This article tries to create a bridge of understanding between cognitive scientists and phenomenologists who work on attention. In light of a phenomenology of attention and current psychological and neuropsychological literature on attention, I translate and interpret into phenomenological terms 20 key cognitivescience concepts as examined in the laboratory and used in leading journals. As a preface to the lexicon, I outline a phenomenology of attention, especially as a dynamic three-part structure, which I have freely amended (...) from the work of phenomenologist and Gestalt philosopher Aron Gurwitsch (1901â1973). As a conclusion, I discuss the nature of subjectivity in attention and attention research, and whether attention might be the same as consciousness. (shrink)
In Book I, Part I, Section VII of the Treatise, Hume sets out to settle, once and for all, the early modern controversy over abstract ideas. In order to do so, he tries to accomplish two tasks: (1) he attempts to defend an exemplar-based theory of general language and thought, and (2) he sets out to refute the rival abstraction-based account. This paper examines the successes and failures of these two projects. I argue that Hume manages to articulate a plausible (...) theory of general ideas; indeed, a version of his account has defenders in contemporary cognitivescience. But Hume fails to refute the abstraction-based account, and as a result, the early modern controversy ends in a stalemate, with both sides able to explain how we manage to speak and think in general terms. Although Hume fails to settle the controversy, he nevertheless advances it to a point from which we have yet to progress: the contemporary debate over abstract ideas in cognitivescience has stalled on precisely this point. (shrink)
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” cognitivescience 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 cognitivescience. This paper argues that cognitive systems research is now beginning to integrate these aspects of natural cognitive systems into cognitivescience proper, not in virtue of traditional “embodied cognitivescience”, 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)
A variety of inaccurate claims about Gold's Theorem have appeared in the cognitivescience literature. I begin by characterizing the logic of this theorem and its proof. I then examine several claims about Gold's Theorem, and I show why they are false. Finally, I assess the significance of Gold's Theorem for cognitivescience.
My purpose in this brief paper is to consider the implications of a radically different computer architecure to some fundamental problems in the foundations of CognitiveScience. More exactly, I wish to consider the ramifications of the 'Gödel-Minds-Machines' controversy of the late 1960s on a dynamically changing computer architecture which, I venture to suggest, is going to revolutionize which 'functions' of the human mind can and cannot be modelled by (non-human) computational automata. I will proceed on the presupposition (...) that the reader is familiar with some of the fundamentals of computational theory and mathematical logic. (shrink)
Neuroethology is a branch of biology that studies the neural basis of naturally occurring animal behavior. This science, particularly a recent program called computational neuroethology, has a similar structure to the interdisciplinary endeavor of cognitivescience. I argue that it would be fruitful to conceive of cognitivescience as the computational neuroethology of humans. However, there are important differences between the two sciences, including the fact that neuroethology is much more comparative in its perspective. Neuroethology (...) is a biological science and as such, evolution is a central notion. Its target organisms are studied in the context of their evolutionary history. The central goal of this paper is to argue that cognitivescience can and ought to be more comparative in its approach to cognitive phenomena in humans. I show how the domain of cognitive phenomena can be divided up into four different classes, individuated by the relative phylogenetic uniqueness of the behavior. I then describe how comparative evidence can enrich our understanding in each of these different arenas. (shrink)
The notion of levels has been widely used in discussions of cognitivescience, especially in discussions of the relation of connectionism to symbolic modeling of cognition. I argue that many of the notions of levels employed are problematic for this purpose, and develop an alternative notion grounded in the framework of mechanistic explanation. By considering the source of the analogies underlying both symbolic modeling and connectionist modeling, I argue that neither is likely to provide an adequate analysis of (...) processes at the level at which cognitive theories attempt to function: One is drawn from too low a level, the other from too high a level. If there is a distinctly cognitive level, then we still need to determine what are the basic organizational principles at that level. (shrink)
The renowned philosopher Jerry Fodor, a leading figure in the study of the mind for more than twenty years, presents a strikingly original theory on the basic constituents of thought. He suggests that the heart of cognitivescience is its theory of concepts, and that cognitive scientists have gone badly wrong in many areas because their assumptions about concepts have been mistaken. Fodor argues compellingly for an atomistic theory of concepts, deals out witty and pugnacious demolitions of (...) rival theories, and suggests that future work on human cognition should build upon new foundations. This lively, conversational, and superbly accessible book is the first volume in the Oxford CognitiveScience Series, where the best original work in this field will be presented to a broad readership. Concepts will fascinate anyone interested in contemporary work on mind and language. Cognitivescience will never be the same again. (shrink)
The concept of emergence is widely used in both the philosophy of mind and in cognitivescience. In the philosophy of mind it serves to refer to seemingly irreducible phenomena, in cognitivescience it is often used to refer to phenomena not explicitly programmed. There is no unique concept of emergence available that serves both purposes.
