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Philosophies 2018, 3(4), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies3040026

Human Cognition, Patterning and Deacon’s Absentials: The Value of Absent-Mindedness in the Sense of Minding What Is Absent

1
Book and Media Studies, University of St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto, 60 St. George, Toronto, ON M5S 1A7, Canada
2
Department of Physics, University of Toronto, 60 St. George, Toronto, ON M5S 1A7, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 September 2018 / Revised: 18 September 2018 / Accepted: 18 September 2018 / Published: 21 September 2018
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Abstract

Important aspects of human cognition are considered in terms of patterning, which we claim represents a shift from focusing on what is present to what is absent. We make use of Deacon’s notion of absentials and apply it to the patterning that underscores human cognition. Several important aspects of human cognition are considered that represent a shift from focusing on what is present to what is absent, namely, language as representing the transition from percept to concept-based thinking, mathematical grouping and patterning of items into sets that gave rise to verbal language, as well as imaginative thinking which is so critical for the development of the arts, mathematics and science. The connection between information and absence is also examined, in which we claim that information is an absential, paralleling an idea of Deacon’s. View Full-Text
Keywords: absentials; abiotic matter; patterning; constraints; cognition; imagination absentials; abiotic matter; patterning; constraints; cognition; imagination
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Tandoc, M.; Logan, R.K. Human Cognition, Patterning and Deacon’s Absentials: The Value of Absent-Mindedness in the Sense of Minding What Is Absent. Philosophies 2018, 3, 26.

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