Analogical cognition refers to the ability to detect, process, and learn from relational similarities. The study of analogical and similarity cognition is widely considered one of the ‘success stories’ of cognitive science, exhibiting convergence across many disciplines on foundational questions. Given the centrality of analogy to mind and knowledge, it would benefit philosophers investigating topics in epistemology and the philosophies of mind and language to become familiar with empirical models of analogical cognition. The goal of this essay (...) is to describe recent empirical work on analogical cognition as well as model applications to philosophical topics. Topics to be discussed include the epistemological distinction between implicit knowledge and explicit knowledge, the debate between empiricists and nativists, the frame problem, expertise, creativity and autism, cognitive architecture, and relational knowledge. Particular attention is given to Dedre Gentner and colleague’s structure-mapping theory – the most developed and widely accepted model of analogical cognition. (shrink)
I argue that at least one of the reasons that philosophy is difficult is because it requires students to master “relational categories”, which contrast with “object” or “entity” categories. An object category is one whose members are united on the basis of perceptual and/ or salient properties, and a relational category is one whose members are united on the basis of a relational property. Empirical evidence shows that relational categories are more difficult to grasp than object categories. If learning (...) philosophy consists in mastering relational categories and relational schemas, then philosophical discourse ought to be similarly difficult. Empirical evidence also shows that the activity of comparison is central to learning relational categories. This suggests that comparison ought to play a central role in the instruction of philosophy. I explore this implication and develop some examples of how comparison can be implemented in the classroom in order to promote philosophical discovery. (shrink)
The theory of mind debate has reached a “hybrid consensus” concerning the status of theory-theory and simulation-theory. Extant hybrid models either specify co-dependency and implementation relations, or distribute mentalizing tasks according to folk-psychological categories. By relying on a non-developmental framework these models fail to capture the central connection between simulation and theory. I propose a “dynamic” hybrid that is informed by recent work on the nature of similarity cognition. I claim that Gentner’s model of structure-mapping allows us to understand simulation (...) as a process in which psychological representations are aligned, causing the spontaneous abstraction of theoretical generalizations about the psychological domain. (shrink)
The purpose of this chapter is to outline some of the thinking behind new e-learning technology, including e-portfolios and personal learning environments. Part of this thinking is centered around the theory of connectivism, which asserts that knowledge - and therefore the learning of knowledge - is distributive, that is, not located in any given place (and therefore not 'transferred' or 'transacted' per se) but rather consists of the network of connections formed from experience and interactions with a (...) knowing community. And another part of this thinking is centered around the new, and the newly empowered, learner, the member of the net generation, who is thinking and interacting in new ways. These trends combine to form what is sometimes called 'e-learning 2.0' - an approach to learning that is based on conversation and interaction, on sharing, creation and participation, on learning not as a separate activity, but rather, as embedded in meaningful activities such as games or workflows. (shrink)
We consider several ways in which a good understanding of modern techniques and principles in physics can elucidate ecology. We focus on analogical reasoning between these two branches of science. This style of reasoning requires an understanding of both sciences and an appreciation of the similarities and points of contact between the two. In the current ecological literature on the relationship between ecology and physics, there has been some misunderstanding about the nature of modern physics and its methods. Physics (...) is seen as being much cleaner and tidier than ecology. When ecology is compared to this idealised, fictional version of physics, ecology looks very different, and the prospect of ecology and physics learning from one another is questionable. We argue that physics, once properly appreciated, is more like ecology than ecologists have thus far appreciated. Physicists and ecologists can and do learn from each other, and in this paper we outline how analogical reasoning can facilitate such exchanges. (shrink)
Reflection is today a watchword in many learning contexts. Experience is said to be transformed to knowledge when we reflect on it, university students are expected to acquire the ability to reflect critically, and we want practitioners to be reflective practitioners in order to improve their professional practice. If we consider what people mean when they talk about reflection in practice, we will discover that they often mean different things. Moreover, their conceptions of reflection are guided by images rather (...) than by definitions. This paper explores six distinct images of reflection and discusses the consequences of adopting one or more of these images in learning situations: (1) dedoublement, (2) analogical thinking, (3) mirror, (4) experiment, (5) puzzle solving, (6) criss-crossing a landscape. Reflective thinking can be improved if we are sensible of what we are reflecting about and according to which image of reflection we are doing it, since the step between using an image and seeing this image as a model is short. Using models, in turn, implies knowing their limits. (shrink)
Analogical transfer in sequence learning is presented as an example of how the type-2 problem of learning an unbounded number of isomorphic sequences is reduced to the type-1 problem of learning a small finite set of sequences. The commentary illustrates how the difficult problem of appropriate analogical filter creation and selection is addressed while avoiding the trap of strong nativism, and it provides theoretical and experimental evidence for the existence of dissociable mechanisms for type-1 (...) class='Hi'>learning and type-2 recoding. (shrink)
In this new volume in the Oxford Psychology Series, the author presents a highly readable account of the cognitive unconscious, focusing in particular on the problem of implicit learning. Implicit learning is defined as the acquisition of knowledge that takes place independently of the conscious attempts to learn and largely in the absence of explicit knowledge about what was acquired. One of the core assumptions of this argument is that implicit learning is a fundamental, "root" process, one (...) that lies at the very heart of the adaptive behavioral repertoire of every complex organism. The author's goals are to outline the essential features of implicit learning that have emerged from the many studies that have been carried out in a variety of experimental laboratories over the past several decades; to present the various alternative perspectives on this issue that have been proposed by other researchers and to try to accommodate these views with his own; to structure the literature so that it can be seen in the context of standard heuristics of evolutionary biology; to present the material within a functionalist approach and to try to show why the experimental data should be seen as entailing particular epistemological perspectives; and to present implicit processing as encompassing a general and ubiquitous set of operations that have wide currency and several possible applications. Chapter 1 begins with the core problem under consideration in this book, a characterization of "implicit learning" as it has come to be used in the literature. Reber puts this seemingly specialized topic into a general framework and suggests a theoretical model based on standard heuristics of evolutionary biology. In his account, Reber weaves a capsule history of interest in and work on the cognitive unconscious. Chapter 2 turns to a detailed overview of the experimental work on the acquisition of implicit knowledge, which currently is of great interest. Chapter 3 develops the evolutionary model within which one can see learning and cognition as richly intertwining issues and not as two distinct fields with one dominating the other. Finally, Chapter 4 explores a variety of entailments and speculations concerning implicit cognitive processes and their general role in the larger scope of human performance. (shrink)
Christopher Winch launches a vigorous Wittgensteinian attack on both the "romantic" Rousseauian and the "scientific" cognitivist traditions in learning theory. These two schools, he argues, are more closely related than is commonly realized.
