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  1. Benny Shanon (forthcoming). Novelty in Thinking. Substance.
     
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  2. Benny Shanon (2011). Music and Ayahuasca. In David Clarke & Eric F. Clarke (eds.), Music and Consciousness: Philosophical, Psychological, and Cultural Perspectives. Oxford University Press. 281.
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  3. Benny Shanon (2010). The Epistemics of Ayahuasca Visions. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (2):263-280.
    In this paper, I discuss substance-induced visions and consider their epistemic status, meaning, and modes of proper interpretation. I focus on the visions induced by ayahuasca, a powerful psychoactive plant-made brew that has had a central status and role in the indigenous tribal cultures of the upper Amazonian region. The brew is especially famous for the visions seen with it. These are often coupled with personal psychological insights, mentations concerning topics of special significance to one, intellectual (notably, philosophical and metaphysical) (...)
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  4. Benny Shanon (2008). A Psychological Theory of Consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies 15 (5):5-47.
    A new phenomenological framework for the characterization of human consciousness is presented. The theory is introduced in several stages - making distinctions concerning types of consciousness, levels, parameters, functional features and dynamic operations. The phenomenology encompasses both ordinary and non-ordinary states of mind. It appears that in its totality the phenomenology of human consciousness comprises a well- structured system exhibiting coherence and internal structure. In addition, this framework presents a new approach for cognitive research, methodologically as well as theoretically. Observations (...)
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  5. Benny Shanon (2008). Las Meninas Revisited. Journal of Consciousness Studies 15 (9):117-123.
    Las Meninas (LM, for short) by Velasquez is a unique painting that has generated a riddle perplexing viewers for generations. Attempting to make sense of this striking masterpiece were not only artists, art critics and art historians but also philosophers. For its most part, this commentary is based on Shanon (1999) in which a detailed analysis of LM is presented, although some points made here are new. For the sake of brevity, the different protagonists of LM will be named as (...)
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  6. Benny Shanon (2008). Mind-Body, Body-Mind: Two Distinct Problems. Philosophical Psychology 21 (5):697 – 701.
    The mind-body problem concerns the relationship between mind and body, or nowadays - between mind or consciousness and the brain. As a relationship, this can be viewed from two perspectives: from body to mind and from mind to body. In this note I point out that the two readings of the problem are not symmetrical and that there are categorical differences between them. In particular, whereas the body to mind problem constitutes a mystery (cf. the contemporary hard problem), the mind (...)
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  7. Benny Shanon (2008). Reasons for Involving the Notion of God When Theorizing About Consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies 15 (8):102-109.
    This note presents a typology of reasons for involving the notion of God in theoretical discussions of human consciousness. These reasons have to do with points of connection, commonality, analogy and affinity between the notions of God and of consciousness, with phenomenological patterns manifested in human conscious experience (in particular, ones encountered in non-ordinary states of mind), and with theoretical and meta-theoretical considerations.
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  8. Benny Shanon (2004). Altered States and the Study of Consciousness: The Case of Ayahuasca. Journal of Mind and Behavior 24 (2):125-154.
    This paper is part of a comprehensive research project whose aim is to study the phenomenology of the special state of mind induced by the psychoactive Amazonian potion ayahuasca. Here, I focus on those aspects of the ayahuasca experience that are related to basic features of the human consciousness. The effects of the potion are discussed in terms of a conceptual framework characterizing consciousness as a cognitive system defined by a set of parameters and the values that they take. In (...)
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  9. Benny Shanon (2003). Three Stories Concerning Synaesthesia: A Commentary on the Paper by Ramachandran and Hubbard. Journal of Consciousness Studies 10 (3):69-74.
    The article on synaesthesia by Ramachandran and Hubbard is comprehensive and intellectually stimulating. In this commentary, I would like to present some empirical data not discussed in R&H and to raise some theoretical questions relating to ideas proposed in this article. My comments will be divided into three sections, or - rather - three stories, which correspond to three, independent and different, occasions in my career in which I found myself dealing with synaesthesia. Each of these stories carries a moral (...)
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  10. Benny Shanon (2002). Ayahuasca Visualizations a Structural Typology. Journal of Consciousness Studies 9 (2):3-30.
    This paper is part of an ongoing project devoted to the investigation of the psychotropic brew Ayahuasca from a cognitive-psychological perspective. This perspective contrasts with those of practically all investigations of Ayahuasca which pertain either to the natural sciences-notably botany, pharmacology, brain science and clinical medicine-or to anthropology. Here, I discuss the visualizations induced by Ayahuasca from a structural, as opposed to contentual, point of view. A typology of the structural forms in which visualizations may appear is drawn. Also examined (...)
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  11. Benny Shanon (2002). Entheogens, Reflections on Psychoactive Sacramentals. Journal of Consciousness Studies 9 (4):85-94.
    The delightful anthology compiled by Roberts on Psychoactive Sacramentals presents two dozen essays on the use of psychoactive substances as sacraments. The contributions in PS are varied. Their authors include scientists engaged in the study of psychoactive substances and of altered states of consciousness, theologians and students of religion, clergymen and practitioners of Asian meditative practices, psychologists and other mental health professionals, educators, and policy makers. Some of the authors are first of the line veterans who were personally involved in (...)
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  12. Benny Shanon (2002). Remember the Old Masters! Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (3):353-354.
    Perruchet & Vinter (P&V) ground their arguments in a view they call “the mentalistic tradition.” Here I point out that such a view has already been advocated by two old masters of psychological science, William James and James Gibson, as well as by the philosopher Merleau-Ponty. In fact, in the writings of these older thinkers, arguments very similar to those presented in the target article are found.
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  13. Benny Shanon (2002). The Antipodes of the Mind: Charting the Phenomenology of the Ayahuasca Experience. Oup Oxford.
    A pioneering study of the phenomenology of the special state of mind induced by Ayahuasca, a plant-based Amazonian psychotropic brew. The author's research is based both on extensive firsthand experiences with Ayahuasca, and on interviews conducted with a large number of informants coming from different places and backgrounds.
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  14. Benny Shanon (2002). The Embodiment of Mind. Manuscrito 25 (2):531-572.
    This paper examines the involvement of the body in cognitive activity. On the basis of the survey of various manifestations of human behavior, it is concluded that the body is intrinsically involved in cognition. Theoretically the question is how to conceptualize this in the framework of cognitive theory. Several possible conceptualizations are examined. In particular, I argue against the two-tier model which conceptualizes the role of the body in terms of a secondary appendage to an essentially orthodox representational-computational account. The (...)
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  15. Benny Shanon (2001). Altered Temporality. Journal of Consciousness Studies 8 (1):35-58.
    Temporality is a fundamental determinant of human cognition. There are, however, states of mind in which people feel that temporality changes radically and perhaps even becomes irrelevant. Here I attempt a typology of the patterns of such non-ordinary temporal experiences. The discussion is based on a phenomenological study of the special state of consciousness induced by Ayahuasca, a powerful Amazonian psychoactive brew.
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  16. Benny Shanon (2001). Against the Spotlight Model of Consciousness. New Ideas in Psychology 19 (1):77-84.
     
