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The concept is popular in the media and philosophy that to understand a thing, one should have a name for it. In Star War it is widely known with "Named must your fear be before banish it you can", said by the character Yoda. I'm looking for a term widely used in cognitive science in general, not just in psychology of fears. It would be the opposite state of mental block:

A mental block is an uncontrollable suppression, or repression of painful or unwanted thoughts/memories. Also can be an inability to continue or complete a train of thought, as in the case of writer's block. In the case of writer's block, many find it helpful to take a break and revisit their topic.

All questions asking for share this phenomenon, because without knowing the correct keyword it is hard to advance in searching for literature.


Related:
What is the term for the "knowing what you think but can't explain it" phenomenon?
Is there any evidence that language is the limit of the world?
Nation, How Large a Vocabulary is Needed For Reading and Listening?

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    I am not sure such a phenomenon exists to be honest. From personal experience and from what I have learnt through formal training is that you don’t necessarily have to name your fear but understand it and embrace it in order to overcome it. You need to work through your fear in order to do this (Is your fear warranted? Why? and all other questions need working through thoroughly) which can be uncomfortable but once you have mastered it you can conquer the fear. – Chris Rogers Jun 23 '18 at 9:01
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    Actually "naming" here means to acknowledge your emotion. For example, in my recent therapy session, I make a lot of assumption and projection to understand the problem. But they simply say that I was just afraid to confront the situation, and everything makes sense. – Ooker Jun 23 '18 at 12:33
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    This question doesn't make sense. What yoda is referring to is to recognize the problem, grasp the bull by the horns and deal with it, akin to Bushido, the way of the warrior. Blocks must be identified before they can be dealt with. If you can put a label on it, that means you've found it, recognized it and understood it. Now comes the time to deal with it. And of course, the largest block that science rookies face is not knowing what to look for, or even more accurate, what not to look for. Any of my ~1k answers on SE can be found on the internet, it's a matter of filtering the garbage. – AliceD Jun 23 '18 at 19:29
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    Naming it is not the same as having a concept of it. You may want to reword it. – Philip Klöcking Jun 29 '18 at 15:56
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    Categorizing/labelling is a form of secondary recognition and is necessary for us to judge or explain. It isn't necessary to understand. Understanding is basically intuitive, pre-categorizational. Everyone knows those moments when "I got it, but I can't put my finger on it!". – ttnphns Jun 30 '18 at 6:54
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Linguistic relativity

Popular known as the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis. It has two versions:

  • The strong version says that language determines thought and that linguistic categories limit and determine cognitive categories.
  • The weak version says that linguistic categories and usage only influence thought and decisions.
  • Your own answer is only correct if by "name" you mean describe by any number of words. I honestly understood your question to mean the need to give a name, as in I name thee "ooker", so I'm afraid of ooker. I totally don't understand how linguistic relativity is "the opposite state of mental block". – Fizz Jul 2 '18 at 22:39
  • @Fizz hey why do you delete your answer? (I'll answer your question later) – Ooker Jul 3 '18 at 1:40
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As I mentioned earlier in the comments. You don't need to name your fear. You don't need to name it to recognise it and you don't need to name your fear to overcome it.

There are many different fears with names such as arachnophobia or agoraphobia but from personal experience and from what I have learnt through formal training is that you don’t necessarily have to name your fear but you need to acknowledge it, understand it and embrace it in order to overcome it.

You need to work through your fear in order to do this (Is your fear warranted? Why? and all other questions need working through thoroughly) which can be uncomfortable but once you have mastered it you can conquer the fear.

This NHS page has some tips on overcoming fear.

  • I realize that what I'm looking for is just in cognitive therapy. Basically the therapist just keeps asking why until the client realizes their unconscious fear. But sometimes they can simply tell them the root right away because the client cannot break the wall. The therapist will then points out the fear first, and that would require a name for that, at least for the sake of communication. Do you know this phenomenon? – Ooker Jun 28 '18 at 2:13
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There are cases where a number of events, objects, states of affairs, conditions need to be brought together under a name - a shared name - before we can think clearly and effectively about them.

For instance, Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, and Maoist China, were all dictatorships. But dictatorships have been known throughout history. By describing the three above as 'totalitarian', by giving them that name, it became possible to think of them in a particular and illuminating way. (This is not to deny the important differences between them.)

Equally the terms 'liberal', 'socialist', 'conservative', all of which are of modern origin (early 19th century onwards), enabled certain political ideas and arrangements to be grouped together, and separated from others, in ways that aided analysis. A shared name enabled certain phenomena to be isolated for investigation.

The same is true of such terms - names - as 'depression' and 'mental health'. These names enable us to group phenomena that would otherwise remain unorganised motleys within the (too) wide and general concept of health and illness.

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