The achievement of intentional learning is a powerful paradigm for the objectives and methods of the teaching of philosophy. This paradigm sees the objectives and methods of such teaching as based not simply on the mastery of content, but as rooted in attempts to shape the various affective and cognitive factors that influence students’ learning efforts. The goal of such pedagogy is to foster an intentional learning orientation, one characterized by self-awareness, active monitoring of the learning (...) process, and a desire for publicly certified expertise. I provide a number of examples of philosophy-specific teaching strategies that follow this paradigm. (shrink)
Learning is a changing phenomenon, depending on the advances in theory and research. This book presents a relatively new approach to learning, based on meaningful human activities in cultural practices and in collaboration with others. It draws extensively from the ideas of Lev Vygotsky and his recent followers. The book presents ideas that elaborate this learning theory and also gives recent developments and applications of this approach in a variety of educational situations in and outside of school. (...) A core issue in the research presented in this book consists of the way people learn to make sense of and give meaning to cultural instruments and practices in collaboration with others. (shrink)
Jerry Fodor's argument for an innate language of thought continues to be a hurdle for researchers arguing that natural languages provide us with richer conceptual systems than our innate cognitive resources. I argue that because the logical/formal terms of natural languages are given a usetheory of meaning, unlike predicates, logical/formal terms might be learned without a mediating internal representation. In that case, our innate representational system might have less logical structure than a natural language, making it possible that we augment (...) our innate representational system and improve our ability to think by learning a natural language. (shrink)
In this article I challenge the widely held assumption that human culture is inherited by means of social learning. First, I address the distinction between “social” learning and “individual” learning. I argue that most cultural ideas are not acquired by one form of learning or the other, but from a hybrid of both. Second, I discuss how individual learning can interact with niche construction. I argue that these processes collectively provide a non-social route for learned (...) ideas to be inherited and cumulatively modified. I conclude that human culture is not inherited by social learning alone; the capacities to learn from and modify our environments also play a significant role. (shrink)
This is an excerpt of a report that highlights and explores five questions that arose from the Network for Sensory Research workshop on perceptual learning and perceptual recognition at the University of York in March, 2012. This portion of the report explores the question: Can perceptual experience be modified by reason?
Questions about learning and discovery have fascinated philosophers from Plato onwards. Does the mind bring innate resources of its own to the process of learning or does it rely wholly upon experience? Plato was the first philosopher to give an innatist response to this question and in doing so was to provoke the other major philosophers of ancient Greece to give their own rival explanations of learning. This book is the first to examine these theories of (...) class='Hi'>learning in relation to each other. It presents an entirely new interpretation of the theory of recollection which also changes the way we understand the development of ancient philosophy after Plato. The final section of the book compares ancient theories of learning with the seventeenth-century debate about innate ideas, and finds that the relation between the two periods is far more interesting and complete than is usually supposed. (shrink)
This report highlights and explores five questions that arose from the Network for Sensory Research workshop on perceptual learning and perceptual recognition at the University of York on March 19th and 20th, 2012: 1. What is perceptual learning? 2. Can perceptual experience be modified by reason? 3. How does perceptual learning alter perceptual phenomenology? 4. How does perceptual learning alter the contents of perception? 5. How is perceptual learning coordinated with action?
This is an excerpt from a report that highlights and explores five questions which arose from the workshop on perceptual learning and perceptual recognition at the University of Toronto, Mississauga on May 10th and 11th, 2012. This excerpt explores the question: What counts as cognitive penetration?
Two great problems of learning confront humanity: learning about the universe, and learning how to live wisely. The first problem was solved with the creation of modern science, but the second problem has not been solved. This combination puts humanity into a situation of unprecedented danger. In order to solve the second problem we need to learn from our solution to the first problem. This requires that we bring about a revolution in the overall aims and methods (...) of academic inquiry, so that it takes up its proper task of promoting wisdom. (shrink)
This report highlights and explores five questions which arose from the workshop on perceptual learning and perceptual recognition at the University of Toronto, Mississauga on May 10th and 11th, 2012: 1. How should we demarcate perceptual learning from perceptual development? 2. What are the origins of multimodal associations? 3. Does our representation of time provide an amodal framework for multi-sensory integration? 4. What counts as cognitive penetration? 5. How can philosophers and psychologists most fruitfully collaborate?
This is an excerpt of a report that highlights and explores five questions that arose from the Network for Sensory Research workshop on perceptual learning and perceptual recognition at the University of York in March, 2012. This portion of the report explores the question: How does perceptual learning alter perceptual phenomenology?
This is an excerpt of a report that highlights and explores five questions that arose from the Network for Sensory Research workshop on perceptual learning and perceptual recognition at the University of York in March, 2012. This portion of the report explores the question: What is perceptual learning?
