In this paper, I discuss whether it is ever morally permissible to diminish the cognitive abilities or capacities of some cognitively gifted offenders whose ability to commit their crimes successfully relies on them possessing these abilities or capacities. I suggest that, given such cognitive diminishments may prevent such offenders from re-offending and causing others considerable harm, this provides us with at least one good moral reason in favour of employing them. After setting out more clearly what cognitive (...) diminishment may consist of, I then critically discuss variations of four plausible arguments against a proposal of using them on cognitive gifted offenders related to autonomy, harm, narrative identity, and a right to mental self-determination. I argue that none of these concerns should have us reject the use of cognitive diminishments. (shrink)
In Cognitive Integration: Attacking The Bounds of Cognition Richard Menary argues that the real pay-off from extended-mind-style arguments is not a new form of externalism in the philosophy of mind, but a view in which the 'internal' and 'external' aspects of cognition are integrated into a whole. Menary argues that the manipulation of external vehicles constitutes cognitive processes and that cognition is hybrid: internal and external processes and vehicles complement one another in the completion of cognitive tasks. (...) However, we cannot make good on these claims without understanding the cognitive norms by which we manipulate bodily external vehicles of cognition. -/- Shaun Gallagher: “Menary sets out some extremely welcome clarifications that help to integrate the models of embodied and extended cognition. He not only provides convincing responses to all of the main objections that have been made against these approaches, he also puts flesh on the integrated model by incorporating concepts such as epistemic action, by expanding the discussion to include a Peircean view of representation, by demonstrating its evolutionary roots, and by exploring its implications for language and cognition. This is one of those books that takes us forward a number of giant steps. Menary makes it comprehensive and comprehensible.” . (shrink)
The philosophical case for extended cognition is often made with reference to ‘extended-memory cases’ ; though, unfortunately, proponents of the hypothesis of extended cognition as well as their adversaries have failed to appreciate the kinds of epistemological problems extended-memory cases pose for mainstream thinking in the epistemology of memory. It is time to give these problems a closer look. Our plan is as follows: in §1, we argue that an epistemological theory remains compatible with HEC only if its epistemic assessments (...) do not violate what we call ‘the epistemic parity principle’. In §2, we show how the constraint of respecting the epistemic parity principle stands in what appears to be a prima facie intractable tension with mainstream thinking about cases of propositional memory. We then outline and evaluate in §3 several lines of response. (shrink)
Embodied cognition is sweeping the planet. On a non-embodied approach, the sensory system informs the cognitive system and the motor system does the cognitive system’s bidding. There are causal relations between the systems but the sensory and motor systems are not constitutive of cognition. For embodied views, the relation to the sensori-motor system to cognition is constitutive, not just causal. This paper examines some recent empirical evidence used to support the view that cognition is embodied and raises questions (...) about some of the claims being made by supporters. (shrink)
Perception is typically distinguished from cognition. For example, seeing is importantly different from believing. And while what one sees clearly influences what one thinks, it is debatable whether what one believes and otherwise thinks can influence, in some direct and non-trivial way, what one sees. The latter possible relation is the cognitive penetration of perception. Cognitive penetration, if it occurs, has implications for philosophy of science, epistemology, philosophy of mind, and cognitive science. This paper offers an analysis (...) of the phenomenon, its theoretical consequences, and a variety of experimental results and possible interpretations of them. The paper concludes by proposing some constraints for analyses and definitions of cognitive penetrability. (shrink)
Cognitive science is unusual in that cognitive scientists have dramatic disagreements about the extension of their object of study, cognition. This paper defends a novel analysis of the scientific concept of cognition: that cognition is the sensitive management of an agent’s behavior. This analysis is “modular,” so that its extension varies depending on how one interprets certain of its constituent terms. I argue that these variations correspond to extant disagreements between cognitive scientists. This correspondence is evidence that (...) the proposed analysis models the contemporary understanding of cognition among scientists, without artificially resolving questions that are currently considered open. (shrink)
An important question in the debate over embodied, enactive, and extended cognition has been what has been meant by “cognition”. What is this cognition that is supposed to be embodied, enactive, or extended? Rather than undertake a frontal assault on this question, however, this paper will take a different approach. In particular, we may ask how cognition is supposed to be related to behavior. First, we could ask whether cognition is supposed to be behavior. Second, we could ask whether we (...) should attempt to understand cognitive processes in terms of antecedently understood cognitive behaviors. This paper will survey some of the answers that have been given in the embodied, enactive, and extended cognition literature, then suggest reasons to believe that we should answer both questions in the negative. (shrink)
Cognitive enhancement takes many and diverse forms. Various methods of cognitive enhancement have implications for the near future. At the same time, these technologies raise a range of ethical issues. For example, they interact with notions of authenticity, the good life, and the role of medicine in our lives. Present and anticipated methods for cognitive enhancement also create challenges for public policy and regulation.
