Cognitive systems research has predominantly been guided by the historical distinction between emotion and cognition, and has focused its efforts on modelling the “cognitive” aspects of behaviour. While this initially meant modelling only the control system of cognitive creatures, with the advent of “embodied” cognitive science this expanded to also modelling the interactions between the control system and the external environment. What did not seem to change with this embodiment revolution, however, was the attitude towards affect and emotion in cognitive (...) science. This paper argues that cognitive systems research is now beginning to integrate these aspects of natural cognitive systems into cognitive science proper, not in virtue of traditional “embodied cognitive science”, which focuses predominantly on the body’s gross morphology, but rather in virtue of research into the interoceptive, organismic basis of natural cognitive systems. (shrink)
Gunderson allows that internally propelled programmed devices (Hauser Robots) do act full-bloodedly under aspects but denies this evidences that they really have the mental properties such acts seem to indicate. Rather, given our intuitive conviction that these machines lack consciousness, such performances evidence the dementalizability (contrary to Searle and Hauser both) of full-blooded acts of detecting, calculating, etc., such machines really do (contrary to Searle) perform.
There is a definite challenge in the air regarding the pivotal notion of internal representation. This challenge is explicit in, e.g., van Gelder, 1995; Beer, 1995; Thelen & Smith, 1994; Wheeler, 1994; and elsewhere. We think it is a challenge that can be met and that (importantly) can be met by arguing from within a general framework that accepts many of the basic premises of the work (in new robotics and in dynamical systems theory) that motivates such scepticism (...) in the first place. Our strategy will be as follows. We begin (Section 1) by offering an account (an example and something close to a definition) of what we shall term Minimal Robust Representationalism (MRR). Sections 2 & 3 address some likely worries and questions about this notion. We end (Section 4) by making explicit the conditions under which, on our account, a science (e.g., robot- ics) may claim to be addressing cognitive phenomena. (shrink)
Schaffer (2010) argues that the internal relatedness of all things, no matter how it is conceived, entails priority monism. He claims that a sufficiently pervasive internal relation among objects implies the priority of the whole, understood as a concrete object. This paper shows that at least in the case of an internal relatedness of all things conceived in terms of physical intentionality - one way to understand dispositions - priority monism not only doesn't follow but also is (...) precluded. We conclude that the internal relatedness of all things is compatible with several different ontologies (including varieties of pluralism) but entails nothing concerning dependence between concrete objects. (shrink)
Locke put forward the theory of consciousness as "internal Sense" or "reflection"; Kant made it inner sense, by means of which the mind intuits itself or its inner state." 1 On that theory, consciousness is a perception-like second-order representing of our own psychological states events. The term "consciousness," of course, has many distinct uses.
0. Platitudinously, cognitive science is the science of cognition. Cognition is usually defined as something like the process of acquiring, retaining and applying knowledge. To a first approximation, therefore, cognitive science is the science of knowing. Knowing is a relation between the knower and the known. Typically, although not always, what is known involves the environment external to the knower. Thus knowing typically involves a relation between the agent and the external environment. It is not internal to the agent, (...) for the internal may be the same whether or not it is related to the external in a way that constitutes knowing. Cognition enables agents to achieve their goals by adjusting their actions appropriately to the environment. Such adjustment requires what is internal to the agent to be in some sense in line with what is external; that matching depends on both internal and external sides. Thus if cognitive science were restricted to what is internal to the agent, it would lose sight of its primary object of study. Although cognition depends on both the internal and the external, one can try to analyse it into internal and external factors. Call a state S narrow if and only if whether an agent is in S at a time t depends only on the total internal qualitative state of S at t, so that if one agent in one possible situation is internally an exact duplicate of another agent.. (shrink)
Timothy Williamson has presented several arguments that seek to cast doubt on the idea that cognition can be factorized into internal and external components. In the first section of this paper, I attempt to evaluate these arguments. My conclusion will be that these arguments establish several highly important points, but in the end these arguments fail to cast any doubt either on the idea that cognitive science should be largely concerned with internal mental processes, or on the idea (...) that cognition can be analysed in terms of the existence of a suitable connection between internal and external components. I shall present an argument for the conclusion that cognition involves certain causal processes that are entirely internal. (shrink)
Putnam’s internal realism is aimed at reconciling realist and antirealist intuitions about truth and the nature of reality. A common complaint about internal realism is that it has never been stated with due precision. This paper attempts to render the position precise by drawing on the literature on conceptual spaces as well as on earlier work of the authors on the notion of identity.
