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Stephen J. Cowley [21]Stephen Cowley [7]
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Stephen Cowley
University of Edinburgh
  1.  50
    The Evolution of Language as Controlled Collectivity.Joanna Raczaszek-Leonardi & Stephen J. Cowley - 2012 - Interaction Studiesinteraction Studies Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systems 13 (1):1-16.
  2.  5
    Distributed Language and Dynamics.Stephen Cowley - 2009 - Pragmatics and Cognition 17 (3):495-508.
    Language is coordination. Pursuing this, the present Special Issue of Pragmatics & Cognition challenges two widely held positions. First, the papers reject the claim that language is essentially `symbolic'. Second, they deny that minds represent verbal patterns. Rather, language is social, individual, and contributes the feeling of thinking. Simply, it is distributed. Elucidating this claim, the opening papers report empirically-based work on the anticipatory dynamics of reading, their cognitive consequences, Shakespearean theatre, what images evoke, and insight problem-solving. Having given reasons (...)
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  3.  12
    The Extended Infant: Utterance Activity and Distributed Cognition.David Spurrett & Stephen Cowley - 2010 - In Richard Menary (ed.), The Extended Mind. MIT Press.
    This chapter applies the parity principle in discussing “active externalism,” which claims that the mind need not be confined within either the brain or body. Consequently, how one brain or body interacts with other brains and bodies must be explored, together with the problems that may arise out of this interaction. This chapter is not concerned with beliefs and desires as mental states but whether they play a role in controlling behavior. It argues the notion that any course of action (...)
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  4.  19
    How Human Infants Deal with Symbol Grounding.Stephen J. Cowley - 2007 - Interaction Studiesinteraction Studies Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systems 8 (1):83-104.
  5.  52
    Foundationalism and Neuroscience; Silence and Language.Machiel Keestra & Stephen Cowley - 2009 - Language Sciences 31:531-552.
    Neuroscience offers more than new empirical evidence about the details of cognitive functions such as language, perception and action. Since it also shows many functions to be highly distributed, interconnected and dependent on mechanisms at different levels of processing, it challenges concepts that are traditionally used to describe these functions. The question is how to accommodate these concepts to the recent evidence. A recent proposal, made in Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience (2003) by Bennett and Hacker, is that concepts play a (...)
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  6.  13
    Coordination in Language: Temporality and Time-Ranging.Stephen J. Cowley & Sune Vork Steffensen - 2015 - Interaction Studiesinteraction Studies Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systems 16 (3):474-494.
  7.  16
    Insightful Thinking: Cognitive Dynamics and Material Artifacts.Evridiki Fioratou & Stephen J. Cowley - 2009 - Pragmatics and Cognition 17 (3):549-572.
    We trace how cognition arises beyond the skin. Experimental work on insight problem solving is used to examine how external artifacts can be used to reach the goal of assembling a `cheap necklace'. Instead of asking how insight occurs `in the head', our participants in Experiment 1 can either draw solution attempts or manipulate real objects . Even though performance with real chain links is significantly more successful than on paper, access to objects does not make this insight problem simple: (...)
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  8.  84
    Mimesis and Language: A Distributed View.Stephen J. Cowley - 2012 - Interaction Studiesinteraction Studies Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systems 13 (1):17-40.
    To unzip language from social behaviour one can hypothesise that language-systems are constituted by words and rules or, alternatively, constructions. The systems thus become autonomous and, if linked to individualist psychology, one can posit that each person’s brain operates a language faculty However, such views find little support in neuroscience. Brains self-organize by linking phonetic (and manual) gestures with action-perception. Far from being housed in the skull,language activity links people across time-scales. Not only does articulation give rise to speech but,together (...)
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  9.  28
    Thinking in Action.Stephen Cowley & Frédéric Vallée-Tourangeau - 2010 - AI and Society 25 (4):469-475.
  10. Concepts – Not Just Yardsticks, but Also Heuristics: Rebutting Hacker and Bennett.Machiel Keestra & Stephen J. Cowley - 2011 - Language Sciences 33 (3):464-472.
    In their response to our article (Keestra and Cowley, 2009), Hacker and Bennett charge us with failing to understand the project of their book Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience (PFN; Bennett and Hacker, 2003) and do this by discussing foundationalism, linguistic conservatism and the passivity of perception. In this rebuttal we explore disagreements that explain the alleged errors. First, we reiterate our substantial disagreement with Bennett and Hacker (B&H) regarding their assumption that, even regarding much debated concepts like ‘consciousness’, we can (...)
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  11.  53
    Simulating Convesations: The Communion Game. [REVIEW]Stephen J. Cowley & Karl MacDorman - 1995 - AI and Society 9 (2-3):116-137.
    In their enthusiasm for programming, computational linguists have tended to lose sight of what humansdo. They have conceived of conversations as independent of sound and the bodies that produce it. Thus, implicit in their simulations is the assumption that the text is the essence of talk. In fact, unlike electronic mail, conversations are acoustic events. During everyday talk, human understanding depends both on the words spoken and on fine interpersonal vocal coordination. When utterances are analysed into sequences of word-based forms, (...)
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  12.  8
    Semiosis and Bio-Mechanism: Towards Consilience.Rasmus Gahrn-Andersen & Stephen J. Cowley - 2018 - Biosemiotics 11 (3):405-425.
