I argue in defense of a new research program in cognitive science, which I call the embodied approach. This approach holds that cognition must be understood as the situated activity of an animal in an environment. The embodied approach supplements orthodox cognitive science by embedding computational processes in their physiological, ecological, and cultural contexts. Barbara Von Eckardt holds that cognitive science is a single theoretical project unified under the banner of computationalism, which explains cognition as the processing of discrete, text-like (...) representations. But her view cannot account for the accumulating mass of empirical research which differs from the orthodox approach both substantively and methodologically. In fact, there have always been dissidents working outside the orthodox approach. By contrast, the embodied approach is designed to accommodate "unorthodox" cognitive science. It is a broad-based perspective which includes connectionism, ecological psychology, developmental psychology, evolutionary theory, autonomous agent theory, and meaning externalism. (shrink)
Dasein is one of several twentieth-century notions which paint a portrait of the “post-Cartesian subject.” Critics of cognitivism such as Dreyfus have invoked Dasein in arguing that computational models cannot be sufficient to account for situated cognition. Van Gelder argues that dynamic systems theory provides an empirical model of cognition as practical activity which avoids the Cartesianism implicit in the computational approach. I assess Van Gelder’s claim for dynamic systems as a model of being-in-the-world. Contra Van Gelder, I argue that (...) the force of the “Dasein objection” is that the significance of a mental process, whether representational or not, depends on a lived background of value. While dynamic systems can help model the diachronic interplay between organism and environment, the semantic context for this interplay is no more accounted for here than in traditional computer models. (shrink)
The duration of “now” is shown to be important not only for an understanding of how conscious beings sense duration, but also for the validity of the phenomenological enterprise as Husserl conceived it. If “now” is too short, experiences can not be described before they become memories, which can be considered to be transcendent rather than immanent phenomena and therefore inadmissible as phenomenological data. Evidence concerning the objective duration of sensations in various sensory modalities, the time necessary for sensations to (...) enter consciousness and the variability in the subjective sense of time's passing under different conditions is used to conclude that the duration of “now” can actually vary under normal conditions from about 10 ms to several seconds and in extreme cases up to several hours. Thus the immanent moment can be long enough to encompass a report of the contents of consciousness, making phenomenology a viable project. A further speculation from the evidence described is that consciousness takes discrete samples of the external world, at a rate inversely proportional to the duration of the “now” moment. (shrink)
Self-knowledge is based on several different forms of information, so distinct that each one essentially establishes a different 'self. The ecological self is the self as directly perceived with respect to the immediate physical environment; the interpersonal self, also directly perceived, is established by species-specific signals of emotional rapport and communication; the extended self is based on memory and anticipation; the private self appears when we discover that our conscious experiences are exclusively our own; the conceptual self or 'self-concept' draws (...) its meaning from a network of socially-based assumptions and theories about human nature in general and ourselves in particular. Although these selves are rarely experienced as distinct (because they are held together by specific forms of stimulus information), they differ in their developmental histories, in the accuracy with which we can know them, in the pathologies to which they are subject, and generally in what they contribute to human experience. (shrink)
Koriat & Goldsmith are right in their claim that the “ecological” and “traditional” approaches to memory rely on different metaphors. But the underlying ecological metaphor is notcorrespondence: it isaction. Remembering is a kind of doing; like most other forms of action it is purposive, personal, and particular.
Perception, as Gibson described it – picking up information that specifies the real local situation – includes not only perceiving affordances and controlling small movements, but also seeing the large-scale environmental layout and the position/movement of the “ecological self.” If the dorsal cortical system is also responsible for that very significant achievement, its activity must be at least partly conscious.
