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Process Studies

Volume 47, Issue 1/2, Spring/Summer-Fall/Winter 2018

Jason Brown
Pages 163-171
DOI: 10.5840/process2018471/29

Theoretical Note on the Nature of the Present

This article is an extension to a theory of the present based on a model of mind and brain that began with studies of disorders of language in cases of focal brain damage and the analysis of symptoms in general neuropsychology. These studies developed into a model of the mind/brain state and its relevance to most of the central problems in speculative psychology and philosophy of mind. A new interpretation of the aphasias in relation to brain process and the application of this interpretation to the dynamic structure of action (in which phases in word and act production are mapped onto evolutionary patterns in forebrain growth) was extended to an account of perceptual disorders and a theory of normal perception that involved a radical revision of classical perception theory (see Brown, “Microgenetic”). In effect, by turning the standard account of object formation upside down, the process of object development could be aligned with that of act and language formation, such that all cognitive systems could be framed in terms of a unitary model of brain and mental process. The scope of application was such that it constituted a Bauplan or general model for the organization of mentality and the nervous system that led, organically, to a theory of the mind/brain state, then to the nature of process, change, and subjective time. Since the account was based on symptoms in relation to evolutionary concepts, it was essential to work out a theory of symptom formation, which gave rise to a more comprehensive view of the link between microgenesis and phylo-ontogeny.

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