Cognitive science has always included multiple methodologies and theoretical commitments. The philosophy of cognitive science should embrace, or at least acknowledge, this diversity. Bechtel’s (2009a) proposed philosophy of cognitive science, however, applies only to representationalist and mechanist cognitive science, ignoring the substantial minority of dynamically oriented cognitive scientists. As an example of nonrepresentational, dynamical cognitive science, we describe strong anticipation as a model for circadian systems (Stepp & Turvey, 2009). We then propose a philosophy of science appropriate to nonrepresentational, (...) dynamical cognitive science. (shrink)
Using hypersets as an analytic tool, we compare traditionally Gibsonian (Chemero 2003; Turvey 1992) and representationalist (Sahin et al. this issue) understandings of the notion ‘affordance’. We show that representationalist understandings are incompatible with direct perception and erect barriers between animal and environment. They are, therefore, scarcely recognizable as understandings of ‘affordance’. In contrast, Gibsonian understandings are shown to treat animal-environment systems as unified complex systems and to be compatible with direct perception. We discuss the fruitful connections between Gibsonian (...) affordances and dynamical systems explanation in the behavioral sciences and point to prior fruitful application of Gibsonian affordances in robotics. We conclude that it is unnecessary to re-imagine affordances as representations in order to make them useful for researchers in robotics. (shrink)
The effect of prism adaptation on movement is typically reduced when the movement at test (prisms off) differs on some dimension from the movement at training (prisms on). Some adaptation is latent, however, and only revealed through further testing in which the movement at training is fully reinstated. Applying a nonlinear attractor dynamic model (Frank, Blau, & Turvey, 2009) to available data (Blau, Stephen, Carello, & Turvey, 2009), we provide evidence for a causal link between the latent (or (...) secondary) aftereffect and an additive force term that is known to account for symmetry breaking. The evidence is discussed in respect to the hypothesis that recalibration aftereffects reflect memory principles (encoding specificity, transfer-appropriate processing) oriented to time-translation invariance—when later testing conserves the conditions of earlier training. Forgetting or reduced adaptation effects follow from the loss of this invariance and are reversed by its reinstatement. (shrink)
Ontological and methodological constraints on a theory of cognition that would generalize across species are identified. Within these constraints, ecological arguments for animal-environment mutuality and reciprocity and the necessary specificity of structured energy distributions to environmental facts are developed as counterpoints to the classical doctrines of animal-environment dualism and intractable nonspecificity. Implications of and for a cognitive theory consistent with Gibson's programme of ecological psychology are identified and contrasted with contemporary cognitivism.
This paper has two primary aims. The first is to provide an introductory discussion of hyperset theory and its usefulness for modeling complex systems. The second aim is to provide a hyperset analysis of Robert Rosen’s metabolism-repair systems and his claim that living things are closed to efficient cause. Consequences of the hyperset models for Rosen’s claims concerning computability and life are discussed.
This paper has two main purposes. First, it will provide an introductory discussion of hyperset theory, and show that it is useful for modeling complex systems. Second, it will use hyperset theory to analyze Robert Rosen’s metabolismrepair systems and his claim that living things are closed to efficient cause. It will also briefly compare closure to efficient cause to two other understandings of autonomy, operational closure and catalytic closure.
The ecological approach to perception-action is unlike the standard approach in several respects. It takes the animal-in-its-environment as the proper scale for the theory and analysis of perception-action, it eschews symbol based accounts of perception-action, it promotes self-organization as the theory-constitutive metaphor for perception-action, and it employs self-referring, non-predicative definitions in explaining perception-action. The present article details the complexity issues confronted by the ecological approach in terms suggested by Rosen and introduces non-well-founded set theory as a potentially useful tool for (...) expressing them. The issues and the tool are brought to focus in the concept of affordance that is the basis for explanation of prospective control of action in the ecological approach. (shrink)
This pioneering work investigates the profound implications of Wittgenstein's philosophy to the practice, theory and criticism of the arts. The essays exemplify Wittgenstein's method of conceptual investigation and highlight his notion of philosophy as a cure.
Cognition means different things to different psychologists depending on the position held on the mind-matter problem. Ecological psychologists reject the implied mind-matter dualism as an ill-posed theoretic problem because the assumed mind-matter incommensurability precludes a solution to the degrees of freedom problem. This fundamental problem was posed by both Nicolai Bernstein and James J. Gibson independently. It replaces mind-matter dualism with animal-environment duality -- a better posed scientific problem because commensurability is assured. Furthermore, when properly posed this way, a conservation (...) law is suggested that encompasses a psychology of transactional systems, a biology of self-actional systems, and a physics of interactional systems. For such a solution, a theory of cognition for goal-directed behaviour is needed. A sketch is supplied for how such a theory might be pursued in the spirit of the new physics of evolving complex systems. (shrink)
A path space integral approach to modelling the job description of the cerebellum is proposed. This new approach incorporates the equation into a kind of generalized Huygens's wave equation. The resulting exponential functional integral provides a mathematical expression of the inhibitory function by which the cerebellum the intended control signal from the background of neuronal excitation.
Open peer commentary on the article “Perception-Action Mutuality Obviates Mental Construction” by Martin Flament Fultot, Lin Nie & Claudia Carello. Upshot: We extend the authors’ arguments on direct perception, specificity, and foundational principles to concerns for theories of joint action. We argue for the usefulness of the affordance concept in an ecological theory of social interaction; highlighting linkages between theories of affordance-based behavior and fundamental, physical principles.
A propagator for a path space integral can be used to represent the and provides a natural way to model a control signal that is temporally segmented by placement of pairs of stimulating and recording electrodes. Although care must be exercised in interpreting the resulting measurement, the technique should prove useful to experimenters who study cerebellar functioning.
Latash & Anson's intention to describe only the regularities of motor behavior is compromised by the homunculus paradigm. Although we concur on the need to redefine in atypical populations, we contend that this enterprise requires a process based functionalism. We argue for accommodating movement control and perceptual processes with physical and task constraints in a natural setting.