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  17. Benny Shanon (2001). The Divine Within. Journal of Consciousness Studies 8 (2):91-6.
    Review of Huston Smith's ‘Cleansing the Doors of Perception’.
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  18. Benny Shanon (1999). Ways of the Eyes: Observing Velázquez's Las Meninas. Semiotica 124 (3-4):189-210.
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  19. Benny Shanon (1998). Fodor's Impasse – a Converse Perspective and a Way Out. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 28 (2):129–145.
    In recent publications, Fodor points out a basic impasse that the representational-computational view of mind confronts. Mental representations have to serve two functions—to be the substrate of mental computations and to be the carriers of meaning. Fodor points out that these two functions cannot be brought together and concludes that semantics is not part of psychology. On the basis of similar observations, I suggest drawing another conclusion, namely, that the premises of the representational-computational view are wrong, and that psychology is (...)
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  20. Benny Shanon (1998). Metaphorical Pluralism – Not on the Substantive Level! Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (1):164-165.
    Koriat & Goldsmith (1996t) present two different programs for memory research. Different though they are on the methodological level, on the substantive level the two programs are based on the same view, according to which memory consists of represented information that is permanently stored in the mind (or brain). This view is, I think, wrong. One can support the methodological pluralism Koriat & Goldsmith advocate, but on the substantive level pluralism is not admissible.
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  21. Benny Shanon (1998). The Intrinsic Temporality of Human Cognition. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (5):650-651.
    In conformity with the dynamical perspective advocated by van Gelder, a more psychological approach can highlight the intrinsic temporality of human cognition, revealing the inadequacies of representationalism as a framework for the modeling of mind.
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  22. Benny Shanon (1998). What is the Function of Consciousness? Journal of Consciousness Studies 5 (3):295-308.
    This paper proposes an answer to the title question on the basis of the analysis of empirical data -- a large corpus of what I call thought sequences, namely, trains of verbal-like expressions that spontaneously pass through people's minds. The analysis reveals several patterns that could not have occurred had thought not been conducted in a conscious manner. The feature that makes these patterns possible is the concreteness resulting from the articulation of thought in a particular medium: such articulation is (...)
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  23. Marcelo Dascal, Jens Allwood, Benny Shanon, Stephen Stich, Yorick Wilks, Itiel Dror, Edson Françozo & Amir Horowitz (1996). Pragmatics & Cognition. Cognition 7:1.
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  24. Benny Shanon (1995). Owen Flanagan, Consciousness Reconsidered. Pragmatics and Cognition 3 (1):187-189.
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  25. Daniel L. Everett, Ran Lahav, Gary D. Prideaux & Benny Shanon (1993). The Authors in This Issue. Pragmatics and Cognition 1 (1):169-170.
     