Robert Rupert argues against the view that human cognitive processes comprise elements beyond the boundary of the organism, developing a systems-based conception in place of this extended view. He also argues for a conciliatory understanding of the relation between the computational approach to cognition and the embedded and embodied views.
Cognitive phenomenology starts from something that has been obscured in much recent analytic philosophy: the fact that lived conscious experience isn’t just a matter of sensation or feeling, but is also cognitive in character, through and through. This is obviously true of ordinary human perceptual experience, and cognitive phenomenology is also concerned with something more exclusively cognitive, which we may call propositional meaning-experience: occurrent experience of linguistic representations as meaning something, for example, as this occurs in (...) thinking or reading or hearing others speak. One source of resistance to accepting this view has been a failure to distinguish sharply between cognitive content and cognitive-phenomenological content. (shrink)
Cognitive ecology is the study of cognitive phenomena in context. In particular, it points to the web of mutual dependence among the elements of a cognitive ecosystem. At least three fields were taking a deeply ecological approach to cognition 30 years ago: Gibson’s ecological psychology, Bateson’s ecology of mind, and Soviet cultural-historical activity theory. The ideas developed in those projects have now found a place in modern views of embodied, situated, distributed cognition. As cognitive theory continues (...) to shift from units of analysis defined by inherent properties of the elements to units defined in terms of dynamic patterns of correlation across elements, the study of cognitive ecosystems will become an increasingly important part of cognitive science. (shrink)
Synthesizing the domains of investigation highlighted in current research in distributed cognition and related fields, this paper offers an initial taxonomy of the overlapping types of resources which typically contribute to distributed or extended cognitive systems. It then outlines a number of key dimensions on which to analyse both the resulting integrated systems and the components which coalesce into more or less tightly coupled interaction over the course of their formation and renegotiation.
There are good, even if inconclusive, reasons to think that cognitive penetration of perception occurs: that cognitive states like belief causally affect, in a relatively direct way, the contents of perceptual experience. The supposed importance of – indeed as it is suggested here, what is definitive of – this possible phenomenon is that it would result in important epistemic and scientific consequences. One interesting and intuitive consequence entirely unremarked in the extant literature concerns the perception of art. Intuition (...) has it that knowledge about art changes how one aesthetically evaluates artworks. A profound explanation of this intuitive fact is that perceptual experiences vary with artistic expertise. Cognitive penetration provides an explanatory mechanism for this latter effect. What one knows or otherwise thinks about art may affect, in one of two ways sketched below, how one perceives art. Differences in aesthetic evaluation may follow, either because high-level aesthetic properties can be perceptually represented or because they causally depend on low-level perceptible properties. All of this lends credence to the hypothesis that the expert better judges art because she better perceives art. And she better perceives art because she better knows art. (shrink)
We outline a framework of multilevel neurocognitive mechanisms that incorporates representation and computation. We argue that paradigmatic explanations in cognitive neuroscience fit this framework and thus that cognitive neuroscience constitutes a revolutionary break from traditional cognitive science. Whereas traditional cognitive scientific explanations were supposed to be distinct and autonomous from mechanistic explanations, neurocognitive explanations aim to be mechanistic through and through. Neurocognitive explanations aim to integrate computational and representational functions and structures across multiple levels of organization (...) in order to explain cognition. To a large extent, practicing cognitive neuroscientists have already accepted this shift, but philosophical theory has not fully acknowledged and appreciated its significance. As a result, the explanatory framework underlying cognitive neuroscience has remained largely implicit. We explicate this framework and demonstrate its contrast with previous approaches. (shrink)
Zenon Pylyshyn argues that cognitively driven attentional effects do not amount to cognitive penetration of early vision because such effects occur either before or after early vision. Critics object that in fact such effects occur at all levels of perceptual processing. We argue that Pylyshyn’s claim is correct—but not for the reason he emphasizes. Even if his critics are correct that attentional effects are not external to early vision, these effects do not satisfy Pylyshyn’s requirements that the effects be (...) direct and exhibit semantic coherence. In addition, we distinguish our defense from those found in recent work by Raftopoulos and by Firestone and Scholl, argue that attention should not be assimilated to expectation, and discuss alternative characterizations of cognitive penetrability, advocating a kind of pluralism. (shrink)
