Usually before we start to explain something, we need to be able to notice that something.
We can notice that things fall when dropped, and call this phenomenon gravitation, and then search for explanation of it. In same way we can see rainbows, and we can describe them or give explanation of what rainbows are. In those cases we have idea (or concept) of the phenomenon before it is explained.
Now, the situation is different with theoretical concepts, as a concept of “photon” for example. Nobody has noticed some phenomenon as “photon”, but it is theoretical concept, whose existence we deduce through phenomena we do notice. It might be specific physical experiments for example, where assuming that such thing as “photons” exist give us nice explanation of why we get specific readings.
What I’m wondering about how much “mind” (and “consciousness” for that matter) as used in philosophy is theoretical concept, and how much it is about something we “directly” notice through our lives in the world.
The issue I’m interested is this: Is there some specific phenomenon that we refer to by using the word “mind”, and if there is, through what kind of ostensive teaching would one teach a student what “mind” is – what kinds of example one would show to the student to contrast presence of mind vs. absence of mind. Or is “mind” something necessarily connected to having a theory of the world?
Now, seems to me that the truth is that today we have a mix of both, the “mind” maybe started to refer to some (more or less) specific noticeable and recognizable phenomenon, but through development of language (e.g. metaphorical usage), and of philosophical theories, the word got new metaphorical and theoretical uses (senses). If one checks Dictionary.com for example, it gives 47 ways in which “mind” is used (senses), as a verb and as a noun. Some are theoretical, some metaphorical, and some are “closer” to the direct phenomenology.
Anyway, I ordered Ryle’s book The Concept of Mind, hoping that it might shed some light on my questions.