This volume provides an up to date and comprehensive overview of the philosophy and neuroscience movement, which applies the methods of neuroscience to traditional philosophical problems and uses philosophical methods to illuminate issues in neuroscience. At the heart of the movement is the conviction that basic questions about human cognition, many of which have been studied for millennia, can be answered only by a philosophically sophisticated grasp of neuroscience's insights into the processing of information by the human brain. (...) Essays in this volume are clustered around five major themes: data and theory in neuroscience; neural representation and computation; visuomotor transformations; color vision; and consciousness. (shrink)
I want to make plausible the following claim:Analyzing scientific inquiry as a species of socially distributed cognition has a variety of advantages for science studies, among them the prospects of bringing together philosophy and sociology of science. This is not a particularly novel claim, but one that faces major obstacles. I will retrace some of the major steps that have been made in the pursuit of a distributed cognition approach to science studies, paying special attention to the (...) promise that such an approach holds out for bridging the rift between philosophy and the social studies of science. (shrink)
David Braddon-Mitchell and Frank Jackson’s popular introduction to philosophy of mind and cognition is now available in a fully revised and updated edition. Ensures that the most recent developments in the philosophy of mind and cognitive science are brought together into a coherent, accessible whole. Revisions respond to feedback from students and teachers and make the volume even more useful for courses. New material includes: a section on Descartes’ famous objection to materialism; extended treatment of connectionism; coverage (...) of the view that psychology is autonomous; fuller discussion of recent debates over phenomenal experience; and much more. (shrink)
Cognition is embodied when it is deeply dependent upon features of the physical body of an agent, that is, when aspects of the agent's body beyond the brain play a significant causal or physically constitutive role in cognitive processing. In general, dominant views in the philosophy of mind and cognitive science have considered the body as peripheral to understanding the nature of mind and cognition. Proponents of embodied cognitive science view this as a serious mistake. Sometimes the (...) nature of the dependence of cognition on the body is quite unexpected, and suggests new ways of conceptualizing and exploring the mechanics of cognitive processing. Embodied cognitive science encompasses a loose-knit family of research programs in the cognitive sciences that often share a commitment to critiquing and even replacing traditional approaches to cognition and cognitive processing. Empirical research on embodied cognition has exploded in the past 10 years. As the bibliography for this article attests, the various bodies of work that will be discussed represent a serious alternative to the investigation of cognitive phenomena. Relatively recent work on the embodiment of cognition provides much food for thought for empirically-informed philosophers of mind. This is in part because of the rich range of phenomena that embodied cognitive science has studied. But it is also in part because those phenomena are often thought to challenge dominant views of the mind, such as the computational and representational theories of mind, at the heart of traditional cognitive science. And they have sometimes been taken to undermine standard positions in the philosophy of mind, such as the idea that the mind is identical to, or even realized in, the brain. (shrink)
Representation and content in some (actual) theories of perception -- Representation in perception and cognition : task analysis, psychological functions, and rule instantiation -- Perception as unconscious inference -- Representation and constraints : the inverse problem and the structure of visual space -- On perceptual constancy -- Getting objects for free (or not) : the philosophy and psychology of object perception -- Color perception and neural encoding : does metameric matching entail a loss of information? -- Objectivity and (...) subjectivity revisited : color as a psychobiological property -- Sense data and the mind body problem -- The reality of qualia -- The sensory core and the medieval foundations of early modern perceptual theory -- Postscript (2008) on Ibn al-Haytham's (Alhacen's) theory of vision -- Attention in early scientific psychology -- Psychology, philosophy, and cognitive science : reflections on the history and philosophy of experimental psychology -- What can the mind tell us about the brain? : psychology, neurophysiology, and constraint -- Introspective evidence in psychology. (shrink)
