To accept that cognition is embodied is to question many of the beliefs traditionally held by cognitive scientists. One key question regards the localization of cognitive faculties. Here we argue that for cognition to be embodied and sometimes embedded, means that the cognitive faculty cannot be localized in a brain area alone. We review recent research on neural reuse, the 1/f structure of human activity, tool use, group cognition, and social coordination dynamics that we believe demonstrates how the boundary between (...) the different areas of the brain, the brain and body, and the body and environment is not only blurred but indeterminate. In turn, we propose that cognition is supported by a nested structure of task-specific synergies, which are softly assembled from a variety of neural, bodily, and environmental components (including other individuals), and exhibit interaction dominant dynamics. (shrink)
Repression has remained controversial for nearly a century on account of the lack of well-controlled evidence validating it. Here we argue that the conceptual and methodological tools now exist for a rigorous scientific examination of repression, and that a nascent cognitive neuroscience of repression is emerging. We review progress in this area and highlight important questions for this field to address.
b>. The current essay introduces the guidance theory of representation, according to which the content and intentionality of representations can be accounted for in terms of the way they provide guidance for action. The guidance theory offers a way of fixing representational content that gives the causal and evolutionary history of the subject only an indirect (non-necessary) role, and an account of representational error, based on failure of action, that does not rely on any such notions as proper functions, ideal (...) conditions, or normal circumstances. Moreover, because the notion of error is defined in terms of failure of action, the guidance theory meets the. (shrink)
For the least the last 10 years, there has been growing interest in, and grow- ing evidence for, the intimate relations between more abstract or higher order cognition—such as reasoning, planning, and language use—and the more con- crete, immediate, or lower order operations of the perceptual and motor sys- tems that support seeing, feeling, moving, and manipulating. A sub-field of the larger research program in embodied cognition (Clark, 1997, 1998; Wilson, 2001; Anderson, 2003, 2007d, 2008; Gibbs, 2006), this work (...) has generally pro- ceeded under the banner of grounded cognition, and works to support the claim that thinking is inherently tied to—grounded in—perceiving and acting. Thus, Glenberg and Kaschak (2002) discuss “grounding language in action”; Gallese and Lakoff (2005) argue that concepts are “grounded in the sensory–motor sys- tem;” and Barsalou (1999) at various times talks of “grounding cognition in perception,” “grounding conceptual knowledge in modality-specific systems” (Barsalou et al., 2003), and most recently simply of “grounded cognition” (Barsalou, 2008). (shrink)
Part of understanding the functional organization of the brain is understanding how it evolved. This talk presents evidence suggesting that while the brain may have originally emerged as an organ with functionally dedicated regions, the creative re-use of these regions has played a significant role in its evolutionary development. This would parallel the evolution of other capabilities wherein existing structures, evolved for other purposes, are re-used and built upon in the course of continuing evolutionary development (“exaptation”: Gould & Vrba 1982). (...) There is psychological support for exaptation in cognition (e.g. Cosmides 1989), theoretical reason to expect it (Anderson 2003; in press-a; in press-b) and neuroanatomic evidence that the brain evolved by preserving, extending, and combining existing network components, rather than by generating complex structures de novo (Sporns & Kötter 2004). However, there has been little evidence that integrates these perspectives, bringing such an account of the evolution of cognitive function into the realm of cognitive neuroscience (although see, e.g., Barsalou 1999). (shrink)
: Texts bear traces of complex struggles. For scientific texts, issues to do with the meaning of words and their reference are often where such struggles occur. In texts too identity is fashioned in the social realm and texts are woven closely into human cognition. The focus on how texts function to produce meaning, characteristic of recent literary theory, provides remarkable resources for locating these features in scientific texts. The project sketched here in a preliminary manner seeks to bring such (...) resources to bear on Michael Faraday's writings and explores in Faraday's rich and reflexive "textual space" his persistent concern to stabilize the meaning and reference of words as well as the less conscious subtle complexities associated with the production of meaning. Both weave closely into his scientific theorizing and fashioning of identity. (shrink)
Metaphysics and language: Quine, W. V. O. On the individuation of attributes. Körner, S. On some relations between logic and metaphysics. Marcus, R. B. Does the principle of substitutivity rest on a mistake? Van Fraassen, B. C. Platonism's pyrrhic victory. Martin, R. M. On some prepositional relations. Kearns, J. T. Sentences and propositions.--Basic and combinatorial logic: Orgass, R. J. Extended basic logic and ordinal numbers. Curry, H. B. Representation of Markov algorithms by combinators.--Implication and consistency: Anderson, A. R. Fitch (...) on consistency. Belnap, N. D., Jr. Grammatical propaedeutic. Thomason, R. H. Decidability in the logic of conditionals. Myhill, J. Levels of implication.--Deontic, epistemic, and erotetic logic: Bacon, J. Belief as relative knowledge. Wu, K. J. Believing and disbelieving. Kordig, C. R. Relativized deontic modalities. Harrah, D. A system for erotetic sentences. (shrink)
The authors argue that the time is ripe for national and corporate leaders to move consciously towards the development of global ethics. This papers presents a model of global ethics, a rationale for the development of global ethics, and the implications of the model for research and practice.
