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22 hours ago, Dglgmut said:

Yes, instincts that have allowed our species to survive in groups for 100s of thousands of years.

No, anything does not go. Just because you have a nature does not mean you don't have free will. The starting point for reason is reality, right? The reality is that we are animals. I already...

.

How do you know "reality"? You identify, yes?

How do you know morality?

You assess morals in context of known identity, no? (Water for a fish is good, air for a human is good; air for a fish is bad. Rationality for the rational animal, is good).

I would like from you a few instances of instinctive behavior in humans. Perhaps an example of something you did that was "instinctive"?

NOT, pre-learned by upbringing, nurture, teaching, and so on ( the true meaning of "intuitive") -

not by habit (the normally useful customs and acts which one learns by experience and self-programmes) -

not subconsciously gathered, from life-experience also. Not too, the fast emotional response of value-judgments (self-programmed).

Especially - not absorbed ('instinctively') behavior imitated from everyone else around one. 

I'd really like to see what you mean by human instincts.

Nathaniel Branden said something like "an individual always moves towards his highest value". That's not ~instinct~ which he means. It is one's known, self-automated value. He coined the phrase "self-programed" I believe.

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From "the particular" (this trade, today's sunrise, this water, etc.etc). to "the general" (all trades, all sunrises, all oceans) IS induction. And it requires cognitive effort to avoid drawing f

Top down and bottom up are not either-or. They are mental frames for perceiving and mentally processing reality. You need both to get a clear picture. Choosing one over the other is linear t

You might also want to check out Harlow's monkeys: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Harlow Ellen

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Michael wrote: In studying neural pathways and neural networks, I have learned that the entire pathway or network can be brought into awareness by a trigger . . . . But to preserve this neural pathway or network in the brain and allow it to be repeated at will, the brain needs something specific it can remember--a specific sensory form. Another way of saying this is a remembered sensory cue or trigger. A word can be such a cue or trigger, but the cue or trigger can also be an image, or a non-verbal sound, or a smell, or a taste, etc. Even a single mental image of a lived event can be used. end quote

Well said and thought out. One of the few modern day female writers I read is Nevada Barr. I am reading, “What Rose Forgot.” Within the span of a few pages I thought I would toss the book aside but I did not. It concerns a sixty year old lady who is in a “memory care unit,” but still has flashbacks . . . of something, but she is not sure of what. She decides to pretend to take her daily “red pills” but she begins to secretly spit them out. And suddenly, she begins to get those tingling memories. I will stop there. The book is actually VERY exciting and I am about half through it. Peter       

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On 6/13/2020 at 2:52 AM, Dglgmut said:

No, I'm putting awareness first. But awareness is not even close to consciousness without memory.

 

Another thing that interests me. Is this idea of memory sufficient for a comprehensive view of reality? Have you and can one draw all past experience, education, observations and thought processes - from memory? You know the answer.

There is likely a neuro-link of association from one to the other, but as you must know it is NOT memory which one counts upon, rather one's conceptual framework one effects by effort. One that connects facts to other facts to further facts ... by layers of mental abstraction. Memories are haphazard, isolated recollections, short, or long term, prejudiced by passing time to be rosier than the original reality. The faculty is minute, utterly unsuited to containment of your totality of knowledge.

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I can't resist.

It's not the liver that keeps you alive. It's the heart.

One can live without a liver. One cannot live without a heart. 

The liver is merely haphazard operations that are prejudiced by what is fed to it and those operations fade as the feeding fades. So it is not important.

:evil:  🙂 

(Maybe one needs both to live? 🙂 )

Confucius say: If one cannot remember a concept, one cannot use it for anything.

🙂 

Michael

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On 6/13/2020 at 11:03 AM, anthony said:

I would like from you a few instances of instinctive behavior in humans. Perhaps an example of something you did that was "instinctive"?

NOT, pre-learned by upbringing, nurture, teaching, and so on ( the true meaning of "intuitive") -

not by habit (the normally useful customs and acts which one learns by experience and self-programmes) -

not subconsciously gathered, from life-experience also. Not too, the fast emotional response of value-judgments (self-programmed).

Especially - not absorbed ('instinctively') behavior imitated from everyone else around one. 

I'd really like to see what you mean by human instincts.

Nathaniel Branden said something like "an individual always moves towards his highest value". That's not ~instinct~ which he means. It is one's known, self-automated value. He coined the phrase "self-programed" I believe.

So fear of snakes is not instinctive to you. How about the differences in behavior between girls and boys? How about an infant putting their hands out when they fall?

 

Just like a computer, we have a BIOS. We are not born tabula rasa... that is just an ignorant guess that Rand made. There's all sorts of behaviors that can be predicted based on knowledge of human nature, experiments revealing patterns that cross cultures...