It is widely accepted among philosophers that neuroscientists are conducting a search for the neural correlates of consciousness, or NCC. Chalmers conceptualized this research program as the attempt to correlate the contents of conscious experience with the contents of representations in specific neural populations. A notable claim on behalf of this interpretation is that the neutral language of “correlates” frees us from philosophical disputes over the mind/body relation, allowing the science to move independently. But the experimental paradigms and explanatory canons (...) of neuroscience are not neutral about the mechanical relation between consciousness and the brain. I argue that NCC research is best characterized as an attempt to locate a causally relevant neural mechanism and not as an effort to identify a discrete neural representation, the content of which correlates with some actual experience. It might be said that the first C in “NCC” should stand for “causes” rather than “correlates.”. (shrink)
An influential thesis in contemporary philosophy of mind is that subjectivity is best conceived as inner awareness of qualia. has argued that this unique subjective awareness generates a paradox which resists empirical explanation. On account of this “paradox of subjective duality,” Levine concludes that the hardest part of the hard problem of consciousness is to explain how anything like a subjective point of view could arise in the world. Against this, I argue that the nature of subjective thought is not (...) correctly characterized as inner awareness, that a non-paradoxical approach to the first-person perspective is available, and that the problem about subjectivity should be distinguished from the perennial problem of qualia or phenomenal properties. (shrink)
Metacognitive attitudes can affect behavior but do they do so, as Koriat claims, because they enhance voluntary control? This Commentary makes a case for saying that metacognitive consciousness may enhance not control but subjective predictability and may be best studied by examining not just healthy, well-integrated cognizers, but victims of multilevel mental disorders.
How is it that metaphors are meaningful, yet we have so much trouble saying exactly what they mean? I argue that metaphoric thought is an act of imagination, mediated by the contingent form of human embodiment. Metaphoric cognition is an example of the productive interplay between intentional imagery and the body scheme, a process of imaginal modeling. The case of metaphor marks the intersection of linguistic and psychological processes and demonstrates the need for a multi-disciplinary approach not only in philosophy (...) of language, but in cognitive science and consciousness studies as well. (shrink)
Traditionally, questions about consciousness and subjectivity are treated separately from questions about the self and identity. But sometimes 'the self' is spoken of as 'the subject,' which suggests that the first-person perspective may be constituted in the same way as the self. Narrative provides a powerful model of the self in contemporary psychology, philosophy of mind, and moral psychology. On some versions of narrative theory, narrative is held fundamental not only to self-understanding but to the phenomenology of the first-person point (...) of view, too. I call this approach the narrative self-subject model. I argue that the narrative model does not apply to subjectivity, and that the narrative self should be distinguished from the 'I' of the first- person perspective. Roughly, this is because first-person narratives employ the first-person pronoun 'I' to identify some person, but the distinctive features of subjectivity are marked by a different, non-identifying use of the pronoun 'I'. (shrink)
I contrast Bickle's new wave reductionismwith other relevant views about explanation across intertheoretic contexts. I then assess Bickle's empirical argument for psychoneural reduction. Bickle shows that psychology is not autonomous from neuroscience, and concludes that at least some versions of nonreductive physicalism are false. I argue this is not sufficient to establish his further claim that psychology reduces to neuroscience. Examination of Bickle's explanations reveals that they do not meet his own reductive standard. Furthermore, there are good empirical reasons to (...) doubt that the cognitive approach to mind should be abandoned. I suggest that the near future will not see a reduction of psychology to neuroscience, so much as a replacement of both sciences by an improved form of neuropsychology. (shrink)
Consciousness, subjectivity, and the history of the organism -- Subjectivity considered as the first-person perspective -- Subjectivity and reference -- Unconscious subjectivity -- What subjectivity is not -- Subjectivity in the neurobiological image -- Subjectivity in the neurobiological image -- The science of subjectivity -- Putting the neuro in neurophenomenology -- Neural correlates of consciousness reconsidered -- Neurophilosophy, Darwinian naturalism, and subjectivity.