The nature of cognition is being re-considered. Instead of emphasizing formal operations on abstract symbols, the new approach foregrounds the fact that cognition is, rather, a situated activity, and suggests that thinking beings ought therefore be considered first and foremost as acting beings. The essay reviews recent work in Embodied Cognition, provides a concise guide to its principles, attitudes and goals, and identifies the physical grounding project as its central research focus.
As part of the ongoing attempt to fully naturalize the concept of human being--and, more specifically, to re-center it around the notion of agency--this essay discusses an approach to defining the content of representations in terms ultimately derived from their central, evolved function of providing guidance for action. This 'guidance theory' of representation is discussed in the context of, and evaluated with respect to, two other biologically inspired theories of representation: Dan Lloyd's dialectical theory of representation and Ruth Millikan's biosemantics.
Abstract: The massive redeployment hypothesis (MRH) is a theory about the functional topography of the human brain, offering a middle course between strict localization on the one hand, and holism on the other. Central to MRH is the claim that cognitive evolution proceeded in a way analogous to component reuse in software engineering, whereby existing components-originally developed to serve some specific purpose-were used for new purposes and combined to support new capacities, without disrupting their participation in existing programs. If the (...) evolution of cognition was indeed driven by such exaptation, then we should be able to make some specific empirical predictions regarding the resulting functional topography of the brain. This essay discusses three such predictions, and some of the evidence supporting them. Then, using this account as a background, the essay considers the implications of these findings for an account of the functional integration of cognitive operations. For instance, MRH suggests that in order to determine the functional role of a given brain area it is necessary to consider its participation across multiple task categories, and not just focus on one, as has been the typical practice in cognitive neuroscience. This change of methodology will motivate (even perhaps necessitate) the development of a new, domain-neutral vocabulary for characterizing the contribution of individual brain areas to larger functional complexes, and direct particular attention to the question of how these various area roles are integrated and coordinated to result in the observed cognitive effect. Finally, the details of the mix of cognitive functions a given area supports should tell us something interesting not just about the likely computational role of that area, but about the nature of and relations between the cognitive functions themselves. For instance, growing evidence of the role of “motor” areas like M1, SMA and PMC in language processing, and of “language” areas like Broca’s area in motor control, offers the possibility for significantly reconceptualizing the nature both of language and of motor control. (shrink)
b>. Recent findings in cognitive science suggest that the epistemic subject is more complex and epistemically porous than is generally pictured. Human knowers are open to the world via multiple channels, each operating for particular purposes and according to its own logic. These findings need to be understood and addressed by the philosophical community. The current essay argues that one consequence of the new findings is to invalidate certain arguments for epistemic anti-realism.
This essay introduces the massive redeployment hypothesis, an account of the functional organization of the brain that centrally features the fact that brain areas are typically employed to support numerous functions. The central contribution of the essay is to outline a middle course between strict localization on the one hand, and holism on the other, in such a way as to account for the supporting data on both sides of the argument. The massive redeployment hypothesis is supported by case studies (...) of redeployment, and compared and contrasted with other theories of the localization of function. (shrink)
In: B. Hardy-Vallee & N. Payette, eds. Beyond the brain: embodied, situated & distributed cognition. (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholar’s Press), in press. Abstract: In this article, I do three main things: 1. First, I introduce an approach to the mind motivated primarily by evolutionary considerations. I do that by laying out four principles for the study of the mind from an evolutionary perspective, and four predictions that they suggest. This evolutionary perspective is completely compatible with, although broader than, the embodied cognition (...) approach. 2. Then I look at one prediction in depth, the idea that the brain evolved by exaptation–reusing exiting functional units, and combining them in novel ways to generate new cognitive capacities. 3. Finally, I try to lay out some of the implications, both of the in-depth example, and of the more general approach. (shrink)
This paper is a summary and evaluation of work presented at the AAAI 2005 Fall Symposium on Machine Ethics that brought together participants from the fields of Computer Science and Philosophy to the end of clarifying the nature of this newly emerging field and discussing different approaches one could take towards realizing the ultimate goal of creating an ethical machine.