    In biosemiotics, some oppose the study of sign relations to empirical work on bio-mechanisms. Urging consilience between these views, we show the value of Alain Berthoz’s concept of simplexity. Its heuristic power is to present molecules, cells, organisms and communities as using tricks to self-fabricate by agglomerating ‘simplex’ bio-mechanisms. Their properties enable living systems to self-sustain, adapt and, at best, to thrive. But simplexity also empowers agents to engage with their surroundings in novel ways. Life thus not only generates know-how (...)
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  13.  1
    Insightful Thinking: Cognitive Dynamics and Material Artifacts.Evridiki Fioratou & Stephen Cowley - 2009 - Pragmatics and Cognition 17 (3):549-572.
    We trace how cognition arises beyond the skin. Experimental work on insight problem solving is used to examine how external artifacts can be used to reach the goal of assembling a `cheap necklace'. Instead of asking how insight occurs `in the head', our participants in Experiment 1 can either draw solution attempts or manipulate real objects. Even though performance with real chain links is significantly more successful than on paper, access to objects does not make this insight problem simple: objects (...)
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  14.  3
    Conversation, Coordination, and Vertebrate Communication.Stephen J. Cowley - 1997 - Semiotica 115 (1-2):27-52.
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  15. The Cradle of Language : Making Sense of Bodily Connexions.Stephen J. Cowley - 2007 - In Danièle Moyal-Sharrock (ed.), Perspicuous Presentations: Essays on Wittgenstein's Philosophy of Psychology. Palgrave-Macmillan.
  16.  43
    Linguistic Fire and Human Cognitive Powers.Stephen J. Cowley - 2012 - Pragmatics and Cognition 20 (2):275-294.
    To view language as a cultural tool challenges much of what claims to be linguistic science while opening up a new people-centred linguistics. On this view, how we speak, think and act depends on, not just brains, but also cultural traditions. Yet, Everett is conservative: like others trained in distributional analysis, he reifies ‘words’. Though rejecting inner languages and grammatical universals, he ascribes mental reality to a lexicon. Reliant as he is on transcriptions, he takes the cognitivist view that brains (...)
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  17.  20
    Language and Biosemiosis: Towards Unity?Stephen J. Cowley - 2006 - Semiotica 2006 (162):417-443.
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  18.  8
    Breathing Life Into Social Presence.Marie-Theres Fester & Stephen J. Cowley - 2018 - Pragmatics and Society 9 (2):274-296.
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  19.  10
    Meaning in Nature: Organic Manufacture? [REVIEW]Stephen J. Cowley - 2008 - Biosemiotics 1 (1):85-98.
    The paper examines Marcello Barbieri’s (2007) Introduction to Biosemiotics. Highlighting debate within the biosemiotic community, it focuses on what the volume offers to those who explain human intellect in relation to what Turing called our ‘physical powers.’ In scrutinising the basis of world-modelling, parallels and contrasts are drawn with other work on embodied-embedded cognition. Models dominate biology. Is this a qualitative fact or does it point to biomechanisms? In evaluating the 18 contributions, it is suggested that the answers will shape (...)
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  20.  46
    Extending Symbol Grounding.Tony Belpaeme & Stephen J. Cowley - 2007 - Interaction Studies 8 (1):1-16.
  21.  54
    Early Hominins, Utterance-Activity, and Niche Construction.Stephen J. Cowley - 2004 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (4):509-510.
    Falk's argument takes for granted that “protolanguage” used a genetic propensity for producing word-forms. Using developmental evidence, I dispute this assumption and, instead, reframe the argument in terms of behavioral ecology. Viewed as niche-construction, putting the baby down can help clarify not only the origins of talk but also the capacity to modify what we are saying as we speak.
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  22.  28
    Naturalizing Language: Human Appraisal and (Quasi) Technology.Stephen J. Cowley - 2013 - AI and Society 28 (4):443-453.
    Using contemporary science, the paper builds on Wittgenstein’s views of human language. Rather than ascribing reality to inscription-like entities, it links embodiment with distributed cognition. The verbal or (quasi) technological aspect of language is traced to not action, but human specific interactivity. This species-specific form of sense-making sustains, among other things, using texts, making/construing phonetic gestures and thinking. Human action is thus grounded in appraisals or sense-saturated coordination. To illustrate interactivity at work, the paper focuses on a case study. Over (...)
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  23.  31
    In the Beginning: Word or Deed?Stephen J. Cowley - 2005 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (4):493-494.
    Emphasizing that agents gain from culture-based patterns, I consider the etiology of meaning. Since the simulations show that “shared categories” are not based in learning, I challenge Steels & Belpaeme's (S&B's) folk view of language. Instead, I stress that meaning uses indexicals to set off a replicator process. Finally, I suggest that memetic patterns – not words – are the grounding of language.
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  24.  23
    Interaction Promotes Cognition: The Rise of Childish Minds.Stephen J. Cowley - 2006 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (3):283-283.
    Life history shaped language as, cascading in time, social strategies became more verbal. Although the insight is important, Locke & Bogin also advocate a code model of language. Rejecting this input-output view, I emphasize the interpersonal dynamics of dialogue. From this perspective, childish minds as well as language could be derived from the selective advantages of a total interactional history.
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  25.  4
    How Peer-Review Constrains Cognition: On the Frontline in the Knowledge Sector.Stephen J. Cowley - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
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  26.  3
    Foreword: Extending Symbol Grounding.Tony Belpaeme & Stephen J. Cowley - 2007 - Interaction Studiesinteraction Studies Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systems 8 (1):1-6.