Chapter 1 First Person Access to Mental States. Mind Science and Subjective Qualities -/- Abstract. The philosophy of mind as we know it today starts with Ryle. What defines and at the same time differentiates it from the previous tradition of study on mind is the persuasion that any rigorous approach to mental phenomena must conform to the criteria of scientificity applied by the natural sciences, i.e. its investigations and results must be intersubjectively and publicly controllable. In Ryle’s view, philosophy (...) of mind needs to adopt an antimentalist stance to achieve this aim. Antimentalism not only definitively rejects the idea that mind is a substance separated from the body, it also denies that mental phenomena radically differ from physical phenomena by virtue of several unique features. Most problematically, mental phenomena have a conscious character (mental states are related to specific qualitative feelings) and are accessible only to the first-person (only the subject knows directly what s/he is experiencing inside his/her mind). Ryle takes a strong stance on antimentalism going so far as to maintain that an approach to mind which aims to meet the criteria of scientificity set by the natural sciences must avoid any reference to internal, unobservable mental states. In his view (which is considered a specifically philosophical version of psychological behaviorism and also addresses questions put forward in psychological research), mental states can be redescribed in terms of behavioral dispositions. In this chapter, we address the historical roots of the antimentalist view and analyze its relation to the later tradition of research on mind. We show that, compared to the antimentalist stance, functionalism and cognitivism take a step back when they maintain that direct reference to mental states is necessary since mental states cause and therefore explain human behavior. This step backwards is often interpreted as a return to mentalism. However, this is only partially true. Indeed, we suggest that these later traditions retain one important element of Ryle’s antimentalism, i.e. the idea that mental states must be uniquely identified using external and publicly observable criteria, while excluding any reference to introspection and those qualitative dimensions of a mental state, which are accessible only to the first-person. According to the perspective we put forward, this epistemological stance has continued to influence contemporary research on mind and current philosophical and psychological theories which both tend to exclude the subjective qualities of human experience from their accounts of how the mind works. The issue we raise here is whether this is legitimate or whether subjective qualities do play a role with respect to the way our mind works. The conclusion of this chapter anticipates the argument the book makes in in favor of this latter position, starting from a particular angle, i.e. the problem of how we categorize concepts related to our internal states. -/- Chapter 2 The Misleading Aspects of the Mind/Computer Analogy. The Grounding Problem and the Thorny Issue of Propriosensitive Information -/- Abstract. After the crisis of behaviorism, cognitivism and functionalism became the predominant models in the field of psychology and of philosophy, respectively. Their success is mainly due to the new key they use for interpreting mental processes: the mind/computer analogy. On the basis of this analogy, mental operations are seen as cognitive processes based on computations, i.e. on manipulations of abstract symbols which are in turn understood as informational unities (representations). This chapter identifies two main problems with this model. The first is how these symbols can relate to and communicate with perception and thus allow us to identify and classify what we perceive through the senses. Here we limit ourselves to presenting this issue in relation to the classical symbol grounding problem originally put forward by Harnad on the basis of Searle’s Chinese room argument. An attempt to address the problem raised here will be made in chap. 3. The second point we discuss in relation to the mind/computer analogy concerns the idea of information it fosters. Indeed, following this analogy, information is something available in the external world which can be captured by the senses and transmitted to the central system without being influenced or modified by the procedures of transmission. This perspective does not take into account that – unlike computers – in living beings information is acquired by means of the body. As UlricNeisser has already pointed out, the body is itself an informational source that provides us with additional sensory experience that influences (modifies or complements) the information extracted from the external world by the senses. To develop this line of analysis and to determine exactly what information is provided by the body and how this might influence cognition, we examine Sherrington’s and Gibson’s positions. Moving on from their views, we qualify bodily