While the notion of the mind as information-processor--a kind of computational system--is widely accepted, many scientists and philosophers have assumed that this account of cognition shows that the mind's operations are characterizable independent of their relationship to the external world. Existential Cognition challenges the internalist view of mind, arguing that intelligence, thought, and action cannot be understood in isolation, but only in interaction with the outside world. Arguing that the mind is essentially embedded in the external world, Ron (...) McClamrock provides a schema that allows cognitive scientists to address such long-standing problems in artificial intelligence as the "frame" problem and the issue of "bounded" rationality. Extending this schema to cover progress in other studies of behavior, including language, vision, and action, McClamrock reinterprets the importance of the organism/environment distinction. McClamrock also considers the broader philosophical question of the place of mind in the world, particularly with regard to questions of intentionality, subjectivity, and phenomenology. With implications for philosophy, cognitive and computer science, AI, and psychology, this book synthesizes state-of-the-art work in philosophy and cognitive science on how the mind interacts with the world to produce thoughts, ideas, and actions. (shrink)
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)
Evolutionary thinking has expanded in the last decades, spreading from its traditional stronghold - the explanation of speciation and adaptation in Biology - to new domains including the human sciences. The essays in this collection attest to the illuminating power of evolutionary thinking when applied to the understanding of the human mind. The contributors to Cognition, Evolution and Rationality use an evolutionary standpoint to approach the nature of the human mind, including both cognitive and behavioral functions. Cognitive science is (...) by its nature an interdisciplinary subject and the essays use a variety of disciplines including the Philosophy of Science, the Philosophy of Mind, Game Theory, Robotics and Computational Neuroanatomy to investigate the workings of the mind. The topics covered by the essays range from general methodological issues to long-standing philosophical problems such as how rational human beings actually are. This book will be of interest across a number of fields, including philosophy, evolutionary theory and cognitive science. (shrink)
It is supposed to be common knowledge about the history of ideas that one of the few medieval philosophical contributions preserved in modern philosophical thought is the idea that mental phenomena are distinguished from physical phenomena by their intentionality, their directedness toward some object. As is usually the case with such commonplaces about the history of ideas, this claim is not quite true. Medieval philosophers routinely described ordinary physical phenomena, such as reflections in mirrors or sounds in the air, as (...) exhibiting intentionality, while they described what modern philosophers would take to be typically mental phenomena, such as sensation and imagination, as ordinary physical processes. Still, it is true that medieval philosophers would regard all acts of cognition as characterized by intentionality, on account of which all these acts are some sort of representations of their intended objects. This course is going to provide a broad survey of the conceptual relationships between intentionality, cognition and mental representation as conceived by some of the greatest medieval philosophers, including Aquinas, Scotus, Ockham and Buridan, and some of their lesser known contemporaries. The clarification of these conceptual connections sheds some light not only on the intriguing historical relationships between medieval and modern thought on these issues, but also on some fundamental questions in the philosophy of mind as it is conceived today. (shrink)
This volume explores the relationship between Kant's aesthetic theory and his critical epistemology as articulated in the Critique of Pure Reason and the Critique of the Power of Judgment. The essays, written specially for this volume, revise our understanding of core elements of Kant's epistemology, such as his notions of discursive understanding, experience, and objective judgment. They also demonstrate a rich grasp of Kant's critical epistemology that enables a deeper understanding of his aesthetics. Collectively, the essays reveal that Kant's critical (...) project, and the dialectics of aesthetics and cognition within it, is still relevant to contemporary debates in epistemology, philosophy of mind, and the nature of experience and objectivity. The book also yields important lessons about the ineliminable, yet problematic place of imagination, sensibility and aesthetic experience in perception and cognition. (shrink)
