2016 | 1 | 121-136
Article title

Symbolic Nature of Cognition

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I propose here an image of knowledge based on the concept of symbol: according to it, the relation of representation that constituting cognition is a symbolization. It is pos-tulated that both the representing conceptual model, i.e. a pre-linguistic entity acquired in cognition, and the true sentence it generates are of symbolic and not of mirroring (copying) character. The symbolic nature of cognition carries dialectical tension. We have at our disposal conceptual models and true sentences which symbolically represent reality. However, it is not possible to lift the symbolic disguise over knowledge, be-cause precisely this disguise is its essence. Reality appears only as symbolically, non-imitatively encoded. The proposed here symbolic realism rejects the traditional adopted dichotomy between, on one side, realism and the absence of the subject’s factors in the cognitive result, and, on the other, idealism and the subject as a factor which is viewed as inevitably leading to the idealistic nature of knowledge.
  • Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, ul. Nowy Świat 72, 00–330 Warszawa, Poland
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