Thought Loop refers to the process
goes through in order to generate its map of the world
. It is a Neuro-Linguistic
process. This process
is called concept formation
by some, epistemology
by others, and even other things by somebody else. It generally involves processes of sensation
. It is also somewhat related to Robert Anton Wilson
's concept of strange loop
s, mathematical limits
and recursive loops
. Douglas Hofstadter
has a discussion
of such loops in his discussions on social dilemmas
and self-referential sentences
in Metamagical Themas
. Ayn Rand
talks about it in Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology
s from abstractions." In Neurolinguistic Programming
there is evidence of thought loops in the concepts of logical levels
s and intent of behavior
. The General Semantics
of Alfred Korzybski
also hints at thought loops, as does the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis
In short, thought loops are how an organism makes generalizations and beliefs about the world.
You can attain a much better understanding of this phenomenon by doing the following thought experiment adapted from The Sourcebook of Magic (Crown House Publishing Limited, 1999) by L. Michael Hall.
- Step One: Identify a specific behavior that you do.
- Step Two: Ask yourself of this behavior: "What am I attempting to accomplish by engaging in this behavior?"
- Step Three: Once you have your answer(s), ask yourself of the answer: "What am I attemping to accomplish by answer from previous step?"
- Step Four: Repeat step three until you begin to loop. Once you start to loop, this means you are either at or approaching the end of your experience of reality.
- Step Five: Ask yourself of the loop from the previous step: "What am I attempting to accomplish here that is more important?"
- Step Six: Repeat step 5 until you begin to loop. Once you begin to loop here is where you have reached the end of the world, so don't fall off.
You can also do the above exercise asking questions like "How do I know that X is true?" or "How do I know that Y is true?"
Now that you have an experiential understanding of the phenomenon of thought loops, you can probably see a little bit better how some subjectivists claim that you make up your own reality.
(c) 2002 Martin Kretzmann
See Also: Aristotle, What the thinker thinks, the prover proves, Meme complex, manipulation, propaganda