The term phenomenology can be used in a generic sense to cover a variety of areas related to the problem of consciousness. In this sense it is a title that ranges over issues pertaining to first-person or subjective experience, qualia, and what has become known as "the hard problem" (Chalmers 1995). The term is sometimes used even more generally to signify a variety of approaches to studying such issues, including contemplative, meditative, and mystical studies, and transpersonal psychology.(1) Within the disciplines (...) of philosophy and psychology, however, phenomenology has a more specialized meaning. In this case it refers to the methodology and philosophy initiated by the philosopher Edmund Husserl at the beginning of the twentieth-century and developed in various ways by theorists such as Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, and Schutz. I restrict the scope of this review to phenomenology in this more specialized sense. In the light of several recent publications, the general questions I address are: What is and what ought to be the relationship between phenomenology and cognitivescience? and What, if any, recent contributions has phenomenology made to the science of consciousness? (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 cognitivescience 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 cognitivescience, many did not, and that psychology will not go away because it contributes independently of cognitivescience and neuroscience. (shrink)
Psychology is the study of thinking, and cognitivescience is the interdisciplinary investigation of mind and intelligence that also includes philosophy, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, linguistics, and anthropology. In these investigations, many philosophical issues arise concerning methods and central concepts. The Handbook of Philosophy of Psychology and CognitiveScience contains 16 essays by leading philosophers of science that illuminate the nature of the theories and explanations used in the investigation of minds. Topics discussed include representation, mechanisms, (...) reduction, perception, consciousness, language, emotions, neuroscience, and evolutionary psychology. Key Features - Comprehensive coverage of philosophy of psychology and cognitivescience - Distinguished contributors: leading philosophers in this area - Contributions closely tied to relevant scientific research. (shrink)
This book explores how people's subjective, felt experiences of their bodies in action provide part of the fundamental grounding for human cognition and language. Cognition is what occurs when the body engages the physical and cultural world and must be studied in terms of the dynamical interactions between people and the environment. Human language and thought emerge from recurring patterns of embodied activity that constrain ongoing intelligent behavior. We must not assume cognition to be purely internal, symbolic, computational, and disembodied, (...) but seek out the gross and detailed ways that language and thought are inextricably shaped by embodied action. Embodiment and CognitiveScience describes the abundance of empirical evidence from many disciplines, including work on perception, concepts, imagery and reasoning, language and communication, cognitive development, and emotions and consciousness, that support the idea that the mind is embodied. (shrink)
John Bickle's Psychoneural reduction: the new wave (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1998) aims to resurrect reductionism within philosophy of mind. He develops a new model of scientific reduction, geared to enhancing our understanding of how theories in neuroscience and cognitivescience are interrelated. I put this discussion in context, and assess the prospects for new wave reductionism, both as a general model of scientific reduction and as an attempt to defend reductionism in the philosophy of mind.
It is commonly thought that Hume endorses the claim that causal cognition can be fully explained in terms of nothing but custom and habit. Associative learning does, of course, play a major role in the cognitive psychology of the Treatise. But Hume recognizes that associations cannot provide a complete account of causal thought. If human beings lacked the capacity to reflect on rules for judging causes and effects, then we could not (as we do) distinguish between accidental and genuine (...) regularities, and Hume could not (as he does) carry out his science of human nature. One might reply that what appears to be rule-governed behavior might emerge from associative systems that do not literally employ rules. But this response fails: there is a growing consensus in cognitivescience that any adequate account of causal learning must invoke active, controlled cognitive processes. (shrink)
Though nativist hypotheses have played a pivotal role in the development of cognitivescience, it remains exceedingly obscure how they—and the debates in which they ﬁgure—ought to be understood. The central aim of this paper is to provide an account which addresses this concern and in so doing: a) makes sense of the roles that nativist theorizing plays in cognitivescience and, moreover, b), explains why it really matters to the contemporary study of cognition. I conclude (...) by outlining a range of further implications of this account for current debate in cognitivescience. (shrink)
When the various disciplines participating in cognitivescience are listed, philosophy almost always gets a guernsey. Yet, a couple of years ago at the conference of the CognitiveScience 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 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 cognitivescience. (shrink)
It is often assumed that cognitivescience is built upon folk psychology, and that challenges to folk psychology are therefore challenges to cognitivescience itself. We argue that, in practice, cognitivescience and folk psychology treat entirely non-overlapping domains: cognitivescience considers aspects of mental life which do not depend on general knowledge, whereas folk psychology considers aspects of mental life which do depend on general knowledge. We back up our argument on (...) theoretical grounds, and also illustrate the separation between cognitive scientific and folk psychological phenomena in a number of cognitive domains. We consider the methodological and theoretical significance of our arguments for cognitivescience research. (shrink)
I sketch an explanatory framework that fits a variety of contemporary research programs in cognitivescience. I then investigate the scope and the implications of this framework. The framework emphasizes (a) the explanatory role played by the semantic content of cognitive representations, and (b) the important mechanistic, non-intentional dimension of cognitive explanations. I show how both of these features are present simultaneously in certain varieties of cognitive explanation. I also consider the explanatory role played by (...) grounded representational content, that is, content evaluated by appeal to its truth, falsity, accuracy, inaccuracy and other relational properties. (shrink)
Functional reductionism concerning mental properties has recently been advocated by Jaegwon Kim in order to solve the problem of the 'causal exclusion' of the mental. Adopting a reductionist strategy first proposed by David Lewis, he regards psychological properties as being 'higher-order' properties functionally defined over 'lower-order' properties, which are causally efficacious. Though functional reductionism is compatible with the multiple realizability of psychological properties, it is blocked if psychological properties are subdivided or crosscut by neurophysiological properties. I argue that there is (...) recent evidence from cognitive neuroscience that shows that this is the case for the psychological property of fear. Though this may suggest that some psychological properties should be revised in order to conform to those of neurophysiology, the history of science demonstrates that this is not always the outcome, particularly with properties that play an important role in our folk theories and are central to human concerns. (shrink)
David Marr provided a useful framework for theorizing about cognition within classical, AI-style cognitivescience, in terms of three levels of description: the levels of (i) cognitive function, (ii) algorithm and (iii) physical implementation. We generalize this framework: (i) cognitive state transitions, (ii) mathematical/functional design and (iii) physical implementation or realization. Specifying the middle, design level to be the theory of dynamical systems yields a nonclassical, alternative framework that suits (but is not committed to) connectionism. We (...) consider how a brain's (or a network's) being a dynamical system might be the key both to its realizing various essential features of cognition — productivity, systematicity, structure-sensitive processing, syntax — and also to a non-classical solution of (frame-type) problems plaguing classical cognitivescience. (shrink)
