David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Cognitive Science 36 (5):870-895 (2012)
Understanding the role of ‘‘representations’’ in cognitive science is a fundamental problem facing the emerging framework of embodied, situated, dynamical cognition. To make progress, I follow the approach proposed by an influential representational skeptic, Randall Beer: building artificial agents capable of minimally cognitive behaviors and assessing whether their internal states can be considered to involve representations. Hence, I operationalize the concept of representing as ‘‘standing in,’’ and I look for representations in embodied agents involved in simple categorization tasks. In a first experiment, no representation can be found, but the relevance of the task is undermined by the fact that agents with no internal states can reach high performance. A simple modification makes the task more “representationally hungry,” and in this case, agents’ internal states are found to qualify as representations. I conclude by discussing the benefits of reconciling the embodied-dynamical approach with the notion of representation.
|Keywords||Representation Embodied cognition Categorization Minimally cognitive behavior Dynamical systems Anti‐representationalism|
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References found in this work BETA
James J. Gibson (1979). The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception. Houghton Mifflin.
Anthony Chemero (2011). Radical Embodied Cognitive Science. A Bradford Book.
Francisco Varela, Evan Thompson & Eleanor Rosch (1991). The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience. MIT Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Randall D. Beer & Paul L. Williams (2015). Information Processing and Dynamics in Minimally Cognitive Agents. Cognitive Science 39 (1):1-38.
Liam P. Dempsey & Itay Shani (2015). Three Misconceptions Concerning Strong Embodiment. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 14 (4):827-849.
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