In this essay we respond to some criticisms of the guidance theory of representation offered by Tom Roberts. We argue that although Roberts’ criticisms miss their mark, he raises the important issue of the relationship between affordances and the action-oriented representations proposed by the guidance theory. Affordances play a prominent role in the anti-representationalist accounts offered by theorists of embodied cognition and ecological psychology, and the guidance theory is motivated in part by a desire to respond to the critiques of (...) representationalism offered in such accounts, without giving up entirely on the idea that representations are an important part of the cognitive economy of many animals. Thus, explorations of whether and how such accounts can in fact be related and reconciled potentially offer to shed some light on this ongoing controversy. Although the current essay hardly settles the larger debate, it does suggest that there may be more possibility for agreement than is often supposed. (shrink)
In this paper, the authors discuss Frege''s theory of logical objects (extensions, numbers, truth-values) and the recent attempts to rehabilitate it. We show that the eta relation George Boolos deployed on Frege''s behalf is similar, if not identical, to the encoding mode of predication that underlies the theory of abstract objects. Whereas Boolos accepted unrestricted Comprehension for Properties and used the eta relation to assert the existence of logical objects under certain highly restricted conditions, the theory of abstract objects uses (...) unrestricted Comprehension for Logical Objects and banishes encoding (eta) formulas from Comprehension for Properties. The relative mathematical and philosophical strengths of the two theories are discussed. Along the way, new results in the theory of abstract objects are described, involving: (a) the theory of extensions, (b) the theory of directions and shapes, and (c) the theory of truth values. (shrink)
A symbol is a pattern (of physical marks, electromagnetic energy, etc.) which denotes, designates, or otherwise has meaning. The notion that intelligence requires the use and manipulation of symbols, and that humans are therefore symbol systems, has been extremely in uential in arti cial intelligence.
Recent trends in the philosophy of mind and cognitive science can be fruitfully characterized as part of the ongoing attempt to come to grips with the very idea of homo sapiens--an intelligent, evolved, biological agent--and its signature contribution is the emergence of a philosophical anthropology which, contra Descartes and his thinking thing, instead puts doing at the center of human being. Applying this agency-oriented line of thinking to the problem of representation, this paper introduces the Guidance Theory, according to which (...) the content and intentionality of representations can be accounted for in terms of the way they provide guidance for action. We offer a brief account of the motivation for the theory, and a formal characterization. (shrink)
Multi-voxel pattern analysis (MVPA) is a popular analytical technique in neuroscience that involves identifying patterns in fMRI BOLD signal data that are predictive of task conditions. But the technique is also frequently used to make inferences about the regions of the brain that are most important to the tasks in question, and our analysis shows that this is a mistake. MVPA does not provide a reliable guide to what information is being used by the brain during cognitive tasks, nor where (...) that information is. This is due in part to inherent run to run variability in the decision space generated by the classifier, but there are also several other issues, discussed below, that make inference from the characteristics of the learned models to relevant brain activity deeply problematic. These issues have significant implications both for many papers already published, and for how the field uses this technique in the future. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. The postmodern challenge: from modernity to postmodernity; 2. Traditional natural law: differences in Aristotle and Aquinas; 3. Patterns in historical thinking about the good; 4. The challenge of modernity: religious wars and the need for universal law; 5. The challenges of naturalism: legal realism or natural law; 6. Objectivity without a metaphysical foundation; 7. Contemporary natural law: practical rationality and legal opinions; 8. Natural law as a theory with metaphysical baggage: postmodern law; 9. Natural law (...) as the moral law; 10. Natural moral law in a postmodern world. (shrink)
This paper lays out some of the empirical evidence for the importance of neural reuse—the reuse of existing (inherited and/or early-developing) neural circuitry for multiple behavioral purposes—in defining the overall functional structure of the brain. We then discuss in some detail one particular instance of such reuse: the involvement of a local neural circuit in finger awareness, number representation, and other diverse functions. Finally, we consider whether and how the notion of a developmental homology can help us understand the relationships (...) between the cognitive functions that develop out of shared neural supports. (shrink)
