about Mind Modeler 2.0

What is it?

MIND MODELER is an adaptive tool for concept modeling, built on the semantic web platform of Archemind Intelligent Artifice; the intuitive user interface runs in Flash Player on any full-featured web browser. Version 1.0 was released on April Fools Day 2011; Version 2.0 was released on Halloween 2012.

What does it do?

MIND MODELER places color-coded nouns, verbs, and adjectives into familiar patterns in order to simplify complex concepts. By relating words via geometric figures, Mind Models can extend the reach of conceptual language past the limits of propositional speech.

Language and speech: what’s the difference? Words in a sentence draw a straight line of thought; words in a matrix weave a net for thinking. You can use Mind Models to take concepts apart and put them together—to analyze and synthesize, explicate and implicate—from the surface of words to the center of meaning.

How does it work?

The things you think about—be they vague notions or specific principles, blunt forces or sociopolitical complexes—become bound to particular words and phrases out of habit. Subtle dynamics of meaning lose out to fixed conventions of discourse. By pulling words out of everyday grammatical usage to look at them from different lexical angles, Mind Models can help locate and illuminate their many facets. Less noise = more signal.

The more we string words together, the less we inspect the baggage that comes with each—covert and overt, connotation and denotation. While (1) lexical signs—words and parts—may already be value-laden, for good or for ill, Mind Models subject them to (2) value-neutral formalizations fit to manipulate (3) multivalent concepts. Signification ≠ significance.

Why would I use it?

You can take the meanings and values of words and concepts as others present them to you—but you do have a choice. By learning how ideologies are built from ideas, you can learn how to rebuild them to better suit your own principles. As you learn new ways and old for taking ideas apart, you should be better fit to put them together.

The semantic whole of a well-formed Mind Model is greater than the sum of its lexical parts. The point of Mind Modeling is not to deprive words of import in order to devalue them, but to juxtapose individual word forms in order to reevaluate how their interrelation creates meaning. Evaluation ≠ devaluation.

Where do I start?

Sample models, walkthrough tutorials, and keyboard shortcuts are built right into the Mind Modeler for quick reference. To dig deeper, our e-book The Model Mind explores and explains concept modeling through the ages—from Aristotelian logic and Kantian schemas to the modern models of present-day psychology, anthropology, neuroscience and more.

The full Mind Modeler feature set is freely available to all demo users. Should you wish to save your Mind Models for future reference and hyperlinks, become an Archemind member. For a token membership fee of $20 USD per year, you can help maintain the public availability and ongoing development of tools and texts for education and analysis. To learn more about who we are and what we do, see about Archemind.

Where does it go?

Below, three read-only Mind Models appear as embedded in Flash-enabled HTML pages. In the first example, our Biaxial Plot of adjectives correlates the foundational terms of propositional logic with those of modal logic. On the primordial X and Y axes we site the Aristotelian parameters for categorical proposition: we cross the X-axis opposition of affirmative/negative over the Y-axis opposition of universal/particular:

We then site modal terms in the four corners that reiterate the relations of Aristotle’s original Square of Opposition: just as a ‘universal-affirmative’ proposition (“all birds fly”) asserts that certain conditions are necessary (“birds necessarily fly”), its contradictory ‘particular-negative’ proposition (“some birds do not fly”—or “not all birds fly”) asserts certain conditions are contingent (“bird flight is contingent to anatomical details”).

In the second example (below), we expand on our Plot of adjectives by stacking a Plot of verbs above and a Plot of nouns below. Click on the ‘ghost’ frames to move up or down; click on the printer icon to view the compiled three-level Mind Model:

While each adjective has a matching noun form, the verb forms are more sparse. We can necessitate the necessary necessity, or negate the negative negation, but what is the functional verb equivalent for the contingent contingency? For the impossible impossibility?

In the third example (below), instead of stacking, we expand our adjective Plot by chaining rows and columns in each direction and by nesting frames of nouns and verbs within select terms. Click on bordering blocks to chain, and on thumbnail icons to nest:

Our chained rows and columns extend modal oppositions to ethical and epistemic term pairs, such as prohibitive/permissible and conceivable/inconceivable. Our nested frames refine the distinctions, for example, prohibitive measures that preclude, disallow, and criminalize differ from forbidding measures that suppress, impede, and thwart. In sum, by combining different logical, lexical, and topographic forms, you can expand a Mind Model from a simple frame of synonyms to a multi-tiered complex of oppositions.

There is no more to Mind Models than the words and images, concepts and schemas that enable us to imagine, think, and act. While you need no specific expertise to learn how to use Mind Models, you may need specific concerns to learn what to use them for. In other words, all Mind Modeler asks of you is: what’s on your mind?

© 2008-2012 Ian C Thorne. all rights reserved. about credits privacy contact share