1More is Less: Mental Avarice and Mass Information

1.1. The revolution of the cognitive market

The cognitive market is a metaphor that allows us to envisage the fictitious space through which cognitive products, such as hypotheses, beliefs, knowledge, etc., spread. It will be preferred to the information market metaphor, since a piece of information may as well be the address of a restaurant or someone’s phone number, whereas the notion of cognitive product will imply, in the sense I will attribute to it here, the organizing of information into a discourse, whether explicit or implicit, on truth and/or on what is good. These cognitive products can be in competition with one another as are, for example, the literal description given by the Bible about the first appearance of man and animals on the Earth and their oldness, with the rival interpretation advanced by the theory of evolution. According to the biblical text, and specifically Genesis (1: 20-30 and 2: 7), animals and man were created by God, each species was created separately, the Earth was made in 6 days (Genesis 1: 1-31) and it should be 6,000 years old. Fossil finds, their dating, the interpretation that puts forward the theory of evolution and, generally, the progress of knowledge over the last two centuries have made the biblical vision of the world, predominant for hundreds of years, very impractical. It is possible to say that these two cognitive products are still in competition (especially in the United States). ...

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