Mental models and the 7Es LO29508

From: leo minnigh (
Date: 11/14/02

Replying to LO29472 --

Dear LO'ers,

For sure, I suffer from many MM's.

Is this a paradox?? A paradox is in my mind something which is
self-referring (single loop) but it could not close itself without
creating an impossibility. Like "the meaning of this sentence is not
true". Another one which I have heard during several occasions in a
lecture room - the question of the speaker: "Could you hear me in the back
of the room?"

If I suffer from MM's, it means that the MM's have left the unconscious,
and thus loosing their MM-identity.

Terje and At and others have stimulated me for some further thinking. At
gave some other sorts of 'misfits' in our minds and asked me:

> Leo, can you think of any other species?

In private I wrote At: "Yes, for instance a misunderstanding". I have
thought somewhat further with also the words of Terje in mind and the
things I wrote previously. Particularly, the etymological meanings of all
these 'species' enlightened for myself some aspects on the realtion
between environment and mind.

The word *misunderstanding* seems te refer to a foundation which does not
fit. A pre-existing foundation in the mind. The Dutch/Afrikaans
translation of 'misunderstanding' is *onbegrip*, or *misvatting*. Both
words seem to refer to something collected from outside that does not fit.
This meaning is also seen in the English word *misconception*.

Thus it seems that there are two possibilities:
A: perception has collected some information from the environment and is
mentally linked to wrong pre-existing knowledge in the mind
B: perception has collected some wrong or incomplete information from the
environment and is mentally linked to pre-existing knowledge in the mind

Both result in some kind of misfit. However - and I think this is
important - this misfit could not be recognised by the person without some
help. And that help could only be triggered by some new perceptions from the
environment. The crux lies possibly in this "*some* new perceptions" - that
loosely formulated *some*.
What probably happens in the mind is the following:
If only a little bit of new perception results already in the recognition of
the misfit (possibly the species 'misconception'), this misfit is
immediately destroyed and a new fit in the mind is realised.
However, the more perceptions necessary for the recognition of the apparent
misfit, the more previous perceptions were in agreement with the misfit. The
more perceptions sustaining the misfit, the more stronger this misfit will
be and the harder it is to destroy it and replace it for a new fit.
The period that a misfit could last fall in a range of seconds to centuries.
My English is not good enough to name all the species which lie in this

Steve Randall (thank you, Steve) has mentioned another aspect:
>I don't refer to something like the heliocentric universe as a mental
>model, since this conception doesn't structure my experience in any
>noticeable (as yet) way. I have a heliocentric notion, yet it is not
>accompanied by any feeling that would limit or predispose my functioning
>in any way.

Apparantly Steve, you could live with both universes (helio/geocentred).
Maybe this is the reason why At called this not a MM, but a paradigm. I
must agree that I now mix-up all these terms.

I remember that some 30 years ago there was fear for a coming new ice age.
Some scientists warned us that such a drastic climate change could happen in
a human life time. Now we are all talking about the warming earth and the
greenhouse effects. Both predictions have not changed are personal
functioning only slightly (or not at all). Is climate change a Paradigm,
Mental Modal, Misconception, Prejudice, Error, Misjudgement, Dogma,
Wishfull- Doom or Reductionistic Thinking, Believe, Idea, Opinion,
Statement, Proposition, Brain Washing, Real or Fantasy.
"I have a heliocentric notion, yet it is not accompanied by any feeling that
would limit or predispose my functioning in any way."
Not with me, Steve. I feel myself somewhat dizzy as you probably noticed

Leo Minnigh


leo minnigh <>

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