information in terms of ‘proprioception’. We use ‘proprioception’ in a broad sense to describe any kind of experience we have of our internal states (including postural information as well as sensations related to the general state of the body and its parts). Following Damasio’s and Craig’s studies, we further elaborate this position, arguing that living beings are equipped with an internal propriosensitive monitoring system which maps all the changes that constantly occur in our body and that give us perceptual (‘proprioceptive’ or propriosensitive) information about what happens inside us. Moreover, relying on Goldie’s and Ratcliffe’s view, we show that emotional information can also be considered as a form of ‘proprioception’ which contributes to determining everything we perceive. This analysis leads us to the second main thesis of this book: ‘proprioception’ is a form of internal perception and it is an essential component of the sensory information we can access and use for all cognitive purposes. -/- Chapter 3 Semantic Competence from the Inside: Conceptual Architecture and Composition -/- Abstract. Concepts are essential constituents of thought: they are the instruments we use to categorize our experience, i.e. to classify things and group them together in homogeneous sets. Here we define concepts as the internal mental information (representations) that allows us, among other things, to master words in natural language. By analyzing the way in which individuals master word meanings we explore a number of hypotheses regarding the nature of concepts. Following Diego Marconi’s research, we differentiate between two kind of abilities that underpin lexical competence – so-called ‘referential’ and ‘inferential competence’ – and we suggest that, in order to support these abilities, concepts must also include two corresponding kinds of information, i.e. inferential and referential information. We point out that the most widely used and acknowledged theories of concepts do not make this distinction, instead broadly characterizing the information used for categorization in terms of propositionally described feature lists. However, we show that while feature lists can explain inferential competence, they do not account for referential competence. To address the issue of referential competence we examine Ray Jackendoff’s hypothesis that to account for the possibility of linking perceptual and conceptual information we need to assume the existence of a (visual) representation that encodes the geometric and topological properties of objects and bridges the gap between the percept and the concept. Furthermore, we analyze the extension of this work by Jesse Prinz who introduced the notion of a proxytype, a perceptual representation of a class of objects that incorporates structural and parametric information related to their appearance. However, as we point out, proxytypes can only explain the relationship between perception and concepts with respect to instances that can be perceived through the senses and that belong to the same class by virtue of their physical similarity. We suggest that this notion be extended to include larger conceptual classes. To accomplish this, we further develop Mark Johnson, George Lakoff and Jean Mandler’s idea of a schematic image and argue that conceptual representations include a perceptual schema. Perceptual schemata are non-linguistic, structured experiential gestalts (patterns or maps) that make use of information taken from all sensory modalities, including body perception. They accomplish a quasi-conceptual function: they allow us to recognize and to classify different instances. In this work, we hypothesize that perceptual schemata are an essential component of concepts, but not identical to them. Instead, we suggest that concepts include both perceptual and propositional information with perceptual schemata providing the ‘perceptual core concept’ that grounds related propositional information. -/- Chapter 4 In the Beginning There Were Categories. The Bodily Origin of Prelinguistic Categorical Organization: The Example of Folkbiological Taxonomies -/- Abstract. Studies of categorization in psychology and the cognitive sciences have made use of the notions of ‘category’ and ‘concept’ without precisely defining what is meant by either; in fact, often these terms have been used as synonyms, making it difficult to address specific issues related to conceptual development. This chapter begins by discussing the definitions of, as well as the distinctions between, ‘categories’ and ‘concepts’ in the classical philosophical tradition (Aristotle, Kant and Husserl). We introduce our view of categories with reference to Husserl. Categorization is defined as the way in which our experience is originally (pre-linguistically) organized in a passive and fully unconscious manner on the basis of universal structuring principles. Conceptualization is explained as a later process in which the earlier categorical macro-classes are further subdivided into more specific and detailed sets; this later process also