 

Human beings have not always been dependent on reason, or at least our ancestors were not. Reason came from a species that at one point did not use it... do you think what we relied on before that just disappeared over night?

 

The self-programming stuff we've already been over. I've stated it's based on behavior and environment... you can't change your programing without changing those things.

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18 hours ago, Dglgmut said:

So fear of snakes is not instinctive to you. How about the differences in behavior between girls and boys? How about an infant putting their hands out when they fall?

 

Just like a computer, we have a BIOS. We are not born tabula rasa... that is just an ignorant guess that Rand made. There's all sorts of behaviors that can be predicted based on knowledge of human nature, experiments revealing patterns that cross cultures...

 

Human beings have not always been dependent on reason, or at least our ancestors were not. Reason came from a species that at one point did not use it... do you think what we relied on before that just disappeared over night?

 

The self-programming stuff we've already been over. I've stated it's based on behavior and environment... you can't change your programing without changing those things.

Born TR, means the infant has no conceptual knowledge and no concept of ethical behavior. Just its senses and brain. He/she is essentially purely innocent and ignorant. What's crazy is to surmise AR didn't know that the newborn's *biological* nature doesn't exist (from her statement of tabula rasa).

*Some* human beings in the first tribes ("human", by definition, is rational) must have used their reasoning ability, or the species would, evidently, not have survived. As animals we are the slowest, weakest, most defenseless of them all - with NO 'instincts' for preservation, worth talking about...

I don't know how the transition took place (and how gradually, or not) - from pre-man instincts to reason - you'd have to research the anthropological studies on this.

Keeps cropping up, the stolen concept fallacy, Dg. You presume on reason and what it has visibly accomplished around us, in order to nullify/reduce its singular cruciality for mankind. 

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On 6/15/2020 at 2:26 PM, anthony said:

Keeps cropping up, the stolen concept fallacy, Dg. You presume on reason and what it has visibly accomplished around us, in order to nullify/reduce its singular cruciality for mankind. 

I don't know where you get this from? I say that reason does not come first, that's all. Reason is predicated on emotions, because value judgments don't exist without those emotions... we don't value our own existence without emotions. We don't value truth without emotions.

 

We are designed to live in a world that we don't live in anymore... this is important to know. We like sports because they tap into our instincts for hunting in small groups of men. We like competitive fighting because males have physically competed for females for millions of years. Men look for certain features in a female based on instincts... Women do the same with men. We empathize more with children than adults and women more than men. We can maintain a social network of up to 150-250 people because that is the size of groups we lived in for a significant chunk of our evolution process.

 

Do you not think you could learn something about the human species that helps you understand more about yourself? Or is introspection the only method you trust?

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22 minutes ago, Dglgmut said:

Do you not think you could learn something about the human species that helps you understand more about yourself? Or is introspection the only method you trust?

What faculties are humans born with?

From: PaleoObjectivist To: atlantis Subject: ATL: Fwd: How Babies Think: The Science of Childhood Date: Sun, 19 Jan 2003 21:37:30 EST I have written previously about the need for Objectivists to keep informed about the specifics of reality, in order for their policy pronouncements to be valid. Any application of Objectivism is going to be one part theory (principle) and one part fact -- and if a spokesman for Objectivism is not willing or able to verse themselves in the factual details of what they opine about, they are going to be embarrassed (or embarrassing to the rest of us).

A key example is Ayn Rand's goofy claims about children being on the sensation level of consciousness when they are born – and only later managing to learn how to integrate sensations into percepts (then later into concepts, of course). We now know differently. Babies are born already capable of auditory perception and able to focus their eyes on objects close to them (frequently, if not in all cases) immediately after birth. When Rand espoused her sensation-at-birth viewpoint in the mid-60s, medical science had not yet officially acknowledged this fact, but any reasonably intelligent, observant parent ~knew better~. No Objectivist bothered to speak out and correct this howler in Rand's epistemology, when my first child was born in 1978, obviously capable of focused visual perception right out of the "barrel" (so to speak). But I did not need to exercise complex logic or high abstraction in order to note the fact -- just an open eyes and an open mind.

Why wasn't Rand able to recognize and acknowledge such a basic fact of human experience? I suggest that there were two reasons. (1) She was inexperienced. By choice, she remained childless and thus missed the opportunity to observe and learn about infant cognition first-hand. (2) She was close-minded. Babies were mewling, squirming little burdens (this was her bias; she wanted a writing career, not the responsibility of caring for helpless, demanding creatures), not an opportunity to learn about human nature and perhaps to grow as a person in the process. (NB's description of Rand's vigorous denial of the validity of hypnosis is another example of her close-mindedness. It would be funny, if it weren't so alarming and so sad.)