An emerging class of theories concerning the functional structure of the brain takes the reuse of neural circuitry for various cognitive purposes to be a central organizational principle. According to these theories, it is quite common for neural circuits established for one purpose to be exapted (exploited, recycled, redeployed) during evolution or normal development, and be put to different uses, often without losing their original functions. Neural reuse theories thus differ from the usual understanding of the role of neural plasticity (...) (which is, after all, a kind of reuse) in brain organization along the following lines: According to neural reuse, circuits can continue to acquire new uses after an initial or original function is established; the acquisition of new uses need not involve unusual circumstances such as injury or loss of established function; and the acquisition of a new use need not involve (much) local change to circuit structure (e.g., it might involve only the establishment of functional connections to new neural partners). Thus, neural reuse theories offer a distinct perspective on several topics of general interest, such as: the evolution and development of the brain, including (for instance) the evolutionary-developmental pathway supporting primate tool use and human language; the degree of modularity in brain organization; the degree of localization of cognitive function; and the cortical parcellation problem and the prospects (and proper methods to employ) for function to structure mapping. The idea also has some practical implications in the areas of rehabilitative medicine and machine interface design. (shrink)
"Content and Comportment argues persuasively that the answer to some long-standing questions in epistemology and metaphysics lies in taking up the neglected question of the role of our bodily activity in establishing connections between representational states?knowledge and belief in particular?and their objects in the world. It takes up these ideas from both current mainstream analytic philosophy?Frege, Dummett, Davidson, Evans?and from mainstream continental work?Heidegger and his commentators and critics?and bings them together successfully in a way that should surprise only those who (...) persist in maintaining this barren dichotymization of the field."?Anthony Appiah , Princeton University. (shrink)
When things go badly, we notice that something is amiss, figure out what went wrong and why, and attempt to repair the problem. Artificial systems depend on their human designers to program in responses to every eventuality and therefore typically don’t even notice when things go wrong, following their programming over the proverbial, and in some cases literal, cliff. This article describes our work on the Meta-Cognitive Loop, a domain-general approach to giving artificial systems the ability to notice, assess, and (...) repair problems. The goal is to make artificial systems more robust. (shrink)
To think about how to anchor abstract symbols to objects in the world is to become part of a tradition in philosophy with a long history, and an especially rich recent past. It is to ask, with Wittgenstein, “What makes my thought about him, a thought about him?” and thus it is to wonder not just about the nature of referring expressions or singular terms, but about the nature of referring beings. With this in mind I hereby endeavor—brieﬂy, incompletely, but (...) hopefully still usefully—to introduce what in my judgment is the single best philosophical starting-point for those interested in understanding the referential connections between symbols and the world, and the cognitive, epistemic, and linguistic capacities which support them: The Varieties of Reference by Gareth Evans.1 It is worthwhile ﬁrst of all to note, as the title indicates, that it is the varieties of reference that are of interest. It is Evans’ contention that no single theory can account for our various use of singular terms; although the different kinds of reference share certain features, and rely on related cognitive, linguistic and epistemic capacities, it appears that, rather than being a class deﬁned by necessary and sufﬁcient criteria for membership, they form a family of abilities, united, like a thread, by its overlapping ﬁbers. Evans does not defend this claim so much as display it in his account. Much of the underlying variety in reference can be brought out by considering the guiding principle of the work as a whole, which Evans.. (shrink)
This volume began as a remembrance of Alonzo Church while he was still with us and is now finally complete. It contains papers by many well-known scholars, most of whom have been directly influenced by Church's own work. Often the emphasis is on foundational issues in logic, mathematics, computation, and philosophy - as was the case with Church's contributions, now universally recognized as having been of profound fundamental significance in those areas. The volume will be of interest to logicians, computer (...) scientists, philosophers, and linguists. The contributions concern classical first-order logic, higher-order logic, non-classical theories of implication, set theories with universal sets, the logical and semantical paradoxes, the lambda-calculus, especially as it is used in computation, philosophical issues about meaning and ontology in the abstract sciences and in natural language, and much else. The material will be accessible to specialists in these areas and to advanced graduate students in the respective fields. (shrink)
b>. The current essay introduces the guidance theory of representation, according to which the content and intentionality of representations can be accounted for in terms of the way they provide guidance for action. We offer a brief account of the biological origins of representation, a formal characterization of the guidance theory, some examples of its use, and show how the guidance theory handles some traditional problem cases for representation: the problems of error and of representation of fictional and abstract entities.
