Other Meta Topics on Language, Thought, and the Stories We Tell Ourselves

Other meta-topics of interest, relating to language, thought, speech and writing. Enjoy!

Meta–: For the purposes of this blog, “the modern, inferred meaning of a higher-order, self-referential consideration of the nature of an activity—rather than actual, first-level participation in the activity” (Wikipedia article on Meta-discussion).

  • The Wikipedia article on “Meta-
  • The Oxford English Dictionary entry on Meta.

Metacognition: Knowing about knowing. Are you aware that you know things? Have you ever wondered why certain thoughts pop into your head in association with certain smells? Do you wonder why sometimes you can’t get your inner, mental voice to shut up? If a rat is capable of metacognition, you are too! (See the articles below about rats reflecting on mental processes!)

  • It can take many forms; “it includes knowledge about when and where to use particular strategies for learning or for problem solving.” “Metamemory, individuals’ knowledge about memory, is an especially important form of metacognition.” (Wikipedia on Metacognition).

Metadiscussion: A discussion whose subject is a discussion, for example a school meeting to discuss the upcoming parent-student conferences. A metadiscussion can cover topics such as: setting, participants, style of discussion, and relationship of that discussion to other discussions.

Meta-emotion: An emotional response to your own emotions. For example, when you get annoyed at yourself for being attracted to someone you don’t like. Or when you get angry at yourself for getting angry at someone. Or when you realize you are in a good mood and that improves your mood.

Meta-ethics: Why do we think we must share and why do we feel guilty if we hide something for ourselves? Why does the law consider campaign contributions different than bribes? Why is it wrong for a citizen to kill, but okay for a nation to kill through war and the death penalty?

  • “The branch of ethics that seeks to understand the nature of ethical properties, and ethical statements, attitudes, and judgments” (Wikipeida: Meta-ethics).

Metagaming: “Any strategy, action or method used in a game which transcends a prescribed ruleset, uses external factors to affect the game, or goes beyond the supposed limits or environment set by the game. Another definition refers to the game universe outside of the game itself. (Wikipedia: Metagaming).

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