Post-Rand, we have only recently revised Objectivism's scientific base by acknowledging that babies are born able to perceive. Nevertheless, we are told, they are still born "tabula rasa," i.e., "blank slate," with no conscious contents from before birth, no "innate knowledge" of any kind, just senses and a nervous system ready to kick in once they are born. Well, this is not true either. Much study has been done during the past 20-30 years that establishes pre-birth learning by babies during the third trimester of pregnancy -- it is mainly auditory perception that is occurring, but experiences ~are~ registered in the conscious awareness and memories of the pre-born babies. (Whether this also qualifies them for legal protection as conscious human beings -- and thus legal limitations on partial-birth abortions -- is another matter I'm not trying to stir up here.)

Bearing that in mind, I thought list members would be interested in the following post from the evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com discussion list. Best 2 all, REB

==============================================

Human Nature Review  2003 Volume 3: 41-43 ( 19 January )

URL of this document http://human-nature.com/nibbs/03/gopnik.html

Book Review How Babies Think: The Science of Childhood by Alison Gopnik, Andrew Meltzoff and Patricia Kuhl Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1999 (First published in the U.S.A. as: The Scientist in the Crib; William Morrow and Company, 1999) Reviewed by Ann Dowker, Ph.D., Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, United Kingdom. "Most of us see a picture of innocence and helplessness: a clean slate. But, in fact, what we see in the crib is the greatest mind that has ever existed, the most powerful learning machine in the universe." This book is an account of, and an attempt to explain, babies' and toddlers' capacities and methods of learning about the world. The central themes may be summarized as follows:    (1) The human brain is like a computer, but a far more sophisticated and powerful one than has ever yet been designed or programmed by human beings.    (2) Human brains are extremely flexible, plastic and sensitive to environmental influences. We are born with a considerable amount of pre-existing knowledge, but more importantly, we have a remarkable ability to learn and adapt.    (3) There is no dichotomy between 'nature' and 'nurture'. "For human beings, nurture is our nature." Cultural adaptations are as much the product of our brains as the control of universal physiological functions. Evolution has not only created babies with a remarkable ability to learn, but adults with a remarkable ability to teach their children.    (4) Other animals are born with a wider range of pre-existing adaptations to a specific type of environment; human beings are born with a greater capacity to develop adaptations to any of an extremely wide variety of environments: both social and physical.

Full text http://human-nature.com/nibbs/03/gopnik.html Other articles and reviews at http://human-nature.com/nibbs/contents.html Daily news at http://human-nature.com/nibbs/

The Scientist in the Crib: What Early Learning Tells Us About the Mind by Alison Gopnik, Andrew N. Meltzoff, Patricia K. Kuhl Paperback: 304 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.71 x 8.01 x 5.18 Publisher: Harper Perennial; ; (December 26, 2000) ISBN: 0688177883 

AMAZON - US http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0688177883/darwinanddarwini AMAZON - UK  http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/075381417X/humannaturecom

Editorial Reviews Amazon.com A trio of nationally respected childhood-development scientists hailing from Berkeley and the University of Washington has authored The Scientist in the Crib to correct a disparity: while popular books about science speak to intelligent, perceptive adults who simply want to learn, books about babies typically just give advice, heavy on the how-to and light on the why. The authors write, "It's as if the only place you could read about evolution was in dog-breeding manuals, not in Stephen Jay Gould; as if, lacking Stephen Hawking's insights, the layman's knowledge of the cosmos was reduced to 'How to find the constellations.'"

The Scientist in the Crib changes that. Standing on the relatively recent achievements of the young field of cognitive science (pointing out that not so long ago, babies were considered only slightly animate vegetables--"carrots that could cry"), the authors succinctly and articulately sum up the state of what's now known about children's minds and how they learn. Using language that's both friendly and smart (and using equally accessible metaphors, everything from Scooby-Doo to The Third Man), The Scientist in the Crib explores how babies recognize and understand their fellow humans, interpret sensory input, absorb language, learn and devise theories, and take part in building their own brains.

Such science makes for great reading, but will likely prove even more useful to readers with a scientist in their own crib, acting as tonic to pseudoscientific how-to baby books that recommend everything "from flash cards, to Mozart tapes, to Better Baby Institutes." As the authors put it, "We want to understand children, not renovate them." --Paul Hughes --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

