The Cognitive Birth of a Question

                       The Cognitive Birth of a Question  

This is an attempt to enumerate the kinds of questions as per the basis of their occurrence in the mind. 

Let us divide them into 3 broad categories – 

  1. Thinking-process-based

These are aroused as thought processes. 

Illustrations of the above 2 types –

i) The first-type above – Suppose you enter my room and see a huge and thick pen on the desk. A question will arise in your mind – Why is this pen so big? Here you have identified the entity (the whole – the pen) and the mind has gotten quizzed about its property, as to – why is this property so?

ii) The second-type above – Suppose you see some things together – say some crystals with a blue liquid between them and some glittering material sparkled over the whole. You would get quizzed – What is this? Here, you have identified the parts (the properties of the whole – the crystals, the blue liquid and the sparkling glitter on top), but haven’t figured out/understood what it is (as a whole).

  1. Knowledge-procurement-based

These are primarily about knowledge-procurement. 

These can also be simply called as curiosity-questions. 

Illustrations of the above 2 types – 

i) The left-hand-side type – What is the capital of Serbia? This is purely a “knowledge expansion-drive”.

ii) The right-hand-side type – Suppose a kid  is shown, say, a crab or a lobster in a restaurant for the first time and it occurs to it after observing it for some time – what might be inside it? Now this is not a sheer knowledge-seeking curiosity exercise. There is a genuine thought that occurs to him about what is shown to it.

  1. Intermediate steps of Thought or Knowledge towards a Thought-goal or a Knowledge-goal  : 

Illustrations of the above 3 types – 

i) The fist-type – Here the goal is a certain pre-known knowledge piece, and there is a thought-based question as an intermediate step towards that goal.

E.g. – How much protein do I have to consume per day for the next 8 months, if I have to increase my weight from 50 kg to 70 kgs? This is a thought-based intermediate question-step towards a pre-known goal of 70 kg weight from 50 kg weight in 8 months. 

ii) The second-type – Here the goal is a certain piece of thought-inference, and there is a knowledge-based question as an intermediate step towards the goal.

E.g. – Suppose someone tells you that his friend is 6 feet 5 inches tall. And then you immediately ask him about his friend’s weight. Here, you ask this intermediate knowledge-based question to infer about his body-constitution/fitness (weight : height ratio).

iii) The third-type – Here the goal is a certain piece of inference, and there is a thought-based question as an intermediate step towards the goal.

E.g. – Is this much decoration enough? Here the immediate question is a thought-based question/judgment about an amount (amount of decoration) as to a thought-based target of it being judged as enough/good enough.

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