Representing an epistemic situation involving several agents obviously depends on the modeling point of view one takes. We start by identifying the types of modeling points of view which are logically possible. We call the one traditionally followed by epistemic logic the perfect external approach, because there the modeler is assumed to be an omniscient and external observer of the epistemic situation. In the rest of the paper we focus on what we call the internal approach, where the modeler (...) is one of the agents involved in the situation. For this approach we propose and axiomatize a logical formalism based on epistemic logic. This leads us to formalize some intuitions about the internal approach and about its connections with the external ones. Finally, we show that our internal logic is decidable and PSPACE-complete. (shrink)
Putnam originally developed his causal theory of meaning in order to support scientific realism and reject the notion of incommensurability. Later he gave up this position and adopted instead what he called ‘internal realism’, but apparently without changing his mind on topics related to his former philosophy of language. The question must arise whether internal realism, which actually is a species of antirealism, is compatible with the causal theory of meaning. In giving an answer I begin with an (...) analysis of the content and metaphysical background of scientific realism. I show that it presupposes metaphysical realism and that Putnam's philosophical conversion is due to his becoming aware of the latter's incoherence. After giving a brief sketch of internal realism I conclude by arguing that within this new theoretical framework the causal theory of meaning loses its force as a weapon against incommensurability. (shrink)
Examining intrapersonal factors theorized to influence ethics reporting decisions, the relation of self-efficacy as a predictor of propensity for internal whistleblowing is investigated within a US and Canadian multi-regional context. Over 900 professionals from a total of nine regions in Canada and the US participated. Self-efficacy was found to influence participant reported propensity for internal whistleblowing consistently in both the US and Canada. Seasoned participants with greater management and work experience demonstrated higher levels of self-efficacy while gender was (...) also found to be influential to self-efficacy. These individual traits, although related to self-efficacy, did not directly relate to propensities for internal whistleblowing. The findings demonstrate that self-efficacy could represent an important individual trait for examining whistleblowing issues. Internal whistleblowing is becoming an important organizational consideration in many areas of North America, yet there is relatively little research on the topic. Organizations seeking effective internal reporting systems should consider the influence of self-efficacy along with its potential reporting influence. By empirically testing an under-examined component of theory related to internal whistleblowing, this effort contributes to management literature, extending the knowledge beyond a US context, and provides recommendation for managing individual bias with internal reporting systems. (shrink)
Pioneer approaches to Artificial Intelligence have traditionally neglected, in a chronological sequence, the agent body, the world where the agent is situated, and the other agents. With the advent of Collective Robotics approaches, important progresses were made toward embodying and situating the agents, together with the introduction of collective intelligence. However, the currently used models of social environments are still rather poor, jeopardizing the attempts of developing truly intelligent robot teams. In this paper, we propose a roadmap for a (...) new approach to the design of multi-robot systems, mainly inspired by concepts from Institutional Economics, an alternative to mainstream neoclassical economic theory. Our approach intends to sophisticate the design of robot collectives by adding, to the currently popular emergentist view, the concepts of physically and socially bounded autonomy of cognitive agents, uncoupled interaction among them and deliberately set up coordination devices. (shrink)
The paper discusses which modal principles should hold for a truth operator answering to the truth theory of internal realism. It turns out that the logic of truth in internal realism is isomorphic to the modal system S4.
