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Primary Cognitive Categories Are Determined by Their Invariances.

Authors
  • Gärdenfors, Peter1, 2
  • 1 Cognitive Science, Department of Philosophy, Lund University, Lund, Sweden. , (Sweden)
  • 2 Faculty of Humanities, Palaeo-Research Institute, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa. , (South Africa)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Frontiers in Psychology
Publisher
Frontiers Media SA
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2020
Volume
11
Pages
584017–584017
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.584017
PMID: 33363496
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

The world as we perceive it is structured into objects, actions and places that form parts of events. In this article, my aim is to explain why these categories are cognitively primary. From an empiricist and evolutionary standpoint, it is argued that the reduction of the complexity of sensory signals is based on the brain's capacity to identify various types of invariances that are evolutionarily relevant for the activities of the organism. The first aim of the article is to explain why places, object and actions are primary cognitive categories in our constructions of the external world. It is shown that the invariances that determine these categories have their separate characteristics and that they are, by and large, independent of each other. This separation is supported by what is known about the neural mechanisms. The second aim is to show that the category of events can be analyzed as being constituted of the primary categories. The category of numbers is briefly discussed. Some implications for computational models of the categories are also presented. Copyright © 2020 Gärdenfors.

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