This paper discusses the possibility of modelling inductive inference (Gold 1967) in dynamic epistemic logic (see e.g. van Ditmarsch et al. 2007). The general purpose is to propose a semantic basis for designing a modal logic for learning in the limit. First, we analyze a variety of epistemological notions involved in identification in the limit and match it with traditional epistemic and doxastic logic approaches. Then, we provide a comparison of learning by erasing (Lange et al. 1996) and (...) iterated epistemic update (Baltag and Moss 2004) as analyzed in dynamic epistemic logic. We show that finite identification can be modelled in dynamic epistemic logic, and that the elimination process of learning by erasing can be seen as iterated belief-revision modelled in dynamic doxastic logic. Finally, we propose viewing hypothesis spaces as temporal frames and discuss possible advantages of that perspective. (shrink)
This is an excerpt of a report that highlights and explores five questions that arose from the Network for Sensory Research workshop on perceptual learning and perceptual recognition at the University of York in March, 2012. This portion of the report explores the question: How does perceptual learning alter the contents of perception?
This is an excerpt of a report that highlights and explores five questions that arose from the Network for Sensory Research workshop on perceptual learning and perceptual recognition at the University of York in March, 2012. This portion of the report explores the question: How is perceptual learning coordinated with action?
Implicit Learning and Consciousness challenges conventional wisdom and presents the most up-to-date studies to define, quantify and test the predictions of the main models of implicit learning. The chapters include a variety of research from computer modeling, experimental psychology and neural imaging to the clinical data resulting from work with amnesics. The result is a topical book that provides an overview of the debate on implicit learning, and the various philosophical, psychological and neurological frameworks in which it (...) can be placed. It will be of interest to undergraduates, postgraduates and the philosophical, psychological and modeling research community. (shrink)
Understanding causal structure is a central task of human cognition. Causal learning underpins the development of our concepts and categories, our intuitive theories, and our capacities for planning, imagination and inference. During the last few years, there has been an interdisciplinary revolution in our understanding of learning and reasoning: Researchers in philosophy, psychology, and computation have discovered new mechanisms for learning the causal structure of the world. This new work provides a rigorous, formal basis for theory theories (...) of concepts and cognitive development, and moreover, the causal learning mechanisms it has uncovered go dramatically beyond the traditional mechanisms of both nativist theories, such as modularity theories, and empiricist ones, such as association or connectionism. (shrink)
The paper uses ideas from Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Genetic Algorithms to provide a model of the development of a fight-or-flight response in a simulated agent. The modelled development process involves (simulated) processes of evolution, learning and representation development. The main value of the model is that it provides an illustration of how simple learning processes may lead to the formation of structures which can be given a representational interpretation. It also shows how these may form (...) the infrastructure for closely-coupled agent/environment interaction. (shrink)
This is an excerpt from a report that highlights and explores five questions which arose from the workshop on perceptual learning and perceptual recognition at the University of Toronto, Mississauga on May 10th and 11th, 2012. This excerpt explores the question: Does our representation of time provide and amodal framework for multi-sensory integration?
This paper argues that learning is inherently violent. It examines the way in which Heidegger uses – and refrains from using – the concept in his account of Dasein. Heidegger explicitly discussed “learning” in 1951 and he used of the word in several contexts. Although he confines his use of “learning” to the ontic side of the ontic-ontological divide, there are aspects of what he says that open the door to an ontological analogue of the ontic (...) class='Hi'>learning. In this discussion it emerges that what precludes “learning” behaving as does “willing”, “waiting” and “thanking”, is something that derives from the relatedness of Dasein. The paper finally examines violence within the disclosure of truth. The approach to the investigation is experimental and is to some extent modeled on Heidegger‟s own later enquires. (shrink)
This is an excerpt from a report that highlights and explores five questions which arose from the workshop on perceptual learning and perceptual recognition at the University of Toronto, Mississauga on May 10th and 11th, 2012. This excerpt explores the question: How should we demarcate perceptual learning from perceptual development?
This is an excerpt from a report that highlights and explores five questions which arose from the workshop on perceptual learning and perceptual recognition at the University of Toronto, Mississauga on May 10th and 11th, 2012. This excerpt explores the question: What are the origins of multimodal associations?
This is an excerpt from a report that highlights and explores five questions which arose from the workshop on perceptual learning and perceptual recognition at the University of Toronto, Mississauga on May 10th and 11th, 2012. This excerpt explores the question: How can philosophers and psychologists most fruitfully collaborate?
