The given paper delves into the basic principles of structuralism and the impact it has on the analysis and understanding of certain issues. Being a significant philosophical school, it also provides numerous possibilities for the investigation of reality and surrounding objects. That is why this work also provides the basic information related to introspection which is considered one of the key elements of structuralism.
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Additionally, to demonstrate the mechanisms of its functioning and provide credible information related to the usage of this practice to determine the way individuals investigate certain objects and determine their qualities the article includes the introspective experiment. It is conducted to prove the basic concepts and provide the information needed for further investigation of the issue.
Peculiarities of the cognition process have always been ongoing issues for human society. Having a great thrust for knowledge, people tried to understand how we analyze surrounding objects and process the obtained information. In this regard, the appearance of various philosophic schools was conditioned by the attempts to explain the nature of cognition and provide the basis for it. Structuralism became the next step in the development of human thought.
It implied the existence of certain elements of consciousness that impacted the cognition processes and introduced some unique peculiarities. Introspection became one of the main elements of this new school. It could be defined as the precise examination of an individuals thoughts and emotions (Byrne, 2005). However, this process is focused not on the creation of the complete image of a certain object or phenomenon, but the distinguishing specific qualities related to this very object.
In other words, a person tries to describe not the object as itself; however, he/she tends to provide the feelings and emotions which appear while analyzing it (Introspection I: methods and limitations, n.d.). The given approach promotes a better understanding of the nature of cognition and how our conscience obtain the information needed to investigate the world/
The practice of introspection is based on various experiments that demonstrate how a person comes to a better understanding of the nature of a certain thing by analyzing its components and basic qualities (Schwitzgebel, 2013). However, it is crucial to avoid stimulus errors which imply the nomination of a certain object or experience while a person has to provide only its qualities. In these regards, the given paper suggests a clear description of a certain introspective experiment conducted to realize the basic stages of this process and obtain a clear vision of the importance of the data obtained in its course.
The probationer is asked to close his eyes and provide the information related to the object placed on the table. The object is a bouncy ball. All feelings, descriptions, and stimulus errors are recorded to provide clear information about the experiment.
At first, the probationer stated that the object was cold. It was the first description that appeared after the first touch. Having investigated the surface of the object, he also admitted that it was spherical. At this very moment, the first stimulus error appeared as he tried to define the object and called it some kind of a ball. However, being explained by his mistake, he continued the investigation of the object. The probationer admitted its elastic nature and suggested its jumpy character.
Furthermore, investigating the object, the test person also suggested that it could be read (the given statement could be conditioned by the previous experience as this person had already seen a similar object and associated it with the given one). In the course of the experiment, he also admitted the specific smell of the object which was characterized as “rubber smell.” Additionally, a person also discovered several granulations and assumed that the object often fell. Having analyzed it, a person made another stimulus error, concluding that it should be a bouncy ball.
The results of the experiment introduce several important concerns. First, during the examination of the object, the probationer was not able to see it; however, he still obtained credible information about the objects most important qualities. It was a gradual process that introduced new pieces of information. However, the person also made several stimulus errors trying to describe the object itself and made the conclusion related to its nature. Besides, the bouncy ball was characterized as cold, spherical, elastic, red, smelly, jumpy, and not smooth. All these qualities reflect the nature of the given ball and provide complete information related to its image.
Altogether, the given introspective experiment demonstrates the basic principles of structuralism. A person investigates the surrounding reality and objects determining the most significant qualities and making certain assumptions resting on the information which comes from his/her feelings and experiments (Corallo, Sackur, Dehaene, & Sigman, 2008). Additionally, using the given approach a person could avoid false conclusions based on certain predictions and use only credible data to determine the qualities of a certain object. In general, the given introspective experiment could be considered successful.
Byrne, A. (2005). Introspection. Philosophical Topics, 33(1), 79-104. Web.
Corallo, G., Sackur, J., Dehaene, S., & Sigman, M. (2008). Limits on Introspection. Distorted Subjective Time During the Dual-Task Bottleneck. Psychological Science, 19(11), 1110-1117. Web.
Introspection I: methods and limitations. (n.d.). Web.
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Schwitzgebel, E. (2013). “Introspection“, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Web.