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Kurs: - Intermediate

Modul: Present Perfect and Past Simple Tense

Autor: prof. Gordana Matorkić

Naziv jedinice: What Goes on in your Mind

Materijali vezani uz ovu lekciju:

- Test what goes on in your mind



Have you ever stopped to think how truly astounding you are? Well, let’s try it now. What have you done since you got out of bed this morning? You have probably brushed your teeth, eaten some breakfast, maybe thought a few thoughts. But how do you know how to do all of these things? Even brushing your teeth is an amazing act of recognition and recall. Somewhere in our head we must have stored the so called Mind Manual for Teeth Brushing. We have learned it step by step. Step 1 is to recognize the correct toothbrush, step 2 is to squeeze the toothpaste, then to turn on the tap, jiggle toothbrush up and down, rinse and wipe the toothbrush so that you can replace it in the correct position. This is a joke, of course, but have you ever thought of the question ‘’how the mind works’’?

The miracle of the human mind is that as you stand in front of the bathroom sink you don’t even have to think about all these separate steps. You have learned how to brush your teeth, and that’s the best explanation we can give.

So you think, OK, I’m an amazing, talented, wonderful human miracle! But the BIG question is: What is this thing called mind and where is it?

Great philosophers gave us some answers on what mind really is. It can mean different things, such as memory, an intention to do something, the place where thinking happens, the seat of intelligence.

Where is the mind?

This question has vexed even the cleverest people for centuries. The first great debate was whether the mind is in the heart or in the head. The ancient Egyptians thought that the heart was the centre of human life. They said that the heart recorded all the good and evil deeds done in a person’s life. They believed that when someone died, the gods weighed their heart against a feather to see if it was heavy with guilt, or light and free from sin.

Before embalming a body to preserve it, the Ancient Egyptians scooped out the brain through the nostrils and threw it away. So they obviously didn’t think that the brain was very important.

Early Greek thinkers also saw the heart as the most important organ in the body. Then along came Hippocrates and said: ‘’ Men ought to know that from nothing else but the brain come joys and delight, laughter and sorrows, grieves and lamentation…’’

Despite his words, the debate continued for centuries. Even today we still associate the heart with the emotions and even sometimes with memory. For instance, we say things like, ‘She’s broken my heart.’’ or ‘’I’ve got to learn this poem by heart.’’

Even when philosophers decided that it was probably the brain, rather than the heart, that was responsible for mental functions, that wasn’t the end of the matter.

Rene Descartes, a French philosopher who liked to lie in bed all morning reading and thinking, came to the conclusion that the mind and the body were entirely separate from each other. He often referred to the mind as the ‘soul’.

Descartes said that during life, the mind and the body communicate through a tiny gland in the centre of the brain. Many people disagreed with this, but his theory sparked off a whole new debate about the mind. Today, many people have put the mind and body back together. Many scientists have studied the connection of the mind with our nervous system and the rest of the body. But the research goes on, leading to new, amazing discoveries.


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