This article provides the foundation for a new predictive theory of animal learning that is based upon a simple logical model. The knowledge of experimental subjects at a given time is described using logical equations. These logical equations are then used to predict a subject’s response when presented with a known or a previously unknown situation. This new theory suc- cessfully anticipates phenomena that existing theories predict, as well as phenomena that they cannot. It provides a theoretical account for (...) phenomena that are beyond the domain of existing models, such as extinction and the detection of novelty, from which “external inhibition” can be explained. Examples of the methods applied to make predictions are given using previously published results. The present theory proposes a new way to envision the minimal functions of the nervous system, and provides possible new insights into the way that brains ultimately create and use knowledge about the world. (shrink)
Since educators are always looking for ways to improve their practice, and since empirical science is now accepted in our worldview as the final arbiter of truth, it is no surprise they have been lured toward cognitive neuroscience in hopes that discovering how the brain learns will provide a nutshell explanation for student learning in general. I argue that identifying the person with the brain is scientism (not science), that the brain is not the person, and that it is (...) the person who learns. In fact the brain only responds to the learning of embodied experience within the extra-neural network of intersubjective communications. Learning is a dynamic, cultural activity, not a neural program. Brain-based learning is unnecessary for educators and may be dangerous in that a culturally narrow ontology is taken for granted, thus restricting our creativity and imagination, and narrowing the human community. (shrink)
Fodor's and Pylyshyn's stand on systematicity in thought and language has been debated and criticized. Van Gelder and Niklasson, among others, have argued that Fodor and Pylyshyn offer no precise definition of systematicity. However, our concern here is with a learning based formulation of that concept. In particular, Hadley has proposed that a network exhibits strong semantic systematicity when, as a result of training, it can assign appropriate meaning representations to novel sentences (both simple and embedded) which contain words (...) in syntactic positions they did not occupy during training. The experience of researchers indicates that strong systematicity in any form is difficult to achieve in connectionist systems.Herein we describe a network which displays strong semantic systematicity in response to Hebbian, connectionist training. During training, two-thirds of all nouns are presented only in a single syntactic position (either as grammatical subject or object). Yet, during testing, the network correctly interprets thousands of sentences containing those nouns in novel positions. In addition, the network generalizes to novel levels of embedding. Successful training requires a, corpus of about 1000 sentences, and network training is quite rapid. The architecture and learning algorithms are purely connectionist, but classical insights are discernible in one respect, viz, that complex semantic representations spatially contain their semantic constituents. However, in other important respects, the architecture is distinctly non-classical. (shrink)
Ramon Llull (1232-1316), born on Majorca, was one of the most remarkable lay intellectuals of the thirteenth century. He devoted much of his life to promoting missions among unbelievers, the reform of Western Christian society, and personal spiritual perfection. He wrote over 200 philosophical and theological works in Catalan, Latin, and Arabic. Many of these expound on his "Great Universal Art of Finding Truth," an idiosyncratic dialectical system that he thought capable of proving Catholic beliefs to non-believers. This study offers (...) the first full-length analysis of his theories about rhetoric and preaching, which were central to his evangelizing activities. It explains how Llull attempted to synthesize commonplace advice about courtly speech and techniques of popular sermons into a single program for secular and sacred eloquence that would necessarily promote love of God and neighbor. Llull's work is remarkable testimony to the diffusion of clerical culture among educated lay-people of his era, and to their enthusiasm for applying that knowledge in the pursuit of learning and piety. This book should find a place on the shelf of every scholar of medieval history, religion, and rhetoric. (shrink)
This article examines the disciplinary status and experiential underpinnings of C. S. Peirce's philosophical rhetoric. The first part explores the relationship between grammar and rhetoric in the context of Peirce's theory of signs. Next, a possible tension in Peirce's conception of the scope and function of rhetoric is identified, and a resolution is proposed. The field of rhetorical research is then provisionally characterised as spanning philosophical studies of communication, learning, and methods of inquiry. Rather than being a secondary application (...) that the grammarian can ignore, the complex rhetorical field can be meaningfully construed as both the pre-theoretical starting point and the principal theoretical end of philosophical semeiotic. In the final part of the article, it is argued that the aim of Peirce's pursuit of rhetoric ought to be the improvement of semiotic habits, and this goal is construed as the third and highest conception of learning furnished by his philosophy. Further, it is contended that Peircean rhetoric can provide means for reflexive investigations into our processes and methods of inquiry, communication, and learning—that is, higher-order conceptual tools with which to imaginatively describe, control, and transform educational habits in view of personal and social ideals. (shrink)
We argue that atomistic learning?learning that requires training only on a novel item to be learned?is problematic for networks in which every weight is available for change in every learning situation. This is potentially significant because atomistic learning appears to be commonplace in humans and most non-human animals. We briefly review various proposed fixes, concluding that the most promising strategy to date involves training on pseudo-patterns along with novel items, a form of learning that is (...) not strictly atomistic, but which looks very much like it ?from the outside? (shrink)
This book is about an ecological-interpretive image of "the basics" in teaching and learning. The authors offer a generous, rigorous, difficult, and pleasurable image of what this term might mean in the living work of teachers and learners. In this book, Jardine, Clifford, and Friesen: *sketch out some of the key ideas in the traditional, taken-for-granted meaning of "the basics"; *explain how the interpretive-hermeneutic version of "the basics" operates on different fundamental assumptions; *show how this difference leads, of necessity, (...) to very different concrete practices in our schools; *illustrate richly how it is necessary for interpretive work to show, again and again, how new examples enrich, transform, and correct what one thought was fully understood and meaningful; and *explore the challenges of an interpretive approach in relation to child development, mathematics education, science curriculum, teacher education, novel studies, new information technologies, writing practices in the classroom, and the nature of interpretive inquiry itself as a form of "educational research." This text will be valuable to practicing teachers and student-teachers in re-imagining what is basic to their work and the work of their students. Through its many classroom examples, it provides a way to question and open up to conversation the often literal-minded tasks teachers and students face. It also provides examples of interpretive inquiry that will be helpful to graduate students and scholars in the areas of curriculum, teaching, and learning who are pursuing this form of research and writing. (shrink)
I propose a conceptual framework for emotions according to which they are best understood as the feedback mechanism a creature possesses in virtue of its function to learn. More specifically, emotions can be neatly modeled as a measure of harmony in a certain kind of constraint satisfaction problem. This measure can be used as error for weight adjustment (learning) in an unsupervised connectionist network.
In this essay, we describe a form of civic engagement for ethics classes in which students identify a community problem and devise a project to address that need. Like traditional service learning, our civic engagement project improves critical thinking and expressive philosophical skills. It is especially effective in meeting pedagogical goals of engaging and expanding student agency and independence while connecting class materials with individual students’ interests. The project can be adapted to a variety of ethics classes and institutional (...) settings. We demonstrate its effectiveness by examining student projects and class evaluations, as well as reporting our own observations, with emphasis on the skills that students develop. We also address details of implementation and answers to theoretical and practical objections. Although students often find this project challenging, they also see it as deeply rewarding; they have been impressed with their own performance and the skills they develop. (shrink)
How do we find out whether someone is conscious of some information or not? A simple answer is “We just ask them”! However, things are not so simple. Here, we review recent developments in the use of subjective and objective methods in implicit learning research and discuss the highly complex methodological problems that their use raises in the domain.
