Logic of cognitive representations and their evolution

  • Henri Wermus
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 565)


“Thinking is processing of meanings of cognitive representations” (J. Piaget).

Cognitive representations combine to more complex semantic nets, among others, by means of connectives belonging to different levels of “natural logics” (= protologics) attained by a subject S. I intend to describe a system of these protologics and analyse briefly the resulting inferential competences of the mind. In contrast to formal logic, the protological connectives are only partially defined functions of their valuation tables.

Following a particular principle of extension — the reflection functor — one can express the transitions from lower level logics to higher ones: these different protologics form a lattice with growing power of “discernability”. Higher protologics allow much better reasoning abilities and consequently induce an import increase of cognitive competences. The classical formal logic may be seen as the unique maximal element of the lattice; experiences show that “every-day” argumentations very seldom reach the level of classical logic.

Further study of other reflection functors may be of interest: they allow formalisation of a kind of “transactional logic” and of a system of modal logic.

The models and concepts presented here were suggested and supported by reports of numerous experiments within the framework of the Piaget'ean School of psychology in Geneva.

Key concepts

“Natural thinking” (NT) protologic (“natural logic”) λnj of level n and “strength” j formal logic λF occultation (= undefined value) reflection (or reflexive) functor of a cognitive representation cognitive meaning Mc 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henri Wermus
    • 1
  1. 1.Begnins

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