Douglas Hofstadter | Analogy as the core of cognition

I can’t define anything and I kind of hate definitions but I will at least sort of give you a sense: ‘analogy-making is the perception of common essence between two things’ and then a couple of footnotes to sort of hedge. I mean things don’t have essences but what I mean I’m not talking about some kind of abstract glowing philosophical essence. I’m talking about the essence that you perceive at the particular time, in the frame of mind that you happen to be in. And when I say ‘things’ it’s tempting to think that the analogies are between things in the external world, but I really want to say that analogies happen inside your head so that they’re connections between two mental representations, they’re connections between things inside your head.

As processes within a cognitive emergent system, Association > Conception involves making analogies (indexical > iconic reference) between the perceptual representations of our experiences with a subject and the perceptual representations of a word used to symbolize the subject. That is, we create an association between our perceptions of various experiences with {apples} and our perceptions of the word “apple” to generate a category or conception of apple.


Reference

Douglas Hofstadter | Analogy as the core of cognition

Advertisements