What turns the continuous flow of experience into perceptually distinct objects? Can our verbal descriptions unambiguously capture what it is like to see, hear, or feel? How might we reason about the testimony that perception alone discloses? Christian Coseru proposes a rigorous and highly original way to answer these questions by developing a framework for understanding perception as a mode of apprehension that is intentionally constituted, pragmatically oriented, and causally effective. By engaging with recent discussions in phenomenology and analytic (...) class='Hi'>philosophy of mind, but also by drawing on the work of Husserl and Merleau-Ponty, Coseru offers a sustained argument that Buddhist philosophers, in particular those who follow the tradition of inquiry initiated by Dign?ga and Dharmak?rti, have much to offer when it comes to explaining why epistemological disputes about the evidential role of perceptual experience cannot satisfactorily be resolved without taking into account the structure of our cognitive awareness. -/- Perceiving Reality examines the function of perception and its relation to attention, language, and discursive thought, and provides new ways of conceptualizing the Buddhist defense of the reflexivity thesis of consciousness-namely, that each cognitive event is to be understood as involving a pre-reflective implicit awareness of its own occurrence. Coseru advances an innovative approach to Buddhist philosophy of mind in the form of phenomenological naturalism, and moves beyond comparative approaches to philosophy by emphasizing the continuity of concerns between Buddhist and Western philosophical accounts of the nature of perceptual content and the character of perceptual consciousness. (shrink)
This book is a major contribution to the history of philosophy in the later medieval period (1250-1350). It focuses on cognitive theory, a subject of intense investigation during these years. In fact many of the issues that dominate philosophy of mind and epistemology today - intentionality, mental representation, scepticism, realism - were hotly debated in the later medieval period. The book offers a careful analysis of these debates, primarily through the work of Thomas Aquinas, John Olivi, and William (...) Ockham. Each of these figures attempts to reconceptualise cognition along direct realist lines, criticising in the process the standard Aristotelian account. Though of primary interest to medieval philosophers, the book presupposes no background knowledge of the medieval period, and will therefore interest a broader community of philosophers concerned with the origins of contemporary cognitive theory. (shrink)
Written by world-leading experts, this book draws together a number of important strands in contemporary approaches to the philosophical and scientific questions that emerge when dealing with the issues of computing, information, cognition and the conceptual issues that arise at their intersections. It discovers and develops the connections at the borders and in the interstices of disciplines and debates. This volume presents a range of essays that deal with the currently vigorous concerns of the philosophy of information, ontology (...) creation and control, bioinformation and biosemiotics, computational and post-computation approaches to the philosophy of cognitive science, computational linguistics, ethics, and education. http://www.amazon.ca/Computation-Information-Cognition-Gordana-Dodig-Crnkovic/dp/1847180906. (shrink)
This monograph provides a new account of justified inference as a cognitive process. In contrast to the prevailing tradition in epistemology, the focus is on low-level inferences, i.e., those inferences that we are usually not consciously aware of and that we share with the cat nearby which infers that the bird which she sees picking grains from the dirt, is able to fly. Presumably, such inferences are not generated by explicit logical reasoning, but logical methods can be used to describe (...) and analyze such inferences. Part 1 gives a purely system-theoretic explication of belief and inference. Part 2 adds a reliabilist theory of justification for inference, with a qualitative notion of reliability being employed. Part 3 recalls and extends various systems of deductive and nonmonotonic logic and thereby explains the semantics of absolute and high reliability. In Part 4 it is proven that qualitative neural networks are able to draw justified deductive and nonmonotonic inferences on the basis of distributed representations. This is derived from a soundness/completeness theorem with regard to cognitive semantics of nonmonotonic reasoning. The appendix extends the theory both logically and ontologically, and relates it to A. Goldman's reliability account of justified belief. This text will be of interest to epistemologists and logicians, to all computer scientists who work on nonmonotonic reasoning and neural networks, and to cognitive scientists. (shrink)