Purpose: Ernst von Glasersfeld’s question concerning the relationship between scientific/ rational knowledge and the domain of wisdom and how these forms of knowledge come about is the starting point. This article aims at developing an epistemological as well as methodological framework that is capable of explaining how profound change can be brought about in various contexts, such as in individual cultivation, in organizations, in processes of radical innovation, etc. This framework is based on the triple-loop learning strategy and the (...) U-theory approach, which opens up a perspective on how the domains of scientific/rational knowledge, constructivism, and wisdom could grow together more closely. Design/Structure: This article develops a strategy which is referred to as “tripleloop learning,” which is not only the basis for processes of profound change, but also brings about a new dimension in the field of learning and knowledge dynamics: the existential realm and the domain of wisdom. A concrete approach that puts into practice the tripleloop learning strategy is presented. The final section shows, how these concepts can be interpreted in the context of the constructivist approach and how they might offer some extensions to this paradigm. Findings: The process of learning and change has to be extended to a domain that concerns existential issues as well as questions of wisdom. Profound change can only happen if these domains are taken into consideration. The tripleloop learning strategy offers a model that fulfills this criterion. It is an “epistemo-existential strategy” for profound change on various levels. Conclusions: The (cognitive) processes and attitudes of receptivity, suspension, redirecting, openness, deep knowing, as well as “profound change/innovation from the interior” turn out to be core concepts in this process. They are compatible with constructivist concepts. Von Glasersfeld’s concept of functional fitness is carried to an extreme in the suggested approach of profound change and finds an extension in the existential domain. Key words: Double-loop learning, individual cultivation, (radical) innovation, knowledge creation, knowledge society, personality development, presencing, profound change, triple-loop learning, U-theory, wisdom. (shrink)
We argue that the effects of evaluative learning may occur (a) without conscious perception of the affective stimuli, (b) without awareness of the stimulus contingencies, and (c) without any awareness that learning has occurred at all. Whether the three experiments reported in our target article provide conclusive evidence for either or any of these assertions is discussed in the commentaries of De Houwer and Field. We respond with the argument that when considered alongside other studies carried out over (...) the past few decades, our experiments provide compelling evidence for a theory that posits a dissociation between evaluative learning and contingency awareness. (shrink)
This paper reviews the fate of the central ideas behind the complementary learning systems (CLS) framework as originally articulated in McClelland, McNaughton, and O’Reilly (1995). This framework explains why the brain requires two differentially specialized learning and memory systems, and it nicely specifies their central properties (i.e., the hippocampus as a sparse, pattern-separated system for rapidly learning episodic memories, and the neocortex as a distributed, overlapping system for gradually integrating across episodes to extract latent semantic structure). We (...) review the application of the CLS framework to a range of important topics, including the following: the basic neural processes of hippocampal memory encoding and recall, conjunctive encoding, human recognition memory, consolidation of initial hippocampal learning in cortex, dynamic modulation of encoding versus recall, and the synergistic interactions between hippocampus and neocortex. Overall, the CLS framework remains a vital theoretical force in the field, with the empirical data over the past 15 years generally confirming its key principles. (shrink)
The paper considers the problems involved in getting neural networks to learn about highly structured task domains. A central problem concerns the tendency of networks to learn only a set of shallow (non-generalizable) representations for the task, i.e., to miss the deep organizing features of the domain. Various solutions are examined, including task specific network configuration and incremental learning. The latter strategy is the more attractive, since it holds out the promise of a task-independent solution to the problem. Once (...) we see exactly how the solution works, however, it becomes clear that it is limited to a special class of cases in which (1) statistically driven undersampling is (luckily) equivalent to task decomposition, and (2) the dangers of unlearning are somehow being minimized. The technique is suggestive nonetheless, for a variety of developmental factors may yield the functional equivalent of both statistical AND informed undersampling in early learning. (shrink)
Over the past decade, teaching and learning in virtual worlds has been at the forefront of many higher education institutions around the world. The DEHub Virtual Worlds Working Group (VWWG) consisting of Australian and New Zealand higher education academics was formed in 2009. These educators are investigating the role that virtual worlds play in the future of education and actively changing the direction of their own teaching practice and curricula. 47 academics reporting on 28 Australian higher education institutions present (...) an overview of how they have changed directions through the effective use of virtual worlds for diverse teaching and learning activities such as business scenarios and virtual excursions, role-play simulations, experimentation and language development. The case studies offer insights into the ways in which institutions are continuing to change directions in their teaching to meet changing demands for innovative teaching, learning and research in virtual worlds. This paper highlights the ways in which the authors are using virtual worlds to create opportunities for rich, immersive and authentic activities that would be difficult or not possible to achieve through more traditional approaches. (shrink)
Although John Dewey has had the most profound effect on education, less is known about the philosophy of education of the original founder of pragmatism, Charles Peirce. Using Peirce's theory of formal rhetoric, I try to show that Peirce's philosophy of education, when fully understood, is aligned with Dewey's pedagogy of experiential learning, and can provide a justification for the promotion of active learning in the classroom. Peirce's rhetoric, as one part of his logical or semiotic theory, argues (...) that reasoning alone is not sufficient to gain knowledge, but that it must be embedded within a community of inquiry, of a certain sort. Applying this to the classroom, I argue that we, as teachers, should endeavor to create the features of a proper community of inquiry in the classroom, one that emphasizes engagement of the students in doing research rather than passively receiving information about its results. (shrink)
The time has come to challenge many of the age-old assumptions about schools and school learning. In this timely book, leading thinkers from around the world offer a different vision of what schools are for. They suggest new ways of thinking about citizenship, lifelong learning, and the role of schools in democratic societies. They question many of the tenets of school effectiveness studies which have been so influential in shaping policy, but are essentially backward looking and premised on (...) school structures as we have known them. Each chapter confronts some of the myths of schooling we have cherished for too long and asks us to think again and to do schools differently. (shrink)