The Washington Post "Meticulously researched, combining charm and erudition, humor and humanity, The Scientist in the Crib: Minds, Brains, and How Children Learn...should be placed in the hands of teachers, social workers, therapists, policymakers, expectant parents and everyone else who cares about children. ...This book is full of enchanting revelations." --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist Gopnik and her coauthors are authorities on children's learning development and, in this book, at any rate, quite good writers. They present how children learn to understand and use language, control their emotions and arouse the emotions of others, and establish relationships. Babies are better at the elements and nuances of language than computers are, they show, for natural language far surpasses the artificial varieties. They demonstrate how science and messy reality intriguingly overlap in sections with such piquant titles As "The Three-Year-Old Opera: Love and Deception" and in such observations as "The babies' world isn't concrete any more than it's simple." They also willingly point out areas of development about which current understanding is fuzzy and more information is needed. Prospective and actual parents stand to learn much that may be helpful to them and their children from this lively book. William Beatty --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Kirkus Reviews An informal and entertaining yet authoritative look at the science of babies minds. The three research psychologists, all of whom are parents, and two of whom, Meltzoff and Kuhl, are married to each other, write about child development as though they were speaking directly to parents they know. As their title indicates, the authors find parallels between babies and scientists: both, they say, formulate theories, make and test predictions, seek explanations, do experiments, and revise what they know based on new evidence. They show specifically how babies learn about people and objects, and how they acquire language. Their second analogy likens the baby’s brain to a biological computer designed by evolution and possessing at birth powerful programs ready to run. From the beginning, the infants brain is able to translate information from the world into representations that experience then enables it to modify into more complex and abstract representations. As babies interact with the world, they reprogram themselves with even more powerful and accurate programs. Everything a baby sees, hears, smells, tastes, or touches affects its brains wiring, and other people, parents, siblings, care givers naturally and mostly unconsciously promote and influence these changes. The authors conclude that artificial interventions, such as using flash cards or classical music tapes to create a smarter baby are at best useless and at worst distractions from normal interactions. We do not, they say, need experts to tell us how to raise our children, but we are losing the time and the opportunity to do what parents have always done, exercise their innate ability to teach their children. Solutions to that problem, they caution, are best provided by a scientifically well-educated citizenry, hence the present work. An exceptionally  readable and reassuring guide. (For a highly critical view of current interpretations of brain science, see John T. Bruers The Myth of the First Three Years, p. TKTK.) (Author tour) -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book News, Inc. A trio of professional baby watchers from the U. of California, Berkeley and the U. of Washington share with parents as well as other academics, research insights about children's truly amazing development as problem solvers. Includes 38 pages of references. -- Copyright © 1999 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR All rights reserved Book News, Inc.®, Portland, OR --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Chicago Tribune "The Scientist in the Crib is not just a catchy title. To the authors of this excellent book on cognition in infancy, babies are like scientists in being motivated--driven even--to try to understand the world around them. ...The authors are doting parents as well as eminent developmental psychologists. A major strength of the book is the seamless integration of their parental love of babies with their scientific knowledge about the development of infants. The reader will reap the benefit of their articulate, affectionate portrayal of infant cognition. We needed this book; the timing of its publication couldn't be better. ...The book...is informative and entertaining. Although it will appeal most to new and prospective parents, it should be of interest to anyone curious about the human mind and its origins. Any reader is likely to close the book agreeing with the authors that, 'When we look attentively, carefully, and thoughtfully at infants and young children, they invariably turn out to be more interesting, more orderly, more complex, more strange, and more wonderful than we would ever have imagined." --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

--The Chicago Tribune "[An] excellent book...it should be of interest to anyone curious about the human mind and its origins." --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. Book Description This exciting book by three pioneers in the new field of cognitive science discusses important discoveries about how much babies and young children know and learn, and how much parents naturally teach them. It argues that evolution designed us both to teach and learn, and that the drive to learn is our most important instinct. It also reveals as fascinating insights about our adult capacities and how even young children -- as well as adults -- use some of the same methods that allow scientists to learn so much about the world. Filled With surprise at every turn, this vivid, lucid, and often funny book gives us a new view of the inner life of children and the mysteries of the mind.

About the Author Alison Gopnik, Ph.D. is a professor of psychology at the University of California at Berkeley and a leading cognitive scientist. She is past president of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology and is the author of more than seventy papers on philosophy, psychology, and children's early learning. She has also written for The New York Review of Books and The Times Literary Supplement. Mother of three, she lives with her family in Berkeley, California.

News in Brain and Behavioural Sciences - Issue 83 - 19th January, 2003 http://human-nature.com/nibbs/issue83.html

Roger E. Bissell, musician-writer

From: "merjet" To: "'atlantis'" Subject: ATL: Re: How Babies Think: The Science of Childhood Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2003 07:05:59 -0600

Roger Bissel makes some good points about infant cognition. Ayn Rand was surely under-informed about it when writing ITOE about 35 years ago, and much more is known about it now. But I don't fully agree with Roger either.

 > Babies are . . . able to focus their eyes on objects close to them (frequently, if not in all cases) immediately after birth.  > when my first child was born in 1978, obviously capable of focused visual perception right out of the "barrel" (so to speak). But I did not need to exercise complex logic or high abstraction in order to note the fact -- just an open eyes and an open mind.

