Physical science has changed how we think. Those with a basic education no longer think of sun revolving around the earth, or of matter as made up of earth, air, fire, and water.

Cognitive science is the study of how information is represented and transformed in the brain. It includes psychology, artificial intelligence, philosophy, neuroscience, learning sciences, linguistics, anthropology, sociology, and education.

Will cognitive science have the same or greater effect on the way the human race lives as the physical sciences have?

asked 02 Mar '10, 21:08

NP74's gravatar image


Earth - Water - Air - Fire ... doesn't it correspond well to: Solid - Liquid - Gas - Plasma? ... the ancients knew ;-)

(02 Mar '10, 23:47) herzmeister
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It will have a greater effect than the other sciences, a multiplying effect.

All of the other sciences are thinking about things. But cognitive science is thinking about thinking. It is meta-thinking, if you will.

It took me awhile to understand that reality for most people is not only influenced by things like growth, learning and cognitive development, but it is also deeply influenced by the conceptual framework that the person uses.

For example, some people are visual learners; they learn best by observing. Others are auditory learners; they learn best by hearing. Kinesthetic learners learn best by doing; they learn by using their bodies. All too often, we paint children with a broad brush when we put them in schools; we pay lip service to encouraging their individual talents, but school is more about conforming to societal norms than anything else.

My understanding of people improved greatly when I learned about social styles: amiable, analytical, driver, expressive. Most people can be identified under one or two of these styles, and once you know that about a person, you can understand them much better.

But it goes beyond just learning and social styles. Within a particular group of people, the way in which a person thinks, analyzes and comes to conclusions can be fundamentally different from the person standing next to them. If you don't understand this, you will be hopelessly lost if your analytical process works differently than theirs.

It is this kind of knowledge that helps people understand each other's drives and motivations. If you want a formula for world peace, this is it. Understand people's drives, motivations, hopes and fears at a fundamental level, and you have the initial ingredients for lasting peace.

What if you could put a cap on, strap it to your head, make a recording of your mental processes for a few minutes, and allow your spouse to play it back in her head? Would that transform her understanding of you?

What if you could fundamentally alter your cognitive process? What if you could tap into learning, like Trinity and Neo, and upload Kung Fu or Calculus into your brain in five minutes. How would that change the way you view the world?

What if computers become sentient? If computer power continues to double every two years or so, and computers become powerful enough to have the cognitive capability of a human, then they will have twice the cognitive capability of a human two years after that. Their cognitive capability will double again six months after that, and then three months after that, and then...


answered 02 Mar '10, 23:26

Vesuvius's gravatar image


edited 03 Mar '10, 03:40

Will cognitive science change the way we think as much as other sciences have?

All things being of one, I am certain Cognitive Science is complementary in its substance and effect...and therefore will certainly produce opportunity for 'change' in our thought...However;

Shedding light on anything from a different or additional perspective will always bring about a greater enlightenment/awareness, but, THIS should not to be interpreted as 'greater worth' independently but corporately,

After all, Cognitive Science, as with all else, is in and of itself, cumulative in its nature...which includes other areas of science and even spiritual or artistic disciplines.


answered 03 Mar '10, 07:12

iceres's gravatar image


edited 03 Mar '10, 20:36

Vesuvius's gravatar image


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