RGon: Pask’s P and M Individuals

A p-individual is a psychological individual and an m-individual is a mechanical individual. So an m-individual is a body and a p-individual is a mind. But it’s saying that one person, one body, one brain even, does not have just one person in it, one p-individual – one persona, to use that dramatic term. What it says is that we can take on different roles, which clearly we can. So as someone who draws and as someone who listens I am not the same persona, I’m a different p-individual in Pask’s terms but in one m-individual, but I can also have – incidentally for instance in a group action I can have a lot of M-Individuals that become one p-individual. So this is one of Gordon’s clever inventions: The distinction between the m-individual and the p-individual. What that allows is that if I have a room with seven people in it, all busy working at something together, you know, and just lost in that thing where we’re working together, you have seven m-individuals forming one p-individual – one psychological individual that is getting on with the work. And that’s the experience that we have. And this is not about physical objects. This is about mind and mind is not something that is physical. One of the great problems with mind is that people keep trying to say it’s the same as the brain. So, m-individuals and p-individuals, they’re bodies and minds. M is body, P is mind. They stand for ‘mechanical individual’ and ‘psychological individual’.

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