Constructivist Artificial Life, and Beyond

In this paper I provide an epistemological context for Artificial Life projects. Later on, the insights which such projects will exhibit may be used as a general direction for further Artificial Life implementations. The purpose of such a model is to demonstrate by way of simulation how higher cognitive structures may emerge from building invariants by simple sensorimotor beings. By using the bottom-up methodology of Artificial Life, it is hoped to overcome problems that arise from dealing with complex systems, such as the phenomenon of cognition. The research will lead to both epistemological and technical implications.
The proposed ALife model is intended to point out the usefulness of an interdisciplinary approach including methodological approaches from disciplines such as Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Science, Theoretical Biology, and Artificial Life. I try to put them in one single context. The epistemological background which is necessary for this purpose comes from the ideas developed in both epistemological and psychological Constructivism.
The model differs from other ALife approaches— and is somewhat radical in this sense—as it tries to start on the lowest possible level, i.e. avoids several a priori assumptions and anthropocentric ascriptions. Due to this characterization, the project may be alternatively viewed as testing the complementary relationship between epistemology and methodology.
Keywords Artificial Life  Constructivism  Cognitive Science  Autonomous Agents
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