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Objectivity is Our Shared Subjectivity


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Image schemas are basic to perception and to conception. That is to say perception and reasoning go hand-in-hand in all of our subjective activity. That is one reason that SGCS theorizes that we have an embodied mind. There is no possibility for “processing of information does not have anything at all to do with making an "objective account".”


“Image schemas have a special cognitive function: They are both perceptual and conceptual in nature. As such, they provide a bridge between language and reasoning on the one hand and vision on the other.” Philosophy in the Flesh


Image schemas quotes from Wiki:

“Image schemas are dynamic embodied patterns--they take place in and through time. Moreover, they are multi-modal patterns of experience, not simply visual. For instance, consider how the dynamic nature of the containment schema is reflected in the various spatial senses of the English word out. Out may be used in cases where a clearly defined trajector (TR) leaves a spatially bounded landmark (LM), as in:

(1a) John went out of the room.

(1b) Mary got out of the car.

(1c) Spot jumped out of the pen.

In the most prototypical of such cases the landmark is a clearly defined container. However, out may also be used to indicate those cases where the trajector is a mass that spreads out, effectively expanding the area of the containing landmark:

(2a) She poured out the beans.

(2b) Roll out the carpet.

(2c) Send out the troops.

Finally, out is also often used to describe motion along a linear path where the containing landmark is implied and not defined at all:

(3) The train started out for Chicago.

Experientially basic and primarily spatial image schemas such as the Containment schema and its derivatives the Out schemas lend their logic to non-spatial situations. For example, one may metaphorically use the term out to describe non-spatial experiences:

(4) Leave out that big log when you stack the firewood. (Schema used directly and non-metaphorically.)

(4a) I don't want to leave any relevant data out of my argument. (Schema metaphorically projected onto argumentation.)

(4b) Tell me your story again, and don't leave out any details. (Schema metaphorically projected onto story-telling.)

(4c) She finally came out of her depression. (Schema metaphorically projected onto emotional life.)

Johnson argues that more abstract reasoning is shaped by such underlying spatial patterns. For example, he notes that the logic of containment is not just a matter of being in or out of the container. For example, if someone is in a deep depression, we know it is likely to be a long time before they are well. The deeper the trajector is in the container, the longer it will take for the trajector to get out of it. Similarly, Johnson argues that transitivity and the law of the excluded middle in logic are underlaid by preconceptual embodied experiences of the Containment schema.”

“While Johnson provided an initial list of image schemas in The Body in the Mind (p. 126), his diagrams for them are scattered throughout his book and he only diagrammed a portion of those image schemas he listed. In his work, Lakoff also used several additional schemas.

Johnson 1987:

Spatial motion group







Cyclic Climax

Force Group




Removal of Restraint





Balance Group

Axis Balance

Point Balance

Twin-Pan Balance


Listed but unsketched and undiscussed in Johnson















Additional schemas discussed in Lakoff 1987:

Spatial group





Vertical Orientation

Length (extended trajector)

Transformational group

Linear path from moving object (one dimensional trajector)

Path to endpoint (endpoint focus)

Path to object mass (path covering)

Multiplex to mass (possibly the same as Johnson's undefined Mass-Count)

Reflexive (both part-whole and temporally different reflexives)


Image schemas proposed and discussed by others:

Rough-smooth/Bumpy-smooth (Rohrer; Johnson and Rohrer)”





Container schema is a fundamental schema that is integral to all perception and categorization.


Container schema (a structured framework or plan)


Humans and I suspect all creatures navigate in space through spatial-relations concepts, i.e. schema. These concepts are the essence of our ability to function in space. These are not concepts that we can sense but they are the forms and inference patterns for our movement in space that we utilize unconsciously. We automatically perceive an entity as being on, in front of, behind, etc., another entity.


The container schema is a fundamental spatial-relations concept that allows us to draw important inferences. This natural container format is the source for our logical inferences that are so obvious to us when we view Venn diagrams. If container A is in container B and B is in container C, then A is in C.


A container schema is a gestalt (a functional unit) figure with an interior, an exterior, and a boundary—the parts make sense only as part of the whole. Container schemas are cross-modal—“we can impose a conceptual container schema on a visual scene…on something we hear, as when we conceptually separate out one part of a piece of music from another…This structure is topological in the sense that the boundary can be made larger, smaller, or distorted and still remain the boundary of a container schema.”

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Hello Coberst.....your claim


....That is to say perception and reasoning go hand-in-hand in all of our subjective activity. That is one reason that SGCS theorizes that we have an embodied mind.


could be taken from the writings of Ayn Rand. What I have been trying to explain to you is that Rand would agree with this aspect of SGCS thinking about the "embodied mind"--and she calls her philosophy 'Objectivism'. Here is what Rand has to say about how humans come to know anything within the embodied mind:


"knowledge is ....a mental grasp of the fact(s) of reality, reached either by perceptual observation or by a process of reason based on perceptual observation", Source- "Intro to Object. Epistemology"
So sure, Rand would agree with SGCS that subjective mental activity in the mind uses both "perception" and "reasoning" to process information obtained via the senses. But, for Rand, there is also the gain of a type of knowledge of the object, via the subject, via pure perception and is priori to reason (that is, what is before the or in her definition). It would appear that the confusion comes from SGCS not recognizing that Rands definition of knowledge, and how humans come to understand anything, has these two aspects (what is before and after the or in her knowledge definition). I cannot find in the Rand literature that she gives names to the two aspects of knowledge---perhaps they should be given such (1) knowledge by pure perception (2) knowledge by reason based on perception. You see from her definition of knowledge, PURE REASON does not exist for Rand---it always is connected to perception. If, what your mind forms is not connected to "perception" of that which exists (of the objects out there, completely undefined) it has nothing at all to do with use of reason. Kant wrote his "Critique of Pure Reason", imo, Rand would agree with the title, but not for the reasons given by Kant--a good topic for another thread.


