There are two ways of understanding the physical world. The first is a view from “nowhere,” a God’s eye view of the world. Physics, for the most part, has taken this line of understanding. However, it is also possible to describe the physical world from a particular perspective, that of an ant or an elephant. … Read more Understanding Regularities 3: Groping Toward a Definition
Perception and cognition are traditionally considered as sources of knowledge. Consider the opening paragraph of Marr’s book on Vision (Marr 1982), which says “Vision is the process of discovering from images what is present in the world, and where it is.” According to Marr, the role of vision is to acquire knowledge about the geometric … Read more Cognitive Regularities 2
I am arguing that regularities are a powerful framework for understanding the world of organisms. That said, it is important when we are exploring a new concept or framework that we try not to capture everything under the universe within it’s ambit. So what is not a regularity? Mechanisms aren’t regularities. Consider the circulatory problem … Read more Understanding Regularities 2: what is not a regularity?
My work on the cognitive foundations of mind is guided by the underlying intuition that the study of the mind is at a stage similar to chemistry in the late nineteenth century — on the one hand large amounts of new data are being collected that point to underlying principles, and on the other hand conceptual problems … Read more Cognitive Regularities 1
Since I am going to the Mind and Life Summer Research Institute, I thought I should share an essay I wrote a while ago. Q: What is the role of Indian Philosophy in the Cognitive Sciences? The stated goal of our enterprise is to create an intellectual milieu where Indian philosophical ideas and theories play … Read more What is the role of Indian Philosophy in the Cognitive Sciences?
In ordinary language, we use the word “sense” in three different ways: sense as in sensation; sense as in making sense and finally, sense as in being sensitive. The first use of sense is about perception, the second use of sense is about conceptualization and the third use of sense is related to empathy and … Read more Sense-Organs
I was reading a transcript of Arindam Chakrabarti’s excellent lecture on the phenomenology of fun and boredom, in which he talks, briefly, about the truth and falsehood of emotions. Suppose you are really, really bored, in fact so bored that the entire world seems without colour. There are two possibilities: The world is actually boring. … Read more Reason, Emotion and Ethics: Introduction
Every theory of the mind is (ultimately, if not immediately) a theory of human and nonhuman experience. One can study ion channels and neurotransmitters as if they were like any other biological or biochemical substance, but the study of the mind is not the same as the study of the pancreas. While we might invoke … Read more Patterns of Embodiment