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“…Science progresses one funeral at a time, and…in another 10 to 20 years, people will look back on this time…and say, what were they thinking?”

So, what ideas will be in the next coffin of science?

Tune in for a compelling answer, and to learn:

  • How the historical periods before and after behaviorism differ greatly, and impact the way we view cognition today
  • How and where an understanding of cognition and cancer overlap
  • To what degree an individual cell has freedom in decision-making

Dr. Pamela Lyon is a visiting research fellow at Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity in Adelaide, Australia. Her research into this topic began as a result of a cross-cultural comparison of philosophical propositions grounded in accounts of the mind.

Much to her surprise, she discovered that in western cognitive science, cognition has been relegated to the realm of the human brain and machinery (robots, missiles, etc.), without any attention given to the idea of cognition as integral to all biological function.

In order for a biological system to persist, it must accomplish so many tasks in terms of physics, chemistry, and its interactions with the environment; it must exchange matter and energy, sense, remember, learn, make decisions in the face of uncertainty and conflicting messages, and value experiences as ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ All of these are cognitive functions.

“The view I came to is that you can’t stay alive and do what we do in being alive without cognition,” says Lyon, before explaining the history of this view since it emerged around the time of Darwin.

How did we get to the state we’re in today? What choices have been made about the characterization of cognition, and why?

Lyon explores her viewpoint with listeners, revitalizing an old yet very pragmatic understanding of all life on Earth.

Press play for the details of this and more.

Episode also available on Apple Podcasts: apple.co/30PvU9C

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