We begin by introducing our readers to the Extended Mind Thesis and briefly discuss a series of arguments in its favour. We continue by showing of such a theory can be resisted and go on to demonstrate that a more conservative account of cognition can be developed. We acknowledge a stalemate between these two different accounts of cognition and notice a couple of issues that we argue have prevented further progress in the field. To overcome the stalemate, we propose to (...) focus on the ethical implications of these theories. We link work conducted on the Extended Mind Thesis with contemporary transhumanist research and claim that extended may be ethically preferred over embedded because it is a more progressive and inclusive theory. (shrink)
‘‘COGNITIVE ECOLOGY’’ is a fruitful model for Shakespearian studies, early modern literary and cultural history, and theatrical history more widely. Cognitive ecologies are the multidimensional contexts in which we remember, feel, think, sense, communicate, imagine, and act, often collaboratively, on the ﬂy, and in rich ongoing interaction with our environments. Along with the anthropologist Edwin Hutchins,1 we use the term ‘‘cognitive ecology’’ to integrate a number of recent approaches to cultural cognition: we believe these approaches offer productive (...) lines of engagement with early modern literary and historical studies.2 The framework arises out of our work in extended mind and distributed cognition.3 The extended mind hypothesis arose from a post-connectionist philosophy of cognitive science. This approach was articulated in Andy Clark’s Being There: Putting Brain, Body, and World Together Again, and further developed by Susan Hurley and Mark Rowlands, among others.4 The distributed cognition approach arose independently, from work in cognitive anthropology, HCI (Human-Computer Interaction), the sociology of education and work, and science studies. The principles of distributed cognition were articulated in Hutchins’s ethnography of navigation, Cogni- tion in the Wild,5 and developed by theorists such as David Kirsh and Lucy Suchman.6 These models share an anti-individualist approach to cognition. In all these views, mental activities spread or smear across the boundaries of skull and skin to include parts of the social and material world. In remembering, decision making, and acting, whether individually or in small groups, our complex and structured activities involve many distinctive dimensions: neural, affective, kines-. (shrink)
The aim of this article is to introduce the concept of Cognitive Fitness (CF), identify its key ingredients underpinning both real-time task performance and career longevity in high-risk occupations, and to canvas a holistic framework for their assessment, training, and augmentation. CF as a capacity to deploy neurocognitive resources, knowledge and skills to meet the demands of operational task performance, is likely to be multi-faceted and differentially malleable. A taxonomy of CF constructs derived from Cognitive Readiness (CR) and (...) Mental fitness (MF) literature maps into phases of operational cycles from foundational to advanced, mission-ready and recovery. Foundational cognitive attributes, such as attention, executive control and co-action, were hypothesized to be trainable at the initial Cognitive Gym phase. More advanced training targets at the CR phase included stress and arousal regulation, adaptability, teamwork, situation awareness (including detection, sense-making and prediction) and decision making (de-biasing and confidence calibration). The mission-ready training phase is focused on tolerances (to sleep loss, monotony, pain, frustration, uncertainty) and resistance (to distraction, deception or manipulation). Operational Augmentation phase relies on support tools such as decision aids and fatigue countermeasures, while the Recovery phase employs reflexive (e.g., mindfulness), and restorative practices (e.g., nutrition and sleep hygiene). The periodization of cognitive training in this cycle is hypothesized to optimize both real-time cognitive performance and the resilience that enables life-long thriving. One of the most promising avenues of validating this hypothesis is by developing an expert consensus on the key CF ingredients and their relative importance in high-performance settings. (shrink)
In recent years, we have witnessed the rise of a contemporary approach to cognitive psychology known as 4E cognition. According to this ‘extracranial’ view of cognition, the mind is not ensconced in the head, but dynamically intertwined with a host of different entities, social as well as technological. The purpose of the present article is to raise a concern about 4E cognition. The concern is not about whether the mind is in fact extended, but about how this condition is (...) currently portrayed in the 4E literature. It is argued that 4E scholars tend to paint an overly idealized picture of human–technology relations in which all entities are presumed to cooperate and collaborate. The article first describes the basic tenets of extended cognition and distributed cognition, two of the most thingly approaches in this new wave of cognitive psychology. It then proceeds to discuss the twin notions of cognition and representation and argues that it may be time to leave these concepts behind. Finally, it sketches out the so-called ‘dogma of harmony’ in the 4E literature and argues for the importance of making analytical room for conflictual human–technology relations. Two examples of such conflictual relations are provided: bad habits and deskilling. (shrink)
