Explanation of cognition in Cognitive Science
A review of Vacariu et al's explanation of cognition involved in "Toward a very idea of representation"
ABSTRACT. In this article I reproduce and examine some aspects of Vacariu et al explanation of cognition. I conclude that their explanation of cognition is not a complete one. I try to propose some alternative explanations toward a complete explanation of every posible cognition and to emphasize that the task of philosophy, as discipline included in Cognitive Science, is to find the necessary and sufficient conditions of every posible cognition. In final, I try to criticize the idea that cognition can be only representational.
There is a cognitive arhitecture with a hierarchy of levels of existence. Vacariu et al has considered that cognition cannot be explanated by a single level. Arguments:
-the emergency of the primitives of one level from the primitives of previous level.
- bidirectionality of cognitive processes; bidirectionality, wich is for Vacariu et al one of the most important ideas, is the continuous circular causation wich exist between conceptual and neural levels: the changes wich appear at the conceptual level involve changes at neural level and vice-versa.
Because of bidirectionality it is imposible to be explanated cognition using a single level, either by conceptual level like Fodor or by neural level as Churchlands.
But as has been sad previous, there is a cognitive arhitecture, and the conceptual level must to belong to its levels of existence, not to some metaphysical level. In the case of human cognitive arhitecture what is the diference between neural and conceptual levels ? In this case CNS must to be seen in levels. Its lower neuronal level maybe is the singular neuron level. Than, conceptual level must be situated, in acord with Vacariu et al, at higher level of compositionality and activity. But, there is no clear evidence that Churchlands would be reduced the conceptual level until at the singular neuron level.
The level of description that is proper to symbolic paradigm is conceptual: descriptive entities are simultaneous semantic symbols(they refers to external objects) and syntactical symbols(operations on the representations are manipulations of symbols). The level of description that is proper to conectionist paradigm(cf.Smolensky) is subconceptual: its descriptive entities are caled subsymbols because they are the constituents of the symbols proper to symbolic paradigm. However, operations are considered differently: subsymbols are manipulated by numerical computations(vectorial additions in a vectorial space of activation). Vacariu et al noted that maybe in one day, Churchlands eliminativism, wich reduce the conceptual level at the neural level, will win; but, the neural level can be eliminated in the favour of cuantic level. Fodor and Phylysyn consider that conceptual level cannnot be reduced at the neural level, because of representational character of mental symbols.The representational character of mental symbols is an argument against the reductionist program of theoretical unity of science(Fodor and Phylysyn, 1988).
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