Mapping The Mind - A Matter Of Logic?


Bengt Hansson

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Keywords: Knowledge, Cognitive content, Representation, Logic, Perception, memory, Cognition, Gödel's theorem.


Abstract
: All too often, theories of the mind focus on the problem of merely representing cognitive content, and in doing so they assume that this content is propositional in structure. In this essay I argue that a fundamental logical result (which is considerably simpler than Gödel's theorem, but of equal epistemological significance) proves that there is no theory that simultaneously solves the static problem of representation of content and the dynamic problem of modelling the process of thought if the propositional structure is retained. I therefore pursue two routes. First I turn to psychology and critically review what they have to say about the process of thinking, and then I investigate the alternatives to the propositional view and try to see how they fit with existing experimental evidence.


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Bengt Hansson,
Bengt.Hansson@fil.lu.se


Spinning Ideas, Electronic Essays
Dedicated to Peter Gärdenfors on His Fiftieth Birthday