If our experiences are cognitively penetrable, they can be influenced by our antecedent expectations, beliefs, or other cognitive states. Theorists such as Churchland, Fodor, Macpherson, and Siegel have debated whether and how our cognitive states might influence our perceptual experiences, as well as how any such influences might affect the ability of our experiences to justify our beliefs about the external world. This article surveys views about the nature of cognitive penetration, the epistemological consequences of denying (...) class='Hi'>cognitive penetration, and the epistemological consequences of affirming cognitive penetration. (shrink)
As the cognitive revolution was slow to come to the study of animal behavior, the vast majority of what we know about primate cognition has been discovered in the last 30 years. Building on the recognition that the physical and social worlds of humans and their living primate relatives pose many of the same evolutionary challenges, programs of research have established that the most basic cognitive skills and mental representations that humans use to navigate those worlds are already (...) possessed by other primates. There may be differences between humans and other primates, however, in more complex cognitive skills, such as reasoning about relations, causality, time, and other minds. Of special importance, the human primate seems to possess a species-unique set of adaptations for “cultural intelligence,” which are broad reaching in their effects on human cognition. (shrink)
This paper explores the ramifications of the extended cognition thesis in the philosophy of mind for contemporary epistemology. In particular, it argues that all theories of knowledge need to accommodate the ability intuition that knowledge involves cognitive ability, but that once this requirement is understood correctly there is no reason why one could not have a conception of cognitive ability that was consistent with the extended cognition thesis. There is thus, surprisingly, a straightforward way of developing our current (...) thinking about knowledge such that it incorporates the extended cognition thesis. (shrink)
According to the hypotheses of distributed and extended cognition, remembering does not always occur entirely inside the brain but is often distributed across heterogeneous systems combining neural, bodily, social, and technological resources. These ideas have been intensely debated in philosophy, but the philosophical debate has often remained at some distance from relevant empirical research, while empirical memory research, in particular, has been somewhat slow to incorporate distributed/extended ideas. This situation, however, appears to be changing, as we witness an increasing level (...) of interaction between the philosophy and the empirical research. In this editorial, we provide a high-level historical overview of the development of the debates around the hypotheses of distributed and extended cognition, as well as relevant theory and empirical research on memory, considering both the role of memory in theoretical debates around distributed/extended ideas and strands of memory research that resonate with those ideas; we emphasize recent trends towards increased interaction, including new empirical paradigms for investigating distributed memory systems. We then provide an overview of the special issue itself, drawing out a number of general implications from the contributions, and conclude by sketching promising directions for future research on distributed memory. (shrink)
This chapter concerns the cognitive penetration of the visual experience of colour. Alleged cases of cognitively penetrated colour perception are of special import since they concern an uncontroversial type of visual experience. All theorists of perception agree that colour properties figure properly in the content or presentation of visual perception, even though not all parties agree that pine trees or causes or other "high-level" properties can figure properly in visual content or presentation. So an alleged case of this kind (...) does not require controversial commitments regarding the admissible contents of visual perception. The chapter clarifies this theoretical importance , identifying alleged empirical cases of cognitively penetrated colour perception, and then analyzing the implications of such cases for an epistemology of perception. (shrink)
