David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Cognitive Science 18 (4):513-49 (1995)
We present data and argument to show that in Tetris - a real-time interactive video game - certain cognitive and perceptual problems are more quickly, easily, and reliably solved by performing actions in the world rather than by performing computational actions in the head alone. We have found that some translations and rotations are best understood as using the world to improve cognition. These actions are not used to implement a plan, or to implement a reaction; they are used to change the world in order to simplify the problem-solving task. Thus, we distinguish pragmatic actions ñ actions performed to bring one physically closer to a goal - from epistemic actions - actions performed to uncover information that is hidden or hard to compute mentally. To illustrate the need for epistemic actions, we first develop a standard information-processing model of Tetris-cognition, and show that it cannot explain performance data from human players of the game - even when we relax the assumption of fully sequential processing. Standard models disregard many actions taken by players because they appear unmotivated or superfluous. However, we describe many such actions that are actually taken by players that are far from superfluous, and that play valuable roles in improving human performance. We argue that traditional accounts are limited because they regard action as having a single function: to change the world. By recognizing a second function of action - an epistemic function - we can explain many of the actions that a traditional model cannot. Although, our argument is supported by numerous examples specifically from Tetris, we outline how the one category of epistemic action can be incorporated into theories of action more generally.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Richard Menary (2006). Attacking the Bounds of Cognition. Philosophical Psychology 19 (3):329-344.
Holger Lyre (2015). Active Content Externalism. Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-17.
Helen De Cruz & Johan De Smedt (2013). Mathematical Symbols as Epistemic Actions. Synthese 190 (1):3-19.
Andy Clark (2011). Finding the Mind. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 152 (3):447 - 461.
Carlos Zednik (2011). The Nature of Dynamical Explanation. Philosophy of Science 78 (2):238-263.
Similar books and articles
Boudewijn de Bruin (2009). On the Narrow Epistemology of Game Theoretic Agents. In Ondrej Majer, Ahti-Veikko Pietarinen & Tero Tulenheimo (eds.), Games: Unifying Logic, Language, and Philosophy. Springer
Anfinn Stigen (1970). The Concept of a Human Action. Inquiry 13 (1-4):1 – 31.
Hugh J. McCann (1972). Is Raising One's Arm a Basic Action? Journal of Philosophy 64 (9):235-249.
Martin Stokhof & Jan van Eijck (2006). The Gamut of Dynamic Logics. In Dov Gabbay & John Woods (eds.), The Handbook of the History of Logic. Volume 6: Logic and Modalities in the Twentieth Century. Elsevier 499-600.
B. Elsner & G. Aschersleben (2003). Do I Get What You Get? Learning About the Effects of Self-Performed and Observed Actions in Infancy. Consciousness and Cognition 12 (4):732-751.
Chitta Baral & Nam Tran (2005). Representation and Reasoning About Evolutions of the World in the Context of Reasoning About Actions. Studia Logica 79 (1):33 - 46.
Thomas Williams (2011). Human Freedom and Agency. In Brian Davies & Eleonore Stump (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Aquinas. Oxford University Press 199-208.
Benjamin Mossel (2009). Negative Actions. Philosophia 37 (2):307-333.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads72 ( #47,201 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)8 ( #84,767 of 1,726,249 )
How can I increase my downloads?