Contents

Refereed Papers

K. Ramakrishna Rao
Perception, Cognition and Consciousness in Classical Hindu Psychology  abstract
Robert Arp
Scenario Visualization: One Explanation of Creative Problem Solving  abstract

Continuing Debate

Suitbert Ertel
Are ESP Test Results Stochastic Artifacts? Brugger & Taylor’s Claims Under Scrutiny  abstract
William Irwin Thompson
The Case for Teaching Geometry before Algebra   full text

Conference Report

John F. Barber
Consciousness and Teleportation: 6th Swiss Biennial on Science, Technics + Aesthetics   full text

Book Reviews  full text

Clare McNiven
Nicholas Maxwell, Is Science Neurotic?
Erich Harth
Jeffrey Gray, Consciousness: Creeping up on the Hard Problem
Bill Faw
Anthony Freeman, Consciousness: A Guide to the Debates
Johnjoe McFadden
Naoyuki Osaka (ed.), Neural Basis of Consciousness

ABSTRACTS

K. Ramakrishna Rao

Perception, Cognition and Consciousness in Classical Hindu Psychology

Abstract: Perception is sensory awareness. Cognition is reflective awareness. Consciousness is awareness-as-such. In Indian psychology, as represented by Samkhya-Yoga and Advaita Vedanta systems, consciousness and mind are fundamentally different. Reality is the composite of being (sat), knowing (cit) and feeling (ananda). Consciousness is the knowledge side of the universe. It is the ground condition of all awareness. Consciousness is not a part or aspect of the mind. Mind is physical and consciousness is not. Consciousness does not interact with the mind, the brain or any other physical objects or processes. Nor does it have any causative role in mental activity. Hence the existence of consciousness does not interfere or upset the apparently closed physical system.

Mind in this view is the interfacing instrumentality that faces consciousness on one side and the brain and the rest of the physical world on the other. Mind is closely connected with the different systems of the brain. In normal perceptions, the mind takes the forms of objects via the channels of the sensory system and the processes in the brain. The forms themselves are non-conscious representations of the world of objects. The mental forms (vrittis) become conscious experiences in the light of the purusha. The vritti in sensory form is perception and with the reflection of the purusha it becomes cognition. All conscious perceptions are therefore cognitions.

Correspondence: K. Ramakrishna Rao, Institute for Human Science and Service, Visakhapatnam-530003, India. Email: krrao007@aol.com


Robert Arp

Scenario Visualization: One Explanation of Creative Problem Solving

Abstract: In this paper, I first present the ideas and arguments put forward by evolutionary psychologists that humans evolved certain capacities to creatively problem solve. Specifically, Steven Mithen thinks that creative problem solving is possible because the mind has evolved a conscious capacity he calls cognitive fluidity, the flexible exchange of information between and among mental modules. While I agree with Mithen that cognitive fluidity acts as a necessary condition for creative problem solving, I disagree that cognitive fluidity alone will suffice for such an activity. I argue further that the flexible exchange of information between and among modules, as well as what I call scenario visualization — a conscious ability to segregate and integrate visual images in future scenarios — evolved in our species and accounts for certain kinds of creative problem solving.

Robert Arp, Department of Philosophy, Saint Louis University, 3800 Lindell Blvd., PO BOX 56907, St. Louis, MO 63156-0907, USA. Email: arpr@slu.edu


Suitbert Ertel

Are ESP Test Results Stochastic Artifacts? Brugger & Taylor’s Claims Under Scrutiny

Abstract: Peter Brugger & Kirsten Taylor (B&T) regard positive extrasensory perception (ESP) test results as methodical artifacts. In their view, sequences of guessing, e.g. of symbol cards, being non-random, overlap with finite sequences of non-random targets, and surpluses of hits from chance are deemed to be due to correlated non-randomness. The present author’s ESP test data obtained from his ‘ball drawing test’ applied with N = 231 psychology majors were used for testing five hypotheses derived from B&T’s claims. B&T would expect increased hit rates by intra-systemic pattern correlation of both guesses with guesses and targets with targets which are most favourable conditions for B&T’s matching mechanism. But hit rates do not increase under such conditions, they decrease significantly. Moreover, Brugger’s 1992 result does not replicate. B&T’s ‘deadly blow’ directed at parapsychology turns out to be a boomerang. The authors wanted to get a ‘phantom slain’. They got one slain — their own.

Suitbert Ertel, Gossler Strasse 14, 37073 Göttingen, Germany. Email: sertel@uni-goettingen.de


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