This is not very specific, and it could easily mislead. Vision is not fully developed until several months after birth. For example, here is a webpage about it for parents. http://www.allaboutvision.com/parents/infants.htm

Even it is less than exact. It says a full-term baby should be able to see its mother's facial expression within a week of birth. It is still a sketchy image for the baby at this time, lacking much of the acuity that will come later.

Roger also posts some reviews of a book by Gopnik and others. However, there are other professionals whose views differ from those of Gopnick.

I just finished reading an excellent book -- Language in Cognitive Development by Katherine Nelson. She says Gopnick goes too far in claiming that children are like little scientists. Children do make proto-theories generalizing their surroundings. For example, they have a rudimentary understanding of physics and have quite different ideas about natural kinds (animals, plants, etc.) versus artifacts (man-made things). However, there are significant differences between these proto-theories and scientific ones.

There is obviously a different context in which they are formed. Proto-theories are implicit, and scientific theories typically explicit. Scientific theories are (more often than not) constructed according to well understood principles and are subject to rigorous logical and empirical tests. A new theory is originated by an individual or a small group, but it remains a hypothetical proposal in the larger community until it is validated and accepted by others.

A child's proto-theory has no such validation procedure. It remains implicit, individual and unshared. Any testing is simply by the child himself, and acceptance and validation is very subjective.

In both proto-theories and scientific theories people are trying to make sense of the world. There are *partly* common factors.

1. Data gathering. For the child it is whatever comes by experience more or less spontaneously. In the scientific world it is much more systematic, detailed and comprehensive. 2. Model building. In the scientific world it is obviously more elaborate, structured and rigorous. 3. Explanation seeking. At about age three children begin to be interested in why things are, not just that or how they are. In the scientific world explanations sought are obviously deeper and subject to higher standards (logical and empirical). The process of giving explanations and receiving them from others is among the new possibilities that the use of language presents to the child. It affords a more rapid growth of knowledge and the child's own conclusions face more testing by comparison with those of elders.

Best regards, Merlin

Here is a list of reflexes, some observed as early as 1965. [Source: Child Development, 1997, 4th Ed., Laura E. Berk]

Legend: Reflex--Stimulation--Response--Age of disappearance--Function

Rooting - -Stroke cheek near corner of mouth - -Head turns toward source of stimulation -- 3 weeks (becomes voluntary head turning at 3 weeks) -- Helps infant find nipple. [Note that in making this observation, voluntary behaviors are distinguished from reflexive.]

Sucking--Place finger in infant's mouth--Infant sucks finger rhythmically--Permanent--Permits feeding.

Swimming--Place infant face down in water--Baby paddles and kicks in swimming motion--4-6 months--Helps infant survive if dropped in a body of water.

Eye blink--Shine bright light at eyes or clap hand near head--Infant quickly closes eyelids--permanent--Protects infant from strong stimulation.

Withdrawal--Prick sole of foot with pin--Foot withdraws, with flexion of knee and hip--Weakens after 10 days--Protects infant from unpleasant tactile stimulation

Babinski (my favorite)--Stroke sole of foot from toe toward heel--Toes fan out and curl as foot twists in--8-12 months--Unknown!

Moro--Hold infant horizontally on back and let head drop slightly, or produce a sudden loud sound against surface supporting infant -- Infant makes an "embracing" motion by arching back, extending legs, throwing arms outward, and then bringing them in toward body--6 months--In evolutionary past, may have helped infant cling to mother.

Palmar grasp (something I observed as a young child when interacting with infants)--Place finger in infant's hand and press against palm—Spontaneous grasp of adult's finger--3-4 months--Prepares infant for voluntary grasping.

Stepping--Hold infant under arms and permit bare feet to touch flat surface--Infant lifts one foot after another in stepping response—2 months--Prepares infant for voluntary walking.

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I think this quote was supplied by REB and  I think I once posted it about 10 years ago on OL. Peter  

Some Aspects of Prenatal Parenting by Thomas R. Verney/ Many people think of birth as marking the beginning of a person's life.  To them a baby is not alive until he takes his first breath and utters his first cry.  If you stop to think about it, you quickly realize how false this popular notion really is. We need to understand that one hour, one day or several weeks prior to birth, a child is not significantly different mentally from what she is at birth.  The mental apparatus of a baby is not suddenly thrown into gear with birth.  All the complex tasks associated with living outside the womb--like breathing, sucking, swallowing, touching, smelling, looking, listening--are the end result of mental work begun long before birth.

Prenatal Mental Development We know that by the fourth month after conception, the fetus will suck if his lips are stroked.  If a bitter substance like iodine is introduced into the amniotic fluid, he will grimace and stop swallowing liquid.  At the same age, if a bright light is shone on the mother's abdomen, the baby will gradually move his tiny hands up towards his eyes, shielding them.  At five months, if a loud sound is made next to the mother, the unborn child will raise his hands and cover his ears.  By the sixth month, the hearing system of the baby is perfectly developed.  Because water is a better conductor of sound than air, the baby in the womb can hear very well, although with distortions.

