I think that the relationship between moral and violent behavior is still overlooked in current philosophical, epistemological, and cognitive studies. To the aim of clarifying the complex dynamics of this interplay, I will describe, adopting an eco-cognitive perspective, the concepts of salience and pregnance (originally intro- duced by René Thom s’ catastrophe theory in semiophysical terms), and the concepts of abduction and affordance (this last one originally proposed by Gibson). Showing the interesting relationships between these four basic concepts I will explain the role of abductive cognition and affordances in building and interpreting pregnances. The main theoretical merit of the concepts of salience and pregnance is that they can be at the same time applied to physical, biological, and cognitive phenomena: it is this wide perspective which grants the possibility of presenting an integrated and systemic theory of the social role of morality and violence. Non human and human animals are endowed with internal hardwired and plastic cognitive capacities but they also continuously delegate and distribute cognitive functions to the environment to lessen their limits. Among these functions the ones devoted to produce moral frameworks in a “plastic” way are central: these activities are basically abductive, they create salient and pregnant moral forms, which are thought to be good to follow but that at the same time afford conflicts, from which violent outcomes can derive. The last part of this article addresses the role of pregnances as linguistic functions which are essential in building that “military intelligence” in which moral and violent behav- iors, such as bullying and scapegoating, can be simply and naturally explained, in a unified perspective.

Violence and abductive cognition. Epistemology and ethics entangled

MAGNANI, LORENZO
2015

Abstract

I think that the relationship between moral and violent behavior is still overlooked in current philosophical, epistemological, and cognitive studies. To the aim of clarifying the complex dynamics of this interplay, I will describe, adopting an eco-cognitive perspective, the concepts of salience and pregnance (originally intro- duced by René Thom s’ catastrophe theory in semiophysical terms), and the concepts of abduction and affordance (this last one originally proposed by Gibson). Showing the interesting relationships between these four basic concepts I will explain the role of abductive cognition and affordances in building and interpreting pregnances. The main theoretical merit of the concepts of salience and pregnance is that they can be at the same time applied to physical, biological, and cognitive phenomena: it is this wide perspective which grants the possibility of presenting an integrated and systemic theory of the social role of morality and violence. Non human and human animals are endowed with internal hardwired and plastic cognitive capacities but they also continuously delegate and distribute cognitive functions to the environment to lessen their limits. Among these functions the ones devoted to produce moral frameworks in a “plastic” way are central: these activities are basically abductive, they create salient and pregnant moral forms, which are thought to be good to follow but that at the same time afford conflicts, from which violent outcomes can derive. The last part of this article addresses the role of pregnances as linguistic functions which are essential in building that “military intelligence” in which moral and violent behav- iors, such as bullying and scapegoating, can be simply and naturally explained, in a unified perspective.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11571/1101577
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