The concepts and powerful mathematical tools of Dynamical Systems Theory (DST) yield illuminating methods of studying cognitive processes, and are even claimed by some to enable us to bridge the notorious explanatory gap separating mind and matter. This article includes an analysis of some of the conceptual and empirical progress Dynamical Systems Theory is claimed to accomodate. While sympathetic to the dynamicist program in principle, this article will attempt to formulate a series of problems the proponents of the approach in (...) question will need to face if they wish to prolong their optimism. The main points to be addressed involve the reductive tendencies inherent in Dynamical Systems Theory, its somewhat muddled position relative to connectionism, the metaphorical nature DST-C exhibits which hinders its explanatory potential, and DST-C's problematic account of causality. Brief discussions of the mathematical and philosophical backgrounds of DST, seminal experimental work and possible adaptations of the theory or alternative suggestions (dynamicist connectionism, neurophenomenology, R&D theory) are included. (shrink)
An alarming number of philosophers and cognitive scientists have argued that mind extends beyond the brain and body. This book evaluates these arguments and suggests that, typically, it does not. A timely and relevant study that exposes the need to develop a more sophisticated theory of cognition, while pointing to a bold new direction in exploring the nature of cognition Articulates and defends the “mark of the cognitive”, a common sense theory used to distinguish between cognitive and non-cognitive (...) processes Challenges the current popularity of extended cognition theory through critical analysis and by pointing out fallacies and shortcoming in the literature Stimulates discussions that will advance debate about the nature of cognition in the cognitive sciences. (shrink)
This paper problematizes the analogy that Hubert Dreyfus has presented between phenomenology and cognitive science. It argues that Dreyfus presents Merleau-Ponty''s modification of Husserl''s phenomenology in a misleading way. He ignores the idea of philosophy as a radical interrogation and self-responsibility that stems from Husserl''s work and recurs in Merleau-Ponty''s Phenomenology of Perception. The paper focuses on Merleau-Ponty''s understanding of the phenomenological reduction. It shows that his critical idea was not to restrict the scope of Husserl''s reductions but to (...) study the conditions of possibility for the thetic acts. Merleau-Ponty argued, following Husserl''s texts, that the thetic acts rest on the basis of primordial pre-thetic experience. This layer of experience cannot, by its nature, be explicated or clarified, but it can be questioned and unveiled. This is the recurrent task of phenomenological philosophy, as Merleau-Ponty understands it. (shrink)
This article critically examines the views that psychology ?rst came into existence as a discipline ca. 1879, that philosophy and psychology were estranged in the ensuing decades, that psychology ?nally became scienti?c through the in?uence of logical empiricism, and that it should now disappear in favor of cognitive science and neuroscience. It argues that psychology had a natural philosophical phase (from antiquity) that waxed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, that this psychology transformed into experimental psychology ca. 1900, that (...) philosophers and psychologists collaboratively discussed the subject matter and methods of psychology in the ?rst two decades of the twentieth century, that the neobehaviorists were not substantively in?uenced by the Vienna Circle, that the study of perception and cognition in psy- chology did not disappear in the behaviorist period and so did not reemerge as a result of arti?cial intelligence, linguistics, and the computer analogy, that although some psychologists adopted the language-of-thought approach of traditional cognitive science, many did not, and that psychology will not go away because it contributes independently of cognitive science and neuroscience. (shrink)
Specifically designed to make the philosophy of mind intelligible to those not trained in philosophy, this book provides a concise overview for students and researchers in the cognitive sciences. Emphasizing the relevance of philosophical work to investigations in other cognitive sciences, this unique text examines such issues as the meaning of language, the mind-body problem, the functionalist theories of cognition, and intentionality. As he explores the philosophical issues, Bechtel draws connections between philosophical views and theoretical and experimental (...) work in such disciplines as cognitive psychology, artificial intelligence, linguistics, neuroscience, and anthropology. (shrink)
