And institutuional development by Viacheslav Shironin



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Examples of cognitive spaces


Not only language but also other types of cognitive environment have been the subject of analysis in various fields of social science. I will describe here some of the results that may further clarify our understanding of the idea of cognitive space. The market is a means to organize exchange transactions, in addition, it is also an informational mechanism, that is, a cognitive space. It is not the only option for organizing transactions. In the Soviet Union and other Soviet-type economies exchange relations were formally organized as a planned economy, but in reality represented a fairly decentralized system of ‘administrative market’. Kuhn's concept of paradigm and Foucault’s episteme are - especially the first - the closest analogues to our idea of ​ cognitive space. One might even ask a question – why not use, say, the concept of paradigm and what was the reason to introduce the new concept of cognitive space. However, I believe that Thomas Kuhn tailored his concept of paradigm exceptionally well to stand for a concrete exemplary product further used as a pattern that generates specific activities. So I would not ‘dilute’ it by unnecessary generalizations. The concept of episteme emphasizes the hierarchical nature of cognitive spaces, and in this sense is general enough. However, Foucault gave it a more specific meaning. (…)

Chapter 2. Cognitive science


Michael Dawson’ book5 provides a lists of varying definitions of what cognitive science is. For example, the University of Toronto holds that:


Cognitive science is the name for a field of academic inquiry that has become popular since the late 1950s. the topic of that field is how people come to have, represent, and communicate knowledge; in general, how people come to be intelligent. It includes many aspects of perception, memory, and communication. It is concerned with the representation of knowledge in many forms, including literal and metaphoric representation. It tackles the relations between mechanical computation and human knowing and problem solving. It discusses robot vision as well as human vision and animal vision. The field is inherently interdisciplinary; it includes parts of philosophy, psychology, computer science, and linguistics. To a lesser degree, neuroscience and anthropology are involved.
At the same time, cognitive science is not confined to borrowings from other fields of knowledge. It is unified by the common approach which treats cognition as information processing. «The human mind is a complex system that receives, stores, retrieves, transforms, and transmits information»6.


2.1. Sign systems




Language as a construction set


Language is a construction set, similar to lego. It is a collection of components that can be assembled in different combinations.

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