The importance of a healthy mentoring relationship, and how to go about achieving one, has been explored in several disciplines, including psychology. However, little of this work has focused specifically on unique ethical issues that may arise while mentoring undergraduate students. The authors provide a definition of mentoring in the context of undergraduate education that takes into account undergraduates' status as emerging adults. We delineate both similarities and differences between mentoring undergraduate students and graduate students. Ethical issues that may arise (...) while mentoring undergraduates, especially around themes of vocation, autonomy and influence, boundaries, power, the priority of the protg's needs, the mentor's motives, and accessibility, are spotlighted. We argue that although there is considerable overlap between mentoring graduate students and mentoring undergraduates, there are issues and concerns unique to working with undergraduates that require explication so that they can be appropriately addressed to the benefit of both protg and mentor. (shrink)
Embodied Cognition is growing up, and How the Body Shapes the Mind is both a sign of, and substantive contributor to this ongoing development. Born in or about 1991, EC is only now emerging from a tumultuous but exciting childhood marked in particular by the size and breadth of the extended family hoping to have some impact on its early education and upbringing. As family members include computer science, phenomenology, developmental and cognitive psychology, analytic philosophy of mind, linguistics, neuroscience, and (...) eastern mysticism, just to name a few, EC has both benefited and suffered from a wealth of different and often incompatible ideas about who and what it is, what it should do with its life, even what language it should speak. Gallagher brings some cohesion and consistency to this situation, not by surveying and synthesizing these competing approaches, but by focusing on some fundamental issues, and carefully marshalling the evidence and developing the vocabulary to thoroughly consider them. (shrink)
Embodied cognition (EC) is growing up, and How the Body Shapes the Mind is both a sign of, and substantive contributor to, this ongoing development. Born in or about 1991 (the year of publication of seminal works by Brooks, Dreyfus, and Varela, Thompson & Rosch), EC is only now emerging from a tumultuous but exciting childhood marked in particular by the size and breadth of the extended family hoping to have some impact on its early education and upbringing. As family (...) members include computer science, phenomenology, developmental and cognitive psychology, analytic philosophy of mind, linguistics, neuroscience, and eastern mysticism—just to name a few—EC has both benefited and suffered from a wealth of different and often incompatible ideas about who and what it is, what it should do with its life, even what language it should speak. Gallagher brings some cohesion and consistency to this situation, not by surveying and synthesizing these competing approaches, but by carefully marshalling the evidence and developing the vocabulary to thoroughly consider a few fundamental issues. (shrink)
Peter Winch's The Idea of a Social Science has been the subject of repeated misunderstanding. This discussion takes one recent example and shows how Winch's argument is gravely distorted. What is at issue is not, as is usually supposed, whether we can accept or endorse another society's explanations of its activities, but whether we have to look for an explanatory connection between concepts and action. Winch's argument is that before we can try to explain actions, we have to identify them (...) correctly. This can only be done by seeing how they, and the concepts they are associated with, fit within a way of life. Grasping its rule?following character is understanding action. Once the difficulties in making such identifications are appreciated, we will be less inclined to accept facile explanations why people in other societies do the things they do. (shrink)
Editors’ note: These four interrelated discussions of the role of the cerebellum in coordinating emotional and higher cognitive functions developed out of a workshop presented by the four authors for the 2000 Conference of the Cognitive Science Society at the University of Pennsylvania. The four interrelated discussions explore the implications of the recent explosion of cerebellum research suggesting an expanded cerebellar role in higher cognitive functions as well as in the coordination of emotional functions with learning, logical thinking, perceptual consciousness, (...) and action planning. (shrink)
The generation of value bubbles is an inherently psychological and social process, where information sharing and individual decisions can affect representations of value. Bubbles occur in many domains, from the stock market, to the runway, to the laboratories of science. Here we seek to understand how psychological and social processes lead representations (i.e., expectations) of value to become divorced from the inherent value, using asset bubbles as an example. We hypothesize that simple asset group switching rules can give rise to (...) aggregate behavior that resembles the irrational exuberance that can drive asset bubbles. Using an agent-based model we explore whether a simple switching rule can generate irrational exuberance, and systematically explore how communication between decision makers influences the speed and intensity of overvaluation. We show that rational and simple individual level rules combined with honest information sharing are sufficient to generate the collective overvaluation characteristic of irrational exuberance. Further, our results demonstrate that low fidelity in the exchange of value information leads to rapidly increasing expectations about value, even when no one is engaged in exaggerating their expectations for the assets they own. (shrink)
