User:EntmootsOfTrolls/WikiProject Body, Cognition and Senses

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See talk file for a probably overly weighty intro


The objective is to eliminate a (common in English especially technical English) mechanistic and unthinkingly humanistic POV from the Wikipedia. By the time the above is complete, the articles on cognition, visual perception, audio perception, smell, taste, touch, kinesthetic sense and memory should be very heavily referenced. The more chemical senses of the allergy, immune system, psychoneuroimmunology also should be included.

There should be explanation of how linguistics translates the experience described into something we consider that we can share as a culture.

Without some such statement, somewhere, Wikipedia itself has little integrity, as it fails to clearly separate who's we when discussing things that have been observed by many people using many different methods. NPOV doesn't, by itself, settle this question.

Repairing some critical articles that have been neglected for various reasons in time for a wide CD release, is also a key goal.

If good articles on situated ethics and situated learning and something more coherent on the so-called environment and environmentalism emerge, so much the better.

Related Wikiprojects[edit]


None yet. A Wikipedia:WikiProject Cognition or Wikipedia:WikiProject Cogito would be the obvious top-level project (as distinct from 'Earth' perhaps?), and would have two subprojects: Wikipedia:WikiProject Ecozones and Wikipedia:WikiProject_Human_Cognition, which would have this WikiProject as its child, since anything we say about "Body, Cognition and Senses" is said itself from a human POV.

Sibling WikiProjects:[edit]

(also under Cognition) we need a Wikipedia:WikiProject Homonoid Cognition to discuss what is known about pre-civilized cognition among humans, including the Stone Age Amazon tribes, and Wikipedia:WikiProject Hominid Cognition to deal with what is known about pre-linguistic cognition, and differences in Great Apes' senses from those of humans.

A more remote sibling would be Wikipedia:WikiProject Cognitive Science to look at how these views alter what is considered "scientific" and what is revealed not to be so scientific, but rather just a consequence of taking a POV. Then Wikipedia:WikiProject Science is a subset of this, since all science depends on core cognitive assumptions.

Descendant Wikiprojects:[edit]

Wikipedia:WikiProject Environment could codify what can be said about this that would apply roughly to all hominids, without POV of civilized/developing nations human lifestyles involved. This would attempt to take the perspective of living things, as opposed to say physics, so chemistry is actually an element of this.

Wikipedia:WikiProject Perception, to deal with the seemingly objective/repeatable elements of what comes in via the senses, separately, in immediate moments in time. Physics actually fits here.

Wikipedia:WikiProject Memory to document all features of recalled and shared cognition, which is individual or collective memory. Collective intelligence for instance would be within this project, as would Cognition and recognition, who are thus as clearly related as their names suggest they must be.

Wikipedia:WikiProject Ecology, finally, depends on all of the above, as it relates the perception of environments, its processing as cognition, and the sharing of memories about it, seeking to find the repeatable elements that we can measure and thus share. List of ecology topics is a good guide to what's included. It's astonishing how recent most of this is. If this differs somehow from what people think of as ecology in neutral nations like France, Russia or India, then we can go with the name cognitive ecology instead.

Wikipedia:WikiProject_Science then cleans up all of philosophy of science, philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of physics, philosophy of law and philosophy of medicine, epistemology and ontology to reflect a somewhat more cognitive and less scholastic perspective.


The strategy is broadly informed by Donella Meadows' twelve leverage points to intervene in a system and its application to Wikipedia already so far.


Any article on biology or medicine should be vetted to carefully make separate reference to hominid and hominoid capabilities, and to homo sapiens capability only where there is evidence that modern homo sapiens has gained some capability that his or her ancestors did not have.

Vetting of ecology and environment topics (see list of ecology topics and list of environment topics) to ensure that articles on ecology treat human beings as part of ecology, possibly with separate sections on their impact on say each ecoregion or biome or range or population of each endangered species. While, in contrast, articles on "environment" deal with the impact on human bodies and senses. This matches the modern usage that ecology is the measurable effects that we have on life around us, and environment is how we perceive that life and other related elements supporting it. Cognition of humans is then the perception of what is in the environment, our choice of action, and the effects made on surrounding ecosystem or biome then noted by ecology. A human body is the unit of account of these effects - we measure these impacts on human scale with such ideas as Ecological Footprint.

Articles on senses must make note of the way that they integrate perception with cognition. Notice for example the way that visual perception relies on more processing "further back in the brain" to drive the kind of investigative head movements that lead to better depth perception. According to most scientists this is a very deep process and may include initiatives that come from other senses (like smell or hearing). Some even claim that these initiatives come from more external sources like pheromones that may be released during such confrontational actions (by the observer) - or even just "being stared at" by itself.

