Psycasm is the exploration of the world psychological. Every day phenomenon explained and manipulated to one's own advantage. Written by a slightly overambitious undergrad, Psycasm aims at exploring a whole range of social and cognitive processes in order to best understand how our minds, and those mechanisms that drive them, work.
My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.
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Some time ago I published 'An Open Letter' in which I wrote the following:
"I tend to find myself spending a few hours researching, reading and writing every blog post I make. As a result I've found myself only being able to produce one a week and riding the comments for as long as possible thereafter. Thus, I feel my midweek could be spruced up with something interesting. Something a little less formal. Something a little more interactive. Maybe there could even be jokes...
I tend to write about behaviour, or cognition, or belief. I don't think I've ever really tackled any bigger questions like 'What is Cognition' or 'What is Behaviour'. But I feel this is fertile ground for investigation. And so I'd like to propose an open dialogue with someone on such issues - 'What is Mind?', 'Is there free-will?', 'What is the nature of thought?'."
I was essentially soliciting interesting from other differently minded folk to engage in a bit of discussion, both within blog-posts and in the comments thread.
Well, the long and short of it is that two people have responded. Two people that I feel cover a wide range of area.
I asked each to write a brief bio outlining who they are and why they want to be involved.
In the red-corner, representing straight-up philosophy stands Denise Hossom:
Born in California, but I was raised with my older brother between Washington state in the US and Sao Paulo, Brazil by my Brazilian mother and my American father. They raised me free from religion and didn’t attempt to shelter us or censor the world, so I have been inquisitive and rationally inclined since my youth . I studied philosophy for two years in Napa, Calfornia, but then decided to become a horse trainer, due to the fact I had worked with horses since I was seven and a fascination with their learning abilities. Two years into horse training I missed philosophy and decided to return to study. I lived in Brisbane briefly in 2008, and decided I wanted to return to attend UQ. I’ve continually found myself seeking philosophy as a study, with particular interests in ethics (especially animal and bioethics), environmental philosophy, metaphysics, epistemology, and issues of meta-philosophy (why philosophize). I want to expand my knowledge to include more neuroscience, cognitive science, animal cognition, psychology, and physics in order to refine my philosophical perspective.
And in the blue-trunks stands Kate Storrs - an individual who, formally schooled in Psychology has read far more widely and deeply (and informally) in matter Philosophical than I, and who I hope will serve as a very nice bridge between both Myself and Denise. Kate writes:
After adventures through literature, film, religion, and 70's acid philosophy, I settled on Psychology as the most likely place to look for the answer to life, the universe, and everything. I'm currently finishing a psychology degree and doing research in a visual perception laboratory, where I spend my days being confused by problems like 'what does it mean to recognise an object?' and 'how do we tell when two things happened at the same time?'.
Most of my spare time is spent reading cognitive science books, and telling people in pubs how great I think Daniel Dennett is. In these conversations, I hope to throw a bit of cognitive psyc into the mix, and learn some new and interesting things from Philosophy and social psyc....
And so I'm very excited to present the first in a series of topics that span the divide between Experimental Psychology and matters Philosophical.
Invoking hosts privilege I post first, and outline some ideas regarding the question: Do We Have Freewill?
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