Recordings of the baby's brain waves at the beginning of the last trimester demonstrate that during sleep the baby exhibits REM (Rapid Eye Movement) motions.  In adults REM sleep is almost always associated with dreaming.  It follows, therefore, that babies must be dreaming by the seventh month.  Studies of expectant mothers show a correlation between their feelings about their pregnancies and the ease of their labor and delivery. The health of their newborn infants is also connected to their attitudes towards pregnancy.

Because the unborn child is a feeling, sensing, aware and remembering being from the sixth month after conception (if not before) and because of the intimate connection between her and her mother, everything that happens to the mother also, in a sense, happens to her baby.  Extensive studies leave no doubt that interaction between mother, father and the unborn, with all the consequences that has, for personality development, begins well before birth.

Fetal Perception and Memory  Anthony DeCasper, professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina, has been researching fetal perception and memory for the past ten years.  DeCasper has demonstrated that newborns can pick out their mothers' voices from among other female voices (DeCasper and Fifer 1980).  Infants were tested with a non-nutritive nipple, hooked up to a tape recorder, to see if they preferred listening to a taped maternal heartbeat and a taped male voice.  (By changing rhythm of their sucking, the babies could switch the taped sounds.) The majority of babies favored a tape recording of the heartbeat (Kolata 1984).

A group of pregnant women was asked to tape record their reading of two different children's stories.  During the last six and one half weeks of their pregnancy, half of the group was asked to read story "A" twice a day, the other half story "B".  When their babies were born, the researchers offered the infants a choice between the two stories.  Within a few hours after birth, eleven of the twelve newborns adjusted their sucking rhythm to hear the familiar story as opposed to the new one. This data provides the first direct evidence that not only does the newborn hear and recognize his mother's voice but also, surprisingly, remembers the words!

What does this research mean for expectant parents?  Simply this: they should talk to their unborn baby as much as possible, whenever they feel like it, in a soft voice.  Partners and other members of the family can join in since what they say is not so important as how they say it.  They should feel free to read children's stories, nursery rhymes or poems, avoiding violent subject and overly dramatic readings.  After the birth of their child, they can experiment to see if their newborn, like those in the study, prefer the familiar tale to a story never before heard.

Prenatal Touch By the seventh week after conception, the baby responds to tactile stimulation.  At twelve weeks he can kick, turn his feet and curl his toes.  At sixteen weeks he begins to suck his thumb.  This sense of touch is necessary to the well-being of the baby.  He uses it to explore his aquatic universe as well as to comfort himself.  Thus, thumb-sucking not only calms the baby but also helps him develop coordination and strengthen jaw and cheek muscles.

Like all living beings, babies like to be touched.  Expectant parents can discover this for themselves after their baby grows big enough for mom to feel her kicks.  At this point, by stroking the abdomen gently from underneath the naval, moms will quickly observe that their baby will stop kicking and relax.

By about the seventh month of pregnancy, the expectant mother will know the positions of her baby's head and feet.  She can be encouraged to stroke firmly and repetitively from baby's head toward her toes, which is thought to accelerate the development of the baby's peripheral nervous system.  More importantly, this massage helps the pregnant woman (and her partner) to make contact with the baby, enhancing the baby's feeling of being loved.

Music in the Womb Mothers have known about the effect of music on unborn children for generations.  Scientists, however, are just beginning to discover it. Experiments with animals and human fetuses have clearly shown that sound is transmitted through body walls and amniotic fluid with about a thirty decibel loss in intensity (Armitage, Baldwin and Vince 1980; Bench, Anderson and Hoare 1970; Bernard and Sontag 1947). Human infants respond to sound by six months after conception, because babies move in rhythm to the music and their pulse rates react.

Hundreds of women have told me about their experiences with music during pregnancy.  The one common denominator to these accounts is that the songs played prenatally provoked a very positive reaction in their babies after birth.  The familiar music seemed to capture the attention of the infants and relax them, particularly when they were cranky, over tired or feverish.

Donald Shetler, professor of music education at the University of Rochester, has been studying the effect of music during pregnancy on infant development.  He has found that infants exposed to music while in the womb show a remarkable ability to imitate sound and respond to it after birth, in comparison to babies who have not had "prenatal musical stimulation" (Shetler 1985).

