Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Epistemic Processes

In what sense, to what degree can our cognitive processes be said to differ from the fundamental information processing operations in the brain. Finally, after all, this is what is driving the response networks, these operations are the source of the driving functions. Is cognition nothing more than reduction and summation? Is this confusing the media with the message, the process with the product? Are these anything more than modes of transmission, principles of conduction?

Finally, we need a theory of cognitive affect. The affect for the subject effect, i.e., cognitive behavior. These would have to be sensory states, states of the sensory processing systems and other states of the CNS not currently known. Certainly our emotional states are elements here. We also need a theory of a” truth value” state. What is it that determines whether or not I regard a proposition as true? Is this anything more than an emotional tag associated with the content of the proposition? Positive for true, negative for false? How do they acquire these tags? I believe 2 + 2 = 4 but I’m not emotionally involved with the issue. But I’m upset if someone denies it, generally- maybe this is the clue.

Terms like “knowing”, “ understanding”,” believing” also have driving functions which are difficult to discern but which must finally come down to some system operation, perhaps not currently identifiable. Here’s what’s going on: We have at some output stage, say the premotor cortex, a network, an engram which if activated, driven by the appropriate sort of neurological activity will generate a particular element of behavior. I deny, agree, say “I don’t know”, whatever. The question is: What can I use to drive this response network, and what difference does it make?

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