The thermodynamics of life Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s11016-012-9651-8 Authors J. Scott Turner, SUNY, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
It is very curious that C.G. Jung has had so little influence upon the anthropology of consciousness. In this paper, the reasons for this oversight are given. The archetypal psychology of Jung is summarized and shown to be more complex and useful than extreme constructivist accounts would acknowledge. Jung's thinking about consciousness fits very well with a modern neuroscience view of the psyche and acts as a corrective to relativist notions of consciousness and its relation to the self.
Most of us would agree that the world of our experience is different than the extramental reality of which we are a part. Indeed, the evidence pertaining to cultural cosmologies around the globe suggests that virtually all peoples recognize this distinction—hence the focus upon the "hidden" forces behind everyday events. That said, the struggle to comprehend the relationship between our consciousness and reality, even the reality of ourselves, has led to controversy and debate for centuries in Western philosophy. In this (...) article, we address this problem from an anthropological perspective and argue that the generative route to a solution of the experience–reality "gap" is by way of an anthropologically informed cultural neurophenomenology . By this we mean a perspective and methodology that applies a phenomenology that controls for cultural variation in perception and interpretation, coupled with the latest information from the neurosciences about how the organ of experience—the brain—is structured. (shrink)
The majority of the world’s cultures encourage or require members to enter alternative states of consciousness while involved in religious rituals. The question is, why? This paper suggests an explanation for the culturally prescribed ASC from the view of Fisher information. It argues from the position, first put forward by Emile Durkheim in his magnum opus, The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life, that all religions are grounded in reality. It suggests that many of the structural elements of cultural cosmologies (...) are similar and that the ritual induction of ASC may help to bring individual experience into greater accord with a pan-human eidetic cosmology, and thus with certain invariant attributes of reality. The necessity of this process is demonstrated by recourse to Fisher information. The paper shows how experiences generated during alternative states of consciousness may help to maintain a minimal level of realism in the interests of adaptation to what is in other respects a transcendental reality. (shrink)
The selection strategies of individuals and 2-person cooperative groups were investigated in 5 concept-attainment problems. 2 types of stimulus displays were used: (a) form displays, consisting of geometric forms varying in 6 attributes with 2 levels of each, (b) sequence displays, consisting of 6 plus and/or minus signs in a row. The arrangement of cards in the stimulus displays was ordered or random. The principal results were: (a) 2-person groups used the focusing strategy more, required fewer card choices to solution, (...) and required more time than individuals; (b) form displays resulted in more use of the focusing strategy than sequence displays, with no difference in number of card choices; (c) no difference between ordered and random arrays in use of the focusing strategy or number of card choices. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
As anthropology becomes more interested in consciousness and its numerous states, and with a slowly increasing appeal to neuroscience for insights and explanations of consciousness, there is an understandable interest in the components of consciousness and how they combine into alternative states in different sociocultural settings. One of those components should be the complexity of information processing producing the knowing aspect of consciousness. The author introduces an approach to this aspect in the form of conceptual systems theory, a neo-Piagetian model (...) of cognitive development, which has been used to good effect to explain information processing in social situations but heretofore neglected by anthropologists. The neuroanthropological underpinnings of CST are discussed, as is the range of potential applications to ethnological and ethnographic problems. (shrink)
Experimental research by social and cognitive psychologists has established that cooperative groups solve a wide range of problems better than individuals. Cooperative problem solving groups of scientific researchers, auditors, financial analysts, air crash investigators, and forensic art experts are increasingly important in our complex and interdependent society. This comprehensive textbook--the first of its kind in decades--presents important theories and experimental research about group problem solving. The book focuses on tasks that have demonstrably correct solutions within mathematical, logical, scientific, or verbal (...) systems, including algebra problems, analogies, vocabulary, and logical reasoning problems.The book explores basic concepts in group problem solving, social combination models, group memory, group ability and world knowledge tasks, rule induction problems, letters-to-numbers problems, evidence for positive group-to-individual transfer, and social choice theory. The conclusion proposes ten generalizations that are supported by the theory and research on group problem solving. Group Problem Solving is an essential resource for decision-making research in social and cognitive psychology, but also extremely relevant to multidisciplinary and multicultural problem-solving teams in organizational behavior, business administration, management, and behavioral economics. (shrink)