The philosophy of science has lost its self-confidence. Structures in Science (2001) is an advanced textbook that explicates, updates and integrates the best insights of logical empiricism and its main critics. This "neo-classical approach" aims at providing heuristic patterns for research.The book introduces four ideal types of research programs (descriptive, explanatory, design and explicative) and reanimates the distinction between observational laws and proper theories without assuming a theory-free language. It explicates various patterns of explanation by subsumption and specification as (...) well as structures in reductive and other types of interlevel research. Its threefold analysis of theory evaluation leads to new characterizations of confirmation, empirical progress, and truth approximation. What emerges are partial analogies between progress in nomological research, presented in detail in From Instrumentalism to Constructive Realism (2000) and progress in explicative and design research. Finally, special chapters are devoted to design research programs, computational philosophy of science, the structuralist approach to theories, and research ethics.The present synopsis of Structures in Science highlights the main topics, the final emphasis being on design research and research ethics. (shrink)
Philosophers of mind, both in the conceptual analysis tradition and in the empirical informed school, have been implicitly neglecting the potential conceptual role of the Peripheral Nervous System (PNS) in understanding sensory and perceptual states. Instead, the philosophical as well as the neuroscientific literature has been assuming that it is the Central Nervous System (CNS) alone, and more exactly the brain, that should prima facie be taken as conceptually and empirically crucial for a philosophical analysis of such states This is (...) the first monograph that focuses on the PNS and its constitutive role in sensory states, including pain, mechanoception, proprioception, tactile perception, and so forth. -/- The author argues that the brain-centeredness of current philosophy of mind is a prejudice, and proposes a series of original ways in which classic puzzles in the philosophy of mind can be solved once the hypothesis that PNS is a constitutive element of mental states is taken seriously. The author calls this “the Peripheral Mind Hypothesis”, and employs it in a vast range of issues, such as functionalism, physicalism, mental content, embodiment, as well as some issues in neuroethics. -/- Making equal use of conceptual analysis, empirical data from neuroscience, first-person phenomenological data, and philosophical speculation, this work offers a fresh look at, and novel solutions to many philosophical problems. (shrink)
It is widely believed that Hume often wrote carelessly and contradicted himself, and that no unified, sound philosophy emerges from his writings. Don Garrett demonstrates that such criticisms of Hume are without basis. Offering fresh and trenchant solutions to longstanding problems in Hume studies, Garrett's penetrating analysis also makes clear the continuing relevance of Hume's philosophy.
In this study of the cognitive paradigm, De Mey applies the study of computer models of human perception to the philosophy and sociology of science. "A most stimulating, and intellectually delightful book."--John Goldsmith "[De Mey] has brought together an unusually wide range of material, and suggested some interesting lines of thought, about what should be an important application of cognitive science: The understanding of science itself."-- Cognition and Brain Theory "It ought to be on the shelf of every (...) teacher and researcher in the field and on the reading list of any student or practitioner seriously interested in how those they serve are likely to set about knowing."-- ISIS. (shrink)
Michael Dummett has claimed that analytic philosophy is distinguished from other schools in its belief that a comprehensive philosophical account of thought can only be attained by developing a philosophical account of language. Dummett himself argues persuasively for the priority-of-Ianguage thesis. This, in effect, metaphilosophical position is of special importance for his more straightforwardly philosophical views, for he holds that philosophical investigations of the concepts of objectivity and reality grow directly out of the philosophy of thought. But I (...) argue that some of what Dummett says about the priority of language over thought is problematic, that there may yet be a serious role for concepts within the theory of meaning, and that Dummett’s failure to acknowledge this role both hobbles his account of linguistic understanding and has deleterious consequences for his discussions of metaphysical realism-robbing him of the resources with which he might have avoided some of his anti-realist conclusions. (shrink)
We describe recent developments in research on mathematical practice and cognition and outline the nine contributions in this special issue of topiCS. We divide these contributions into those that address (a) mathematical reasoning: patterns, levels, and evaluation; (b) mathematical concepts: evolution and meaning; and (c) the number concept: representation and processing.
In this collection of essays, Paul Churchland explores the unfolding impact of the several empirical sciences of the mind, especially cognitive neurobiology and computational neuroscience on a variety of traditional issues central to the discipline of philosophy. Representing Churchland's most recent research, they continue his research program, launched over thirty years ago, and which has evolved into the field of neurophilosophy.