Three visual habituation studies using abstract animations tested the claim that infants’ attachment behavior in the Strange Situation procedure corresponds to their expectations about caregiver–infant interactions. Three unique patterns of expectations were revealed. Securely attached infants expected infants to seek comfort from caregivers and expected caregivers to provide comfort. Insecure-resistant infants not only expected infants to seek comfort from caregivers but also expected caregivers to withhold comfort. Insecure-avoidant infants expected infants to avoid seeking comfort from caregivers and expected caregivers to (...) withhold comfort. These data support Bowlby’s (1958) original claims—that infants form internal working models of attachment that are expressed in infants’ own behavior. (shrink)
The notion that the firm, and economic activity in general, is inherently amoral is a central feature of positive economics that is also widely accepted in business ethics. Theories as disparate as stockholder and stakeholder theory both leave this central assumption unchallenged. Each theory argues for a different set of external ethical restrictions, but neither adequately provides an internal connection between business and the ethical rules business people are obliged to follow. This paper attempts to make this connection by (...) arguing that the purpose of business is to produce a good or service for trade. Trade involves both a respect for individual autonomy and property rights and squarely places moral norms internal to the practice of business. Trade is not a contingent activity of business, it is a practice rule which also provides the common sense boundary between business and charity on the one hand, and crime on the other. Business and those who engage in it are, from the internal point of view, bound by the purpose of trade and not just the laws of the land. (shrink)
Cognitive Robotics can be defined as the study of cognitive phenomena by their modeling in physical artifacts such as robots. This is a very lively and fascinating field which has already given fundamental contributions to our understanding of natural cognition. Nonetheless, robotics has to date addressed mainly very basic, lowlevel cognitive phenomena like sensorymotor coordination, perception, and navigation, and it is not clear how the current approach might scale up to explain highlevel human cognition. In this paper we (...) argue that a promising way to do that is to merge current ideas and methods of 'embodied cognition' with the Russian tradition of theoretical psychology which views language not only as a communication system but also as a cognitive tool, that is by developing a Vygotskyan Cognitive Robotics. We substantiate this idea by discussing several domains in which language can improve basic cognitive abilities and permit the development of highlevel cognition: learning, categorization, abstraction, memory, voluntary control, and mental life. (shrink)
Ethical reflections on military robotics can be enriched by a better understanding of the nature and role of these technologies and by putting robotics into context in various ways. Discussing a range of ethical questions, this paper challenges the prevalent assumptions that military robotics is about military technology as a mere means to an end, about single killer machines, and about “military” developments. It recommends that ethics of robotics attend to how military technology changes our aims, (...) concern itself not only with individual robots but also and especially with networks and swarms, and adapt its conceptions of responsibility to the rise of such cloudy and unpredictable systems, which rely on decentralized control and buzz across many spheres of human activity. (shrink)
This article addresses prospective and retrospective responsibility issues connected with medical robotics. It will be suggested that extant conceptual and legal frameworks are sufficient to address and properly settle most retrospective responsibility problems arising in connection with injuries caused by robot behaviours (which will be exemplified here by reference to harms occurred in surgical interventions supported by the Da Vinci robot, reported in the scientific literature and in the press). In addition, it will be pointed out that many prospective (...) responsibility issues connected with medical robotics are nothing but well-known robotics engineering problems in disguise, which are routinely addressed by roboticists as part of their research and development activities: for this reason they do not raise particularly novel ethical issues. In contrast with this, it will be pointed out that novel and challenging prospective responsibility issues may emerge in connection with harmful events caused by normal robot behaviours. This point will be illustrated here in connection with the rehabilitation robot Lokomat. (shrink)
This paper discusses the proposal made by Lombardi and Labarca (Found Chem 7:125–148, 2005) that internal realism can secure the ontological autonomy of chemistry. I argue that internal realism is not, by itself, sufficient to accomplish this task. The fact that conceptual schemes may differ with respect to their theoretical virtues, and the possibility that the relations between them may be reductive undermine the premise that each conceptual scheme has an equal right to define its own ontology, which (...) is a key premise in Lombardi and Labarca’s proposal. (shrink)
This paper discusses different approaches incognitive science and artificial intelligenceresearch from the perspective of radicalconstructivism, addressing especially theirrelation to the biologically based theories ofvon Uexküll, Piaget as well as Maturana andVarela. In particular recent work in New AI and adaptive robotics on situated and embodiedintelligence is examined, and we discuss indetail the role of constructive processes asthe basis of situatedness in both robots andliving organisms.
