[From Bob Clark (931111.21:50 EST)-

Bill Powers (931105.1015)

Perhaps in choosing the term "category" I have pulled a red herring
across the trail. A more explicit term might be "naming" or
"symbolizing." I had thought of those terms, but at the time I felt
that they might be _too_ explicit, only examples of some more
general operation.

It seems to me that categories can be formed without the addition of
"symbols" or "names" -- which are also symbols. Thus lower level
perceptions can be combined to form "patterns" that can be recognized
without having been given a "name" or even perceived, consciously, as
a "category."

Indeed, it seems generally agreed that lower level perceptions can be
combined to form higher level perceptions. The general concept of
"combining" can be represented mathematically as:

f[b(1), b(2), ... b(n)]

where the function, f, specifies the manner of combining the
perceptions b(1), b(2), ... b(n) to form a new perception. The b's
may be from different levels and of different forms.

This can be regarded as the formation of a new category without
assigning a name to it.

A current perception of some of the b's may be sufficient to direct
attention to the entire set of b's. The combined set of b's is then
recognized as remembered.

Likewise, another set of perceptions can be combined to form another

g[a(1), a(2), ... a(n)]

Here, some of the a's are the perceptions that combine to form
another perception: a "name."

If some of the a's are the same as some of the b's, the occurrence of
the "name" may be sufficient to recall the combined set of b's.

If the a's and b's do not already overlap, a new combination may be

h[a's, b's]

Thus concepts and "names" can be formed and combined so that each can
serve to attract attention to the "name-concept" perception.

This seems to approximate how one comes to be "reminded" of specific

How can such combining functions, f, g, and h, be formed? It seems
to be generally accepted that directing attention to any sub-set of
perceptions results in recording the combination.

The occurrence of intrinsic error, activating the Reorganizing
System, will surely attract attention -- and produce recordings,
memories, of relevant perceptions.

It appears likely that genetically determined systems (intrinsic
systems, possibly other systems?) include such (unnamed) categories.
Names may be assigned later. For example, abdominal discomfort can
be perceived at an early age, only later becoming named as a "stomach

However, other situations can result in directing attention to
various sub-sets of perceptions. As a consequence, many recordings
are formed that may be unrelated and mutually inconsistent.

It also seems to be generally accepted that existing memories can be
perceived, via imagination, by suitably directing attention. It also
appears to be possible to combine and re-combine these imagined
perceptions into new, or revised, categories, with or without naming
them. Thus many groupings become available, named and unnamed,
temporary and lasting.

In addition, attention can be directed to sub-sets of perceptions
from any part of the memory. It seems that attention can be very
quickly shifted from one sub-set of these perceptions to another.
Under some conditions, such as a skid on a German highway, attention
can shift so rapidly that the perceptions, current vs remembered,
appear nearly simultaneous.

If a category is to be formed by conscious intent, attention is
directed to memories for possible inclusion in the prospective
category. When such a sub-set of memories has been selected,
whatever the basis of selection and whatever the resulting grouping,
it forms a "category." If desired, this can be followed by "assigning
a name, or other label," to the grouping.

Since the process of conscious formation of a category(ies) has
required attention, the process itself has also been recorded as well
as the resulting category with its name.

The quote from Bill Powers (931105.1015) at the begining of this Post
illustrates rather well the process described here.

This entire process is subject only to objectives from higher
level(s) providing criteria for acceptance of the resulting


Regards, Bob Clark