When the various disciplines participating in cognitive science are listed, philosophy almost always gets a guernsey. Yet, a couple of years ago at the conference of the Cognitive Science Society in Boulder (USA), there was no philosophy or philosopher with any prominence on the program. When queried on this point, the organizer (one of the "superstars" of the field) claimed it was partly an accident, but partly also due to an impression among members of the committee that (...) class='Hi'>philosophy is basically a waste of time. Philosophy, they thought, is mostly obscure bullshit that does little to help, and much to hinder, real progress in cognitive science. (shrink)
This paper questions the form and prospects of “extended theories” which have been simultaneously and independently advocated both in the philosophy of mind and in the philosophy of biology. It focuses on Extend Mind Theory (EMT) and Developmental Systems Theory (DST). It shows first that the two theories vindicate a parallel extension of received views, the former concerning extending cognition beyond the brain, the latter concerned with extending evolution and development beyond the genes. It also shows that (...) both arguments rely on the demonstration of causal parities, which have been undermined by the classical received view. Then I question whether the argument that there is an illegitimate inference from parities or coupling to constitution claims, which has been objected by Adams and Aizawa in The bounds of cognition, (2008) to EMT, also holds against DST. To this aim, I consider two defenses against DST that are parallel to two defenses against EMT, one about intrinsic content, the other about the difference between what’s in principle possible and what happens in practice. I conclude by claiming that the weaknesses and strengths of both theories are different regarding these two kinds of objections. (shrink)
I. History. Mainwaring's Handel : its relation to British aesthetics -- Herbert Spencer and a musical dispute -- II. Opera and film. Handel's operas : the form of feeling and the problem of appreciation -- Anti-semitism in Meistersinger? -- Speech, song, and the transparency of medium : on operatic metaphysics -- III. Performance. On the historically informed performance -- Ars perfecta : toward perfection in musical performance? -- IV. Interpretation. Another go at the meaning of music : Koopman, Davies, and (...) the meaning of "meaning" -- Another go at musical profundity : Stephen Davies and the game of chess -- From ideology to music : Leonard Meyer's theory of style change -- Sibley's last paper -- In defense of musical representation : music, representation, and the hybrid arts -- Music, language, and cognition : which doesn't belong? (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: -- Series Editors' Preface -- Acknowledgements -- Introduction -- The Essential Embodiment Thesis -- Essentially Embodied, Desire-Based Emotions -- Sense of Self,_Embodiment, and Desire-Based Emotions -- The Role of Emotion in Decision and Moral Evaluation -- Essentially Embodied, Emotive, Enactive Social Cognition -- Breakdowns in Embodied Emotive Cognition -- Conclusion -- Notes -- References -- Index.
There are currently considerable confusion and disarray about just how we should view computationalism, connectionism and dynamicism as explanatory frameworks in cognitive science. A key source of this ongoing conflict among the central paradigms in cognitive science is an equivocation on the notion of computation simpliciter. ‘Computation’ is construed differently by computationalism, connectionism, dynamicism and computational neuroscience. I claim that these central paradigms, properly understood, can contribute to an integrated cognitive science. Yet, before this claim can be defended, a better (...) understanding of ‘computation’ is required. ‘Digital computation’ is an ambiguous concept. It is not just the classical dichotomy between analogue and digital computation that is the basis for the equivocation on ‘computation’ simpliciter in cognitive science, but also the diversity of extant accounts of digital computation. There are many answers on what it takes for a system to perform digital computation. Answers to this problem range from Turing machine computation, through the formal manipulation of symbols, the execution of algorithms and others, to the strong-pancomputational thesis, according to which every physical system computes every Turing-computable function. Despite some overlap among them, extant accounts of concrete digital computation are non-equivalent, thus, rendering ‘digital computation’ ambiguous. The objective of this dissertation is twofold. First, it is to promote a clearer understanding of concrete digital computation. Accordingly, my main thesis is that not only are extant accounts of concrete digital computation non-equivalent, but most of them are inadequate. I show that these accounts are not just intensionally different (this is quite trivially the case), but also extensionally distinct. In the course of examining several key accounts of concrete digital computation, I propose the instructional information processing account, according to which digital computation is the processing of discrete data in accordance with finite instructional information. The second objective is to establish the foundational role of computation in cognitive science whilst rejecting the purported representational nature of computation. (shrink)
This book defends a novel theory of singular concepts, emphasizing the pragmatic requirements of singular concept possession and arguing that these requirements must be understood to institute traditions and policies of thought.
