viernes, 2 de mayo de 2008

The Natural History of Cognition


Epigenetic offers a referential system for the study of the emergence of structured subjectivity in social cognition [1]. It is framed, in a first instance, under a functional developmental phenomenology. This internal structuring is the result of natural selection, which is consistent with causal phenomenology. To address the general context in which epigenetic evolution emerges is important, as it helps to limit the domain of validity of its analogy based interpolations. To have a complete “Natural History” vision of evolutive sociocognition we have to address, besides subjectivity, the question of objectivity emergence. This question should be answer in analogy to the evolution of physiologic features. In order to contrast objectivity and subjectivity emergence; we can bring the example of the formation of male and female features. An appealing explanatory hypothesis congruent with natural selection is based on a simbiogenetic approach. It suggests that male and female inner specie individuals share common features because facing certain common environmental challenges independently increases the fitness of the specie. The same criteria may explain the emergence of different but complementary features [2]. We could also try to use antagonistic, parasitic or purely historical approaches, all congruent with natural selection, and using pragmatic criteria to account for the validity of each version [3]. It should be noted that the Natural History approach is formulated in an analytic fashion, although when applied to itself is accounted as an interpretative theory. That’s the reason why it should be call a metainterpretative approach, taking care to write the “meta” in lower cases as to account for a relative “meta”. An important task revealing the power of the “Natural History” apprach is to translate the classic language in which analytic philosophy and pragmatic philosophy has been stated. Analytic philosophy is full of mechanisms for objectification, how can we translate these mechanisms into this new phenomenology? Are they related to antagonistic, symbiotic or parasitic relations? In the case of emergence of subjective cognition, epigenetic gives a more direct answer based on gene regulation as a mechanism for genesis of specialized functioning cells.

[1] Just as in higher organisms the main mechanism for phenotypic differentiation is Gene Regulation, this may also be happening in fields such as History and Literature, evidenced in the growing role of Criticism which acts as a sort of Regulatory mechanism acting over the accumulated texts/facts.

[2] The correlations between the environmental challenges to face independently or complementarily are to be explored in a more systematic way.

[3] The combined use of analytic and pragmatic criteria is pursued consciously. I don't think they always have to be interpreted as antagonistic approaches and I encourage the analytic study of this epistemological synergy.

Photo by Faisca

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