Discussion of Julian Jaynes's first hypothesis - that consciousness (as he carefully defines it) is based on language, and related topics.
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Post by jamesadrian »

When I signed in, I first searched for the term cognition. I found nothing.

I googled the term and got this:
The mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses.

Similar meanings include perception, discernment, awareness, apprehension, and learning.

Having read The Origins of consciousness and two other books found here, I find myself believing that cognition is the information processing capability of the brain. Cognition would include various possible functions, including consciousness, perception, learning, emotions, and many others.

Some of you might resist including functions that regulate organs, including the brain, but I am OK with that because we feel pain and cure ourselves of illnesses, etc. and excluding organ regulation would be a very sticky matter.

This definition would provide a well-defined place for all of those functions not requiring consciousness, as well as for consciousness as a function within cognition.

I wonder if many of you might think of cognition as the information processing capability of the brain, whether consciousness is a function in the given animal or not.

I feel that there is evidence for this definition in the phenomenon of incubation and various other activities of cognition not involving consciousness. This implies that consciousness is a function of cognition and not the other way around. The information processing activity of the brain is much more vast than that of our conscious experiences. Even concepts can be formed from information gleaned from the environment without consciousness.

Does any writer define cognition in a way that does not contradict the writing of Julian Jaynes. Does any writer define cognition in a way that supports the writing of Julian Jaynes?

Thank you for your help.

Jim Adrian
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