Pregnant woman can be encouraged to play music that they like during pregnancy, music that is calming rather than exciting.  The only types of music that should be avoided are hard rock, acid rock, heavy metal, etc.  Childbirth educators can urge expectant mothers to establish a daily routine of listening to music ten minutes or so twice a day, making sure they are sitting comfortably or reclining in pleasant surroundings.  They will enjoy a number of benefits.  First, by reserving two ten-minute periods for doing "nothing but listening to music," they will have planned time for relaxation, enhancing the stress relief that good music brings. A second benefit is that it will stimulate the baby's mind.  Lastly and most importantly, the music serves as an emotional bridge between the mother and her unborn child.  This occurs because while she listens to the music, the pregnant mother will try to "see" the baby and will accompany this picture with thoughts or spoken wishes for the health and well-being of her unborn child. With each day she will grow closer to her baby.

You can also recommend that the women play their tape of pregnancy music during labor to help them and their birth attendants relax.  After the baby is born, they can continue to play the music to him when they want to calm him at bedtime, for example.

Conclusion / In summary, the scientific evidence is now overwhelmingly in favor of and shows a new appreciation for the mental and emotional development of the unborn child.  The evidence indicates that the unborn baby certainly, from the sixth month of intrauterine life on, is a sensing, feeling, aware and remembering human being.  Consequently he or she is eager and in a rudimentary way quite capable of responding and benefiting from prenatal parenting communication.

Tom, MD, D.Ppsych, FRCP(C) is author with John Kelly of The Secret Life of the Unborn Child (available from the ICEA Bookcenter). He is president of the Pre and Perinatal Psychology Association of North America and editor of the PPANA Journal.  His latest book is Parenting Your Unborn Child, published by Doubleday Canada.

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On 6/17/2020 at 5:30 AM, Dglgmut said:

I don't know where you get this from? I say that reason does not come first, that's all. Reason is predicated on emotions, because value judgments don't exist without those emotions... we don't value our own existence without emotions. We don't value truth without emotions.

 

 

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No desire in itself is either reasonable or unreasonable. 'Tis not contrary to reason to prefer the destruction of the whole world to the scratching of my finger. Reason's only purpose is to help us to satisfy our desires. David Hume
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On 6/17/2020 at 5:30 AM, Dglgmut said:

I don't know where you get this from? I say that reason does not come first, that's all. Reason is predicated on emotions, because value judgments don't exist without those emotions... we don't value our own existence without emotions. We don't value truth without emotions.

 

We are designed to live in a world that we don't live in anymore... this is important to know. We like sports because they tap into our instincts for hunting in small groups of men. We like competitive fighting because males have physically competed for females for millions of years. Men look for certain features in a female based on instincts... Women do the same with men. We empathize more with children than adults and women more than men. We can maintain a social network of up to 150-250 people because that is the size of groups we lived in for a significant chunk of our evolution process.

 

Do you not think you could learn something about the human species that helps you understand more about yourself? Or is introspection the only method you trust?

Absolute rubbish. Women often have those same "instincts" to compete and hunt, proving they aren't instinctive but learned and enjoyed, individually. All the rest is custom and chosen convenience. Your theory from evolutionary anthropology fails. 

Observe reality for yourself.

Trouble is, you don't seem to understand reason. Reason is identification and abstract integration in a mind. Therefore, extrospection, not introspection. Of direct reality, primarily, not by reading a scientist's theories.

All in reverse as usual: Emotions are "predicated" on value-judgements which are predicated upon identification. An emotion can't exist without first knowing what it is and evaluating it - see?

Simple English, the better you know the more you care and the more you can feel.

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Dg, you read Hume's quote? He makes the same simplistic causal error.

His theory in effect: The emotion occurred last and is the most noticeable or overwhelming, therefore all emotions/"desires" take precedence and provide guidance over 'reason'.

He too, presumes upon reason - in order to overturn or make secondary, reason. And makes no mention of the (objective) value (of saving the world) thereby presuming on values also. .

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16 minutes ago, anthony said:

Simple English, the better you know the more you care and feel.

You have to know how false this is...  knowledge has NOTHING to do with how much one feels.

You can feel like someone is in your house in the middle of the night. You will feel afraid. Then you can find out it was the wind... Identification can't happen without emotion, because you don't even look without emotion. You can absolutely FEEL in the absence of information.

 

As far as "my theory" and "scientists theories," you think there's no reason behind the theory?? There is no contradiction between this theory and your definition of reason.

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5 minutes ago, anthony said:

Dg, you read Hume's quote? He makes the same simplistic causal error.

In effect: The emotion occurred last and is the most noticeable or overwhelming, therefore all emotions/"desires" take precedence over 'reason'.

He too, presumes upon reason - in order to overturn or make secondary, reason. And makes no mention of the (objective) value (of saving the world) thereby presuming on values also. .

The Hume quote is all messed up on the website. The letters are overflowing from your comment box for some reason.

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Ok, I can't quote your post with the Hume quote... but that is not an accurate representation of what I'm saying.