Case-based instruction is a stable feature of ethics education, however, little is known about the attributes of the cases that make them effective. Emotions are an inherent part of ethical decision-making and one source of information actively stored in case-based knowledge, making them an attribute of cases that likely facilitates case-based learning. Emotions also make cases more realistic, an essential component for effective case-based instruction. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of emotional case content, and (...) complementary socio-relational case content, on case-based knowledge acquisition and transfer on future ethical decision-making tasks. Study findings suggest that emotional case content stimulates retention of cases and facilitates transfer of ethical decision-making principles demonstrated in cases. (shrink)
The world changes and we are encouraged to change with it, but is all change good? This book asks us to stop and consider whether the higher education we are providing, and engaging in, for ourselves and our societies is what we ought to have, or what commercial interests want us to have. In claiming that there is a place for a higher education of learning, such as the university, amongst our array of tertiary options the book attempts to (...) explore what this might be. Drawing from the existential literature and in particular Heidegger, the book investigates the case for such a form of higher education and settles on existential trust as the ground upon which the community of scholars that ought to be the university can flourish. This book is written for those who are concerned about the trends towards performativity and for those who are not yet so concerned! It offers a controversial and, some might say, idealistic view of what might be but makes no apology for that since the book proposes that higher education is becoming evermore unacceptable for those who value democracy, tolerance and learning. (shrink)
Cross-situational word learning, like any statistical learning problem, involves tracking the regularities in the environment. However, the information that learners pick up from these regularities is dependent on their learning mechanism. This article investigates the role of one type of mechanism in statistical word learning: competition. Competitive mechanisms would allow learners to find the signal in noisy input and would help to explain the speed with which learners succeed in statistical learning tasks. Because cross-situational word (...)learning provides information at multiple scales—both within and across trials/situations—learners could implement competition at either or both of these scales. A series of four experiments demonstrate that cross-situational learning involves competition at both levels of scale, and that these mechanisms interact to support rapid learning. The impact of both of these mechanisms is considered from the perspective of a process-level understanding of cross-situational learning. (shrink)
The result is a one-dimensional, economistic and bleakly utilitarian conception of the educational task.In Mindfulness and Learning: Celebrating the Affective Dimension of Education, Terry Hyland advances the thesis that education stands in ...
In this article, I explore plant semiosis with a focus on plant learning. I distinguish between the scales and levels of learning conceivable in phytosemiosis, and identify organism-scale learning as the distinguishing question for plant semiosis. Since organism-scale learning depends on organism-scale semiosis, I critically review the arguments regarding whole-plant functional cycles. I conclude that they have largely relied on Uexküllian biases that have prevented an adequate interpretation of modern plant neurobiology. Through an examination of trophic (...) growth in plant roots, I expose some conceptual difficulties in attributing functional cycles to whole-plants. I conclude that the mapping of resource areas in the root system is a learning activity requiring higher-scale sign activity than is possible at the cellular scale, strongly suggesting the presence of organism-scale functional cycles. I do, however, question whether all perception-action cycles in organisms are accompanied with organism-scale semiosis. (shrink)
This study provides evidence for implicit learning in syntactic comprehension. By reanalyzing data from a syntactic priming experiment (Thothathiri & Snedeker, 2008), we find that the error signal associated with a syntactic prime influences comprehenders' subsequent syntactic expectations. This follows directly from error-based implicit learning accounts of syntactic priming, but it is unexpected under accounts that consider syntactic priming a consequence of temporary increases in base-level activation. More generally, the results raise questions about the principles underlying the maintenance (...) of implicit statistical knowledge relevant to language processing, and about possible functional motivations for syntactic priming. (shrink)
Holistic theories of meaning have, at least since Dummett’s Frege: The Philosophy of language, been assumed to be problematic from the perspective of the incremental nature of natural language learning. In this essay I argue that the general relationship between holism and language learning is in fact the opposite of that claimed by Dummett. It is only given a particular form of language learning, and a particular form of holism, that there is a problem at all; in (...) general, for all forms of holism, and irrespective of how language learning is understood, semantic holism is conducive to language learning. The paper has three main parts. In the first, I demonstrate with the use of a simple formal system, that the form of holism that generates the problem that Dummett draws attention to is really decomposable into three distinct components, each of which is necessary for the problem to arise. In the second part, I demonstrate that even Dummett’s strong form of holism is compatible with one natural way in which to understand the incremental nature of language learning. In the third part, I outline the reasons why all forms of holism are conducive to language learning and offer two ways in which this general fact can be spelled out precisely. I end the paper by addressing some possible objections, and in doing so I draw attention to some affinities between semantic holism and the principle of compositionality, a semantic principle which has long been assumed to be conducive to language learning. (shrink)
This article explores the activity of writing in higher education as a mediational means for student meaning making. From a dialogic perspective, writing is not about learning and applying formulas and making fixed kinds of texts, but about ways of working and ways of acting that brings writers, readers, resources and contexts into trajectories. The argument is that processes of writing enhance student meaning making and that these processes are formed by complex interaction. Contextual interpretation and use of mediational (...) means is constituted in social systems of activities that depend on and promote particular kinds of texts. We need insights in contextual trajectories to understand the relationship between writing and student meaning making . Empirically, I draw on a study investigating portfolio writing as a pedagogical tool in a nursing program in Norway. The rationale of the study was an identified need for information about how processes of writing develop, how texts come into being and how institutional tasks of writing are being unpacked. The aim of the paper is to explore a dialogical approach to the activity of writing and to discuss possible methodological implications from the theoretical framework. The empirical study is used as an illustration. (shrink)
