Mind, body, and the nature of connection

| Reframing the question of the perception’s role in cognition | How is perception, the processing our physical experiences in the world, related to cognition? It seems like this should be a relatively straightforward question. In truth, the question is complicated by the question of how we define cognition. While there is no universal definition, […]

The sense of meaning: Words and the cognitive emergence of symbolic language

| The perception, association, and conception of words as language | We are so familiar with words that we don’t really think about them. Yet they are much more than they appear to be on the surface. Their depths may even reveal to us the inner workings of our own minds. We are constantly processing […]

Composing a thought: Why feeling and sensing are integral to thinking in emergent cognition

| What is the nature of thought as a process of cognitive emergence? | Not unlike a kind of elusive material – a cloud, for example – we can imagine that a thought (mental perception) is composed of feelings (affective/energetic perceptions) in much the same that an organism is composed of cells, or that cells […]

Not so abstract ideas: Understanding abstraction from an emergent systems perspective

Thought, reason, language: These cognitive gifts of the Muses are what help to make human beings special. In much of traditional cognitive science, these higher level cognitive functions are believed to be the basis of abstraction, or the processing of abstract concepts. Unfortunately, our understanding of abstraction also biases our understanding of cognition. MERRIAM-WEBSTER ONLINE […]

Worlds within worlds: An emergent systems perspective of cognition

| Cognition as a Multi-Scale System of Information Representation | First Circle: The World | This is the natural or physical world. It is full of stuff (matter and energy/activity), most of which is actually beyond our ability to detect. This stuff doesn’t have inherent meaning, it just is. The world is our primary source […]