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Mind provides people with an ability to think, to find a solution of vital tasks, to predict consequences of the actions. Thinking is "one of mind preconditions and one of tools of a thinking person" who solves vital problems (Begley 63).
Mind, first of all, includes knowledge, intelligence (an ability to operate with this knowledge consciously) and an intuition (an ability to operate with this knowledge unconsciously). Besides, mind has personal components: beliefs, programs and positions.
The characteristic of the main qualities of mind are the following: width of thinking which is an ability to capture the whole question entirely, at the same time without missing components, necessary for the case. Depth of thinking is expressed in the ability to get into the essence of difficult questions. The quality, opposite to the depth of thinking, is superficiality of judgments when a person pays attention to trifles and does not see the main thing. Independence of thinking is characterized by an ability of a person to put forward new tasks and to find ways to solve them, without relying on the help of other people. Flexibility of thought is expressed in its freedom from holding-down influence of the receptions, fixed in the past and ways of task solutions, also in the ability to change actions quickly in case the situation changes. Speed of mind is an ability of a person to understand a new situation quickly, to think over and make a correct decision. Haste of mind is shown in the fact that a person, without having thought over a question comprehensively, snatches out any part of it, hurries to give the decision, states answers and judgments which are made insufficiently (Gardner 12).
Thinking is a coherent course of thoughts, images and feelings, information processing. Both nonsense and insight are all thinking. Thinking is "a course of meanings or work of a person with meanings" (personal and general, a process and a result). Thinking "gives vision and understanding as one corresponds to another as something belongs to another." (Sternberg 51).
Thinking is the highest intellectual informative process. It gives the chance to learn such subjects and phenomena which cannot be directly apprehended by sense organs. The characteristic of thinking, unlike other informative processes, is the fact that it reflects generally to everything that occurs in the world and in the person him/herself.
Thinking is a process of the generalized and mediate reflection of subjects and the phenomena in their communications and the relations, perception of new, unknown things. To think means to learn the new, unknown things, to find communication and relations between unknown and known, to open general laws inherent in all the subjects and phenomena. It is impossible to learn general, essential things as they are an internal essence of the object. Therefore, people have to learn to do it moderately. To apply devices especially created by him/her in the form of instruments of labor, various devices and apparatuses. Influencing on the world around them, people began to learn internal essence of subjects and phenomena, to open laws of their existence and, using these instruments, to create the objects with the set properties and qualities. The results of mediate knowledge began to be fixed in a form of thoughts, reflecting essential properties and qualities, communications and regularities, inherent in subjects and phenomena in the generalized and abstract way.
Thoughts are generalized and abstract knowledge, existing in consciousness of the person in the form of various ideas, filled with the abstract contents.
Human thinking is speech thinking. The thought is concluded in semantic contents of a word. (Barrett 89). Thus, cogitative activity of a person starts to implement various devices: words, various symbols and signs. Though thinking is beyond a sensual perception, it cannot come off it, as it operates not only images of natural subjects and phenomena but also images of words, symbols and signs, designating objects of the outside world.
Depending on the fact what is learned and how it is learnt, and by what means practical and theoretical problems are solved, there are three types of thinking: visual effective, figurative and verbal logic (Searle 56).
All types of intelligence function as a whole. The leading role in each type of thinking is played by verbal intelligence thanks to which all communications and relations are comprehended and become an object of conscious cerebration of a person. The verbal logic thinking operates with abstract thoughts which evolve from judgments, conclusions and concepts.
The judgment is "a thought of a subject, its properties and qualities, its relations with other subjects, their existence or absence" (Searle 56). In judgments the results of practical and informative activities are fixed, by means of words. Judgments can be true and false, affirmative and negative, single and general. While stating judgments, people argue on subjects and phenomena, find something general in them, therefore they get new knowledge, which exists in the form of conclusions. The conclusion is the deduction, received from several judgments as a result of their comparison. There are two types of conclusions: inductive and deductive ones.
The inductive conclusion is a general conclusion received in the result of comparison of a number of single judgments. The deductive conclusion is a partial conclusion about a subject or a phenomenon, made on the basis of comparison of single and general judgment. On the basis of judgments and conclusions, the concepts about objects of an outside and inner world are formed. The concept is a thought of general, essential and specific sign of subject and phenomenon and its relation with other phenomenon.
The main intellectual actions are: analysis, synthesis, comparison, generalization, abstraction and specification (Andreasen 114).
Analysis is an intellectual action, "directed on a mental partition of a cognizable object on components, parts, structures, acquaintance with its properties, qualities, and features." (Andreasen 114).
Synthesis is an intellectual action by means of which the subject connects mentally allocated parts of an object in the former or in new combinations in order to understand what kind of communication can exist between them and how they will interact. The analysis and synthesis are closely connected with each other (Andreasen 115).
Comparison is an intellectual action, directed on comparison of a cognizable object with other subjects, with purpose to establish its similarity or distinction between them (Andreasen 115).
Generalization is an intellectual action, directed on perception of the general sign, inherent in the whole class of objects. Generalization gives the chance to establish connection of unknown object with the known one on the basis of existence of the general sign, peculiar to both them (Andreasen 115).
Abstraction is an intellectual action, by means of which the general essential sign in a cognizable object is allocated and all other insignificant signs are ignored (Andreasen 115).
Thinking is the highest level of knowledge which the person can reach. Sensual basis of thinking are feelings, perceptions and representations. Information arrives in a brain through sense organs which are the only communication channels of an organism with the world around. The contents of information are processed by brain. The most difficult (logical) form of processing of information is a thinking activity. Solving cogitative tasks, people reflect, draw conclusions and by doing that learn the essence of things and phenomena, discover the laws of their relations, and then they transform the world on their basis.