Monday, August 30, 2010

Where in the World are Cognitive Processes?

The grip of the containment metaphor on Adams and Aizawa is particularly clear when they claim that the following is an important question for science: "What regions of spacetime contain cognitive processing?" Not only is this not a question actually posed by any science, it is not a question that has literal sense in the technical vocabulary of any science. The closest we can get to it is (roughly): "Which set of events have episodes of cognitive processing in their backward light cones?" (Ross & Ladyman, 2010, p. 161).
I. "What regions of spacetime contain cognitive processing?" is one take on what is in question in the EC debate.  And, some cognitive scientists have embraced this kind of question.  So, it is at least to that degree an important question for science.  Maybe some philosophers do not think it is important.

II. In any event, I would have thought that the way to scientize a question like "What regions of spacetime contain cognitive processing?" would be in terms of something like some sort of spacetime "worm".  But L&R probably don't like the "worm" metaphor either, so why not take the mathematically correct interpretation of, or replacement for, the metaphor? 

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