This article explores the role of the Deaf child as peer educator. In schools where sign languages were banned, Deaf children became the educators of their Deaf peers in a number of contexts worldwide. This paper analyses how this peer education of sign language worked in context by drawing on two examples from boarding schools for the deaf in Nicaragua and Thailand. The argument is advanced that these practices constituted a child-led oppositional pedagogy. A connection is drawn to Freire’s (1972) (...) theory of critical pedagogy. Deaf children’s actions as peer educators are framed as an act of resistance towards the oppression of their language and culture. A contrast is drawn between oralist pedagogy that is historically associated with punitive practices and didactic methods and the experiential and dialogic interaction that characterised peer learning of sign languages. The argument is made that the peer teaching and learning processes enabled the self-actualisation of the Deaf children whereas the oralist methods were based on a deficit model that focused on modifying deaf children according to the norms of hearing society. The implications of this for current policy and practice are inferred to be about access to sign languages and the importance of Deaf communities in deaf children’s education. The argument is made that space needs to be created for deaf children to engage in peer learning. (shrink)
Francis Bacon, lawyer, statesman, and philosopher, remains one of the most effectual thinkers in European intellectual history. We can trace his influence from Kant in the 1700s to Darwin a century later. The Advancement of Learning , first published in 1605, contains an unprecedented and thorough systematization of the whole range of human knowledge. Bacon’s argument that the sciences should move away from divine philosophy and embrace empirical observation would forever change the way philosophers and natural scientists interpret their (...) world. (shrink)
A U-shaped curve in a cognitive-developmental trajectory refers to a three-step process: good performance followed by bad performance followed by good performance once again. U-shaped curves have been observed in a wide variety of cognitive-developmental and learning contexts. U-shaped learning seems to contradict the idea that learning is a monotonic, cumulative process and thus constitutes a challenge for competing theories of cognitive development and learning. U-shaped behavior in language learning (in particular in learning English (...) past tense) has become a central topic in the Cognitive Science debate about learning models. Antagonist models (e.g., connectionism versus nativism) are often judged on their ability of modeling or accounting for U-shaped behavior. The prior literature is mostly occupied with explaining how U-shaped behavior occurs. Instead, we are interested in the necessity of this kind of apparently inefficient strategy. We present and discuss a body of results in the abstract mathematical setting of (extensions of) Gold-style computational learning theory addressing a mathematically precise version of the following question: Are there learning tasks that require U-shaped behavior? All notions considered are learning in the limit from positive data. We present results about the necessity of U-shaped learning in classical models of learning as well as in models with bounds on the memory of the learner. The pattern emerges that, for parameterized, cognitively relevant learning criteria, beyond very few initial parameter values, U-shapes are necessary for full learning power! We discuss the possible relevance of the above results for the Cognitive Science debate about learning models as well as directions for future research. (shrink)
This article reviews a number of different areas in the foundations of formal learning theory. After outlining the general framework for formal models of learning, the Bayesian approach to learning is summarized. This leads to a discussion of Solomonoff's Universal Prior Distribution for Bayesian learning. Gold's model of identification in the limit is also outlined. We next discuss a number of aspects of learning theory raised in contributed papers, related to both computational and representational complexity. (...) The article concludes with a description of how semi-supervised learning can be applied to the study of cognitive learning models. Throughout this overview, the specific points raised by our contributing authors are connected to the models and methods under review. (shrink)
Most empirical work in human categorization has studied learning in either fully supervised or fully unsupervised scenarios. Most real-world learning scenarios, however, are semi-supervised: Learners receive a great deal of unlabeled information from the world, coupled with occasional experiences in which items are directly labeled by a knowledgeable source. A large body of work in machine learning has investigated how learning can exploit both labeled and unlabeled data provided to a learner. Using equivalences between models found (...) in human categorization and machine learning research, we explain how these semi-supervised techniques can be applied to human learning. A series of experiments are described which show that semi-supervised learning models prove useful for explaining human behavior when exposed to both labeled and unlabeled data. We then discuss some machine learning models that do not have familiar human categorization counterparts. Finally, we discuss some challenges yet to be addressed in the use of semi-supervised models for modeling human categorization. (shrink)
Children learn their native language by exposure to their linguistic and communicative environment, but apparently without requiring that their mistakes be corrected. Such learning from “positive evidence” has been viewed as raising “logical” problems for language acquisition. In particular, without correction, how is the child to recover from conjecturing an over-general grammar, which will be consistent with any sentence that the child hears? There have been many proposals concerning how this “logical problem” can be dissolved. In this study, we (...) review recent formal results showing that the learner has sufficient data to learn successfully from positive evidence, if it favors the simplest encoding of the linguistic input. Results include the learnability of linguistic prediction, grammaticality judgments, language production, and form-meaning mappings. The simplicity approach can also be “scaled down” to analyze the learnability of specific linguistic constructions, and it is amenable to empirical testing as a framework for describing human language acquisition. (shrink)
Previous research shows that people can use the co-occurrence of words and objects in ambiguous situations (i.e., containing multiple words and objects) to learn word meanings during a brief passive training period (Yu & Smith, 2007). However, learners in the world are not completely passive but can affect how their environment is structured by moving their heads, eyes, and even objects. These actions can indicate attention to a language teacher, who may then be more likely to name the attended objects. (...) Using a novel active learning paradigm in which learners choose which four objects they would like to see named on each successive trial, this study asks whether active learning is superior to passive learning in a cross-situational word learning context. Finding that learners perform better in active learning, we investigate the strategies and discover that most learners use immediate repetition to disambiguate pairings. Unexpectedly, we find that learners who repeat only one pair per trial—an easy way to infer this pair—perform worse than those who repeat multiple pairs per trial. Using a working memory extension to an associative model of word learning with uncertainty and familiarity biases, we investigate individual differences that correlate with these assorted strategies. (shrink)
The scholar and his public in the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance.--Thomism and the Italian thought of the Renaissance.--The contribution of religious orders to Renaissance thought and learning.--Bibliography (p. -120).
