I’ve written a long-form essay for the blog/aggregator site 3 Quarks Daily:
Boundaries and Subtleties: the Mysterious Power of Naming in Human Cognition
Here’s a taster:
I’ve divided up the essay into four parts. Here’s the plan:
- We’ll introduce two key motifs — the named and the nameless — with a little help from the Tao Te Ching.
- We’ll examine a research problem that crops up in cognitive psychology, neuroscience and artificial intelligence, and link it with more Taoist motifs.
- We’ll look at how naming might give us power over animals, other people, and even mathematical objects.
- We’ll explore the power of names in computer science, which will facilitate some wild cosmic speculation.