My purpose in this essay is to clarify the notion of explanation by computer simulation in artificial intelligence and cognitivescience. My contention is that computer simulation may be understood as providing two different kinds of explanation, which makes the notion of explanation by computer simulation ambiguous. In order to show this, I shall draw a distinction between two possible ways of understanding the notion of simulation, depending on how one views the relation in which a computing system (...) that performs a cognitive task stands to the program that the system runs while performing that task. Next, I shall suggest that the kind of explanation that results from simulation is radically different in each case. In order to illustrate the difference, I will point out some prima facie methodological difficulties that need to be addressed in order to ensure that simulation plays a legitimate explanatory role in cognitivescience, and I shall emphasize how those difficulties are very different depending on the notion of explanation involved. (shrink)
In this book, Edward Stein offers a clear critical account of the debate about rationality in philosophy and cognitivescience. He discusses concepts of rationality--the pictures of rationality on which the debate centers--and assesses the empirical evidence used to argue that humans are irrational. He concludes that the question of human rationality must be answered not conceptually but empirically, using the full resources of an advanced cognitivescience. Furthermore, he extends this conclusion to argue that empirical (...) considerations are also relevant to the theory of knowledge--in other words, that epistemology should be naturalized. (shrink)
Cognitivescience is ready for a major reconceptualization. This is not at all because efforts by its practitioners have failed, but rather because so much progress has been made. The need for reconceptualization arises from the fact that this progress has come at greater cost than necessary, largely because of more or less philosophical (at least metatheoretical) straightjackets still worn - whether wittingly or not - by those doing the work. These bonds are extremely hard to break. Even (...) some of those who have directed powerful arguments against them have failed entirely to shake them off. The bonds are often attributed to the work of René Descartes, but they are really much older than that. If even in the present effort, I fail entirely to remove the straightjacket myself (even though I am making every attempt to get it off), this will testify to its tight grip. The straightjacket I am thinking about, of course, is the vague picture of the human situation that imagines centralized, internal minds in control of bodily machines. While almost no one in the contemporary cognitivescience arena imagines minds to be the kind of thing Descartes took them to be - instantiations of a unique, fully non-material substance - there is nevertheless a deep resistance, even among the most fervent professed "materialists," to giving up this picture. In what follows, I shall try to offer an approach which on the one hand capitalizes on the excellent progress that has been made in cognitivescience in the last few decades, and which on the other hand offers a general approach that may help at some level in the attempt to shake "Cartesian" bonds. The approach, as the alert reader already knows from the title of the essay, is an "ecological" approach. (shrink)
In this paper we discuss the new Tweety puzzle. The original Tweety puzzle was addressed by approaches in non-monotonic logic, which aim to adequately represent the Tweety case, namely that Tweety is a penguin and, thus, an exceptional bird, which cannot fly, although in general birds can fly. The new Tweety puzzle is intended as a challenge for probabilistic theories of epistemic states. In the first part of the paper we argue against monistic Bayesians, who assume that epistemic states can (...) at any given time be adequately described by a single subjective probability function. We show that monistic Bayesians cannot provide an adequate solution to the new Tweety puzzle, because this requires one to refer to a frequency-based probability function. We conclude that monistic Bayesianism cannot be a fully adequate theory of epistemic states. In the second part we describe an empirical study, which provides support for the thesis that monistic Bayesianism is also inadequate as a descriptive theory of cognitive states. In the final part of the paper we criticize Bayesian approaches in cognitivescience, insofar as their monistic tendency cannot adequately address the new Tweety puzzle. We, further, argue against monistic Bayesianism in cognitivescience by means of a case study. In this case study we show that Oaksford and Chater’s (2007, 2008) model of conditional inference—contrary to the authors’ theoretical position—has to refer also to a frequency-based probability function. (shrink)
I argue that intentional psychology does not stand in need of vindication by a lower-level implementation theory from cognitivescience, in particular the representational theory of mind (RTM), as most famously Jerry Fodor has argued. The stance of the paper is novel in that I claim this holds even if one, in line with Fodor, views intentional psychology as an empirical theory, and its theoretical posits as as real as those of other sciences. I consider four metaphysical arguments (...) for the idea that intentional psychological states, such as beliefs, must be seen as requiring in-the-head mental representations for us to be able to understand their characteristic causal powers and argue that none of them validly generate their desired conclusions. I go on to argue that RTM, or some computational version thereof, is not motivated by appeal to the nature of cognitivescience research either. I conclude that intentional psychology, though an empirical theory, is autonomous from details of lower level mechanism in a way that renders RTM unwarranted. (shrink)
This book is a major contribution to the interdisciplinary project of investigating the true nature of color vision. In recent times, research into color vision has been one of the main success stories of cognitivescience. Each discipline in the field--neuroscience, psychology, linguistics, computer science and philosophy--has contributed significantly to our understanding of color. Evan Thompson provides an accessible review of current scientific and philosophical discussions of color vision. He steers a course between the subjective and objective (...) positions on color, arguing for a relational account. Thompson develops a novel "ecological" approach to color vision in cognitivescience and the philosophy of perception. The book is vital reading for all cognitive scientists and philosophers whose interests touch upon this central area. (shrink)
In this article I take an unusual starting point from which to argue for a unified cognitivescience, namely a position defined by what is sometimes called the ‘life-mind continuity thesis’. Accordingly, rather than taking a widely accepted starting point for granted and using it in order to propose answers to some well defined questions, I must first establish that the idea of life-mind continuity can amount to a proper starting point at all. To begin with, I therefore (...) assess the conceptual tools which are available to construct a theory of mind on this basis. By drawing on insights from a variety of disciplines, especially from a combination of existential phenomenology and organism- centered biology, I argue that mind can indeed be conceived as rooted in life, but only if we accept at the same time that social interaction plays a constitutive role for our cognitive capacities. (shrink)
When it comes to applying computational theory to the problem of phenomenal consciousness, cognitive scientists appear to face a dilemma. The only strategy that seems to be available is one that explains consciousness in terms of special kinds of computational processes. But such theories, while they dominate the field, have counter-intuitive consequences; in particular, they force one to accept that phenomenal experience is composed of information processing effects. For cognitive scientists, therefore, it seems to come down to a (...) choice between a counter-intuitive theory or no theory at all. We offer a way out of this dilemma. We argue that the computational theory of mind doesn't force cognitive scientists to explain consciousness in terms of computational processes, as there is an alternative strategy available: one that focuses on the representational vehicles that encode information in the brain. This alternative approach to consciousness allows us to do justice to the standard intuitions about phenomenal experience, yet remain within the confines of cognitivescience. (shrink)
