To get you thinking... - What would it take? Perhaps this...

By: Tom Cloyd - 3 min. read (Published: 2024-05-29; reviewed: 2024-06-25:1637 Pacific Time (USA))

many questions

Drawing by T. Cloyd


Why think at all? Thinking is hard work, isn’t it? Yes…except when it isn’t!

It can lead us astray, but more often it gets us past blocks to our progress, solves a problem for us, or at least moves us closer to a solution.

What starts thought? Distress can, but so can curiousity, or simply the need for greater depth in our sense of things.

Often, all it takes to start the flame of thought is a spark, so here are some good ones…


Page contents…

(This page is under development and will be updated very frequently.)

So, you know what “thinking” is…? Consider these descriptions, from some noteably thoughtful people.

Abraham Kaplan1 (President of the American Philosophical Association from 1947 to 1958. Professor of Philosophy, U.C.L.A., U. of Michigan, University of Haifa. Named one of the top ten teachers in the United States in 1966 by Time magazine.)2

“Every use of a logic 1s a matter of psychological fact, and being so, is subject to the factors that determine all such facts. But the logic-in-use itself is occupied, not with those factors, but with the factors of the problem at hand. Thinking, whether logical or illogical, is always a psychological process; but when it is logical, it reaches out to the larger world where the problem that occasioned thought has its locus. The question [of] how we ought to think and not merely [of] how we do think does not make psychology irrelevant but instead gives relevance to a good deal else besides.”1

Arthur S. Reber (Department of Psychology, Brooklyn College, The City University of New York, New York City, New York, USA) - “…generally, any covert cognitive or mental manipulation of ideas, images, symbols, words, propositions, memories, concepts, percepts, beliefs or intentions. …A term used so that it encompasses all of the mental activities associated with concept-formation, problem-solving, intellectual functioning, creativity, complex learning, memory, symbolic processing, imagery, etc. Few terms in psychology cast such a broad net and few encompass such a rich array of connotations and entailments.”3

The nature of thinking is not easily expressed in a few words. UCLA psychiatrist Daniel Siegel describes it as being “mediated” (i.e., managed) by the upper part of the human brain - the “cerebral cortex”, but emphasizes that “the networks of the brain function as a whole to create [activated] brain states…” “There are many interconnecting linkages between the cortex and other regions of the brain, as well as essential inputs from the body and the relational world - our interconnections with other people and the environment.” He emphasizes that brain states involve widely separate brain regions that are strongly connected by neural fibers such that both the distinctiveness of these regions and their strong integration is maintained.4

Thinking - about courage, control, and anxiety - Fear need not stop you

Thinking - about diagnosis and the pursuit of understanding - Diagnosis is the beginning of treatment

Thinking - about self-care - Know yourself - care for yourself

Thinking - about trauma and difficulty connecting with others - Chronic childhood trauma makes connections difficult or impossible

Thinking - about trauma or neglect in childhood - It creates an unreal, inaccurate sense of self

  1. Kaplan, A. (1964). The conduct of inquiry: Methodology for behavioral science. Chandler, p. 17 ^ ^2

  2. Abraham Kaplan. (2024, January 29). In Wikipedia. ^

  3. Reber, A. S. (1985). The Penguin dictionary of psychology (1st ed.). Penguin, p. 771. ^

  4. Siegel, D. J. (2020). The developing mind: How relationships and the brain interact to shape who we are (Third edition). Guilford Press, pp. 33-35. ^


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