Informations and abstract
Keywords: Dementia; Cognitivism; Gestalt; States of Mind; Unintentionality.
Epochal changes in the social and demographic reproduction processes can reveal the limits of a prevailing Gestalt, triggering switches in the meaning of core concepts as life or death, cure or care, being or not a person. Something similar is happening in the Developmental Psychology, surprised by the abrupt spread of dementias: in such a new mass pathology, the collapse of logical-cognitive skills drives people to a state of full cognitive resetting of their Self. The current approaches of Developmental Psychology, however - as the most part of the social sciences, after all - are characterized by a marked cognitivist reductionism: mind is normally read as a machina, that filters informational inputs aiming to cognitively elaborate them and consequently produce choices, actions and (if need be) emotions. A «paradox of midstage dementias as not-persons» takes shape: beyond a certain threshold of cognitive resetting, people should be no more subjects but rather passive objects of a mere medical care. Getting away from this pitfall needs a switch in the dominant Gestalt, shifting from the sequence «informational input → cognitive elaboration → (if need be) emotional experience» to a complementary sequence «sensorial input → elaboration of dispositional states → cognitive schemes, "colored"' by filtering moods». The a. draws such a kind of scheme, crossing three basic categories drawn by Edelman's and Damasio's models (core consciousness, protoself, primal emotions) with the crucial concept of unintentionality, and translates this scheme in an alternative Gestalt for the decision-making processes in the collective behavior, applicable to the full range of human sciences.