This commentary raises three questions about the target article: What are pointers or deictic devices? Why insist on deictic codes for cognition rather than deixis simpliciter? And in what sense is cognition embodied, on this view?
This is the first major textbook to offer a truly comprehensive review of cognitive science in its fullest sense. Ranging across artificial intelligence models and cognitive psychology through to recent discursive and cultural theories Rom Harre offers a breathtakingly original yet accessible integration of the field. At its core this textbook addresses the question "is psychology a science?" with a clear account of scientific method and explanation and their bearing on psychological research. A pivotal figure in psychology and philosophy (...) for many decades Rom Harre has turned his unmatched breadth of reference and insight for students at all levels. Whether describing, language, categorization, memory, the brain or connectionism the book always links our intuitions about beliefs, desires and their social context to the latest accounts of their place in computational and biological models. Fluently written and well structured, this an ideal text for students. The book is divided into four basic modules, with three lectures in each; the reader is guided with helpful learning points, study and essay questions and key readings for each chapter. (shrink)
Cognitive scientists have a variety of approaches to studying cognition: experimental psychology, computer science, robotics, neuroscience, educational psychology, philosophy of mind, and psycholinguistics, to name but a few. In addition, they also differ in their approaches to cognition - some of them consider that the mind works basically like a computer, involving programs composed of abstract, amodal, and arbitrary symbols. Others claim that cognition is embodied - that is, symbols must be grounded on perceptual, motoric, and (...) emotional experience. The existence of such different approaches has consequences when dealing with practical issues such as understanding brain disorders, designing artificial intelligence programs and robots, improving psychotherapy, or designing instructional programs. The symbolist and embodiment camps seldom engage in any kind of debate to clarify their differences. This book is the first attempt to do so. It brings together a team of outstanding scientists, adopting symbolist and embodied viewpoints, in an attempt to understand how the mind works and the nature of linguistic meaning. As well as being interdisciplinary, all authors have made an attempt to find solutions to substantial issues beyond specific vocabularies and techniques. (shrink)
The basic idea of the particular way of understanding mental phenomena that has inspired the "cognitive revolution" is that, as a result of certain relatively recent intellectual and technological innovations, informed theorists now possess a more powerfully insightful comparison or model for mind than was available to any thinkers in the past. The model in question is that of software, or the list of rules for input, output, and internal transformations by which we determine and control the workings of a (...) computing machine's hardware. Although this comparison and its many implications have dominated work in the philosophy, psychology, and neurobiology of mind since the end of the Second World War, it now shows increasing signs of losing its once virtually unquestioned preeminence. Thus we now face the question of whether it is possible to repair and save this model by means of relatively inessential "tinkering", or whether we must reconceive it fundamentally and replace it with something different. In this book, twenty-eight leading scholars from diverse fields of "cognitive science"-linguistics, psychology, neurophysiology, and philosophy- present their latest, carefully considered judgements about what they think will be the future course of this intellectual movement, that in many respects has been a watershed in our contemporary struggles to comprehend that which is crucially significant about human beings. Jerome Bruner, Noam Chomsky, Margaret Boden, Ulric Neisser, Rom Harre, Merlin Donald, among others, have all written chapters in a non-technical style that can be enjoyed and understood by an inter-disciplinary audience of psychologists, philosophers, anthropologists, linguists, and cognitive scientists alike. (shrink)