This article places the issue of quoting practices in journalism - widely debated in public and professional forums since the Masson-Malcolm (Masson v. New Yorker Magazine, 1991) dispute - into both practical and ethical contexts. It suggests that the multitude of ethical dilemmas facing journalists in the handling of quotations can be addressed by adapting Bok's (1979) test of publicity, which requires that journalists willingly imagine themselves under scrutiny. The spirit of the test asks journalists to embrace this central orienting (...) rhetorical question: Is my behavior such that I'd be comfortable having all my audiences - interview subject, editor, public, and self - simultaneously monitor my choice(s), knowing that I might later be called upon to justify my actions. (shrink)
One of the most foundational and continually contested questions in the cognitive sciences is the degree to which the functional organization of the brain can be understood as modular. In its classic formulation, a module was defined as a cognitive sub-system with (all or most of) nine specific properties; the classic module is, among other things, domain specific, encapsulated (i.e. maintains proprietary representations to which other modules have no access), and implemented in dedicated neural substrates. Most of the examinations—and especially (...) the criticisms—of the modularity thesis have focused on these properties individually, for instance by finding counterexamples in which otherwise good candidates for cognitive modules are shown to lack domain specificity or encapsulation. The current paper goes beyond the usual approach by asking what some of the broad architectural implications of the modularity thesis might be, and attempting to test for these. The evidence does not favor a modular architecture for the cortex. Moreover, the evidence suggests that best way to approach the understanding of cognition is not by analyzing and modelling different functional domains (visual perception, attention, language, motor control, etc.) in isolation from the others, but rather by looking for points of overlap in their neural implementations, and exploiting these to guide the analysis and decomposition of the functions in question. This has significant implications for the question of how to approach the design and implementation of intelligent artifacts in general, and language-using robots in particular. (shrink)
Because I don’t know what a cultural imaginary is, nor how to put (or find) something in one, I propose instead to provide a brief, general account of what, when we think and write about, and thereby determine, the characteristics of mindedness, the members of my tribe imagine themselves to be doing.
The question of how an individual firm's social and environmental performance impacts its firm risk has not been examined in any empirical UK research. Does a company that strives to attain good environmental performance decrease its market risk or is environmental performance just a disadvantageous cost that increases such risk levels for these firms? Answers to this question have important implications for the management of companies and the investment decisions of individuals and institutions. The purpose of this paper is to (...) examine the relationship between corporate environmental performance and firm risk in the British context. Using the largest dataset assembled so far, with community and environmental responsibility (CER) rankings for all rated UK companies between 1994 and 2006, we show that a company's environmental performance is inversely related to its systematic financial risk. However, an increase of 1.0 in the CER score is associated with only a 0.028 reduction in its β. (shrink)
The act/omission distinction is likely to lead to biases and be used as a moral heuristic. However, it is frequently difficult to determine whether this act/omission distinction is responsible for a judgment outside the lab. Further, more encompassing theories of omission bias are needed to make progress in dealing with its harmful consequences. One such theory is briefly presented.
Using perceptions of human resource managers of top management's attitude toward corporate social responsibility, a survey of private sector firms (n=407) revealed that over half of those that employed basic-skill deficient employees took legal or economic views of corporate social responsibility toward these workers. These attitudes were confirmed by organizational policies. Employers with social obligation tendencies were less likely to undertake proactive programs such as basic skill training, deskilling, or related supervisory training. Corporate philosophies were almost independent of organizational variables. (...) One exception was manufacturing firms that were more likely to take a legal-economic view of illiterate employees; however, the relationship was weak. Little evidence was found that skill shortages or union pressures are resulting in corporate proactive programs. Implications for research and practice are discussed. (shrink)
Description: The massive redeployment hypothesis (MRH) is a theory about the functional organization of the human cortex, offering a middle course between strict localization on the one hand, and holism on the other. Central to MRH is the claim that cognitive evolution proceeded in a way analogous to component reuse in software engineering, whereby existing components—originally developed to serve some specific purpose—were used for new purposes and combined to support new capacities, without disrupting their participation in existing programs.