relies on linguistic learning and exposure to culture. On the basis of Ray Jackendoff, Jean Mandler, George Lakoff and Mark Johnson’s work, we hypothesize that categorization is a two-step process that begins with the formation of homogeneous sets of entities partitioned into regions that describe the ontological boundaries of the objects that humans perceive (categories) and continues at a later stage with the development of more specific classifications (concepts). In this chapter, we mainly address three related issues: Why should we assume that there is categorical organization which precedes the development of a conceptual system? How do categories and concepts relate to each other? Shall we hypothesize that categories are innate or that they are formed before concepts on the basis of information and organizational structure available at a very early developmental stage? We show that categorical partitions are necessary for categorization and, following Mandler, that the general categories we form at an early age do not match our adult superordinate concepts. As for the third issue, we argue that there might be no need to assume that categories are innately present in the human mind, since their formation can be explained – at least in certain cases – by basic mechanisms that work on body (propriosensitive) information. This hypothesis will not be discussed in general, but in relation to a particularly relevant example of categorical partition, i.e. the folk-biological dichotomy between ANIMATE/INANIMATE. This is compared with other dichotomies that derive from it, but are not directly categorical such as LIVING/NON-LIVING and BIOLOGICAL/NON-BIOLOGICAL. -/- Chapter 5 Internal States: From Headache to Anger. Conceptualization and Semantic Mastery -/- Abstract. Here we ask if we can also apply the distinction between referential and inferential competence we introduced in Chapter 3 to words that do not refer to things that are perceived using the external senses, especially to words/concepts that denote bodily experiences (such as pain, thirst, hunger, etc.) or emotions. We introduce and discuss the hypothesis that – even though such words/concepts do not refer to intersubjectively identifiable entities in the external world – they do have a kind of referent that can be accessed via direct perception, more specifically ‘proprioception’, as we have defined it in terms of all propriosensitive information we can consciously access. In the first part of the chapter, we specifically consider terms denoting bodily experiences such as ‘pain’ or ‘hunger’ and argue that their referents are identified and classified from a first-personal point of view on the basis of four main characteristics: their specific intensity, their localization in the body, their co-occurrence with other signals and above all their specific qualitative sensations. Emotions are addressed in the second part of the chapter. We suggest that there is a continuity between bodily experiences and emotions. In particular, we argue for a perceptual theory of emotions in line with that proposed by James and Lange at the end of the 19th century and developed more recently by authors such as Damasio (see also chap. 2§5, §6). The hypothesis we put forward is that the referential information that supports the categorization of emotions and therefore also our mastery of terms referring to emotions consists in the perception (i.e. the ‘proprioception’) of those bodily states and changes in bodily states which constitute our emotional experience. In the context of this discussion we examine some objections to this line of reasoning that arise from a cognitivist perspective and following authors such as Oatley, Johnson-Laird and Frijda, we distinguish between basic emotions that can be identified and classified solely on the basis on how they feel and complex emotions whose identification and classification additionally depends on cognitive factors. To describe how emotions are identified and classified on the basis of how they feel, we rely on Marcel and Lambie’s distinction between an ‘emotion state’ and an ‘emotion experience’. Both notions indicate kinds of feelings that we consciously experience. However, they describe first-order and second order emotion awareness respectively. The emotion state is the feeling we have of the bodily states and changes that occur when we are experiencing an emotion, while the emotion experience is the fully developed and integrated emotion we both experience and are, with reflection, aware of experiencing. On the basis of this differentiation, we also show that the same characteristics that aid in the identification and classification of bodily experiences (specific qualitative sensations; somatic localization; specific intensity; presence/absence of specific concomitant sensations) can also be used for the identification and classification of emotions – at least basic emotions. In the last two sections of the chapter we present some clinical evidence on the semantic competence of people who suffer from Alexithymia and Autism Spectrum