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RE: [xmca] concepts

The difficulties  with referring to activity as information processing are
not just those of affiliation. Referring to the substance/stimulus of
sensation and perception, and therefore recognition and memory, as
"information" is problematic in itself. It implies, to which Andy alludes,
of the conception of the mind as a machine. Which inherently implies that
mind (and software) is predesigned. (Not all cognitive scientists are of
this school of thinking, however, and please be reminded that thinking of
the brain as having a computational ability, does not mean that the brain is
then a machine.) Thinking of the mind in this way allows some to preclude
the possibility that the very structure and function of the brain are
flexible and can change over the course of time by influence from
outside/external/ecological forces including physical environment and
sociocultural, and by self design. Skipping this important and
characterizing aspect of  human development (and brain development)
diminishes the value of both individual agency in the role of development
and also the importance of the social interaction and interrelation.

In the debate over the format of how knowledge is stored in the brain, there
is also the question of "in what format". Those of the information
processing view might tend toward the propositional representation or
declarative knowledge (good discussion in Kosslyn's The Case for Mental
Imagery). Adhering to the idea that all thought is propositional in nature
(like that of a logic based computer language with syntax) closes a
discussion of teaching and learning into a narrow focus on transmission.
Content is already coded by experts and is transmitted into students. Once
again, the learner is passive. The role of the society then is to ordain
content? Who generates the content then? Who is allowed? Who decides? 

A discussion of the format for how we remember and how we use our experience
as remembered and as imagined must involve more than preordained content and
synthesis thereof or truly there would be nothing new. Vera brought up
mental imagery with Einstein. Is it so difficult to conceive that multiple
forms of thinking/conceptualizing might be the source of variation and also
the need for discrimination, categorization, explanation and "proposition"?

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