Does the Brain Produce Cognition or Does Cognition Produce the Brain?

Coulombel Bertrand
Versace Rémy
Language of the article : French
DOI: 10.3406/intel.2021.1984
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After defending that one of the fundamental organizing principle of cognition is to serve the existence of living organisms in a pragmatic and simplified way, then clarified what this organizing principle implies in terms of functions and design of the cognitive system (adaptative modelisation and representation of the world and of life so as to interface with them, upstream compression of complexity, narration and prospection built-in from the start...), we argue that a neural conception of cognition, although worth considering, makes it hard to do justice to this organizing principle and the properties that stem from it, and is not situated on an advantageous level of analysis to really understand and explain cognition from a global standpoint. Indeed, neural conceptions of cognition tend to become too parsimonious, in the sense that they push us to reimagine and recontextualize cognition (and its origin) in a constrained and particular way, and to neglect and misunderstand some cognitive properties and dynamics, which are then simply reduced to brain products. We conclude that far from being the sole origin of cognition, the brain and its structure are themselves partially the products of cognition as a global process.

Pour citer cet article :

Coulombel Bertrand, Versace Rémy (2021/1). Does the Brain Produce Cognition or Does Cognition Produce the Brain? In Versace Rémy (Eds), Memory and Cognition: How is the Meaning of the World Constructed Through our Interactions with the Environment? Intellectica, 74, (pp.29-49), DOI: 10.3406/intel.2021.1984.