I do hope you understand the situation. That is, how exactly would SGCS disagree with the knowledge definition of Rand ?? I need specifics--I suspect SGCS would disagree with all before the or ? :confused: But, that would just raise the question-why? For what logical reason ? This is why philosophy is so important.




Where Rand, imo, would disagree with SGCS is the claim of Lakoff that the "reasoning" process takes place within the sub-conscious. Here Rand and Lakoff would part ways based on use of different premise--different definitions.


For Rand, reasoning is a specific mental process limited to the neutrons that exist within a distinct faculty of the mind with identity--it is called the "consciousness". There is no where else in the human body where reasoning occurs, not in the heart, the stomach the liver, nor in the subconscious neuron connections within the mind. I am not aware of any research that shows "rational thinking using reason" to occur directly within the subconscious mind. Whatever "thinking" (depending again on a definition) that is within the subconscious--it is NOT rational or based on reason !


Coberst, please provide a single link to a published research paper (please, do not cite Wikipedia) that makes a claim they have observed "rational and reason based thinking" to have come from the subconscious brain. Send your best reference--then we discuss that paper in detail. I think it best to start a new thread so others can join. I would view such research to be valid critique of Rand philosophy.


Now, to continue, given that Libet and others have shown experimentally that all perception (100%) via the senses is first filtered by the subconscious mind, of course the vast majority of past experience of humans (>95% ?) is stored within the subconscious. But, this fact alone does not mean that the subconscious makes use of the information via the specific process called "reason" or "rational thinking". For Rand, the subconscious is of great importance and is itself a faculty of the mind with an identity that differs from the consciousness. So, when the subjective self initiates the process of "reasoning", it is a process limited to the conscious part of the mind, but, of course, it has many neural connections to the unconscious, because this is where all of perception is stored ! --and, not all that is perceived passes though the filter (you can say the subconscious has the ultimate control, it is selfish what it allows each of us grasp about objects via perception). For Rand, it is not the function of the conscious mind to "store perceptual information"--this is the role of the subconscious mind ! The relationship between the two is that to the card catalog at the library (the subconscious) and the human looking for information at the library (the consciousness). The card catalog does not THINK in of itself about the information stored, but, such information is used in the thinking process carried out by the conscious human mind. Imo, this is where SGCS philosophy fails to understand what Rand is saying. SGCS thinking only applies the second part of the Rand definition of knowledge, thus it falsely concludes that knowledge cannot be obtained by pure perception alone (that perception and reason must ALWAYS go hand-in-hand). But, data from experiments such as those of Libet demonstrate that this SGCS claim in false. Lakoff has incomplete understanding of what the objectivist claim---I have shown this now over many previous posts I have given on this thread.


As for concepts, such as the word metaphors that Lakoff likes to work with, these are formed within the consciousness via the process of reason, and I suspect stored there also for recall. I enjoy this aspect of Lakoff thinking, that he values the importance of metaphor, for example in political discussions. I have posted on another thread called 'Metaphors for Progressives" based on Lakoff thinking. Poor political progressives are like lost sheep in the political game of words, need all the help from Lakoff they can get.


But, what is a metaphor ? To form any metaphor the conscious mind would need to make a request to the unconscious for information gained by perception and stored in the card catalog so that it can search for logical word connections--such as--"a flaming headline" (you see, just the thought that a metaphor is needed is enough to trigger a response, to bring the words "flame" and "headline" to the conscious to be used in a unique way combined, or the perception of danger---recall a 500 msec delay is in practical use "automatic", even though not so). And, of course, at least for me, and I suspect for most humans, the request for information is not processed at the same rate each request--sometimes the request for stored information is sent within msec of time by the subconscious, sometimes is takes minutes, even days, then the request is delivered and I say---that's what I was looking for--or, look, a new past perception I had in the past that I can now use to help better explain a concept I have built via reason. Again, the card catalog does not think, no more so than one can say that the "map" is the "territory" !


Humans and I suspect all creatures navigate in space through spatial-relations concepts, i.e. schema. These concepts are the essence of our ability to function in space. These are not concepts that we can sense but they are the forms and inference patterns for our movement in space that we utilize unconsciously. We automatically perceive an entity as being on, in front of, behind, etc., another entity.
Well, I wonder, does Lakoff consider a 1 week old baby a human ? If so, then his SGCS logic is falsified by a such a child, for there is abundant research to show that a child recently born does not "unconsciously and automatically perceive an entity as being on, in front, behind...etc"....this statement is nonsense...a false claim by Lakoff.


Such mental concepts as "in front off, etc." are not automatic for the human mind, they are learned and built via process of reason based on perception. And, given that mental patterns such us up, down, in front, etc.. are of absolute importance for human survival, of course these are the types of perceptual patterns that the subconscious allows to pass quickly (what Lakoff falsely implies are automatically without any subconscious filter delay) into the conscious so that they can be processed. I would suspect that such patterns are processed and sent to the conscious by the subconscious at the current experimental limit found, 500 msec of time--good topic for research if not already conducted.

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