Human. Professional. Technologist. Musician. Naturophile. Linguaphile. Traveller. Philosopher. Friend. Don't-Worry-Be-Happy-ist.
Thinking about thinking is naturally a difficult business. Many people do not care to analyze such a living process as thought : they recoil from the necessary introversion. However, all of us do have to spend much of our time thinking in the deliberate sense of the word. Thinking may be compared to an unfinished symphony with three main themes : analyzing, synthesizing, and valuing.
The dictionary derives it from the Greek verb 'to loosen', and gives the primary meaning as 'resolution into simple parts'. In other words, when I take my watch to pieces, I can strictly be said to be analyzing it. But the word has more to it. Analysis implies the tracing of things to their sources, and the discovery of general principles underlying the concrete phenomena.
It means the opposite of analyzing, namely, putting together of parts or elements so as to make up a complex whole. When the resulting whole is substantially original we can describe the synthetic process as creative.
There is a third theme or mode of thinking which is not finally reducible by or to analysis, or to synthesis, or to any combination of them, and that is the intellectual activity that I have named valuing.
It is difficult to see, let alone study, the shy denizens of our own minds. The balance between these three modes is changing from moment to moment : one minute we may be primarily analyzing and the next valuing. They have not, however, been so loosened that they are seen as quite separate realities rather than complementary ones.
The Depth of Mind
Thanks to the popularization of work of Freud and other psycho-analysts it is well-known that our minds include a semi-conscious and an unconscious area. This depth of mind, has the capacity of bringing a natural dimension to the work of sifting information and grasping the relation of parts within the whole presented to it by the senses. Thus our values are found in our depth minds, or rather in the constant dialogue between surface and depth minds.
Message in Public Interest