Disorder which supports the conclusions of our preceding analyses. -/- Chapter 6 The ‘Proprioceptive’ Component of Abstract Concepts -/- Abstract. In this chapter, we address the issue of whether the mastery of abstract words requires only inferential knowledge and thus, if the concepts that support the mastery of abstract words include only linguistic information. We start by differentiating the notions of ‘abstract’ and ‘general’ which are often erroneously confused. We then identify a strict definition of abstract, as contrasted with ‘concrete’, that applies to words or concepts whose referent cannot be experienced by the senses. We argue that abstract words/concepts would be better described as theoretical, because they are usually conceived as structured sets of inferential knowledge expressed linguistically; that is, as small theories. Pointing out parallels with Carnap’s analysis of this issue in philosophy of science, we hypothesize that words/concepts denoting non-observable entities are not all ‘equally theoretical’, because their link to sensory experience can be stronger or weaker. We revive the distinction, inspired by Quine, between theoretical and intertheoretical concepts/words. This distinction relies on the fact that the former – unlike the latter – retains a strong, although indirect, connection with perception. In Quine’s discussion, perception is understood uniquely in terms of observability, i.e. of external sensory experience. Here we argue, however, that bodily, ‘proprioceptive’ (i.e. propriosensitive) experience can also serve to referentially ground theoretical (i.e. abstract) concepts/words. We frame this issue using the example of the theoretical concept ‘freedom’ and Lakoff’s hypothesis that this concept is developed on the basis of bodily information. We contrast this with the example of ‘democracy’ which more closely resembles an intertheoretical concept/word. Furthermore, we show that one of the classical views put forward in psycholinguistic research to explain how abstract concepts are mentally represented – i.e. Paivio’s Dual Coding Theory – points in the same direction as our analysis. The same is true of Barsalou’s work suggesting that we use internal information to understand at least some abstract words. To sustain this position, we put forward two lines of evidence: the first comes from psycholinguistic studies while the second examines deficits of semantic competence exhibited by people with Autism Spectrum Disorder. On the basis of our analysis, we put forward a classification that distinguishes between different kinds of concreteness and different degrees of abstraction: concepts/words referring to body experiences and basic emotions are described as analogous to concrete concepts/words because they are grounded in perceptual (i.e. propriosensitive) experience, while abstract concepts/words are considered more or less abstract depending on whether they are intratheoretical (and rely entirely on inferential information) or theoretical (and are partially grounded in perceptual – or more often in propriosensitive perceptual – information). In the last section of the chapter we consider two scales that have been used in psycholinguistic research to measure the degree of concreteness vs. abstractness of words and we show that – used conjointly – they can provide a measure of the internal vs. external grounding of specific words. (shrink)
The basic idea of the particular way of understanding mental phenomena that has inspired the "cognitive revolution" is that, as a result of certain relatively recent intellectual and technological innovations, informed theorists now possess a more powerfully insightful comparison or model for mind than was available to any thinkers in the past. The model in question is that of software, or the list of rules for input, output, and internal transformations by which we determine and control the workings of a (...) computing machine's hardware. Although this comparison and its many implications have dominated work in the philosophy, psychology, and neurobiology of mind since the end of the Second World War, it now shows increasing signs of losing its once virtually unquestioned preeminence. Thus we now face the question of whether it is possible to repair and save this model by means of relatively inessential "tinkering", or whether we must reconceive it fundamentally and replace it with something different. In this book, twenty-eight leading scholars from diverse fields of "cognitive science"-linguistics, psychology, neurophysiology, and philosophy- present their latest, carefully considered judgements about what they think will be the future course of this intellectual movement, that in many respects has been a watershed in our contemporary struggles to comprehend that which is crucially significant about human beings. Jerome Bruner, Noam Chomsky, Margaret Boden, UlricNeisser, Rom Harre, Merlin Donald, among others, have all written chapters in a non-technical style that can be enjoyed and understood by an inter-disciplinary audience of psychologists, philosophers, anthropologists, linguists, and cognitive scientists alike. (shrink)