The primacy of practice in the development of knowledge is one of materialism’s fundamental tenets. Most arguments supporting it have been strictly philosophical. However, over the past thirty years cognitivescience has provided mounting evidence supporting the primacy of practice. Particularly striking is its finding that thought is fundamentally metaphoric—that images emerging from everyday embodied activities not only make ordinary experiences intelligible, but also underpin our more abstract engagements with the world, elaborated in disciplines such as ethics and (...)science. Cognitivescience’s implications must now be absorbed into critical realism. Cognitivescience bolsters critical realism by providing a scientifically-grounded analysis of the passage from body to mind and the fundamental unity between them, while sustaining their distinctiveness. Its implications for critical realism ripple out in four waves: first, critical realism’s understanding of the mind/body relationship; second, its concepts of the process that connects theory and practice, and what that means for critical realism’s view of intellectual production, the place of metaphor in scientific theorization, and cultural development; its view of culture as a complexwhole; and finally, its theory of human agency as embodied and intentional. (shrink)
The cultural transmission of theological concepts remains an underexplored topic in the cognitivescience of religion (CSR). In this paper, I examine whether approaches from CSR, especially the study of content biases in the transmission of beliefs, can help explain the cultural success of some theological concepts. This approach reveals that there is more continuity between theological beliefs and ordinary religious beliefs than CSR authors have hitherto recognized: the cultural transmission of theological concepts is influenced by content biases (...) that also underlie the reception of ordinary religious concepts. (shrink)
The so-called ‘cognitive revolution’ (Gardner, 1985) in American psychology owed much to developments in adjacent disciplines, especially theoretical linguistics and computer science. Indeed, the cognitive revolution brought forth, not only a change in the conception of psychology, but also an inter-disciplinary approach to understanding the mind, involving philosophy, anthropology and neuroscience along with computer science, linguistics and psychology. Many commentators agree in dating the conception of this inter-disciplinary approach, cognitivescience, to 11 September 1956, (...) the second day of a symposium on information theory held at MIT (Miller, 2003). Over the next twenty years or so, cognitivescience developed an institutional presence through research centres, conferences, journals, and a substantial infusion of funds from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. (shrink)
A translation of the renowned French reference book, Vocabulaire de sciences cognitives , the Dictionary of CognitiveScience presents comprehensive definitions of more than 120 terms. The editor and advisory board of specialists have brought together 60 internationally recognized scholars to give the reader a comprehensive understanding of the most current and dynamic thinking in cognitivescience. Topics range from Abduction to Writing, and each entry covers its subject from as many perspectives as possible within the (...) domains of psychology, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, philosophy, and linguistics. This multidisciplinary work is an invaluable resource for all collections. (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 (...) class='Hi'>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 cognitivescience. (shrink)
There are currently considerable confusion and disarray about just how we should view computationalism, connectionism and dynamicism as explanatory frameworks in cognitivescience. A key source of this ongoing conflict among the central paradigms in cognitivescience 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 cognitivescience. 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 cognitivescience, 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 cognitivescience whilst rejecting the purported representational nature of computation. (shrink)
CognitiveScience, Literature, and the Arts is the first student-friendly introduction to the uses of cognitivescience in the study of literature, written specifically for the non-scientist. Patrick Colm Hogan guides the reader through all of the major theories of cognitivescience, focusing on those areas that are most important to fostering a new understanding of the production and reception of literature. This accessible volume provides a strong foundation of the basic principles of (...) class='Hi'>cognitivescience, and allows us to begin to understand how the brain works and makes us feel as we read. (shrink)
The philosophy of cognitivescience is concerned with fundamental philosophical and theoretical questions connected to the sciences of the mind. How does the brain give rise to conscious experience? Does speaking a language change how we think? Is a genuinely intelligent computer possible? What features of the mind are innate? Advances in cognitivescience have given philosophers important tools for addressing these sorts of questions; and cognitive scientists have, in turn, found themselves drawing upon insights (...) from philosophy--insights that have often taken their research in novel directions. The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of CognitiveScience brings together twenty-one newly commissioned chapters by leading researchers in this rich and fast-growing area of philosophy. It is an indispensible resource for anyone who seeks to understand the implications of cognitivescience for philosophy, and the role of philosophy within cognitivescience. (shrink)
The paper is an examination of the ways and extent to which neuroscience places constraints on cognitivescience. In Part I, I clarify the issue, as well as the notion of levels in cognitive inquiry. I then present and address, in Part II, two arguments designed to show that facts from neuroscience are at a level too low to constrain cognitive theory in any important sense. I argue, to the contrary, that there are several respects in (...) which facts from neurophysiology will constrain cognitive theory. Part III then turns to an examination of Connectionism and Classical Cognitivism to determine which, if either, is in a better position to accomodate neural constraints in the ways suggested in Part II. (shrink)
Summarizes and illuminates two decades of research Gathering important papers by both philosophers and scientists, this collection illuminates the central themes that have arisen during the last two decades of work on the conceptual foundations of artificial intelligence and cognitivescience. Each volume begins with a comprehensive introduction that places the coverage in a broader perspective and links it with material in the companion volumes. The collection is of interest in many disciplines including computer science, linguistics, biology, (...) information science, psychology, neuroscience, iconography, and philosophy. Examines initial efforts and the latest controversies The topics covered range from the bedrock assumptions of the computational approach to understanding the mind, to the more recent debates concerning cognitive architectures, all the way to the latest developments in robotics, artificial life, and dynamical systems theory. The collection first examines the lineageof major research programs, beginning with the basic idea of machine intelligence itself, then focuses on specific aspects of thought and intelligence, highlighting the much-discussed issue of consciousness, the equally important, but less densely researched issue of emotional response, and the more traditionally philosophical topic of language and meaning. Provides a gamut of perspectives The editors have included several articles that challenge crucial elements of the familiar research program of cognitivescience, as well as important writings whose previous circulation has been limited. Within each volume the papers are organized to reflect a variety of research programs and issues. The substantive introductions that accompany each volume further organize the material and provide readers with a working sense of the issues and the connection between articles. (shrink)
This chapter examines the core explanatory strategies of cognitivescience and their application to the study of psychopathology. In addition to providing a taxonomy of different strategies, we illustrate their application, with special attention to Autism Spectrum Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder. We conclude by considering two challenges to the prospects of a developed cognitivescience of psychopathology.
