According to Alex Hayes, “Thinking was literally distributed across the caves of Lascaux, for example. Was it distributed without translation or mutation? Of course not, but it was distributed nonetheless” (link courtesy of Stephen Downes).
Just out of curiosity, in what sense does the knowledge that the paintings entail exist in a state sufficiently distinct from the paintings, and sufficiently clearly delimited, that it makes sense to submit that the paintings constitute a translation or mutation of the (untranslated, un-mutated) knowledge? I’m not arguing that there’s no such thing as knowledge or any comparably overblown claim — but I’m wondering what stake we have in reserving a sphere of “knowledge” that’s not inflected by its representations. If we grant (as I insist) that action is a mode of meaning and interpretation, do our enacted interpretive gestures also “mutate” knowledge? If so, what do we know about un-mutated, pure knowledge — and how can we know it apart from the mutagenic effects of words, actions, and other interpretive representations? (And how does the verb “know” work in the previous sentence?)