Embodied cognition often challenges standard cognitive science. In this outstanding introduction, Lawrence Shapiro sets out the central themes and debates surrounding embodied cognition, explaining and assessing the work of many of the key figures in the field, including George Lakoff, Alva Noë, Andy Clark, and Arthur Glenberg. Beginning with an outline of the theoretical and methodological commitments of standard cognitive science, Shapiro then examines philosophical and empirical arguments surrounding the traditional perspective. He introduces topics such as dynamic systems (...) theory, ecological psychology, robotics, and connectionism, before addressing core issues in philosophy of mind such as mental representation and extended cognition. Including helpful chapter summaries and annotated further reading at the end of each chapter, _Embodied Cognition_ is essential reading for all students of philosophy of mind, psychology, and cognitive science. (shrink)
The capacity to control emotion is important for human adaptation. Questions about the neural bases of emotion regulation have recently taken on new importance, as functional imaging studies in humans have permitted direct investigation of control strategies that draw upon higher cognitive processes difficult to study in nonhumans. Such studies have examined (1) controlling attention to, and (2) cognitively changing the meaning of, emotionally evocative stimuli. These two forms of emotion regulation depend upon interactions between prefrontal and cingulate control (...) systems and cortical and subcortical emotion-generative systems. Taken together, the results suggest a functional architecture for the cognitive control of emotion that dovetails with findings from other human and nonhuman research on emotion. (shrink)
Cognitive science has been beset for thirty years by foundational disputes about the nature and extension of cognition—e.g. whether cognition is necessarily representational, whether cognitive processes extend outside the brain or body, and whether plants or microbes have them. Whereas previous philosophical work aimed to settle these disputes, I aim to understand what conception of cognition scientists could share given that they disagree so fundamentally. To this end, I develop a number of variations on traditional conceptual explication, and (...) defend a novel explication of cognition called the sensitive management hypothesis. -/- Since expert judgments about the extension of “cognition” vary so much, I argue that there is value in explication that accurately models the variance in judgments rather than taking sides or treating that variance as noise. I say of explications that accomplish this that they are ecumenically extensionally adequate. Thus, rather than adjudicating whether, say, plants can have cognitive processes like humans, an ecumenically adequate explication should classify these cases differently: human cognitive processes as paradigmatically cognitive, and plant processes as controversially cognitive. -/- I achieve ecumenical adequacy by articulating conceptual explications with parameters, or terms that can be assigned a number of distinct interpretations based on the background commitments of participants in a discourse. For example, an explication might require that cognition cause “behavior,” and imply that plant processes are cognitive or not depending on whether anything plants do can be considered “behavior.” Parameterization provides a unified treatment of embattled concepts by isolating topics of disagreement in a small number of parameters. -/- I incorporate these innovations into an account on which cognition is the “sensitive management of organismal behavior.” The sensitive management hypothesis is ecumenically extensionally adequate, accurately classifying a broad variety of cases as paradigmatically or controversially cognitive phenomena. I also describe an extremely permissive version of the sensitive management hypothesis, arguing that it has the potential to explain several features of cognitive scientific discourse, including various facts about the way cognitive scientists ascribe representations to cognitive systems. (shrink)
Many models of cognitive ability and disability rely on the idea of cognition as abstract reasoning processes implemented in the brain. Research in cognitive science, however, emphasizes the way that our cognitive skills are embodied in our more basic capacities for sensing and moving, and the way that tools in the external environment can extend the cognitive abilities of our brains. This chapter addresses the implications of research in embodied cognition and extended cognition for how we (...) think about cognitive impairment and rehabilitation, how cognitive reserve mitigates neural impairment, and the distinction between medical and social models of disability. (shrink)
Conscious experience is one of the most difficult and thorny problems in psychological science. Its study has been neglected for many years, either because it was thought to be too difficult, or because the relevant evidence was thought to be poor. Bernard Baars suggests a way to specify empirical constraints on a theory of consciousness by contrasting well-established conscious phenomena - such as stimulus representations known to be attended, perceptual, and informative - with closely comparable unconscious ones - such as (...) stimulus representations known to be preperceptual, unattended, or habituated. Adducing data to show that consciousness is associated with a kind of global workplace in the nervous system, and that several brain structures are known to behave in accordance with his theory, Baars helps to clarify many difficult problems. (shrink)
