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Rethinking the problem of cognition

Synthese 195 (8):3547-3570 (2018)

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  1. Enactment and Construction of the Cognitive Niche: Toward an Ontology of the Mind- World Connection.Konrad Werner - 2020 - Synthese 197 (3):1313-1341.
    The paper discusses the concept of the cognitive niche and distinguishes the latter from the metabolic niche. By using these posits I unpack certain ideas that are crucial for the enactivist movement, especially for its original formulation proposed by Varela, Thompson and Rosh. Drawing on the ontology of location, boundaries, and parthood, I argue that enacting the world can be seen as the process of cognitive niche construction. Moreover, it turns out that enactivism—as seen through the lens of the conceptual (...)
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  • Representation Re-Construed: Answering the Job Description Challenge with a Construal-Based Notion of Natural Representation.Mikio Akagi - manuscript
    Many philosophers worry that cognitive scientists apply the concept REPRESENTATION too liberally. For example, William Ramsey argues that scientists often ascribe natural representations according to the “receptor notion,” a causal account with absurd consequences. I rehabilitate the receptor notion by augmenting it with a background condition: that natural representations are ascribed only to systems construed as organisms. This Organism-Receptor account rationalizes our existing conceptual practice, including the fact that scientists in fact reject Ramsey’s absurd consequences. The Organism-Receptor account raises some (...)
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  • Beyond Cognitive Myopia: A Patchwork Approach to the Concept of Neural Function.Philipp Haueis - 2018 - Synthese 195 (12):5373-5402.
    In this paper, I argue that looking at the concept of neural function through the lens of cognition alone risks cognitive myopia: it leads neuroscientists to focus only on mechanisms with cognitive functions that process behaviorally relevant information when conceptualizing “neural function”. Cognitive myopia tempts researchers to neglect neural mechanisms with noncognitive functions which do not process behaviorally relevant information but maintain and repair neural and other systems of the body. Cognitive myopia similarly affects philosophy of neuroscience because scholars overlook (...)
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  • From Computer Metaphor to Computational Modeling: The Evolution of Computationalism.Marcin Miłkowski - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (3):515-541.
    In this paper, I argue that computationalism is a progressive research tradition. Its metaphysical assumptions are that nervous systems are computational, and that information processing is necessary for cognition to occur. First, the primary reasons why information processing should explain cognition are reviewed. Then I argue that early formulations of these reasons are outdated. However, by relying on the mechanistic account of physical computation, they can be recast in a compelling way. Next, I contrast two computational models of working memory (...)
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  • Building Thinking Machines by Solving Animal Cognition Tasks.Matthew Crosby - 2020 - Minds and Machines 30 (4):589-615.
    In ‘Computing Machinery and Intelligence’, Turing, sceptical of the question ‘Can machines think?’, quickly replaces it with an experimentally verifiable test: the imitation game. I suggest that for such a move to be successful the test needs to be relevant, expansive, solvable by exemplars, unpredictable, and lead to actionable research. The Imitation Game is only partially successful in this regard and its reliance on language, whilst insightful for partially solving the problem, has put AI progress on the wrong foot, prescribing (...)
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  • Autopoietic Theory, Enactivism, and Their Incommensurable Marks of the Cognitive.Mario Villalobos & Simón Palacios - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 1):71-87.
    This paper examines a fundamental philosophical difference between two radical postcognitivist theories that are usually assumed to offer the same view of cognition; namely the autopoietic theory and the enactive approach. The ways these two theories understand cognition, it is argued, are not compatible nor incompatible but rather incommensurable. The reason, so it is argued, is that while enactivism, following the traditional stance held by most of the cognitive theories, understands cognitive systems as constituting a natural kind, the autopoietic theory (...)
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  • Demarcating Cognition: The Cognitive Life Sciences.Fred Keijzer - 2020 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 1):137-157.
    This paper criticizes the role of intuition-based ascriptions of cognition that are closely related to the ascription of mind. This practice hinders the explication of a clear and stable target domain for the cognitive sciences. To move forward, the proposal is to cut the notion of cognition free from such ascriptions and the intuition-based judgments that drive them. Instead, cognition is reinterpreted and developed as a scientific concept that is tied to a material domain of research. In this reading, cognition (...)
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  • Psa 2018.Philsci-Archive -Preprint Volume- - unknown
    These preprints were automatically compiled into a PDF from the collection of papers deposited in PhilSci-Archive in conjunction with the PSA 2018.
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  • Representation Re-Construed: Construal-Based Norms for Ascribing Natural Representations.Akagi Mikio - manuscript
    Many philosophers worry that cognitive scientists apply the concept REPRESENTATION too liberally. For example, William Ramsey argues that scientists often ascribe natural representations according to the “receptor notion,” a causal account with absurd consequences. I rehabilitate the receptor notion by augmenting it with a background condition: that natural representations are ascribed only to systems construed as organisms. This Organism-Receptor account rationalizes our existing conceptual practice, including the fact that scientists in fact reject Ramsey’s absurd consequences. The Organism-Receptor account raises some (...)
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  • Objections to Computationalism: A Survey.Marcin Miłkowski - 2018 - Roczniki Filozoficzne 66 (3):57-75.
    In this paper, the Author reviewed the typical objections against the claim that brains are computers, or, to be more precise, information-processing mechanisms. By showing that practically all the popular objections are based on uncharitable interpretations of the claim, he argues that the claim is likely to be true, relevant to contemporary cognitive science, and non-trivial.
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