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  1. #1
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    Default Where does reason come from?

    Where does reason come from?

    We rely on our unconscious to furnish the building blocks for comprehension of reality. If we examine the cognitive sciences and the human sciences we see a constant emphasis about the unconscious. It is through our conceptual systems, which are unconscious, that we make sense of our every day existence and our everyday metaphysics exists within our conceptual system.

    All of our acts and thoughts are based upon philosophical assumptions. Metaphysics is a fancy word for our concern about ‘what is real’. For example, whenever we think or speak about responsibility we are assuming causality. Without causality there is no responsibility. The nature and status of the self is another speculation, and an important one, in most decisions we make daily.

    It appears to me that cognitive science has two paradigms; symbolic manipulation, which is also called AI (Artificial Intelligence) and the second paradigm, which might be called ‘conceptual metaphor’, or it might be called ‘embodied mind’, or ‘embodied realism’.

    SGCS (Second Generation Cognitive Science), also known as embodied realism, has taken meaning “to be the central issue. The central question, as we see it, is how linguistic expressions and the concepts they express can be meaningful”.

    Objectivist philosophy has taken the following approach to this question:
    “Linguistic expressions and the concepts they express are symbolic structures, meaningless in themselves, that get their meaning via direct, unmediated correlation with things and categories in the actual world (or possible worlds).”

    This view of meaning says nothing about human beings, in fact this view finds that computers might well function as substitute human beings. Embodied realism takes exception to this fundamental point of view. Embodied realism attempts “to characterize meaning in terms of the nature and experience of the organisms doing the thinking

    Objectivism defines meaning as being independent of the experiences of thinking creatures whereas embodied realism “characterizes meaning in terms of embodiment”.

    Let us imagine how human reason might have been born. The question seeking an answer is: how can natural selection (evolution) account for human reason?

    Somewhere back in time we must encounter the signs of reason within the capacity of our ancestors. What is the essence of reason? The necessary and sufficient conditions for reason are conceptual and inference ability; to ceptualize is to create neural structures that can be used to facilitate making if-then inferences.

    Imagine an early water dwelling creature, which must survive utilizing only the ability to move in space and to discriminate light and shadow. The sense of a shadow can indicate a friend or foe and can indicate eat or not eat. Assume that this sensibility has a total range of two feet, i.e. a shadow within a radius of two feet of the creature can be detected.

    A shadow comes within sensible range, the creature can ‘decide’ by the size of the shadow whether the shadow is friend or foe and as a possible lunch. If the shadow is large the creature must ‘run’ if it is small the creature might ‘decide’ to pursue.

    It seems obvious to me this simple creature must have the ability to reason in order to survive. This creature must be capable of ascertaining friend/foe and eat/not eat. It must also determine how to move based upon that conceptual structure. It must be able to make inferences from these concepts, these neural structures of what is sensed, to survive. This creature must have the capacity to perceive, conceive, infer, and move correctly in space in order to survive.

    Quotes from Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things: What Categories Reveal about the Mind by George Lakoff
    and Mark Johnson

  2. #2
    Senior Member LostInNerSpace's Avatar
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    We could say there is an innate form of physical reasoning built into the universe. What we know and perceive as the laws of physics could be considered a form of reasoning. Just because we don't perceive or completely understand the physical processes that go into cognitive reasoning and perception, doesn't mean they don't exist.

    You could ask the question, what is light? We know the answer to that question now. We know visible light from the sun takes the form of photons of solar radiation that took eight minutes to reach the earth, but may have been in existence for a 100,000 years or more. Because we do know the properties of light, we can use the light from distance stars to speculate as to whether or not there are planet orbiting those stars and from what we know of gravity can guess approximate dimensions based on the wobble we observe in that light. And with spectrograph we can even determinate the chemical composition of stars and of the atmospheres of nearby planets. But we didn't know that a 1000 years ago.

    This comes to mind:

    SPACE.com -- Hot Gas in Space Mimics Life

  3. #3
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    Hmm ill start off with an example: everytime someone passes my house my dog(when in the backyard) always goes running over to the fence barking at them as they pass. This is acting upon instinct as (dog thought) ->[I dont know this thing let me go try and get it away/attack/bark/scare it away from here]. In reality us humans know that people walk by all the time and there's no reason to harm them because we can reason, we know that there gonna keep walking and do nothing. Somehow not acting upon instinct even though this person is a stranger as people walk walk by all the time. As for where it comes from, that i have no idea prob a more developed frontal lobe, i mean look at the size of it compared to the rest of the brain it is obviously the biggest lobe.
    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    Incidentally, I believe that I am a dominant Ti user, and I often have trouble explaining things that I understand well. It's a matter of organizing the presentation of material. I can have it perfectly organized in my head all at once, but structuring the sequential delivery of material so that others understand is a different matter entirely, and requires a different skill set that I am apparently lacking.

  4. #4
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    If one accepts the theory of evolution one must find the source of our characteristics in our animal beginnings. If we reason and evolution is a correct theory then there must be early signs of the foundation of reasoning within our ancestors. Also I think that a little thought about the matter will convince you that such is the case.

  5. #5
    Senior Member LostInNerSpace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deepthought View Post
    Hmm ill start off with an example: everytime someone passes my house my dog(when in the backyard) always goes running over to the fence barking at them as they pass. This is acting upon instinct as (dog thought) ->[I dont know this thing let me go try and get it away/attack/bark/scare it away from here]. In reality us humans know that people walk by all the time and there's no reason to harm them because we can reason, we know that there gonna keep walking and do nothing. Somehow not acting upon instinct even though this person is a stranger as people walk walk by all the time. As for where it comes from, that i have no idea prob a more developed frontal lobe, i mean look at the size of it compared to the rest of the brain it is obviously the biggest lobe.
    Who says people don't bark?

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