From: Gudmundur Ingi Markusson (email@example.com)
Date: Fri 23 May 2003 - 13:55:17 GMT
William Benzon <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>>(GIM) Even though there clearly is no replication of ideas between minds, is it not still possible that there is *heredity* of minimal, significant cognitive-mental elements between minds, as they make their inferences?
>(WB) This doesn't make sense. It seems to me that you're saying something like (to use a crude analogy): "OK, so we can't ship a thousand ton payload from the earth to the moon overnight using a souped up 747. But maybe we could get a one ton payload there in a week" But the problem is that the 747 is powered by jet engines and jet engines will not work on the vacuum that exists between the earth and the moon. Lightening the load and increasing the delivery time doesn't deal with that basic problem.
(GIM) This would indeed be the case *if* I was implying that anything was transported through the “vacuum” between minds. But I was not, although my terms may have been unfortunate.
According to Lakoff and Johnson we acquire a repertoire of image schemas as a result of our interaction with the environment, and we share this repertoire with other humans due to our similar anatomy. These schemas, limited in number, provide structure to our understanding of our surroundings, language, thought, categories and domains of knowledge, etc.
I was just suggesting that in communication people might trigger (1) certain combinations of schematic structure and (2) an application of this structure to domains of knowledge. And when a combination such as this has stabilized in memory, people might share significant features of schematic structure and its association with a domain of knowledge. Their “interpretants”, to use Peirce’s term, would be coursing around the same (or similar) attractors. Nothing, however, is ever “transported” through the mind-to-mind gap. The question I raised concerned the possibility of whether such regularities might be sufficient to sustain evolution at a cognitive level.
(Note: this view of communication where sounds/letters trigger comparable schematic configurations is based on Talmy, although, I emphasize, I am working from memory).
Gudmundur Ingi Markusson Ref.: Hoffmeyer 1996: Sings of Meaning in the Universe. Indiana UP.
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