Phenomenological Primitive Cognition

I am taking a brief pause from my 4-5 week (so far) MASSIVE project (Page) I’m currently working on to share this wonderful blog-post from a blogger I follow. I think some of you would really enjoy it, as I did.


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Crossing Cognitive Chasms with P-prims.” He begins…

Apparently, roughly 10% of humans still believe that the Earth is larger than the Sun. Do they believe this because they haven’t been properly educated? Possibly. Do they believe this because they’re stupid? Probably not.

In fact, the most likely explanation is that the individuals concerned just haven’t thought that much about it. The Earth looks big; the Sun looks like a small disc in the sky; ergo, the Sun is smaller than the Earth.

The individuals are relying on what Andrea diSessa (1988) would call a phenomenological primitive or p-prim: “These are simple abstractions from common experiences that are taken as relatively primitive in the sense that they generally need no explanation; they simply happen.”

What is a p-prim (phenomenological primitive)?


More from E=mc2andallthat

One of the concepts I took away from E=mc2’s excellent post was that so very much of our own perspective, our own measurements, are greatly influenced by our own TINY experiences and background compared to all other perspectives and measurements. Fascinatingly, E=mc2 used a science lab experience of heat radiation emitters and absorbers to support and explain various applications:

…a substance [or idea, or behavior] that is good at one thing can also be good at its opposite.

Be sure to click on his “Father Dougal” video-link! Hahaha!

Does it benefit someone and humanity when one person or a large group maintain a fairly stable cognition of opposites so that each can be understood more deeply and appreciated fairly? Personally, I am very, very fond of my habit of continually understanding and appreciating my good and my evil, as well as others who like crossing that chasm! 🤩 😈

What are your thoughts?


Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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