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Eliminativism, Visualizing and Verbalizing, and The Right Decision

Blue brain illustration Eliminativism is one of those Philosophy of Mind pseudo-intellectual theories that makes no sense and was part of the Oxford short course I took back in 2012 when experimental gamma-brainwave enhancement had lead to a sudden intellectual uptick in me. The reading for the course slayed me, demanding naps after 20-minute sessions with the material. I used the reading session of my audiovisual entrainment device to concentrate my mind and so help me learn and remember better. I used reading rehab strategies like covering off the text I wasn’t reading and writing notes in my iPad. Yet the concepts I could discuss well enough in the short term with continual rereading vamoosed quickly and new vocabulary eluded me, demanding I keep on pressing Select/Look Up on my iPad to refresh my memory every few seconds while reading or writing for the course.

Philosophy of Mind floated my boat but reading and learning it drowned my neurons. I had to give it up.

Until now.

I spent about half of the last 20 hours of Visualizing and Verbalizing instruction with Lindamood-Bell Australia on reading a novel I gave up reading over 15 years ago or so and the other half on some of that Philosophy of Mind course material. I did so well in learning, understanding, and remembering the word and concept “qualia” in the mind-body intro we began with that I forged into the unit on Eliminativism with its convoluted concepts and brain-breaking vocabulary. I spent a lot of the session time developing imagery — not easy for abstract ideas nor ideas that make no sense. Being able to discuss imagery ideas helped enormously. As we read, I improved on or outright changed the imagery for concepts like “folk psychology” that had simply pinged off my brain in 2012.

That was about one week ago although it felt like two weeks!

Yesterday my neurodoc tested my recall of Eliminativism. (I mistakenly told him it had been two weeks since I’d read it. Better correct that!)

I got nothing. No picture. No ideas. No memory.

Great, all that work and zero recall. My heart beat faster. I landed in a funk for about a second.

Then the edge of an image crept in: Thoughts are language. Another fuller image: A thought is a statement. A third: Churchland, the philosopher who espoused the theory of Eliminativism. More and more pictures stumbled into my consciousness. Suddenly my picture for “folk psychology” was front and centre. That phrase that my 2012 brain could not grasp, that I had at last truly understood last week, was still solid once the picture for it returned to my mind. I described the picture, explained Churchland’s idea of folk psychology.

Holy cow, I remembered Eliminativism! I remembered a good chunk of this ridiculous theory because I remembered the imagery I’d created using Lindamood-Bell’s Visualizing and Verbalizing process!!

My neurodoc said my retention was very good. Yes, it had been hard pulling those pictures up, but he continued to be amazed at how well I’m reading and remembering what I’ve read and learnt, the novel and philosophy both. This is validation I made the right decision. Phew.