In considering how to best deploy robotic systems in public and private sectors, we must consider what individuals will expect from the robots with which they interact. Public awareness of robotics—as both military machines and domestic helpers—emerges out of a braided stream composed of science fiction and popular science. These two genres influence news media, government and corporate spending, and public expectations. In the Euro-American West, both science fiction and popular science are ambivalent about the military applications for (...) class='Hi'>robotics, and thus we can expect their readers to fear the dangers posed by advanced robotics while still eagerly anticipating the benefits to be accrued through them. The chief pop science authors in robotics and artificial intelligence have a decidedly apocalyptic bent and have thus been described as leaders in a social movement called "Apocalyptic AI." In one form or another, such authors look forward to a transcendent future in which machine life succeeds human life, thanks to the march of evolutionary progress. The apocalyptic promises of popular robotics presume that presently exponential growth in computing will continue indefinitely, producing a "Singularity." During the Singularity, technological progress will be so rapid that undreamt of changes will take place on earth, the most important of which will be the evolutionary succession of human beings by massively intelligent robots and the "uploading" of human consciousness into computer bodies. This supposedly inevitable transition into post-biological life looms across the entire scope of pop robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), and it is from beneath that shadow that all popular books engage the military and the ethics of warfare. Creating a just future will require that we transcend the apocalyptic discourse of pop science and establish an ethical approach to researching and deploying robots, one that emphasizes human rather than robot welfare; doing so will require the collaboration of social scientists, humanists, and scientists. (shrink)
What is the ontological status of facts? Are facts linguistic or extra-linguistic entities? If facts are extra-linguistic entities, are they mind-independent or relative to languages, theories or conceptual schemes? Based on a minimal definition of facts, the author argues that what are specified by true statements are not identical to true propositions expressed, so facts are not linguistic entities. Furthermore, what are specified by true statements are not to which a true statement corresponds, so facts are not mind-independent, either as (...) concrete entities in the universe or as abstract entities in the world as it is. Last, the author presents an internal factual realist answer: although facts are neither in the world as it is, nor in a language, facts are real and exist in a world under consideration. A fact, as a non-linguistic correlate of a true statement of a language, exists in a world specified by the language. (shrink)
The paper proposes the first unified account of deictic/sentence-external and sentence-internal readings of singular different . The empirical motivation for such an account is provided by a cross-linguistic survey and an analysis of the differences in distribution and interpretation between singular different , plural different and same (singular or plural) in English. The main proposal is that distributive quantification temporarily makes available two discourse referents within its nuclear scope, the values of which are required by sentence-internal uses of (...) singular different to be distinct, much as its deictic uses require the values of two discourse referents to be distinct. Thus, we take sentence-internal readings to be a form of ‘association with distributivity’ that is similar to association with focus. The contrast between singular different , plural different and same is explained in terms of several kinds of quantificational distributors that license their internal readings. The analysis is executed in a stack-based dynamic system couched in type logic, so we get compositionality in the usual Montagovian way. Quantificational subordination and dependent indefinites in various languages provide additional motivation for the account. Investigating the connections between items with sentence-internal readings and the quantificational licensors of these readings opens up a larger project of formally investigating (i) the typology of quantificational distributors and distributivity-dependent items and (ii) the fine-grained contexts of evaluation needed to capture this typological variation. (shrink)
This paper pursues the intertwined tracks of robotics and art since the mid 20th century, taking a loose chronological approach that considers both the devices themselves and their discursive contexts. Relevant research has occurred in a variety of cultural locations, often outside of or prior to formalized robotics contexts. Research was even conducted under the aegis of art or cultural practices where robotics has been pursued for other than instrumental purposes. In hindsight, some of that work seems (...) remarkably prescient of contemporary trends. The context of cultural robotics is a highly charged interdisciplinary test environment in which the theory and pragmatics of technical research confronts the phenomenological realities of physical and social being in the world, and the performative and processual practices of the arts. In this context, issues of embodiment, material instantiation, structural coupling, and machine sensing have provoked the reconsideration of notions of (machine) intelligence and cognitivist paradigms. The paradoxical condition of robotics vis-à-vis artificial intelligence is reflected upon. This paper discusses the possibility of a new embodied ontology of robotics that draws upon both cybernetics and post-cognitive approaches. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to develop an understanding about the internal fraud and corruption problem in the Turkish construction industry. The reasons behind the internal fraud and corruption problem as well as the types of prevention methods were investigated; and as a result various recommendations were made. To this end, a risk awareness questionnaire was used to understand the behavioral patterns of the construction industry, and to clarify possible proactive and reactive measures against internal fraud (...) and corruption. The type of fraud experienced by Turkish construction companies was also surveyed in the questionnaire. The questionnaire was sent to 89 firms; and depending on the collected data, certain recommendations for construction industry professionals were provided. (shrink)