Review Jopling's discussion is carried on with remarkable clarity. His presentation of the diverse philosophical positions is balanced and fair. . . . Self-Knowledge and the Self is a work of excellent, sound scholarship, a most significant contribution. Hazel Barnes, author of Sartre and Flaubert Jopling's book is the most sustained and serious contemporary philosophical reflection on the Delphic injunction Know thyself of which I am aware. Drawing on literature and psychotherapy as well as solid argumentation, it gently but persuasively (...) exposes inadequacies in the individualistic theories of Hampshire, Sartre, and Rorty and sketches the advantages of a more dialogic approach. Ideally, readers should come away not only knowing what it means to know oneself, but also, in some respects, actually knowing themselves better!. William L. McBride, author of Social and Political Philosophy In this impressive survey, Jopling not only provides incisive critiques of the major contemporary theories of self-knowledge but also introduces a significant alternative approach, one that stresses the role of dialogue and communication. UlricNeisser, editor of the Author David A. Jopling is Associate Professor of Philosophy at York University in Toronto. (shrink)
Morele perceptie is het vermogen om de bijzonderheid van een morele ontmoeting en de implicaties daarvan voor te stellen en te interpreteren. Met behulp van de ecologische benadering van perceptie die is ontwikkeld door de psychologen James Gibson en UlricNeisser wordt in dit artikel beargumenteerd dat de ervaring van dansers een ecologisch model biedt om morele situaties en de handelingsopties daarin waar te nemen en te verbeelden. Dit model biedt een visie op morele actoren als zelfbewuste, belichaamde (...) actoren die hun handelingen als onderdeel van sociale praktijken waarnemen. Ook kan dit ecologische begrip van het zelf dat door dans tot leven wordt gewekt helpen om het vermogen tot morele waarneming en verbeelding verder te ontwikkelen. (shrink)
The paper unpacks the far-reaching theoretical and practical issues that underlay the classical debate between cognitive psychologist UlricNeisser and discursive social psychologists Derek Edwards and Jonathan Potter on Watergate witness John Dean's memory. Accounting for their disagreements, Neisser claimed the mantle of the cognitive-ecological approach to memory and emphasized the psychologist's ultimate priority of truth over discourse, while Edwards and Potter claimed that of discursive/rhetorical psychology and focused exclusively on discourse over truth. As such, the debate (...) at the time ended in mutual misunderstanding and the shadow of theoretical incommensurability. However, a rhetorical analysis of the arguments suggests that Neisser was right about truth when he intuitively sensed the importance of discourse, and Edwards and Potter were right about discourse when they did not lose sight of truth. Therefore, beyond the impasse there has remained a promise inherent in the debate: it demonstrated an imaginative attempt to undermine the absolute dichotomy of truth and rhetoric and demonstrate their mutual inter-dependence. As will be argued, such integration of traditional concerns of the psychologist entails the re-conceptualization of the discipline as political and moral science. (shrink)
What is cognition? What makes a process cognitive? These questions have been answered differently by various investigators and theoretical traditions. Even so, there are some commonalities, allowing us to specify a few contrasting answers to these questions. The main commonalities involve the notion that cognition is information processing that explains intelligent behavior. The differences concern whether early perceptual processes are cognitive, whether representations are needed to explain cognition, what makes something a representation, and whether cognitive processes are limited to the (...) nervous system and brain or include other bodily structures or the environment itself. After unearthing some root notions of cognition in the development of cognitive psychology and cognitive science, this chapter considers the commonalities and differences just scouted, examines Wheeler’s (2005) reference to Descartes’ works in describing “Cartesian” cognitive theory, finds the real target of situated approaches in classical symbolic cognitive science, and suggests that instead of revisiting that target attention should turn to the varieties of intelligent (adaptive, appropriate, flexible) behavior. (shrink)
What JosephNeisser calls for is exactly right: more philosophy of science will help us better understand and refine the idea of neural correlates of consciousness . But the key bit of philosophy of science Neisser appeals to is itself in need of clarification; the orthodox NCC definition is more resourceful than Neisser allows, and it is possible to resist the phenomenological conception of conscious experience that fuels some of Neisser’s argument.