Pickering and Chater (P&C) maintain that folk psychology and cognitivescience should neither compete nor cooperate. Each is an independent enterprise, with a distinct subject matter and characteristic modes of explanation. P&C''s case depends upon their characterizations of cognitivescience and folk psychology. We question the basis for their characterizations, challenge both the coherence and the individual adequacy of their contrasts between the two, and show that they waver in their views about the scope of each. (...) We conclude that P&C do not so muchdiscover ascreate the gap they find between folk psychology and cognitivescience. It is an artifact of their implausible and unmotivated attempt to demarcate the two areas, and of the excessively narrow accounts they give of each. (shrink)
Abstract Studies of irrationality in cognitive psychology have usually looked at areas where humans might be expected to be rational, yet appear not to be. In this paper the other extreme of human irrationality is examined: the delusion as it occurs in psychiatric illness. A parallel is suggested between the delusion as an aberration of cognition and some illusions which result from aberrations within optics. It is argued that, because delusions are found predominantly within certain limited areas of (...) class='Hi'>cognitive functioning, they may represent a form of mental aberration which may tell us something about the abstract properties of mind. Possible implications of this model for several areas of cognitivescience are discussed. (shrink)
This is the first major textbook to offer a truly comprehensive review of cognitivescience 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)
Mindware: An Introduction to the Philosophy of CognitiveScience invites readers to join in up-to-the-minute conceptual discussions of the fundamental issues, problems, and opportunities in cognitivescience. Written by one of the most renowned scholars in the field, this vivid and engaging introductory text relates the story of the search for a cognitive scientific understanding of mind. This search is presented as a no-holds-barred journey from early work in artificial intelligence, through connectionist (artificial neural network) (...) counter-visions, and on to neuroscience, artificial life, dynamics, and robotics. The journey ends with some wide-ranging and provocative speculation about the complex coadaptive dance between mind, culture, and technology. Each chapter opens with a brief sketch of a major research tradition or perspective, followed by short yet substantial critical discussions dealing with key topics and problems. Ranging across both standard philosophical territory and the landscape of cutting-edge cognitivescience, Clark highlights challenging issues in an effort to engage readers in active debate. Topics covered include mental causation; machine intelligence; the nature and status of folk psychology; the hardware/software distinction; emergence; relations between life and mind; the nature of perception, cognition, and action; and the continuity (or otherwise) of high-level human intelligence with other forms of adaptive response. Numerous illustrations, text boxes, and extensive suggestions for further reading enhance the text's utility. Helpful appendices provide background information on dualism, behaviorism, identity theory, consciousness, and more. An exceptional text for introductory and more advanced courses in cognitivescience and the philosophy of mind, Mindware is also essential reading for anyone interested in these fascinating and ever-changing fields. (shrink)
One of the most fruitful interdisciplinary boundaries in contemporary scholarship is that between philosophy and cognitivescience. Now that solid empirical results about the activities of the human mind are available, it is no longer necessary for philosophers to practice armchair psychology.In this short, accessible, and entertaining book, Alvin Goldman presents a masterly survey of recent work in cognitivescience that has particular relevance to philosophy. Besides providing a valuable review of the most suggestive work in (...)cognitive and social psychology, Goldman demonstrates conclusively that the best work in philosophy in a surprising number of different fields—including philosophy of science, epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics as well as philosophy of mind—must take into account empirical breakthroughs in psychology.One of those rare texts that will also be useful for professionals, Philosophical Applications of CognitiveScience is appropriate for students in a wide range of philosophy courses. It will also interest researchers and students in psychology who are intrigued by the wider theoretical implications of their work. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Part 1 - The Constituent Disciplines of CognitiveScience -- Philosophical Epistemology -- Glossary -- 1.0 What is Philosophical Epistemology? -- 1.1 The reduced history of Philosophy Part I - The Classical Age -- 1.2 Mind and World - The problem of objectivity -- 1.3 The reduced history of Philosophy Part II - The twentieth century -- 1.4 The philosophy of CognitiveScience -- 1.5 Mind in Philosophy: summary -- 1.6 The Nolanian (...) Framework (so far) -- Psychology -- 2.0 Why is Psychology so difficult? -- 2.1 A brief history of Experimental Psychology -- 2.2 Methodologies in Psychology -- 2.3 Perception -- 2.4 Memory -- 2.5 Mind in Psychology -- Linguistics -- 3.0 Introduction -- 3.1 Why Linguistics? -- 3.2 Computation and Linguistics -- 3.3 The main grammatical theories -- 3.4 Language