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Re: [ontolog-forum] Motivated Cognition

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2014 13:13:52 -0400
Message-id: <541F0750.6030703@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Christopher and Rich,    (01)

Motivations can be good or bad.  With no motivations at all, we'd
be dead.  Note that teachers try to motivate their students in order
to help them learn.    (02)

> As reader "James in NJ" remarks... "don’t we already have a word
> for the phenomenon of “motivated cognition”; namely “prejudice”?    (03)

Other terms include 'hunch', 'best guess', 'hypothesis', or 'issue'.
Another pattern:  "I'm inspired.  You're motivated.  He's prejudiced."    (04)

> "motivated cognition", by which the author designates the use
> of goal seeking (presumably self-seeking)    (05)

Cognition is just one aspect that requires motivation.  The four Fs --
Feeding, Fighting, Fleeing, and Sex -- are considered more basic.    (06)

The word 'self' is sometimes redundant and sometimes misleading.
There are many organisms, such as bacteria, plants, and simple animals,
that don't have a notion of 'self'.  But they do have some version
of the four Fs -- and often complex ways of facilitating them.    (07)

Furthermore, all organisms from bacteria on up can only thrive in a
community, and a very large amount of their motivation (or whatever
you want to call it) is devoted to maintaining the environment for
themselves and their community.    (08)

Bacteria, for example, are fragile creatures that can't survive long
in isolation.  They form protective colonies, such as the plaque on
teeth, and communicate by a wide range of signals.    (09)

Many of these communities involve multiple species in symbiosis,
such as lichens, which combine algae and fungi.  As you move to higher
organisms, the number and kinds of relationships become more complex.
For example, a beaver dam can transform a muddy stream through a field
into a thriving woodland.    (010)

By the way, the pointers in that article lead to the "Cultural
Cognition Project" at Yale: http://culturalcognition.squarespace.com/    (011)

John    (012)

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