 

Our ability to reason and abstract has surpassed our emotional intelligence. This is precisely why it's important to judge our emotions as either reasonable or unreasonable (or rational). Knowing as much as we can about human nature helps us do this... Even though emotion is the foundation of consciousness, their purpose is not to help us flourish in the modern world. They are there simply to propagate the species. Reason came next, and has brought us further, but we have not shed our more primitive hardware... it's still incorporated into what we are.

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Huh, Hume states he would rather the world were destroyed, if he didn't feel the passion to save it.

It is not the fault of "our ability to reason and abstract", it is entirely the fault of our *negligence* to reason and abstract. And, of absorbing untrue (anti-real) methods of thought, like Hume's.

Those emotions automatically follow, good, bad and indifferent, to how effective anyone is at reasoning and evaluating.

EQ is a con job fabricated by those who won't face independent thinking and judging..

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12 hours ago, anthony said:

Hume states he would rather the world were destroyed, if he didn't feel the passion to save it.

"He would rather..." -  emotion

"if he didn't feel the passion..." -  also emotion

How does your theory of emotion predicated on reason explain fear of the unknown?

Also, there are so many experiments on children that show just how powerful our instincts actually are... when boys grab for toys shaped like objects/machines and girls grab for toys shaped like people, or babies showing patterns in what their eyes are drawn to when scary music is played (why is it scary to even babies?)... If you don't incorporate knowledge of our human nature, you would do a new born baby a great disservice as there are things that have clearly shown to nurture or hinder a baby's development that are way beyond your theory of self-programmed emotions.

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59 minutes ago, Dglgmut said:

"He would rather..." -  emotion

"if he didn't feel the passion..." -  also emotion

How does your theory of emotion predicated on reason explain fear of the unknown?

Also, there are so many experiments on children that show just how powerful our instincts actually are... when boys grab for toys shaped like objects/machines and girls grab for toys shaped like people, or babies showing patterns in what their eyes are drawn to when scary music is played (why is it scary to even babies?)... If you don't incorporate knowledge of our human nature, you would do a new born baby a great disservice as there are things that have clearly shown to nurture or hinder a baby's development that are way beyond your theory of self-programmed emotions.

He would rather - is *a choice*, a moral judgment. Based solely on his emotion, right. He won't accept any value that does not come as an emotion, that's Hume's primacy of emotions and ignorance of their source.

Fear of the unknown is self-explanatory. The unknown. The justified and proper fear alerts one to possible danger. This is some thing not known - yet. In the darkness. "Knowing" is a high value, not knowing a deep dis-value to a human, ultimately a question of his survival and doing well. The mind identifies the reality, throws light on it, *knows* it, and loses the fear, replaced with pleasure. Straight causation from an emotion to value to reason.

Your concern is all to do with the human species that, you'd have it, inherits instinctive behavior and has flourished by that. Heritability of knowledge - instinct -  smacks of a form of mysticism in the guise of science. Turn your focus fully on the individual and his mind for a change. How much have you known, identified and can judge by so-called instinct?

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On 6/14/2020 at 5:31 AM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

I can't resist.

It's not the liver that keeps you alive. It's the heart.

One can live without a liver. One cannot live without a heart. 

The liver is merely haphazard operations that are prejudiced by what is fed to it and those operations fade as the feeding fades. So it is not important.

:evil:  🙂 

(Maybe one needs both to live? 🙂 )

Confucius say: If one cannot remember a concept, one cannot use it for anything.

🙂 

Michael

Your ignorance is showing.

--Brant

you can live without a spleen

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Fear of the unknown is self-explanatory. The unknown.

If it's unknown, how can it generate an emotion? If you're going to break it down into a logical process, the unknown should have no value. This is another example where the value is very clear in the evolutionary terms that you reject. In a state of nature the unknown is very dangerous, and we still see that instinct even though a child is safe in his/her room but is afraid of what might be in the closet.

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Turn your focus fully on the individual and his mind for a change. How much have you known, identified and can judge by so-called instinct?

This is what I'm saying. You're getting all of your information from introspection... it's not enough. What you're describing is not compatibilism; it's another form of dualism where the mind controls matter. You've restricted this metaphysics to the brain for some reason.

 

What is the ultimate value in your system of self-programmed emotions? Life, right? Okay, the desire to live is the foundational emotion. There is no reason there, it's just a feeling. Life is better than not life, then you use reason to build on that and find derivative values from there (which are further built upon with reason). Can we at least agree that the value for life itself is automatic and not a position we've reasoned ourselves into?

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41 minutes ago, Dglgmut said:

Can we at least agree that the value for life itself is automatic and not a position we've reasoned ourselves into?

It's always fun to introspect and remember your oldest thoughts and emotions. I can remember wanting to be held, talked to, and loved by my Mother. I may have been two years old. Where did those emotions come from? Instinct? Learned response? Pleasure/pain response?   

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