Departing from theories of distributive justice and their relation with the distribution of health care within society, especially egalitarianism and libertarianism, this paper aims at demonstrating that the approach taken by the European Court of Justice regarding the application of the Internal Market principles (or the market freedoms) to the field of health care services has introduced new values which are more concerned with a libertarian view of health care. Moreover, the paper also addresses the question of how these (...) new values introduced by the Court may affect common principles of European health systems, such as equity and accessibility. (shrink)
Two elements of corporate governance—the strength of ethical executive leadership and the internal audit function (IAF hereafter)—provide guidance to accounting managers making decisions involving uncertainty. We examine the joint effect of these two factors, manipulated at two levels (strong, weak), in an experiment in which accounting professionals decide whether to book a questionable journal entry (i.e., a journal entry for which a reasonable business case can be made but there is no supporting documentation). We find that ethical leadership and (...) the IAF interact to determine the likelihood that accountants book the entry. Specifically, accountants are less likely to book a questionable journal entry when there is a weak ethical leader and a strong IAF compared to all other conditions. In addition, we find that accountants question the appropriateness and ethicalness of the request to book an undocumented journal entry more in the weak ethical leader and strong IAF condition than in the other conditions. These results suggest that the IAF has a different impact on financial reporting decisions depending on the ethicalness of executive leadership and that a strong IAF may cause accountants to question the appropriateness and ethicalness of an undocumented journal entry when combined with weak ethical leadership. We also find that the interactive effect of ethical leadership and the IAF on an accountant’s decision is fully mediated by his/her perception of the moral intensity of the issue. Thus, accountants, who perceive greater moral intensity associated with booking the entry, are less willing to do so. (shrink)
The Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002 requires audit committees of public companies’ boards of directors to install an anonymous reporting channel to assist in deterring and detecting accounting fraud and control weaknesses. While it is generally accepted that the availability of such a reporting channel may reduce the reporting cost of the observer of a questionable act, there is concern that the addition of such a channel may decrease the overall effectiveness compared to a system employing only non-anonymous reporting options. The (...) rationale underlying this concern involves the would-be reporter’s likelihood of reporting, the seriousness with which the organization treats an anonymous report, and the organization’s ability to thoroughly follow-up the report. Thus, we explore the extent to which the availability of an anonymous reporting channel influences intended use of non-anonymous reporting channels. Further, in response to Sarbanes–Oxley and the environment of financial scandals that led to its passage, many firms are strengthening their internal audit departments, and providing them with greater independence from upper management’s direct control. Accordingly, our examination tests whether the intended use of the internal audit department as an internal reporting channel is greater when the internal audit department is of “high” versus “low” quality. Finally, the study investigates intended reporting behavior across three different cases (e.g., settings). Results show that the existence of an anonymous channel does reduce the likelihood of reporting to non-anonymous channels, that generally the internal audit department quality does not affect reporting to non-anonymous channels, and that case-setting affects the type of channel to be used. Implications from the study are discussed. (shrink)
The problem of metaphor has come to a noteworthy revival in the analytical philosophy of today. Despite all progress that has been made, the majority of important studies consider the function of metaphor as an analogue to visual perception. Such comparison may be conceived as metaphor as well. In his late philosophy, Wittgenstein spent a lot of effort to explain the use of the expression "seeing as". I argue that his explanations can be transposed to the explanation of the function (...) of metaphor. Firstly, it is shown that all earlier attempts to do that are not satisfying. The occurrence of the expression "to see as" in everyday language led Wittgenstein to the elaboration of the notion of "aspect". Primarily these ideas should be employed in order to explain metaphors in everyday or even poetic language. My conclusion is that an internal relation can be perceived and thought of in the metaphor. (shrink)
Imre Lakatos' conception of the history of science is explicated with the purpose of replying to criticism leveled against it by Thomas Kuhn, Ian Hacking, and others. Kuhn's primary argument is that the historian's internal—external distinction is methodologically superior to Lakatos' because it is "independent" of an analysis of rationality. That distinction, however, appears to be a normative one, harboring an implicit and unarticulated appeal to rationality, despite Kuhn's claims to the contrary. Lakatos' history, by contrast, is clearly the (...) history of a normatively defined discipline; of science and not scientists and their activities. How such history can be written, the historiographic and critical tools available for its construction, and its importance as history, are considered in detail. In an afterword, the prevalence of Lakatos' treatment of history in philosophical discussion is indicated: A related approach is shown to arise in social contract theory. (shrink)
