The declared goal of this paper is to fill this gap: “... cognitive systems research needs questions or challenges that define progress. The challenges are not (yet more) predictions of the future, but a guideline to what are the aims and what would constitute progress.” – the quotation being from the project description of EUCogII, the project for the European Network for Cognitive Systems within which this formulation of the ‘challenges’ was originally developed (http://www.eucognition.org). So, we stick out our neck (...) and formulate the challenges for artificial cognitive systems. These challenges are articulated in terms of a definition of what a cognitive system is: a system that learns from experience and uses its acquired knowledge (both declarative and practical) in a flexible manner to achieve its own goals. (shrink)
The “systematicity argument” has been used to argue for a classical cognitive architecture (Fodor in The Language of Thought. Harvester Press, London, 1975, Why there still has to be a language of thought? In Psychosemantics, appendix. MIT Press, Cambridge, pp 135–154, 1987; Fodor and Pylyshyn in Cognition 28:3–71, 1988; Aizawa in The systematicity arguments. Kluwer Academic Press, Dordrecht, 2003). From the premises that cognition is systematic and that the best/only explanation of systematicity is compositional structure, it concludes that cognition is (...) to be explained in terms of symbols (in a language of thought) and formal rules. The debate, with connectionism, has mostly centered on the second premise-whether an explanation of systematicity requires compositional structure, which neural networks do not to exhibit (for example, Hadley and Hayward, in Minds and Machines, 7:1–37). In this paper, I will take issue with the first premise. Several arguments will be deployed that show that cognition is not systematic in general; that, in fact, systematicity seems to be related to language. I will argue that it is just verbal minds that are systematic, and they are so because of the structuring role of language in cognition. A dual-process theory of cognition will be defended as the best explanation of the facts. (shrink)
En Sentir, desear, creer: Una aproximación filosófica a los conceptos psicológicos, Diana Pérez se plantea una empresa ambiciosa, análoga a la de Ryle en The Concept of Mind: dar cuenta de manera integral de la ontología, la epistemología, la semántica y, en parte, la psicología de los conceptos de los diversos estados y procesos psicológicos. La aportación principal consiste en una perspectiva genealógica, basada en el modo en que se atribuyen tales conceptos, desde una posición realista. Para ello, se desarrolla (...) como contribución más original la idea de una perspectiva de segunda persona, la perspectiva de la interacción intersubjetiva, como el modo en que uno se introduce en el ámbito de lo mental. En conjunto, una aportación muy relevante. In Sentir, desear, creer: Una aproximación filosófica a los conceptos psicológicos, Diana Pérez sets for herself an ambitious task, analogous to Ryle's in The Concept of Mind: that of offering a unified account of the ontology, epistemology, semantics and, partly, psychology of mental concepts. Its main contribution lies in a genealogical perspective, grounded in the development of mental concept attribution, from a realist standpoint. To this extent, its most original contribution is the idea of a second-person perspective, that of intersubjective interaction, as the way through which one gets involved in the mental realm. In sum, a highly relevant contribution. (shrink)
En esta introducción al número monográfico, se presentan las líneas centrales del pensamiento de Peter Carruthers, su particular versión del cognitivismo funcionalista, que parte de una curiosa inversión de un lugar común: los animales piensan pero no sienten. Esta inversión deriva del papel central que Carruthers atribuye al lenguaje en la propia arquitectura mental, a pesar de partir de una versión de la modularidad masiva: como base para la conciencia y el pensamiento de nivel superior, flexible y creativo. Finalmente, también (...) se sitúan las diversas contribuciones al volumen dentro de estos ejes centrales. In this introduction to the special issue, the central ideas in Peter Carruther's thought are presented: his particular version of functionalist cognitivism, which inverts the common place that animals feel but not think, to claim that they do think but do not feel. The key to this inversion is the central role Carruthers assigns to language in the architecture of the mind, in spite of his defense of a version of the massive modularity hypothesis: as a ground for qualitative consciousness and for flexible thought. Finally, the different contributions to the special issue are placed in terms of such central axes. (shrink)
We discuss the discovery of technologies involving knotted netting, such as textiles, basketry, and cordage, in the Upper Paleolithic. This evidence, in our view, suggests a new way of connecting toolmaking and syntactic structure in human evolution, because these technologies already exhibit an which we take to constitute the key transition to human cognition.
A general shortcoming of the localist, decompositional, approach to neuroscientific explanation that the target article exemplifies, is that it is incomplete unless supplemented with an account of how the hypothesized subsystems integrate in the normal case. Besides, a number of studies that show that object recognition is proprioception dependent and that cutaneous information affects motor performance make the existence of the proposed subsystems doubtful.
We argue that Anderson's (MRH) needs further development in several directions. First, a thoroughgoing criticism of the several alternatives is required. Second, the course between the Scylla of full holism and the Charybdis of structural-functional modularism must be plotted more distinctly. Third, methodologies better suited to reveal brain circuits must be brought in. Finally, the constraints that naturalistic settings provide should be considered.
After stressing the shortcomings of Darwinian accounts of self-consciousness and knowledge - i.e. in terms of their survival value - Anthony O'Hear presents Peirce's metaphysical hypotheses on cosmic evolution as an alternative approach that avoids those shortcomings. Although O'Hear does not straightforwardly defend Peirce's views, his argument suggests that only some teleological account of self-consciousness and knowledge is reasonable. The argument, though correct, is not enough to establish the metaphysical point O'Hear defends. Before developing his metaphysical ideas, Peirce's rejection of (...) natural selection as an explanation for every phenomenon brought him to consider the more appropriate question of how natural selection could give rise to a different kind of evolution. This involved outlining an evolutionary account of the origin of self-consciousness and of the mechanisms of belief fixation. The point is not one about Peirce, of course, but about the relationship between, on the one hand, biological and, on the other, psychological and cultural phenomena. (shrink)
In attempting to integrate the authors' proposed model with results from analogous human event-related potential (ERP) research, we found difficulties with: (1) its apparent disregard for supraordinate representations at posterior multimodal association cortices, (2) its failure to address contextual task effects, and (3) its strict architectural dichotomy between memory storage and control functions.