st Sept 17 2012
-Computational metaphor (1 gen cog sci moving toward modern cog)
-try to analyze everyday cognition find basic processes.
Starts with Categorization (as a basic progress)
-a class (mathematical term) of objects that we sense belong together. The idea is that we mentally
group things together so that they become to belong tog in our mind. Why? (what will lead us to believe
that much of our cog is dependant to this ability).
-Categorizing optimizes our ability to deal with the world-> downside: difficult to see things as an
individual (ex. Looking at a table and not thinking of it as a table, ex. Stereotypes etc.)
-Coding allows us to abstract useful information.
-Inductive generalizations: allow us to increase our scope of cognition.
-Inductive inferences is important and needed: ex. Flamingo has a right aorta heart, and then a bat has a
left aorta hart, and then what kind of heart does a bird/sparrow have? We would say right because of
categorization (Extended through Inductive generalization)
-Not only allow us to code and abstract info but also improves communication (to urself (Ex. Writing
notes to urself) and others), cognition allows us to use common nouns.
-we can communicate more precisely and powerfully through categorization.
-Seems like categorization is a simple process…Why? (not so simple)
-The fact that something is obvious that we can categorize things(how does the brain find it obvious?
Nelson Goodmansimilarity is not a process of the world. To say that things are similar is to say that
they share some of the same properties. In any 2 objects we can choose to look for similarities until
infinity. (ex. Plum, and lawn mower).
-We can also find infinite dissimilarities. (ex. Bees and hornets) The common sense response is “but
there is something wrong with these odd properties, everything is true (ex plums and lawn mowers are
not good weapons) those properties between objects are not important and the truth. Cog is looking for
relevance not only truth. --> But how does the brain look for relevance?
- Why do we find some properties more relevant than others?
-Why do we select certain/dissimilarities? (selective attention going on in our brains) and ignore
or override the othrs?-->
- maybe because categorization helps in representing something else, a mental model
-How do concepts generate our ability to categorize?
-Problem: if concepts are used to explain categorization, then categorization cannot be used to
explain concepts Theory(to explanation categorization at a more basic level): The resemblance Theory
Defender : Smith (proponent of this theory) Opposition: Lans Rips (named the theory but opposes
Thesis of resemblance theory: Somehow, similarity explains categorization, similarity causes our
-The fact that 2 things r related ex. A&B, 3 distinct possibilities, a causes b, b causes a, a&b are
caused by some other thing.
- Correlation does not imply Causation!--> carribean piracy has gone