a predicate-a property that is inherent in all people; “is” is a copula that is most often omitted in Russian, i.e. it is not pronounced, but, for example, in English it is always present – the verb to be. In logic and mathematics, it is indicated by the sign of an individual's belonging to a class.

    A complex thought, respectively expressed in a complex sentence, consists of more than one simple thought, which is also connected by logical connections, and is based on elementary thoughts or sentences.

    Logic and the deductive method were invented by the ancient Greeks in the V-IV centuries BC, and what is called classical logic is, in fact, the logic of Aristotle that has come down to us. Deduction is a method of obtaining true consequences from accepted premises, and logic, in general, is the theory of deduction.

    So, an elementary unit of thought is an elementary sentence. Any elementary sentence is essentially what Carnap called an indication of the syntax of a word, i.e. words themselves mean little, and they find their meaning only in the composition of the sentence. In this case, there is no discussion yet about the role of context on the meaning of a word – it's just that each word we use has its own syntax, i.e. a way to include it in a sentence.

    So, for example, take the word “chair”. The correct inclusion of this word in the sentence would be: “x is a chair“, and this expression is an elementary sentence for the word “chair”. The variables “x”, “y”, ” z ” are called individual variables and serve to denote individuals, i.e. things, objects, and, are in the logical structure of the sentence what in the old logic was denoted by the expression subject of the utterance. In the sentence “a chair is red“, the old logic considered ” chair “as the subject of the statement, and” red ” as a predicate.

    But we have seen above that in the new logic the word ” chair “has a strictly predicative place, and cannot be the subject of a statement whose place is occupied by individual variables, and the sentence” chair is red “has such a correct logical form:”there is x, which is a chair and has the property of being red.”

    Speaking of “chair”, a question was raised syntax of common words: “chair”, “rose”, “man”, “animal” etc., but the syntax for words signifying properties are not always the same as for common words, although this is strictly a predicate, e.g., “x is red“. The old logic did not know relations, and all predicates in it were treated as single ones. And this led to many misconceptions and absurd conclusions.

    For example:”Vasya is bigger than Kolya. So Vasya is big. But it's smaller than Petya. So Vasya is small. It turns out that Vasya has two contradictory properties – big and small.” This is the beginning of dialectics-the unity and struggle of opposites. All that remained was to theorize this nonsense, and it took all the genius of Grandfather Hegel.

    In modern logic, such properties are called relations or multi-place predicates. The syntax for multi-place predicates is different, since there are two or more individuals present. For example, “large” – “x more“, “father” – “x father“, “between” – “x is between y and z, “etc. Even words like “freedom,” “good” and “beauty” are shared predicates: “x-free from“, “x made welcome (or did a good deed for) I“, “x is beautiful to have“.

    In short, thoughts are of varying degrees of complexity, and this complexity can be interpreted with the help of your metaphor ” facets “as”versatility”. Scientific proposals and theories are, ideally, regular polyhedra that look more and more like a ball as they become more complex, while pseudoscientific ones are just piles of g… interspersed with something undigested that looks like faces to the unsophisticated eye. These piles can have a variety of forms, and each new author invents his own, seeing in this a manifestation of his creative genius and originality. Unfortunately, in our time, originality, which has turned into origianality, is increasingly replacing meaningfulness and rationality. See Dennett's article “Postmodernism and Truth“.

  2. In my opinion, it is absolutely impossible to determine the number of such facets in any thought, since they themselves, with the factor of their materiality(their further realization in reality), are very abstract, they do not exist and cannot be such facets, they are not objects, even if they are material only in the sense described above. We can imagine anything, while creating multi-faceted scenes in our minds, which is actually enough for our imagination, but we can not reach the maximum peak of the versatility of the image we represent(no matter how much we would like), for this reason any thought appears without any facets that we can consciously invent for ourselves, but we can not attach them to this very thought, it is free, therefore, this thought supposedly has all 3 dimensions, but this is just an illusion of deception of our consciousness, which turns into thinking for reflection(2 reason). They only acquire facets when they are translated into real life(and no more), when certain scenes that we have imagined in our minds become reality, but if they exist in our minds, they cannot have facets.

  3. If the question came to my email, I will try to answer it due to my understanding of the essence of it. A thought is an image created by SOMEONE. Thinking is the process of its creation, i.e. the process of constructing qualitatively new material and spiritual images from the realities of this world. Thus, both thought and thinking are always personal(someone's) and are determined by the interests of the individual, his intellectual and moral baggage. In addition, thinking is also determined by what surrounds the individual, in what world he lives, since this world is the building material for creating images. So, living in a creative environment creates for the good, inventing something useful, and living among scammers comes up with deception schemes. So the thoughtimage always carries not only a material but also a spiritual component, and the number of their facets is determined by the complexity of the thoughtimage. Thus, the design documentation of the ISS or rocket engine is multi-faceted, reflecting various areas of scientific knowledge. In addition, it is the fruit of collective work, collective thinking. So the idea, like the person himself, finds reality only in human society and it bears the stamp of society.

  4. Perhaps the question is raised somewhat vaguely: what is meant by the concept of “facets of Thought”? Nevertheless, it makes sense, so you want to answer it. Any deep thought covers many facets of reality and it has no edifying connotation. At the same time, deep thoughts are alien to “black and white colors”. Beautiful thought is multi-faceted and has many layers of meaning. Deep thought does not violate logic, but it corresponds to it. This idea is not categorical, but has a charming novelty and a remarkable brevity. And finally, a beautiful and deep thought necessarily generalizes something.

  5. In my opinion, it has at least the following facets and I will immediately say that in my opinion they are all strictly material and there is no mysticism and no “subtle” matters:

    1. Creation

    2. Accomplishment

    3. Conservation

    4. Reproduction (special case of item 2)

    5. Change

    Actually, we can talk about Thought not as a process (the work of the neural network and other executive bodies), but apparently only as a Result, expressed in some completion of these points.

    Then you can talk a lot and for a long time about each stage … anyone who wants can speak out )

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