An analytic cognitive style denotes a propensity to set aside highly salient intuitions when engaging in problem solving. We assess the hypothesis that an analytic cognitive style is associated with a history of questioning, altering, and rejecting supernatural claims, both religious and paranormal. In two studies, we examined associations of God beliefs, religious engagement, conventional religious beliefs and paranormal beliefs with performance measures of cognitive ability and analytic cognitive style. An analytic cognitive style negatively predicted (...) both religious and paranormal beliefs when controlling for cognitive ability as well as religious engagement, sex, age, political ideology, and education. Participants more willing to engage in analytic reasoning were less likely to endorse supernatural beliefs. Further, an association between analytic cognitive style and religious engagement was mediated by religious beliefs, suggesting that an analytic cognitive style negatively affects religious engagement via lower acceptance of conventional religious beliefs. Results for types of God belief indicate that the association between an analytic cognitive style and God beliefs is more nuanced than mere acceptance and rejection, but also includes adopting less conventional God beliefs, such as Pantheism or Deism. Our data are consistent with the idea that two people who share the same cognitive ability, education, political ideology, sex, age and level of religious engagement can acquire very different sets of beliefs about the world if they differ in their propensity to think analytically. (shrink)
Recently, philosophers and psychologists defending the embodied cognition research program have offered arguments against mindreading as a general model of our social understanding. The embodied cognition arguments are of two kinds: those that challenge the developmental picture of mindreading and those that challenge the alleged ubiquity of mindreading. Together, these two kinds of arguments, if successful, would present a serious challenge to the standard account of human social understanding. In this paper, I examine the strongest of these embodied cognition arguments (...) and argue that mindreading approaches can withstand the best of these arguments from embodied cognition. (shrink)
In various contexts and for various reasons, writers often define cognitive processes and architectures as those involving representational states and structures. Similarly, cognitive theories are also often delineated as those that invoke representations. In this paper, I present several reasons for rejecting this way of demarcating the cognitive. Some of the reasons against defining cognition in representational terms are that doing so needlessly restricts our theorizing, it undermines the empirical status of the representational theory of mind, and (...) it encourages wildly deflationary and explanatorily vacuous conceptions of representation. After criticizing this outlook, I sketch alternative ways we might try to capture what is distinctive about cognition and cognitive theorizing. (shrink)
There are various philosophical approaches and theories describing the intimate relation people have to artifacts. In this paper, I explore the relation between two such theories, namely distributed cognition and distributed morality theory. I point out a number of similarities and differences in these views regarding the ontological status they attribute to artifacts and the larger systems they are part of. Having evaluated and compared these views, I continue by focussing on the way cognitive artifacts are used in moral (...) practice. I specifically conceptualise how such artifacts (a) scaffold and extend moral reasoning and decision-making processes, (b) have a certain moral status which is contingent on their cognitive status, and (c) whether responsibility can be attributed to distributed systems. This paper is primarily written for those interested in the intersection of cognitive and moral theory as it relates to artifacts, but also for those independently interested in philosophical debates in extended and distributed cognition and ethics of (cognitive) technology. (shrink)
I argue that discussions of cognitive penetration have been insufficiently clear about what distinguishes perception and cognition, and what kind of relationship between the two is supposed to be at stake in the debate. A strong reading, which is compatible with many characterizations of penetration, posits a highly specific and directed influence on perception. According to this view, which I call the “internal effect view” a cognitive state penetrates a perceptual process if the presence of the cognitive (...) state causes a change to the computation performed by the process, with the result being a distinct output. I produce a novel argument that this strong reading is false. On one well-motivated way of drawing the distinction between perceptual states and cognitive states, cognitive representations cannot play the computational role posited for them by IEV, vis-à-vis perception. This does not mean, however, that there are not important causal relationships between cognitive and perceptual states. I introduce an alternative view of these relationships, the “external effect view”. EEV posits that each cognitive state is associated with a broad range of possible perceptual outcomes, and biases perception towards any of those perceptual outcomes without determining specific perceptual contents. I argue that EEV captures the kinds of cases philosophers have thought to be evidence for IEV, and a wide range of other cases as well. (shrink)
