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Space to Reason

Un libro in lingua di Markus Knauff edito da Mit Pr, 2013

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Many scholars believe that visual mental imagery plays a key role in reasoning. InSpace to Reason, Markus Knauff argues against this view, proposing that visualimages are not relevant for reasoning and can even impede the process. He also argues against theclaim that human thinking is solely based on abstract symbols and is completely embedded inlanguage. Knauff proposes a third way to think about human reasoning that relies on supramodalspatial layout models, which are more abstract than pictorial images and moreconcrete than linguistic representations. He argues that these spatial layoutmodels are at the heart of human thought, even thought about nonspatial relations in theworld.

For Knauff the visual images that we so often associate with reasoning areonly in the foreground of conscious experience. Behind the images, the actual logical work iscarried out by reasoning-specific operations on these spatial layout models. Knauff also offers asolution to the problem of indeterminacy in human reasoning, introducing the notion of apreferred layout model, which is one layout model among others that has the bestchance of being mentally constructed and thus guides the further process of thought. Knauff's"space to reason" theory covers the functional, the algorithmic, and the implementationallevel of analysis and is corroborated by psychological experiments, functional brain imaging, andcomputational modeling.

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