The Dawdler’s Philosophy

E38: Cognitive Combinatorialism - What Makes Humans Special?

October 28, 2019

What makes humans special? Is it language? Culture? Throwing? Semiotics? Impossible burgers?

Ryan thinks it’s the extent to which we combine ("meat", cheese, bun - see!?). In this episode we Dawdlers discuss this in this “short long” and will perhaps revisit it again sometime.

Join hands and feel our infinite combinatorial power, people!

-The Dawdlers

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00:01:13 – Ryan’s deep passions // A way in // Physics and the humanities and nothing in between!!!

00:06:58 – Without further ado, another story // Ubiquitous combination // Human exceptionalism?

00:12:54 – Cognitive combinatorialism // A simple definition // Conceptual blending/integration // Possible worlds

00:28:32 – A framework // Analogy and categorization // Actions and conditions // Shark test bites // It’s the extent to which we combine that’s different about us

00:39:57 – Biotic exceptionalism, not human exceptionalism // Photosynthesis comparison // Waste, extinction, and niche construction

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