Title: Cognition, Creativity, and Reason
University of Maryland
Chimeras and angels seem to belong to an exotic
realm of the imagination, the creative
realm, in which things that should be kept apart are
blended together for amusement or fantasy. This is the realm of parables,
in which animals talk and scheme and genies deliver unimagined
rewards and punishments. It is the realm of cognitive forbidden fruit.
I will argue that the cognitive operation that creates these seemingly
exotic conceptions is fundamental to the way we think,
indispensable to basic feats of reason, inference, understanding,
and language. This fundamental cognitive operation is called
"double-scope" conceptual integration. It obeys a
systematic set of constitutive principles and governing principles
and serves a set of overarching cognitive purposes.