Graduate studies at Western
In P. Robbins & M. Aydede (eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Situated Cognition. Cambridge University Press (forthcoming)
|Abstract||The situated cognition movement has emerged in recent decades (although it has roots in psychologists working earlier in the 20th century including Vygotsky, Bartlett, and Dewey) largely in reaction to an approach to explaining cognition that tended to ignore the context in which cognitive activities typically occur. Fodor’s (1980) account of the research strategy of methodological solipsism, according to which only representational states within the mind are viewed as playing causal roles in producing cognitive activity, is an extreme characterization of this approach. (As Keith Gunderson memorably commented when Fodor first presented this characterization, it amounts to reversing behaviorism by construing the mind as a white box in a black world). Critics as far back as the 1970s and 1980s objected to many experimental paradigms in cognitive psychology as not being ecologically valid; that is, they maintained that the findings only applied to the artificial circumstances created in the laboratory and did not generalize to real world settings (Neisser, 1976; 1987). The situated cognition movement, however, goes much further than demanding ecologically valid experiments—it insists that an agent’s cognitive activities are inherently embedded and supported by dynamic interactions with the agent’s body and features of its environment|
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