Cognitive penetration of perception, broadly understood, is the influence that the cognitive system has on a perceptual system. The paper shows a form of cognitive penetration in the visual system which I call ‘architectural’. Architectural cognitive penetration is the process whereby the behaviour or the structure of the perceptual system is influenced by the cognitive system, which consequently may have an impact on the content of the perceptual experience. I scrutinize a study in perceptual learning (...) that provides empirical evidence that cognitive influences in the visual system produce neural reorganization in the primary visual cortex. The type of cognitive penetration can be synchronic and diachronic. (shrink)
Thirty years ago, grounded cognition had roots in philosophy, perception, cognitive linguistics, psycholinguistics, cognitive psychology, and cognitive neuropsychology. During the next 20 years, grounded cognition continued developing in these areas, and it also took new forms in robotics, cognitive ecology, cognitive neuroscience, and developmental psychology. In the past 10 years, research on grounded cognition has grown rapidly, especially in cognitive neuroscience, social neuroscience, cognitive psychology, social psychology, and developmental psychology. Currently, grounded cognition appears (...) to be achieving increased acceptance throughout cognitive science, shifting from relatively minor status to increasing importance. Nevertheless, researchers wonder whether grounded mechanisms lie at the heart of the cognitive system or are peripheral to classic symbolic mechanisms. Although grounded cognition is currently dominated by demonstration experiments in the absence of well-developed theories, the area is likely to become increasingly theory driven over the next 30 years. Another likely development is the increased incorporation of grounding mechanisms into cognitive architectures and into accounts of classic cognitive phenomena. As this incorporation occurs, much functionality of these architectures and phenomena is likely to remain, along with many original mechanisms. Future theories of grounded cognition are likely to be heavily influenced by both cognitive neuroscience and social neuroscience, and also by developmental science and robotics. Aspects from the three major perspectives in cognitive science—classic symbolic architectures, statistical/dynamical systems, and grounded cognition—will probably be integrated increasingly in future theories, each capturing indispensable aspects of intelligence. (shrink)
ABSTRACT Cognitive penetrability refers to the possibility that perceptual experiences are influenced by our beliefs, expectations, emotions, or other personal-level mental states. In this paper, I focus on the epistemological implication of cognitive penetration, and examine how, exactly, aetiologies matter to the justificatory power of perceptual experiences. I examine a prominent theory, according to which some cognitively penetrated perceptual experiences are like conclusions of bad inferences. Whereas one version of this theory is psychologically implausible, the other version has (...) sceptical consequences. In the second half of the paper, I suggest an alternative theory, drawing on recent empirical research on imagining-perception interaction and the epistemology of imagining. (shrink)
This paper explores a variety of different versions of the thesis that natural language is involved in human thinking. It distinguishes amongst strong and weak forms of this thesis, dismissing some as implausibly strong and others as uninterestingly weak. Strong forms dismissed include the view that language is conceptually necessary for thought (endorsed by many philosophers) and the view that language is _de facto_ the medium of all human conceptual thinking (endorsed by many philosophers and social scientists). Weak forms include (...) the view that language is necessary for the acquisition of many human concepts, and the view that language can serve to scaffold human thought processes. The paper also discusses the thesis that language may be the medium of _conscious_ propositional thinking, but argues that this cannot be its most fundamental cognitive role. The idea is then proposed that natural language is the medium for non-domain-specific thinking, serving to integrate the outputs of a variety of domain-specific conceptual faculties (or central-cognitive ‘quasi-modules’). Recent experimental evidence in support of this idea is reviewed, and the implications of the idea are discussed, especially for our conception of the architecture of human cognition. Finally, some further kinds of evidence which might serve to corroborate or refute the hypothesis are mentioned. The overall goal of the paper is to review a wide variety of accounts of the cognitive function of natural language, integrating a number of different kinds of evidence and theoretical consideration in order to propose and elaborate the most plausible candidate. (shrink)