Focusing on a discussion by Ruddich and Stassen of the ?Remarks on Frazer's Golden Bough?, this paper shows that some of the usual criticisms made by sociologists of Wittgenstein are misplaced. He does not reject causal explanations of beliefs and actions and replace them with some other form of explanation, but dismisses the idea that any explanation is called for here. His argument that the origin of the desire to explain beliefs is to be found in a misconceived parallel between (...) science and magic is explained and discussed. (shrink)
Basics of Embodied Cognition EC treats cognition as a set of tools evolved by organisms for coping with their environments. Each of the key terms in this characterization—tool, evolved, organisms, coping, and environment—has a special significance for, and casts a particular light on, the study of the mind. EC thereby foregrounds the following six facts.
In this paper, we present a meta-cognitive approach for dropping and reconsidering intentions, wherein concurrent actions and results are allowed, in the framework of the time-sensitive and contradiction-tolerant active logic.
The current paper details a restricted semantics for active logic, a time-sensitive, contradictiontolerant logical reasoning formalism. Central to active logic are special rules controlling the inheritance of beliefs in general, and beliefs about the current time in particular, very tight controls on what can be derived from direct contradictions (P &¬P ), and mechanisms allowing an agent to represent and reason about its own beliefs and past reasoning. Using these ideas, we introduce a new deﬁnition of model and of logical (...) consequence, as well as a new deﬁnition of soundness such that, when reasoning with consistent premises, all classically sound rules are sound for active logic. However, not everything that is classically sound remains sound in our sense, for by classical deﬁnitions, all rules with contradictory premises are vacuously sound, whereas in active logic not everything follows from a contradiction. (shrink)
The representations formed by the ventral and dorsal streams of a prelinguistic agent will tend to be too qualitatively similar to support the distinct roles required by PREDICATE(x) structure. We suggest that the attachment of qualities to objects is not a product of the combination of these separate processing streams, but is instead a part of the processing required in each. In addition, we suggest that the formation of objective predicates is inextricably bound up with the emergence of language itself, (...) and so cannot be cleanly identified with any prelinguistic cognitive capacities. (shrink)
Maintaining adequate performance in dynamic and uncertain settings has been a perennial stumbling block for intelligent systems. Nevertheless, any system intended for real-world deployment must be able to accommodate unexpected change—that is, it must be perturbation tolerant. We have found that metacognitive monitoring and control—the ability of a system to self-monitor its own decision-making processes and ongoing performance, and to make targeted changes to its beliefs and action-determining components—can play an important role in helping intelligent systems cope with the perturbations (...) that are the inevitable result of real-world deployment. In this article we present the results of several experiments demonstrating the efficacy of metacognition in improving the perturbation tolerance of reinforcement learners, and discuss a general theory of metacognitive monitoring and control, in a form we call the metacognitive loop. (shrink)
Many have attempted to respond to arguments for the incompatibility of freedom with divine foreknowledge by claiming that God’s beliefs about the future are explained by what the world is like at that future time. We argue that this response adequately advances the discussion only if the theist is able to articulate a model of foreknowledge that is both clearly possible and compatible with freedom. We investigate various models the theist might articulate and argue that all of these models fail.
In this paper we contend that the ability to engage in meta-dialog is necessary for free and exible conversation. Central to the possibility of meta-dialog is the ability to recognize and negotiate the distinction between the use and mention of a word. The paper surveys existing theoretical approaches to the use-mention distinction, and brie y describes some of our ongoing e orts to implement a system which represents the use-mention distinction in the service of simple meta-dialog.
An experimental survey was undertakento explore the links between thecharacteristics of a moral issue, the degree ofmoral intensity/moral imperative associatedwith the issue (Jones, 1991), and people'sstated willingness to pay (wtp) for policy toaddress the issue. Two farm animal welfareissues were chosen for comparison and thecontingent valuation method was used to elicitpeople's wtp. The findings of the surveysuggest that increases in moral characteristicsdo appear to result in an increase in moralintensity and the degree of moral imperativeassociated with an issue. Moreover, there (...) was apositive link between moral intensity/moralimperative associated with an issue andpeople's stated wtp for policy to address theissue. The paper discusses the relevance of thefindings of the survey in the context of thedebate concerning the relationship betweenmoral and economic values and the use of thecontingent valuation method to estimatepeople's wtp of policy options with moraldimensions. (shrink)
Recent years have seen a resurgence of interest in the use of metacognition in intelligent systems. This essay is part of a small section meant to give interested researchers an overview and sampling of the kinds of work currently being pursued in this broad area. The current essay offers a review of recent research in two main topic areas: the monitoring and control of reasoning (metareasoning) and the monitoring and control of learning (metalearning).
