Monday, July 23, 2012

Perlovsky on Music and Knowledge (and More)

Leonid Perlovsky - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia »
Leo Perlovsky

Knowledge instinct. The term knowledge instinct is used by Leonid Perlovsky in his book Neural Networks and Intellect: Using Model-Based Concepts and other publications. In his works the knowle...

Me speaking:

Ya just gotta love a guy who believes -- who may believe -- that the aesthetic instinct - something like the desire for things such as harmonious music -- is the most fundamental instinct or close to the most fundamental instinct, or yearning, of the human animal. Perhaps LP sees the Knowledge Instinct as essentially an aesthetic instinct? I don't yet know if that's where LP wants to take us -- but I intend to find out. (LP appeals to my neo-Aristotelian inclinations. I think it may be time for academic legal folk and folk in related fields -- decision theorists, choice theorists, fans of heuristics, etc. -- to become acquainted with this fellow. I think I may end up launching one of my mini-campaigns. Stay tuned.)


p. 142: "Here we present a theory or hypothesis based on previous arguments in this chapter suggesting that music serves the most important and concrete function in [the] evolution of the mind and cultures. We discuss this function, neural mechanisms, and suggest experimental verification of this hypothesis."

pp. 152-156: LP repeats and amplifies an earlier claim about the critical role of differentiation and synthesis. p. 153: "Here [Section 4.12.6] we discuss the main hypothesis in this section: what constitutes the fundamental role of musical emotions in [the] evolution of consciousness, cognition, and culture. [Par.] As discussed, the balance between differentiation and synthesis is crucial for the development of cultures and for [the] emergence of contemporary consciousness."

p. 156: "The referenced literature suggests that music has two interrelated purposes fundamental to the functioning of individual minds and to evolution of the mind and culture. The first purpose is to differentiate aesthetic emotions. Music creates differentiated emotions required to reconcile conceptual contradictions. [!] The second purpose is to connect concepts to conceptual needs (including KI [the Knowledge Instinct].) Whereas language separates conceptual knowledge from instincts and emotions, music reconnects these ties."


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