Cognition should become a central article for stating what is known about human cognition, which is the only neutral/objective starting point any human has for the investigation of the whole universe. It is more central than scientific method, for instance, since that method must itself rely on cognition.

When people share data, that is collective intelligence or knowledge sharing, and that process has limits (like groupthink and suspicion of perceived free riders for instance) that must be acknowledged. Just to say that the information is "scientific" or "measured" means little or nothing. In addition to citing sources, it is important to cite methods where they are known, or more importantly, known to diverge (two numbers arising from two different processes that are nearly the same is strong vouching-for, the same process applied twice leading to two very widely varying outcomes, is strong reason not to trust either the method or investigators).

To some degree an explicit expression of the shared cognition must extend even into large-scale biogeography and then physical geography and climate articles, noting the cognitive assumptions and methods of sharing them (via science) used to gather the data on such large scales.

Similarly, the use of such words as "seeing", "hearing", "smelling", "tasting", "feeling" should be vetted to see if they refer to the well understood sensory impression anyone would feel, or say, to the emotions only the reporter "seems" to feel. The word "seems" should be removed for the same reason - it is actually an admission of POV.

If something "seems" some way, then, clearly, it came to be so by some body cognizing something via the senses. If you agree, it's because you are "re-cognizing" the same thing. Now, what is "same"?

If you see that, you see why we need this WikiProject.

The beginner (perhaps one who does not have English as a mother tongue) must be able to navigate logically from a perspective that seems (hah) to make sense to themselves. They are not an historian, philosopher or a politician or lawyer or still less likely a doctor. They are probably a worker, a mother, a cook, a deviant in some ways, a radical in some ways. Our strategy is to appeal to these elements of experience using some more important conceptual metaphor than mere books.

This project should dovetail with Wikipedia:atlas work so that maps, not words, are the central organizing means.

Entry Naming[edit]

As per existing articles, mostly, see visual perception and what links to it, cognition and what links to it. What is missing is rational relationships between these articles, not so much bad naming of each of them individually.


There's probably no example that can really serve as the template for every other one of these articles. It's more of a perspective than format question.

Templates for some advisable structure will be created. For now note that a proper entry on a body/sense/cognition phenomena should include:

  • What creatures seem to share it
  • What environments they seem to express or prove that capability in
  • What experimental method can be used to investigate it, given the notorious difficulty of control group comparison for experiences
  • description of experience if humans or other language-using creatures are involved
  • any implications for intelligence

For senses alone, include

  • It's current best-known frequency detection bounds, per species if available
  • Any anthropological linguistics about the name of a sensory experience that seems to cross the line from one to another, and refer not to a sense but to a response.
  • A list of links to any generalizations that are made of this type of sense, for instance, a sour taste or a foul smell. What does this mean, in the context of the sense?
  • A list of links to the species of plants (botanical) that are known to arouse a sense, e.g. have a certain scent, taste, etc., so the experience can be related.
  • Known animals who have proven to have a keener sense of that kind than do humans.

Human body function articles may need to include less direct or long term effects that bodies react to over time

  • A list of links to relevant Wikipedia articles, e.g. on allergy, immune system, psychoneuroimmunology to back claims of extra senses or changes in sensitivities.
    • Industries or activities that are connected somehow to this function of the body, for instance, perfume only exist because of sexual arousal and its ties to scent.
    • The cultures that make special rituals or focus on this body function, e.g. the Japanese obsession with early toilet training, the English with masturbation, Islam with hand-washing.

A proposal to build an XML DTD for this purpose may be required.

==Hierarchy definition== Cognition/Hominid_Cognition/Homonoid_Cognition/

with two subtrees

  • Human_Cognition/Body_Cognition_and_Senses/(Memory/Recognition/Language, Perception/Physics, Environment/Chemistry)
  • Cognitive_Science/Ecology/Ecoregions

Science and the claims made for it in the Wikipedia must be revisited after the above have been completed - scientific method and the other Wikipedia:list of central issues can rely on the many examples of how a cognitive and mechanistic paradigm differ based on the above.


  • This WikiProject was proposed by God, herself, who knows who was made in whose image, and wants the whole concept of "image" set straight
  • who wants to help?

Lists of body, cognition, sense topics[edit]


  • Simple English should be relied on for definitions and new articles written on all of the above.

See also[edit]

Links to non-English Wikipedia[edit]

External links[edit]