Statistical learning refers to the ability to identify structure in the input based on its statistical properties. For many linguistic structures, the relevant statistical features are distributional: They are related to the frequency and variability of exemplars in the input. These distributional regularities have been suggested to play a role in many different aspects of language learning, including phonetic categories, using phonemic distinctions in word learning, and discovering non-adjacent relations. On the surface, these different aspects share few (...) commonalities. Despite this, we demonstrate that the same computational framework can account for learning in all of these tasks. These results support two conclusions. The first is that much, and perhaps all, of distributional statistical learning can be explained by the same underlying set of processes. The second is that some aspects of language can be learned due to domain-general characteristics of memory. (shrink)
This study examines Itō Jinsai’s 伊藤仁斎 (1627–1705) criticisms of the Great Learning (C: Daxue 大學 J: Daigaku). Three primary sources are considered: Jinsai’s Shigi sakumon 私擬策問 (Personal Essays, 1668); the Daigaku teihon 大學定本 (The Definitive Text of the Great Learning, manuscript 1685); and his essay, “Daigaku wa Kōshi no isho ni arazaru no ben” 大學非孔氏之遺書辨 (The Great Learning is not a Writing Confucius Transmitted, 1705), appended to his Gomō jigi 語孟字義. The study suggests that Jinsai’s critical inclinations (...) grew from his acceptance of Zhu Xi’s views about the value of doubt for progress in learning. The study also suggests that Jinsai’s thinking on the Great Learning had political implications derived in many respects from Jinsai’s overall approach to philosophizing via analysis of words and their meanings. (shrink)
A fundamental question in reading research concerns whether attention is allocated strictly serially, supporting lexical processing of one word at a time, or in parallel, supporting concurrent lexical processing of two or more words (Reichle, Liversedge, Pollatsek, & Rayner, 2009). The origins of this debate are reviewed. We then report three simulations to address this question using artificial reading agents (Liu & Reichle, 2010; Reichle & Laurent, 2006) that learn to dynamically allocate attention to 1–4 words to “read” as efficiently (...) as possible. These simulation results indicate that the agents strongly preferred serial word processing, although they occasionally attended to more than one word concurrently. The reason for this preference is discussed, along with implications for the debate about how humans allocate attention during reading. (shrink)
While the study of implicit learning is nothing new, the field as a whole has come to embody — over the last decade or so — ongoing questioning about three of the most fundamental debates in the cognitive sciences: The nature of consciousness, the nature of mental representation (in particular the difficult issue of abstraction), and the role of experience in shaping the cognitive system. Our main goal in this chapter is to offer a framework that attempts to integrate (...) current thinking about these three issues in a way that specifically links consciousness with adaptation and learning. Our assumptions about this relationship are rooted in further assumptions about the nature of processing and of representation in cognitive systems. When considered together, we believe that these assumptions offer a new perspective on the relationships between conscious and unconscious processing and on the function of consciousness in cognitive systems. (shrink)
Over the past decade, sequence learning has gradually become a central paradigm through which to study implicit learning. In this chapter, we start by briefly summarizing the results obtained with different variants of the sequence learning paradigm. We distinguish three subparadigms in terms of whether the stimulus material is generated either by following a fixed and repeating sequence (e.g., Nissen & Bullemer, 1987), by relying on a complex set of rules from which one can produce several alternative (...) deterministic sequences (e.g., Lewicki, Hill & Bizot, 1988; Stadler, 1989), or by following the output of a probabilistic set of rules such as instantiated by noisy finite-state grammars (Cleeremans & McClelland, 1991; Jiménez, Mendéz & Cleeremans, 1996). Next, we focus on the processes involved in sequence representation and acquisition. We suggest that the sensitivity to the sequential structure observed in the probabilistic subparadigm can only be a result of the acquisition of a representation of the statistical constraints of the material, and that this sensitivity emerges through the operation of mechanisms that are well instantiated by connectionist models such as the Simple Recurrent Network (Elman, 1990; Cleeremans, 1993b). We present new simulation work meant to explore to what extent the model can also account for specific data obtained in a paradigmatic instance of deterministic, rule-based sequence learning task: Lewicki et al. (1988)'s situation. Finally, we report on the results of an experiment that compares learning on otherwise similar deterministic and probabilistic structures, and we show that learning of both types of structures is equivalent only under conditions that maximally hinder explicit acquisition. Taken together, these simulation and experimental data lend support to the claim that implicit learning in all three sequence learning subparadigms can amount to a form of statistical sequence learning. They also suggest that distinguishing among several theories of sequence representation and acquisition may require us to analize the data in great detail. Hopefully, however, some truth can be found in such details.. (shrink)
In this chapter I discuss connections between machine learning and the philosophy of science. First I consider the relationship between the two disciplines. There is a clear analogy between hypothesis choice in science and model selection in machine learning. While this analogy has been invoked to argue that the two disciplines are essentially doing the same thing and should merge, I maintain that the disciplines are distinct but related and that there is a dynamic interaction operating between the (...) two: a series of mutually beneficial interactions that changes over time. I will introduce some particularly fruitful interactions, in particular the consequences of automated scientific discovery for the debate on inductivism versus falsificationism in the philosophy of science, and the importance of philosophical work on Bayesian epistemology and causality for contemporary machine learning. I will close by suggesting the locus of a possible future interaction: evidence integration. (shrink)
The thesis of this bk is that the brain is innately constructed to initiate behaviors likely to promote the survival of the species & to sensitize sensory systems to stimuli required for those behaviors. Intended for behavioral & brain scientists.