The theory of natural selection cannot describe how early life evolved, in part because acquired characteristics are passed on through horizontal exchange. It has been proposed that culture, like life, began with the emergence of autopoietic form, thus its evolution too cannot be described by natural selection. The evolution of autopoietic form can be described using a framework referred to as Context-driven Actualization of Potential (CAP), which grew out of a generalization of the formalisms of quantum mechanics, and encompasses nondeterministic as well as deterministic change of state. The autopoietic structure that evolves through culture is the mind, or more accurately the conceptual network that yields an individual's internal model of the world. A branch of CAP research referred to as the state-context-property (SCOP) formalism provides a mathematical framework for reconciling the stability of conceptual structure with its susceptibility to context-driven change. The combination of two or more concepts (an extreme case of contextual influence), as occurs in insight, is modeled as a state of entanglement. Theoretical and empirical findings are presented that challenge assumptions underlying virtually all of cognitive science, such as the notion of spreading activation and the assumption that cognitive processes can be described with a Kolmogorovian probability model.
Subjects: 4. Cognitive Modeling; 9.4 Philosophical Foundations
Submitted: Jan 5, 2007