Insightful thinking: Cognitive dynamics and material artifacts

Pragmatics and Cognition 17 (3):549-572 (2009)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

We trace how cognition arises beyond the skin. Experimental work on insight problem solving is used to examine how external artifacts can be used to reach the goal of assembling a ‘cheap necklace’. Instead of asking how insight occurs ‘in the head’, our participants in Experiment 1 can either draw solution attempts or manipulate real objects. Even though performance with real chain links is significantly more successful than on paper, access to objects does not make this insight problem simple: objects themselves do not shape cognition. This challenges extended mind views. While failure often results from the inappropriate application of hill-climbing, material artifacts can trigger solutions. In Experiment 2, we used ‘open link’ conditions of the concretized problem to prompt participants to act. Solutions arrived via insight, serendipity, or trial-and-error. By investigating how objects are used, we show that they do more than supplement neural events. Rather, participants monitor and anticipate the effects of action within an organism-environment system. By analogy, language too draws on experience of monitoring real-time effects as bodily dynamics play out in a normative and cultural world. In engaging with public language, it is likely that verbal patterns function by constraining anticipatory cognitive processes.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,069

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Extended mind and cognitive enhancement: Moral aspects of cognitive artifacts.Richard Heersmink - 2017 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 16 (1):17-32.
The ontology of artifacts.Lynne Rudder Baker - 2004 - Philosophical Explorations 7 (2):99 – 111.
A taxonomy of cognitive artifacts: Function, information, and categories.Richard Heersmink - 2013 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (3):465-481.
The metaphysics of cognitive artifacts.Richard Heersmink - 2016 - Philosophical Explorations 19 (1):78-93.
Explaining Artifact Evolution.David Kirsh - 2006 - Cognitive Life of Things.
Spongy Brains and Material Memories.John Sutton - 2007 - In Mary Floyd-Wilson & Garrett Sullivan (eds.), Embodiment and Environment in Early Modern England. Palgrave.
The Vagueness Argument Against Abstract Artifacts.Daniel Z. Korman - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (1):57-71.

Analytics

Added to PP
2016-02-04

Downloads
7 (#1,221,120)

6 months
3 (#503,027)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?