Cognition is embodied when it is deeply dependent upon features of the physical body of an agent, that is, when aspects of the agent's body beyond the brain play a significant causal or physically constitutive role in cognitive processing. In general, dominant views in the philosophy of mind and cognitive science have considered the body as peripheral to understanding the nature of mind and cognition. Proponents of embodied cognitive science view this as a serious mistake. Sometimes the (...) nature of the dependence of cognition on the body is quite unexpected, and suggests new ways of conceptualizing and exploring the mechanics of cognitive processing. Embodied cognitive science encompasses a loose-knit family of research programs in the cognitive sciences that often share a commitment to critiquing and even replacing traditional approaches to cognition and cognitive processing. Empirical research on embodied cognition has exploded in the past 10 years. As the bibliography for this article attests, the various bodies of work that will be discussed represent a serious alternative to the investigation of cognitive phenomena. Relatively recent work on the embodiment of cognition provides much food for thought for empirically-informed philosophers of mind. This is in part because of the rich range of phenomena that embodied cognitive science has studied. But it is also in part because those phenomena are often thought to challenge dominant views of the mind, such as the computational and representational theories of mind, at the heart of traditional cognitive science. And they have sometimes been taken to undermine standard positions in the philosophy of mind, such as the idea that the mind is identical to, or even realized in, the brain. (shrink)
This book introduces an account of cognitive architecture, Cognitive Pluralism, on which the basic units of understanding are models of particular content domains. Having many mental models is a good adaptive strategy for cognition, but models can be incompatible with one another, leading to paradoxes and inconsistencies of belief, and it may not be possible to integrate the understanding supplied by multiple models into a comprehensive and self-consistent "super model". The book applies the theory to explaining intuitive reasoning (...) and cognitive illusions and explores implications for epistemology, semantics, and disunity of science. (shrink)
This article has two goals. First, it synthesizes and critically assesses current scientific knowledge about the cognitive bases of human tool use. Second, it shows how the cognitive traits reviewed help to explain why technological accumulation evolved so markedly in humans, and so modestly in apes.
In this paper I argue that it's possible that the contents of some visual experiences are influenced by the subject's prior beliefs, hopes, suspicions, desires, fears or other mental states, and that this possibility places constraints on the theory of perceptual justification that 'dogmatism' or 'phenomenal conservativism' cannot respect.
In this paper epistemological, ontological and sociological questions concerning the statistical significance of sharp hypotheses in scientific research are investigated within the framework provided by Cognitive Constructivism and the FBST (Full Bayesian Significance Test). The constructivist framework is contrasted with the traditional epistemological settings for orthodox Bayesian and frequentist statistics provided by Decision Theory and Falsificationism.
Humans and other animals have an evolved ability to detect discrete magnitudes in their environment. Does this observation support evolutionary debunking arguments against mathematical realism, as has been recently argued by Clarke-Doane, or does it bolster mathematical realism, as authors such as Joyce and Sinnott-Armstrong have assumed? To find out, we need to pay closer attention to the features of evolved numerical cognition. I provide a detailed examination of the functional properties of evolved numerical cognition, and propose that they prima (...) facie favor a realist account of numbers. (shrink)
In this chapter, we analyze the relationships between the Internet and its users in terms of situated cognition theory. We first argue that the Internet is a new kind of cognitive ecology, providing almost constant access to a vast amount of digital information that is increasingly more integrated into our cognitive routines. We then briefly introduce situated cognition theory and its species of embedded, embodied, extended, distributed and collective cognition. Having thus set the stage, we begin by taking (...) an embedded cognition view and analyze how the Internet aids certain cognitive tasks. After that, we conceptualize how the Internet enables new kinds of embodied interaction, extends certain aspects of our embodiment, and examine how wearable technologies that monitor physiological, behavioral and contextual states transform the embodied self. On the basis of the degree of cognitive integration between a user and Internet resource, we then look at how and when the Internet extends our cognitive processes. We end this chapter with a discussion of distributed and collective cognition as facilitated by the Internet. (shrink)