development and linguistics -- 3.5 Toward a definition of context -- 3.6 The multifarious uses of Language -- 3.7 Linguistics and Computational Linguistics -- 3.8 Language and other symbol systems -- 3.9 On the notion of context -- 3.10 Mind in Linguistics: summary -- Neuroscience -- 4.0 The constituent disciplines of Neuroscience -- 4.1 The methodology of Neuroscience -- 4.2 Gross Neuroanatomy -- 4.3 Some relevant findings -- 4.4 Connectionism (PDP) -- 4.5 The victory of Neuroscience? -- 4.6 Mind in Neuroscience: summary -- Artificial Intelligence -- 5.0 Introduction -- 5.1 Al and CognitiveScience -- 5.2 Skeptics and their techniques -- 5.3 Al as Computer Science -- 5.4 Al as software -- 5.5 The current methodological debate -- 5.6 Context, syntax and semantics -- 5.7 Mind in Al -- 5.8 Texts on Al -- Etholoqy and Ethnoscience -- 6.1 Etology -- 6.2 Ethnoscience -- 6.3 Mind in Ethology arid Ethnoscience -- Part II - A New Foundation for CognitiveScience -- - Symbol Systems -- 7.1 Characteristics of symbol systems -- 7.2 Context and the layers of symbol systems -- 7.3 Mind and symbol systems -- Consciousness and Selfhood -- 8.0 Introduction -- 8.1 Cognitive views -- 8.2 What is at stake? -- 8.3 Consciousness as treated in Philosophy -- 8.4 The Development of Selfhood -- 8.5 The minimal requirements for this theory -- 8.6 Self as a filter -- 8.7 Self and motivation -- 8.8 Conclusions -- 8.9 Recent developments -- CognitiveScience and the Search for Mind -- 9.1 Introduction -- 9.2 Review -- 9.3 A Theory of Mind anyone? -- 9.4 Foundational considerations -- 9.5 Coda: the Nolanian Framework. (shrink)
Connectionism provides hope for unifying work in neuroscience, computer science, and cognitive psychology. This promise has met with some resistance from Classical Computionalists, which may have inspired Connectionists to retaliate with bold, inflationary claims on behalf of Connectionist models. This paper demonstrates, by examining three intimately connected issues, that these inflationary claims made on behalf of Connectionism are wrong. This should not be construed as an attack on Connectionism, however, since the inflated claims made on its behalf have (...) the look of cures for which there are no ailments. There is nothing wrong with Connectionism for its failure to solve illusory problems. (shrink)
underpinning of the cognitive sciences. I argue, however, that it often fails to provide adequate explanations, in particular in conjunction with competence theories. This failure originates in the idealizations in competence descriptions, which either ?block? the cascade, or produce a successful cascade which fails to explain cognition.
Abstract CognitiveScience, it is argued, comprises two distinct projects. One is an Engineering project whose goal is understanding the in?the?head computational activities which ground intelligent behaviour. The other is a Descriptive project whose goal is the mapping of relations between thoughts as ascribed using the (sentential) apparatus of the propositional attitudes. Some theorists (e.g. Fodor, 1987) insist that the two projects are (in a sense to be explained) deeply related. This view is contested, and the consequences of (...) its abandonment examined. Such consequences are seen to include (i) the irrelevance of scientific arguments for Eliminative Materialism, (ii) a view concerning the proper roles of classical and connectionist work in Artificial Intelligence and (iii) the failure of an allegedly damning argument against connectionism (the so?called systematicity argument). (shrink)
This paper explores some of the areas where neuroscientific and philosophical issues intersect in the study of self-consciousness. Taking as point of departure a paradox (the paradox of self-consciousness) that appears to block philosophical elucidation of self-consciousness, the paper illustrates how the highly conceptual forms of self-consciousness emerge from a rich foundation of nonconceptual forms of self-awareness. Attention is paid in particular to the primitive forms of nonconceptual self-consciousness manifested in visual perception, somatic proprioception, spatial reasoning and interpersonal psychological interactions. (...) The study of these primitive forms of self-consciousness is an interdisciplinary enterprise and the paper considers a range of points of contact where philosophical work can illuminate work in the cognitive sciences, and vice versa. (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)
This paper surveys applications of logical methods in the cognitive sciences. Special attention is paid to non-monotonic logics and complexity theory. We argue that these particular tools have been useful in clarifying the debate between symbolic and connectionist models of cognition.
With some regularity, cognitive scientists seem to introduce cognitive values into their explanations. After identifying examples of this practice, I sketch an account of psychological explanation that, under certain conditions, legitimizes value-laden cognitive explanations in which evaluative claims appear in the explanandum. I then present and discuss two applications of the proposed account in order to show its viability and explore its consequences.
There is a growing chorus of voices in the scientific community calling for greater openness in the sharing of raw data that lead to a publication. In this commentary, we discuss the merits of sharing, common concerns that are raised, and practical issues that arise in developing a sharing policy. We suggest that the cognitivescience community discuss the topic and establish a data-sharing policy.
