On representation, goals and cognition

Abstract In this paper we address three concepts that are much talked about in the animal robotics community. These concepts are (1) representations, (2) goals, and (3) minimal cognition. We want to distinguish between information as an objective commodity and representation as something which involves a user, i.e. a system which accesses and uses information. Information per se lies out there and exists independently of any system that makes use of it. Representations presuppose design and require a user. We want to distinguish different kinds of purposive behaviour, which involve different notions of goals, which themselves appear to be different from the point of view of the agent, the designer and the naive observer. We want to try to define cognition in terms of the minimal criteria that would be acceptable in view of our definitions of representations and goals. We recognise that full?blown cognition may require ingredients other than those of minimal cognition
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DOI 10.1080/02698599508573512
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