The collective cognitive unconscious and its role in logic, language, and culture


The notion of the collective cognitive unconscious (CCU) is introduced. The hypothesis is formulated that data from the external world are processed proceeding from intuitively adopted assumptions, which substantiate for a subject of cognition the sense and justifiability of any statement or semantic construction. These intuitions are of mass character and are transmitted within a culture. The CCU is probably supported by neuronal mechanisms. It is potentially a universal faculty of man as a generic creature, although it is always realized in one of its possible variants. CCU explications in Western and Arabic–Muslim cultures are demonstrated as spatial visualization and a metaphor of flux. Three major functions of the CCU are considered: specifying the intuitive background for the substantiation of formal logic, the logic of language, and the logic of culture. Since the CCU is potentially universal for humans but is actually always accomplished as a variant and cannot be realized as an invariant, this determines the justifiability of the strategy of panhuman and not common-to-humankind understanding of culture and civilization. The question is posed about the necessity to return the category of panhuman into the field of theoretical discourse.

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Correspondence to A. V. Smirnov.

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Original Russian Text © A.V. Smirnov, 2017, published in Vestnik Rossiiskoi Akademii Nauk, 2017, Vol. 87, No. 10, pp. 867–878.

RAS Academician Andrei Vadimovich Smirnov is Director of the RAS Institute of Philosophy.

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Smirnov, A.V. The collective cognitive unconscious and its role in logic, language, and culture. Her. Russ. Acad. Sci. 87, 409–415 (2017).

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  • collective cognitive unconscious (CCU)
  • consciousness
  • intuition
  • logic
  • language
  • copula
  • globalization
  • Arab–Muslim culture
  • common-to-humanity
  • panhuman