Webster’s Dictionary defines Cognition to be

“conscious mental activities: the activities of thinking, understanding, learning, and remembering.”

The same dictionary goes on to define Recognition as follows:

“The act of accepting that something is true or important or that it exists”; equivalently, “the act of knowing who or what someone or something is…”

Perhaps I am missing something here, but it seems clear to me that cognition is meaningless if it never results in recognition. That is, if thinking, understanding, learning, and remembering do not lead to acceptance that something is true, important, or exists, or the converse, that something is false, unimportant, or lacking existence, cognition does not result in recognition. If thinking, understanding, learning, and remembering within context of relationships does not result in a knowing of who someone is, cognition does not induce recognition. If thinking, understanding, learning, and remembering within context of a discipline — music, acting, finance, chaplaincy, engineering etc. does not induce any sort of knowing of a discipline, cognition again does not result in recognition. Cognition that never results in recognition then is a waste.

Cognition that never results in Recognition is a waste — a travesty gargantuan in proportions or magnitude.

Suppose cognition results in recognition. In the submission of our individual recognitions to discussion, our recognitions either are strengthened or weakened. Realization of strengthening or weakening of prior recognitions results in revisions to our recognitions — the essence of application of cognition within context of discussions with ‘cognitive others’. If we are unwilling to submit our recognitions to discussion, we confess who we are is not outcome of recognitions. In the willingness to engage in discussion, we declare that regardless of outcome of discussion — strengthening or weakening of prior recognitions — who we are is outcome of defensible applications of cognition for arrival at recognitions. While the Greeks ultimately may have turned discussions of recognitions into facile, meaningless interactions, Greek Civilization initially exhibited a good understanding of the following principle, which is:

Recognitions we are unwilling to submit to discussion are not worth practicing.

Part of the attraction of the Medium platform is availability of a platform for submission of recognitions for discussion. This is the essence of authenticity of the Medium platform, which is, regardless of possibility of disagreement from others, we can make a case for our recognitions, whether they be experiential, philosophical, spiritual, or stemming from idiosyncratic eccentricities. When an author states “7 things to do that ensure success in life”, this is a statement of a recognition. Whether the writer himself or herself already does a good job of practicing such 7 things is of course a matter of a personal nature. While discussions of our recognitions probably have yet to be what it could be in sense of willingness to engage with others in civil responsive discourse, as opposed to trench like factional discourse, I am hopeful the day will come when submissions of our recognitions engender the sort of rich, civil, responsive discourse that was the essence of advances in knowledge that occurred at heights of Greek civilization.

Civil responsive discourse — discourse that responds to others’ recognitions, as opposed to merely insisting on its own recognitions — is a hallmark of societies or civilizations that are progressive in nature.

After being away for years winning victories for Rome on battlefields, on his return to Rome Julius Caesar arrived at certain recognitions, recognitions he planned to discuss with Roman Senators. Fear of outcome of planned discussions led Roman Senators to assassinate Julius Caesar, a decision that would portend disastrous consequences for Roman domination of the world. With four Generals fighting each other subsequent to demise of Julius Caesar, significant resources were devoted to wars of attrition that likely could have been avoided if Roman Senators had been willing to engage in discussions with Julius Caesar. If Roman Senators had engaged with Julius Caesar in discussions, either of two outcomes remained feasible: the Roman Civilization either enters into a new glorious age or ends up in assassination of Julius Caesar. Given option of assassination of Julius Caesar remained feasible, the decision to assassinate prior to any engagement in meaningful discussions is evidence Roman Senators’ actions were not rooted in defensible recognitions. We never will know if engagement with Julius Caesar in meaningful discussions would have ushered in a new glorious age for Roman Civilization. We know, however, that it would be hundreds of years before the Roman Empire again would have a General that could be described as a brilliant General. Unwillingness to engage with Julius Caesar — a brilliant General — in discussions of his recognitions stemmed the flow of brilliant Roman Generals for hundreds of years and led to much earlier demise of Roman domination of the world.

Recognitions imply arrival at some truths. Regardless of objectivity or subjectivity of recognitions, defensibility of recognitions enables some sort of ranking of recognitions for arrival at what is best for society or civilization. In absence of meaningful discussions, however, ranking of recognitions is unattainable. If we are unwilling to engage in meaningful discussions of our recognitions, history portends years or centuries of meaningless attrition in affairs on Earth— the planet that for now at least is the only place we call home.

Let’s turn cognition into recognitions, recognitions into discussions, and meaningful discussions into choice of best amalgams of recognitions for society.

Written by

Educator and Researcher, Believer in Spirituality, Life is serious business, but we all are pilgrims so I write about important stuff with empathy and ethos

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