25 February 2011

The meaning of the data

The world is not present to people’s minds so much as it is re-presented to them as a virtual image. 
That virtual character of representation is what allows people to know things as meaningful. It is not the data about the world that makes it useful so much as the meaning of the data, and the meaning has more to do with prior learning and with the storehouse of experience people bring to their representations. 
Meaning comes from the feelings and beliefs people have built up about the sorts of things they are apprehending and representing to themselves. 
As animals alter their environment to make it more congenial and home-like so the mind alters its perceptions of the world by introducing meaning into the way people know things to make the world more ready to hand than it would otherwise be. 

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