The Meaning of Embodiment

Topics in Cognitive Science 4 (4):740-758 (2012)
Abstract
There is substantial disagreement among philosophers of embodied cognitive science about the meaning of embodiment. In what follows, I describe three different views that can be found in the current literature. I show how this debate centers around the question of whether the science of embodied cognition can retain the computer theory of mind. One view, which I will label body functionalism, takes the body to play the functional role of linking external resources for problem solving with internal biological machinery. Embodiment is thus understood in terms of the role the body plays in supporting the computational circuits that realize cognition. Body enactivism argues by contrast that no computational account of cognition can account for the role of commonsense knowledge in our everyday practical engagement with the world. I will attempt a reconciliation of these seemingly opposed views
Keywords Symbol grounding problem  Hubert Dreyfus  Functionalism  Commonsense knowledge  Artificial intelligence  Radical embodiment  Frame problem  Predictive coding  Emotion and cognition  Computer theory of mind  Embodiment
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DOI 10.1111/j.1756-8765.2012.01219.x
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