Cybernetics promoted machine-supported investigations of adaptive sensorimotor behaviours observed in biological systems. This methodological approach receives renewed attention in contemporary robotics, cognitive ethology, and the cognitive neurosciences. Its distinctive features concern machine experiments, and their role in testing behavioural models and explanations flowing from them. Cybernetic explanations of behavioural events, regularities, and capacities rely on multiply realizable mechanism schemata, and strike a sensible balance between causal and unifying constraints. The multiple realizability of cybernetic mechanism schemata paves the way to (...) principled comparisons between biological systems and machines. Various methodological issues involved in the transition from mechanism schemata to their machine instantiations are addressed here, by reference to a simple sensorimotor coordination task. These concern the proper treatment of ceteris paribus clauses in experimental settings, the significance of running experiments with correct but incomplete machine instantiations of mechanism schemata, and the advantage of operating with real machines ??? as opposed to simulated ones ??? immersed in real environments. (shrink)
Internal protection alternative (further—IPA) as the element of refugee definition is interpreted very differently in the practice of the State Parties to the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees (further—Geneva Convention). Thus it is important to regulate this concept clearly in the EC directive 2004/83/EB (further—Qualification directive) and its coming amendments. The definition of the IPA concept does not contain adequate criteria for assessing the level and effectiveness of protection required, in line with (...) the Geneva Convention and the ECHR, thus allowing Member States to reject claims and return applicants to their country of origin despite the lack of effective protection. Moreover, this concept is defined in a broad and vague manner which creates a risk of diverse recognition practices. (shrink)
Current literature on resistance focuses on the elements of action and opposition as its main components. However, when we use the term resistance we are not necessarily referring exclusively to the active expression of opposition, but could also be referring to discussions about such events or to stimuli that may cause these acts. Thus resistance, for the purposes of this study, is perceived in terms of action, external conversation and stimuli, and it is argued that these external characteristics may be (...) further processed through deliberation and internal conversations about resistance. An exploratory empirical study revealed inner aspects of resistance, and examined whether internal conversations about resistance could actually be experienced by agents. This article further supports the argument that, as individuals produce internal conversations about resistance, they may end by following one of the suggested options: they may keep their internal conversations unspoken, or produce a course of action related to resistance (and identified as such), or they may produce external conversations about resistance, or they may end by producing resistance that is not recognisable (to others) as such. In all these cases, internal conversations about resistance are involved and it is therefore argued that the causal impact of resistance may derive from agential processes and powers as well as from action, stimuli or external conversations related to resistance. (shrink)
The brain’s reactions to error are manifested in several event related potentials (ERP) components, derived from electroencephalographic (EEG) signals. Although these components have been known for decades, their interpretation is still controversial. A current hypothesis (first indicator hypothesis) claims that the first indication of an action being erroneous leads to a negative deflection of the EEG signal over frontal midline areas. In some cases this requires sensory feedback in the form of knowledge of results (KR). If KR is given, then (...) the first negative deflection can be found around 250 ms after feedback presentation (feedback related negativity, FRN). When KR is not required, a negative deflection is found already around 100 ms after action onset (ERN). This deflection may be evoked when a mismatch between required and actually executed actions is detected. To detect such a mismatch, however, necessitates knowledge about which action is required. To test this assumption, the current study monitored EEG error components during acquisition of an internal model, i.e., acquisition of the knowledge of which actions are needed to reach certain goals. Actions consisted of finger presses on a piano keyboard and goals were tones of a certain pitch to be generated, thus the internal model represented audio-motor mapping. Results show that with increasing proficiency in mapping goals to appropriate actions, the amplitude of the ERN increased, whereas the amplitude of the FRN remained unchanged. Thus, when knowledge is present about which action is required, this supports generation of an ERN around 100ms, likely by detecting a mismatch between required and performed actions. This is in accordance with the first indicator hypothesis. The present study furthermore lends support to the notion that FRN mainly relies on comparison of sensory targets with sensory feedback. (shrink)
Social robotics is becoming a driving field in building artificial agents. The possibility to construct agents that can engage in meaningful social interaction with humans presents new challenges for the engineers. In general social robotics has been inspired dominantly by human psychology and aimed for building human-like robots. Only a small subcategory of “companion robots” (also referred to as robotic pets) was build to mimic animals. In the opinion essay we argue that all social robots should be seen (...) as companions and more conceptual emphasis should be put on the inter-specific interaction between humans and social robots. This view is underlined by the means of an ethological analysis, and critical evaluation of present day companion robots. We suggest that human-animal interaction provides a rich source of knowledge for designing social robots that are able to interact with humans under a wide range of conditions. (shrink)
