2.22.2006

Poly Glot Boarding House

I just regained partial custody of my Oxford English Dictionary so I think the fun can begin.

I'm going to start here an expedition after the meaty core of the word 'recognize' which can likely be stretched out forever. Suggest you all join me.


Re-Cognize :
The most common use of this word, I think, is in the sense of
"to perceive to be identical with something previously known"
or even more generally as in the case of, "I think I recognize somebody in that line-up"

But that's in definition #5... definition #2 reads "... to revise, correct, amend."

It can also have the sense of "to acknowledge" in cases where a statement or viewpoint that's presented has already been in consideration.

The word seems to have meanings that could be applied to several cognitive stages in the learning process. It's even appropriate to say that something might be recognized for the first time, in certain ways.

So, let's look at "Cognize" only. How many other words are there with that root?

We have PRE-Cognize, "To Know BeforeHand".

the root 'Cognize' in these two words seems to be dealing in part with the relationship between knowledge and experience... Recognition, after a fashion, could be generally defined as "Knowledge after experience" and Precognition as "Knowledge prior to an experience," Where the "Experience" would be of the type to lend the Knowledge in question.

There's no Pro-Cognize.
No Sub-Cognize.


There is no verb "Uncognize" listed here but we do have the adjective "Uncognizable". This would be a word that means something more than "Unrecognizable". The precognition of an uncognizable is equally impossible. Here's an event which imparts no knowledge an object of which no knowledge can be gained. Because it can't be cogn-ized.

The verb cognize doesn't correspond with the process of 'cognization' but 'cognition'. Which looks a lot like a word that might be short for "Cooperative Ignition"

Who wants to pick it up there? I only brought the 2nd volume (P-Z) upstairs with me, so I can't look up cognize or ignition or cog or any of those bits.

good night and wise dreams

4 comments:

Cristi said...

i've looked up 'cognize' on the wonderful dictionary.com. interestingly, it's a synonym of 'recognize.' This fact, and the example quote provided: "The reasoning faculty can deal with no facts until they are cognized by it." (H. Spencer) seem to indicate (i think, in agreement with Adam) that there are things beyond cognition. or beyond talking about in terms of cognition. same thing?

Seb said...

OED on 'cognize,' for the sake of completeness. Commentary (perhaps) later when I have more time to parse these posts. Do I detect blasphemy against my Cognition God?

cognize, -ise, v.

1. Law. (intr. or absol.) To take cognizance.

1658-9 CHALONER in Burton's Diary (1828) III. 129 The Judges..sit at Westminster, and they cognize.


2. trans. To take cognizance of, take note of, notice, observe.

1821 Joseph the Book-Man 107 [He] was cogniz'd by every eye. 1889 J. M. ROBERTSON Ess. Crit. Method 72 Moved to incipient hysteria where anon I should simply cognize pathos.


3. Philos. To know, perceive, become conscious of; to make (anything) an object of cognition.

1836-7 SIR W. HAMILTON Metaph. xxi. (1877) II. 19 It would also be convenient..for psychological precision and emphasis, to use the word to cognise in connection with its noun cognition. Ibid. xxxvi. (1870) II. 329 They first know,{em}they first cognise, the things and persons presented to them. 1862 H. SPENCER First Princ. I. iv. (1875) 80 It is a material object, and it is cognized by being recognized as such. 1876 MIVART Lessons fr. Nat. vii. 196 We cognize an object..by one act; we cognize that cognition by a very different act.

Adam said...

I suppose it follows that there'd have to be an unmodified form of the word somewhere in our lexicon...

Between knowledge, and experience... The Moment of Cognition!

This moment divides knowledge and experience with a similar form of division as the point at which PRE becomes RE... Or left becomes right. In my experience, these are points that are notoriously difficult to pin down.

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