This essay describes a general approach to building perturbation-tolerant autonomous systems, based on the conviction that artificial agents should be able to notice when something is amiss, assess the anomaly, and guide a solution into place. This basic strategy of self-guided learning is termed the metacognitive loop; it involves the system monitoring, reasoning about, and, when necessary, altering its own decision-making components. This paper (a) argues that equipping agents with a metacognitive loop can help to overcome the brittleness problem, (b) (...) details the metacognitive loop and its relation to our ongoing work on time-sensitive commonsense reasoning, (c) describes specific, implemented systems whose perturbation tolerance was improved by adding a metacognitive loop, and (d) outlines both short-term and long-term research agendas. (shrink)
Self Aware Computer Systems is an area of basic research, and we are only in the initial stages of our understanding of what it means: What it means to be self aware; what a self aware system can do that a system without it cannot do; and what are some of the immediate practical applications and challenge problems. This paper is a report capturing some of the salient points discussed during the DARPA workshop on Self Aware Computer Systems held on (...) April 27-28, 2004 in Washington DC. (shrink)
In recent years, embodied cognitive agents have become a central research focus in Cognitive Science. We suggest that there are at least three aspects of embodiment| physical, social and temporal|which must be treated simultaneously to make possible a realistic implementation of agency. In this paper we detail the ways in which attention to the temporal embodiment of a cognitive agent (perhaps the most neglected aspect of embodiment) can enhance the ability of an agent to act in the world, both in (...) itself, and also by supporting more robust integrations with the physical and social worlds. (shrink)
Research on academic cheating by high school students and undergraduates suggests that many students will do whatever it takes, including violating ethical classroom standards, to not be left behind or to race to the top. This behavior may be exacerbated among pre-med and pre-health professional school students enrolled in laboratory classes because of the typical disconnect between these students, their instructors and the perceived legitimacy of the laboratory work. There is little research, however, that has investigated the relationship between high (...) aspirations and academic conduct. This study fills this research gap by investigating the beliefs, perceptions and self-reported academic conduct of highly aspirational students and their peers in mandatory physics labs. The findings suggest that physics laboratory classes may face particular challenges with highly aspirational students and cheating, but the paper offers practical solutions for addressing them. (shrink)
Long-term ecological research (LTER), addressing problems that encompass decadal or longer time frames, began as a formal term and program in the United States in 1980. While long-term ecological studies and observation began as early as the 1400s and 1800s in Asia and Europe, respectively, the long-term approach was not formalized until the establishment of the U.S. long-term ecological research programs. These programs permitted ecosystem-level experiments and cross-site comparisons that led to insights into the biosphere’s structure and function. The holistic (...) ecosystem approach of this initiative also allowed the incorporation of the human-dimension of ecology and recently has given rise to a new concept of long-term socio-ecological research (LTSER). Today, long-term ecological research programs exist in at least thirty-two countries (i.e., members of the International Long-Term Ecological Research Network, ILTER). However, consolidation of the international network within the long-term socio-ecological research paradigm still requires: (1) inclusion of certain remote regions of the world, such as southwestern South America, that are still poorly represented; (2) modifications of the type of research conducted, such as integrating social and natural sciences with the humanities and ethics; and (3) the incorporation of findings and results into broader social and political processes. In this context, a nascent long-term socio-ecological research network in Chile, which extends over the longest latitudinal range of temperate forest in the Southern Hemisphere, adds a new remote region to international long-term ecological research previously overlooked. In addition, collaboration with the University of North Texas and other international partners helps to further develop an interdisciplinary approach for the integration of the ecological sciences and environmental philosophy together with traditional ecological knowledge, informal and formal education, policy, the humanities, socio-political processes, and biocultural conservation. (shrink)
I have no opinion about translations. I tell you this because the first time I offered publicly some thoughts on the Iliad, the very first question from the audience was about which translation I thought best. I was surprised by the question, and gave a befuddled sort of answer. But I should have expected it, for it is the mark of the classicist to have opinions about such matters; more than that, a classicist’s answer to a question about the best (...) will show what sort of classicist she is, what she values and how she applies the standards of the discipline. At the time I thought the question odd and irrelevant to my talk; but in fact it was an important question, for to answer it would shed light on my scholarly concerns, and help fit my talk into the ongoing discussions at the heart of classical scholarship. That I was unable to give such an answer showed it was my talk that was irrelevant, not the question. (shrink)