I begin by tracing some of the confusions regarding levels and reduction to a failure to distinguish two different principles according to which theories can be viewed as hierarchically arranged — epistemic authority and ontological constitution. I then argue that the notion of levels relevant to the debate between symbolic and connectionist paradigms of mental activity answers to neither of these models, but is rather correlative to the hierarchy of functional decompositions of cognitive tasks characteristic of homuncular functionalism. Finally, (...) I suggest that the incommensurability of the intentional and extensional vocabularies constitutes a strongprima facie reason to conclude that there is little likelihood of filling in the story of Bechtel''s missing level in such a way as to bridge the gap between such homuncular functionalism and his own model of mechanistic explanation. (shrink)
Under the Superstition Mountains in central Arizona toil those who would rob humankind of its humanity. These gray, soulless monsters methodically tear away at our meaning, our subjectivity, our essence as transcendent beings. With each advance, they steal our freedom and dignity. Who are these denizens of darkness, these usurpers of all that is good and holy? None other than humanity’s arch-foe: The Cognitive Scientists -- AI researchers, fallen philosophers, psychologists, and other benighted lovers of computers. Unless they are (...) stopped, humanity -- you and I -- will soon be nothing but numbers and algorithms locked away on magnetic tape. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction; Part I. Foundations: 1. History and core themes; 2. The representational theory of mind; 3. Cognitive architectures; Part II. Aspects of Cognition: 4. Perception; 5. Action; 6. Human learning and memory; 7. Reasoning and decision making; 8. Concepts; 9. Language; 10. Emotion; 11. Consciousness; Part III. Research Programs: 12. Cognitive neuroscience; 13. Evolutionary psychology; 14. Embodied, embedded, and extended cognition; 15. Animal cognition; Glossary.
In this chapter I look closely at the intentionality of consciousness from a naturalistic perspective. I begin with a consideration of Gurwitsch's suggestive ideas about the role of acts of consciousness in constituting both the objects and the subjects of consciousness. I turn next to a discussion of how these ideas relate to my own empirical approach to intentional relations seen from a developmental perspective. This is followed by a discussion of some recent ideas in philosophical cognitivescience (...) on the intentionality of consciousness, both with respect to the objects and the subjects of consciousness. I show that these recent trends tend to naturalize intentionality and consciousness in directions compatible with the descriptive aspects of Gurwitsch's constitutive phenomenology. (shrink)
Advocates of dynamical systems theory (DST) sometimes employ revolutionary rhetoric. In an attempt to clarify how DST models differ from others in cognitivescience, I focus on two issues raised by DST: the role for representations in mental models and the conception of explanation invoked. Two features of representations are their role in standing-in for features external to the system and their format. DST advocates sometimes claim to have repudiated the need for stand-ins in DST models, but I (...) argue that they are mistaken. Nonetheless, DST does offer new ideas as to the format of representations employed in cognitive systems. With respect to explanation, I argue that some DST models are better seen as conforming to the covering-law conception of explanation than to the mechanistic conception of explanation implicit in most cognitivescience research. But even here, I argue, DST models are a valuable complement to more mechanistic cognitive explanations. (shrink)
This brief commentary has three goals. The first is to argue that ‘‘framework debate’’ in cognitivescience is unresolvable. The idea that one theory or framework can singly account for the vast complexity and variety of cognitive processes seems unlikely if not impossible. The second goal is a consequence of this: We should consider how the various theories on offer work together in diverse contexts of investigation. A final goal is to supply a brief review for readers (...) who are compelled by these points to explore existing literature on the topic. Despite this literature, pluralism has garnered very little attention from broader cognitivescience. We end by briefly considering what it might mean for theoretical cognitivescience. (shrink)
Cognitivescience has always included multiple methodologies and theoretical commitments. The philosophy of cognitivescience should embrace, or at least acknowledge, this diversity. Bechtel’s (2009a) proposed philosophy of cognitivescience, however, applies only to representationalist and mechanist cognitivescience, ignoring the substantial minority of dynamically oriented cognitive scientists. As an example of nonrepresentational, dynamical cognitivescience, we describe strong anticipation as a model for circadian systems (Stepp & Turvey, 2009). (...) We then propose a philosophy of science appropriate to nonrepresentational, dynamical cognitivescience. (shrink)
The study of human intelligence was once dominated by symbolic approaches, but over the last 30 years an alternative approach has arisen. Symbols and processes that operate on them are often seen today as approximate characterizations of the emergent consequences of sub- or nonsymbolic processes, and a wide range of constructs in cognitivescience can be understood as emergents. These include representational constructs (units, structures, rules), architectural constructs (central executive, declarative memory), and developmental processes and outcomes (stages, sensitive (...) periods, neurocognitive modules, developmental disorders). The greatest achievements of human cognition may be largely emergent phenomena. It remains a challenge for the future to learn more about how these greatest achievements arise and to emulate them in artificial systems. (shrink)
inﬂuence. One of the principal characteristics that distinguishes CognitiveScience from more traditional studies of cognition within Psychology, is the extent to which it has been inﬂuenced by both the ideas and the techniques of computing. It may come as a surprise to the outsider, then, to discover that there is no unanimity within the discipline on either (a) the nature (and in some cases the desireabilty) of the inﬂuence and (b) what computing is –- or at least (...) on its. (shrink)
Kleinberg (1999) describes a novel procedure for efficient search in a dense hyper-linked environment, such as the world wide web. The procedure exploits information implicit in the links between pages so as to identify patterns of connectivity indicative of “authorative sources”. At a more general level, the trick is to use this second-order link-structure information to rapidly and cheaply identify the knowledge- structures most likely to be relevant given a specific input. I shall argue that Kleinberg’s procedure is suggestive of (...) a new, viable, and neuroscientifically plausible solution to at least (one incarnation of) the so-called “Frame Problem” in cognitivescience viz the problem of explaining global abductive inference. More accurately, I shall argue that. (shrink)
