An Informational Ontology and Epistemology of Cognition

Foundations of Science 20 (3):249-279 (2015)
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Despite recent major advances in the neuroscience underlying cognition, the processes of its emergence and evolution are far from being understood. In our view, current interrelated concepts of mind; knowledge; epistemology; perception; cognition and information fail to reflect the real dynamics of mental processes, their ontology and their logic. It has become routine to talk about information in relation to these processes, but there is no consensus about its most relevant qualitative and functional properties. We present a theory of human cognition based on an ontology and epistemology of information and information processes originally proposed by Wu including an ontological doctrine of the different grades of information; and an informational epistemology based on a noegenesis of the doctrine of informational intermediaries that mediate between the cognitive subject and object. This theory is supported by the new, non-propositional logic proposed recently by Brenner. We demonstrate the utility of our approach for the reconceptualization of the virtual properties of reality and cognition. It is strongly anti-representationalist and can provide the basis for the integration of inputs from outside the brain into cognitive structures. For us, the philosophy of information is a metaphilosophy, implying major changes in both the content and methodology of standard philosophical disciplines. We suggest that this philosophy of information and our informational approach may help guide research in a number of current areas of cognitive science



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