Chapter 7

Introduction to the Scientific Knowledge of the Mind

7.1. Research program

7.1.1. Profession of pragmatic faith

The aim of my research program is to increase human potential in general and the human capacity for development in particular. The justification for the model presented here is pragmatic: its function is primarily to support the goal of cognitive augmentation of the species. I therefore make no claim to deducing my hypotheses from absolutely true axiomatic principles or infallible logical reasoning. I think my hypotheses are relevant because of their results: they establish a reasonable basis for scientific knowledge of the mind, knowledge that as much as possible uses the new digital possibilities for ubiquitous recording and calculation.

7.1.2. Initial questions

The Internet is already enhancing our individual and collective cognitive processes: it gives us access to huge quantities of multimedia data in real time, expanding our capacity for memory and perception. It also enables us to communicate and coordinate ourselves to a degree unknown to previous generations. Although the digital medium is gradually gathering in all the works of the mind accumulated by humanity over the centuries1, although it contains the vast majority of our contemporary thought, and although it has become the preferred context for our exchanges and transactions, it still does not offer us a readable image of the functioning of our collective intelligence. Yet all the information ...

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