Although philosophy has been only a minor contributor to cognitivescience to date, this paper describes two projects in naturalistic philosophy of mind and one in naturalistic philosophy of science that have been pursued during the past 30 years and that can make theoretical and methodological contributions to cognitivescience. First, stances on the mind–body problem (identity theory, functionalism, and heuristic identity theory) are relevant to cognitivescience as it negotiates its relation to (...) neuroscience and cognitive neuroscience. Second, analyses of mental representations address both their vehicles and their contents; new approaches to characterizing how representations have content are particularly relevant to understanding the relation of cognitive agents to their environments. Third, the recently formulated accounts of mechanistic explanation in philosophy of science both provide perspective on the explanatory project of cognitivescience and may offer normative guidance to cognitivescience (e.g., by providing perspective on how multiple disciplinary perspectives can be integrated in understanding a given mechanism). (shrink)
This paper reviews the uneven history of the relationship between Anthropology and CognitiveScience over the past 30 years, from its promising beginnings, followed by a period of disaffection, on up to the current context, which may lay the groundwork for reconsidering what Anthropology and (the rest of) CognitiveScience have to offer each other. We think that this history has important lessons to teach and has implications for contemporary efforts to restore Anthropology to its proper (...) place within CognitiveScience. The recent upsurge of interest in the ways that thought may shape and be shaped by action, gesture, cultural experience, and language sets the stage for, but so far has not fully accomplished, the inclusion of Anthropology as an equal partner. (shrink)
This is a revised version of the introductory essay in C. Eschenbach, C. Habel and B. Smith (eds.), Topological Foundations of CognitiveScience, Hamburg: Graduiertenkolleg Kognitionswissenschaft, 1994, the text of a talk delivered at the First International Summer Institute in CognitiveScience in Buffalo in July 1994.
This paper considers the past and future of Psychology within CognitiveScience. In the history section, I focus on three questions: (a) how has the position of Psychology evolved within CognitiveScience, relative to the other disciplines that make up CognitiveScience; (b) how have particular CognitiveScience areas within Psychology waxed or waned; and (c) what have we gained and lost. After discussing what’s happened since the late 1970s, when the Society (...) and the journal began, I speculate about where the field is going. (shrink)
The model of memory as a store, from which records can be retrieved, is taken for granted by many contemporary researchers. On this view, memories are stored by memory traces, which represent the original event and provide a causal link between that episode and one's ability to remember it. I argue that this seemingly plausible model leads to an unacceptable conception of the relationship between mind and brain, and that a non-representational, connectionist, model offers a promising alternative. I also offer (...) a new reading of Wittgenstein's paradoxical remarks about thought and brain processes: as a critique of the cognitivist thesis that information stored in the brain has a linguistic structure and a particular location. On this reading, Wittgenstein's criticism foreshadows some of the most promising contemporary work on connectionist models of neural functioning. (shrink)
In this paper, we argue that under certain prevalent interpretations of the nature and aims of cognitivescience, theories of cognition generate a forced choice between a conception of cognition which depends on the possibility of a private language, and a conception of cognition which depends on mereological confusions. We argue, further, that this should not pose a fundamental problem for cognitive scientists since a plausible interpretation of the nature and aims of cognitivescience is (...) available that does not generate this forced choice. The crucial difference between these interpretations is that on the one hand the aim of theories of cognition is to tell us what thinking (etc.) is, and on the other it is to tell us what is causally necessary if an intelligent creature is to be able to think. Our argument draws heavily on a Wittgensteinian conception of philosophy in which no philosophical theory can explain what thinking, perceiving, remembering, etc. are, either. The positive, strictly therapeutic, purpose of a philosophy of cognitivescience should be to show that, since the traditional problems which constitute the philosophy of mind are chimerical, there is nothing for philosophical theorizing in cognitivescience to achieve. (shrink)
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a core area of CognitiveScience, yet today few AI researchers attend the CognitiveScience Society meetings. This essay examines why, how AI has changed over the last 30 years, and some emerging areas of potential interest where AI and the Society can go together in the next 30 years, if they choose.
Anthropology and the other cognitivescience (CS) subdisciplines currently maintain a troubled relationship. With a debate in topiCS we aim at exploring the prospects for improving this relationship, and our introduction is intended as a catalyst for this debate. In order to encourage a frank sharing of perspectives, our comments will be deliberately provocative. Several challenges for a successful rapprochement are identified, encompassing the diverging paths that CS and anthropology have taken in the past, the degree of compatibility (...) between (1) CS and (2) anthropology with regard to methodology and (3) research strategies, (4) the importance of anthropology for CS, and (5) the need for disciplinary diversity. Given this set of challenges, a reconciliation seems unlikely to follow on the heels of good intentions alone. (shrink)
Beller, Bender, and Medin argue that a reconciliation between anthropology and cognitivescience seems unlikely. We disagree. In our view, Beller et al.’s view of the scope of what anthropology can offer cognitivescience is too narrow. In focusing on anthropology’s role in elucidating cultural particulars, they downplay the fact that anthropology can reveal both variation and universals in human cognition, and is in a unique position to do so relative to the other subfields of (...) class='Hi'>cognitivescience. Indeed, without cross-cultural research, the universality of any aspect of human cognition cannot truly be established. Therefore, if the goal of cognitivescience is to understand the cognitive capacities of our species as a whole, then it cannot do without anthropology. We briefly review a growing body of anthropological work aimed at answering questions about human cognition and offer suggestions for future work. (shrink)
Cognitive anthropology contributes to cognitivescience as a complement to cognitive psychology. The chief threat to its survival has not been rejection by other cognitive scientists but by other cultural anthropologists. It will remain a part of cognitivescience as long as cognitive anthropologists research, teach, and publish.