Even comparatively simple, reactive systems are able to control complex motor tasks, such as hexapod walking on unpredictable substrate. The capability of such a controller can be improved by introducing internal models of the body and of parts of the environment. Such internal models can be applied as inverse models, as forward models or to solve the problem of sensor fusion. Usually, separate models are used for these functions. Furthermore, separate models are used to solve different tasks. Here (...) we concentrate on internal models of the body as the brain considers its own body the most important part of the world. The model proposed is formed by a recurrent neural network with the property of pattern completion. The model shows a hierarchical structure but nonetheless comprises a holistic system. One and the same model can be used as a forward model, as an inverse model, for sensor fusion, and, with a simple expansion, as a model to internally simulate (new) behaviors to be used for prediction. The model embraces the geometrical constraints of a complex body with many redundant degrees of freedom, and allows finding geometrically possible solutions. To control behavior such as walking, climbing or reaching, this body model is complemented by a number of simple reactive procedures together forming a procedural memory. In this article, we illustrate the functioning of this network. To this end we present examples for solutions of the forward function and the inverse function, and explain how the complete network might be used for predictive purposes. The model is assumed to be “innate,” so learning the parameters of the model is not (yet) considered. (shrink)
The development and deployment of the notion of pre-objective or nonconceptual content for the purposes of intentional explanation of requires assistance from a practical and theoretical understanding of computational/robotic systems acting in real-time and real-space. In particular, the usual "that"-clause specification of content will not work for non-conceptual contents; some other means of specification is required, means that make use of the fact that contents are aspects of embodied and embedded systems. That is, the specification of non-conceptual content should use (...) concepts and insights gained from android design and android epistemology. (shrink)
The paralysis-by-analysis phenomenon, i.e., attending to the execution of one’s movement impairs performance, has gathered a lot of attention over recent years (see Wulf, 2007, for a review). Explanations of this phenomenon, e.g., the hypotheses of constrained action (Wulf and colleagues, e.g., McNevin et al., 2003) or of step-by-step execution (Beilock et al., 2002; Masters, 1992), however, do not refer to the level of underlying mechanisms on the level of sensorimotor control. For this purpose, a “nodal-point hypothesis” is presented here (...) with the core assumption that skilled motor behavior is internally based on sensorimotor chains of nodal points, that attending to intermediate nodal points leads to a muscular re-freezing of the motor system at exactly and exclusively these points in time, and that this re-freezing is accompanied by the disruption of compensatory processes, resulting in an overall decrease of motor performance. Two experiments, on lever sequencing and basketball free throws, respectively, are reported that successfully tested these time-referenced predictions, i.e., showing that muscular activity is selectively increased and compensatory variability selectively decreased at movement-related nodal points if these points are in the focus of attention. (shrink)
Argues that "internalism about reasons" owes its appeal to a function argument from the nature of agency. Internalism is thus revealed as a species of ethical rationalism. (This paper introduces a volume of recent work on internal and external reasons.).
What do pictures and mental images have in common? The contemporary tendency to reject mental picture theories of imagery suggests that the answer is: not much. We show that pictures and visual imagery have something important in common. They both contribute to mental simulations: pictures as inputs and mental images as outputs. But we reject the idea that mental images involve mental pictures, and we use simulation theory to strengthen the anti-pictorialist's case. Along the way we try to account for (...) caricature and for some basic features of pictorial representations. (shrink)
Dialogue with three major Muslim authors shows that Islam can take a positive stance toward human rights while also presenting differing interpretations of the meaning and scope of rights. Because of their subordination of norms reached through reason to those drawn from faith, as well as negative experiences of the impact of Western colonization of parts of the Muslim world, Abul A‘la Maududi and Sayyid Qutb place significant restrictions on rights of conscience. 'Abdolkarim Soroush's positive support for the role of (...) reason in Islamic faith and his less-negative assessment of the West lead him to more vigorous support for the human rights agenda. This study raises the question of whether the humility needed in comparative ethics and the respect for others at the root of human rights are necessarily linked. (shrink)
One new tradition that has emerged from early research on autonomous robots is embodied cognitive science. This paper describes the relationship between embodied cognitive science and a related tradition, synthetic psychology. It is argued that while both are synthetic, embodied cognitive science is antirepresentational while synthetic psychology still appeals to representations. It is further argued that modern connectionism offers a medium for conducting synthetic psychology, provided that researchers analyze the internal representations that their networks develop. The paper then provides (...) a detailed example of the synthetic approach by showing how the construction (and subsequent analysis) of a connectionist network can be used to contribute to a theory of how humans solve Piaget's classic balance scale task. (shrink)