Sunday, December 22, 2013

Scientific Introspection - Revised Edition

Scientific Introspection calls for psychologists to use introspection to investigate the mind. What researchers do now is study the brain, and behavior, then from that, try to guess what the mind must be like. But why guess? Remarkably, we have the ability to look directly into the workings of our own minds. That ability is called introspection. As far as we know, we are the only animal that can do that. It is foolish not to use such an amazing gift.
Scientific Introspection is a necessary adjunct to traditional cognitive psychology and cognitive neurophysiology, because there is no scientific way to observe the mind directly. Thoughts weigh nothing; ideas take up no space. The only way to observe the mind is through introspection. Scientific introspection supplements science with a genuine first-person methodology for exploring the mind.
The book includes a detailed description of how Scientific Introspection can be applied. The reader can follow the procedure and confirm or disconfirm the findings. The demonstration shows how to use a shared investigative tool to produce consensus findings about how the mind works.
Revised Edition:
ISBN: 978-0-9837177-0-6   $2.99 for the Revised Edition.
65, 600 words.  Approx. pages: 262.
Sample: TOC and Preface
(You'll be prompted to save the .pdf file to your computer. After that, you can read the sample chapter from your computer any time you're ready. If you don't have a .pdf reader, you can get it free at
Author's Note:
I have been frustrated for decades that so many psychologists and philosophers treat the mind and the brain as if they were the same thing.  It just ain't so, and this book explains the difference, why it matters, and how we could and should develop a scientific methodology for systematic introspection.
Introspection, the examination of one's own mental contents, is so second-nature that most people can't understand it, in the same way that fish don't know what water is. Perhaps that's why its very mention is banned from discussions of scientific psychology and philosophy of mind. The zeitgeist says that mind is the same as brain, even though that is patently false and not even cogent. If mind and brain were the same, we could introspect on the brain as well as our minds, and we would have no need for cognitive neuroscience.
The book says all this, but I think the idea is ahead of its time by 20 years. Beliefs are slow to change. Try it for yourself; see what you think.
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