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  26. Benny Shanon (1993). The Representational and the Presentational: An Essay on Cognition and the Study of Mind. Prentice-Hall.
     
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  27. Benny Shanon (1993). Why Are We (at Least Sometimes) Conscious of Our Thoughts?: Or: Why Do We Think in Words (Sometimes)? Pragmatics and Cognition 1 (1):25-49.
    The two questions that constitute the title of the paper are examined in the context of thought sequences, i.e., progressions of phrase-like expressions that spontaneously run through people 's minds. The analysis of a corpus of such sequences suggests that the articulation of thought in language affords fluidity that makes novelty possible. The articulation makes control possible, it lends momentum to thought, it presents alternative avenues for the further progression of thought, it renders thought into an activity akin to action (...)
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  28. Benny Shanon (1993). What Next? Ramifications for Empirical Psychology. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 16 (1):197.
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  29. Benny Shanon (1992). Are Connectionist Models Cognitive? Philosophical Psychology 5 (3):235-255.
    In their critique of connectionist models Fodor and Pylyshyn (1988) dismiss such models as not being cognitive or psychological. Evaluating Fodor and Pylyshyn's critique requires examining what is required in characterizating models as 'cognitive'. The present discussion examines the various senses of this term. It argues the answer to the title question seems to vary with these different senses. Indeed, by one sense of the term, neither representa-tionalism nor connectionism is cognitive. General ramifications of such an appraisal are discussed and (...)
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  30. Benny Shanon (1991). Chauvinism – a Misdirected Accusation: A Reply. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 21 (3):369–371.
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  31. Benny Shanon (1991). Consciousness and the Computer: A Reply to Henley. Journal of Mind and Behavior 12 (3):371-375.
    This paper is a response to Henley who criticizes a previous paper of mine arguing against my claim that computers are devoid of consciousness. While the claim regarding computers and consciousness was not the main theme of my original paper, I do, indeed, subscribe to it. Here, I review the main characteristics of human consciousness presented in the earlier paper and argue that computers cannot exhibit them. Any ascription of these characteristics to computers is superficial and misleading in that it (...)
     
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  32. Benny Shanon (1991). Representations - Senses and Reasons. Philosophical Psychology 4 (3):355-74.
    Abstract A survey of different senses of the term ?representation? is presented. The presentation is guided by the appraisal that this key term is employed in the cognitive literature in different senses and that the distinction between these is not always explicitly stated or appreciated. Furthermore, the different senses seem to be associated with different rationales for the postulation of representation. Given that there may be a lack of convergence between the various senses of the construct in question and the (...)
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  33. Benny Shanon (1990). Consciousness. Journal of Mind and Behavior 11 (2):137-51.
    The experience of consciousness is analyzed. First, a pre-theoretical characterization of the term "consciousness" is attempted. Second, the phenomenology of human consciousness is described. Specifically, consciousness is defined in terms of several patterns all of which consist of the coupling of pairs of opposites. Resonance between such opposites may be the key charactereristics of human consciousness. Third, the function of consciousness is considered. It is suggested that consciousness is functional in that it offers a medium in which cognition may be (...)
     
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  34. Benny Shanon (1990). What is Context? Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 20 (2):157–166.
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  35. Benny Shanon (1989). A Simple Comment Regarding the Turing Test. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 19 (June):249-56.
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  36. Benny Shanon (1988). Remarks on the Modularity of Mind. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 39 (September):331-52.
    the concept of modularity of cognitive processes is introduced and a picture of mind is proposed according to which the peripheral input systems are modular whereas the central processes are not. The present paper examines this view from both a methodological and a substaintive perspective. Methodologically, a contrast between considerations of principle and of fact is made and implications for the nature of cognitive theory are discussed. Substantively, constraints on information flow are examined as they appear in various aspects of (...)
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  37. Benny Shanon (1987). Why Doesn't a Stone Have a Grammar of Physics? Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 17 (1):83–91.
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  38. Benny Shanon (1984). Meno--A Cognitive Psychological View. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 35 (2):129-147.
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  39. Benny Shanon (1984). The Case for Introspection. Cognition and Brain Theory 7:167-80.
     
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  40. Benny Shanon (1983). Descartes' Puzzle -- An Organismic Approach. Cognition and Brain Theory 6:185-95.
  41. Benny Shanon (1982). A Calculus of Semantic Values. Synthese 52 (2):283 - 298.
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  42. Benny Shanon (1979). Semantic Processing During Sleep. Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society 14 (5):382-384.
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  43. Benny Shanon (1979). The Image-Like and the Language-Like. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 2 (4):566-567.
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  44. Benny Shanon (1978). The Genetic Code and Human Language. Synthese 39 (3):401 - 415.
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  45. Benny Shanon (1976). On the Two Kinds of Presuppositions in Natural Language. Foundations of Language 14 (2):247-249.
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