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22.3 Whole-person mentality

Let us now consider mentality not at its finest scale but in its overall position within the whole person. In a person, we place thoughts in the middle between love and effects, as shown in Table 22.2. Of course our minds can think also about love and about effects. The claim of our scientific theism is that there are specific parts of our mind that are specialized for these three tasks. Each degree is an image of God in its own way and therefore has three sub-degrees in the same way that God has degrees of Love, Wisdom and Action. This implies, as we already saw in Chapter 19, that we have the sub-degrees shown in the Table 22.2.

The sub-degree 2.3 is specifically the thoughts of actions and effects. Within modern psychology this would be called a sensory system or module. Within stage theories of cognition it would be called the sensorimotor degree, especially since it contains the ‘external interface’ with outer actions, which, when actually produced, are physical actions in the body. There is much more than sensation and motor activity in sub-degree 2.3 in humans, since language to describe actions is also present along with the affections and motivations for activities concerning actions in the world and talk about those actions. In this sub-degree, I intend to include all the mental activities of children in the first decade of their lives. Let us call this sub-degree the ‘external mind’.

The sub-degree 2.2 is specifically the thoughts of thoughts. This is not intended as self-reflexive but simply as a way to portray the fact that mental, logical and mathematical structures in the mind can themselves be the objects of further thought. Children from the second decade of their lives can consider operations as such and consider, for example, whether operations are reversible or how they can be concatenated. Later comes the mental ability to consider formal structures as such, even without thoughts of concrete objects necessarily being present. This sub-degree must also include the ability to look at systems of thought as wholes and so to consider how a paradigm or system of thought may be replaced by another system of thought. Much of scientific activity is conducted within this 2.2 sub-degree. Let us call this sub-degree the ‘scientific rational’.

The sub-degree 2.1 is specifically the thoughts of love. Love involves and produces all the things of one’s life so this sub-degree enables us to reflect on our life as whole. The thought in this sub-degree is (or ought to be) able to determine the loves which are active in the life of the person, by first observing the actions freely performed and then inferring back from this to the originating loves (as discussed before). This sub-degree, again, ought to be able to decide whether those loves are good and useful or selfish and dominating. All these kinds of thoughts, when present in adult life, indicate intellectual and emotional maturity. Let us call this sub-degree the ‘higher rational’. With these new names, Table 22.2 is rewritten as Table 22.3.


Previous: 22.2 Microscopic mentality Up: 22. Discrete Degrees in the Mind Next: 22.4 Order of production vs order of growth

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