In the course of daily life we solve problems often enough that there is a special term to characterize the activity and the right to expect a scientific theory to explain its dynamics. The classical view in psychology is that to solve a problem a subject must frame it by creating an internal representation of the problem‘s structure, usually called a problem space. This space is an internally generable representation that is mathematically identical to a graph structure with nodes and (...) links. The nodes can be annotated with useful information, and the whole representation can be distributed over internal and external structures such as symbolic notations on paper or diagrams. If the representation is distributed across internal and external structures the subject must be able to keep track of activity in the distributed structure. Problem solving proceeds as the subject works from an initial state in this mentally supported space, actively construction possible solution paths, evaluating them and heuristically choosing the best. Control of this exploratory process is not well understood, as it is not always systematic, but various heuristic search algorithms have been proposed and some experimental support has been provided for them. (shrink)
It is argued that the theory of situatedcognition together with dynamic systems theory can explain the core of artistic practice and aesthetic experience, and furthermore paves the way for an account of how artist and audience can meet via the artist’s work. The production and consumption of art is an embodied practice, firmly based in perception and action, and supported by features of the local, agent-centered and global, socio-cultural contexts. Artistic creativity and aesthetic experience equally result from (...) the dynamic interplay between agent and context, allowing for artist and viewer to relate to the artist’s work in similar ways. (shrink)
Since its inception some fifty years ago, cognitive science has seen a number of sea changes. Perhaps the best known is the development of connectionist models of cognition as an alternative to classical, symbol-based approaches. A more recent - and increasingly influential - trend is that of dynamical-systems-based, ecologically oriented models of the mind. Researchers suggest that a full understanding of the mind will require systematic study of the dynamics of interaction between mind, body, and world. Some argue that (...) this new orientation calls for a revolutionary new metaphysics of mind, according to which mental states and processes, and even persons, literally extend into the environment. This book is a guide to this movement in cognitive science. Each chapter tackles either a specific area of empirical research or specific sector of the conceptual foundation underlying this research. (shrink)
In the course of daily life we solve problems often enough that there is a special term to characterize the activity and the right to expect a scientific theory to explain its dynamics. The classical view in psychology is that to solve a problem a subject must frame it by creating an internal representation of the problem’s structure, usually called a problem space. This space is an internally generable representation that is mathematically identical to a graph structure with nodes and (...) links. The nodes can be annotated with useful information, and the whole representation can be distributed over internal and external structures such as symbolic notations on paper or diagrams. If the representation is distributed across internal and external structures the subject must be able to keep track of activity in the distributed structure. Problem solving proceeds as the subject works from an initial state in mentally supported space, actively constructing possible solution paths, evaluating them and heuristically choosing the best. Control of this exploratory process is not well understood, as it is not always systematic, but various heuristic search algorithms have been proposed and some experimental support has been provided for them. (shrink)
The self-advertising, at least, suggests that 'situatedcognition' involves the most fundamental conceptual re-organization in AI and cognitive science, even appearing to deny that cognition is to be explained by mental representations. In their defence of the orthodox symbolic representational theory, A. Vera and H. Simon have rebutted many of these claims, but they overlook an important reading of situated arguments which may, after all, involve a revolutionary insight. I show that the whole debate turns on (...) puzzles familiar from the history of philosophy and psychology and these may serve to clarify the current disputes. (shrink)
During interaction with computer-based 3-D simulations like virtual reality, users may experience a sense of involvement called presence. Presence is commonly defined as the subjective feeling of "being there". We discuss the state of the art in this inno vative research area and introduce a situatedcognition perspective on presence. We argue that presence depends on the proper integration of aspects relevant to an agent's movement and perception, to her actions, and to her conception of the overall situ (...) a tion in which she finds herself, as well as on how these aspects mesh with the possibilities for action afforded in the interaction with the artifact. We also aim at showing that studies of presence offer a test-bed for different theories of situated co gnition.›. (shrink)
Simon’s notion of bounded rationality is deeply intertwined with his activity as a cognitive psychologist and founder of so-called cognitivism, a mainstream approach in cognitive psychology until the 1980s. Cognitivism, understood as ‘symbolic information processing,’ provided the first cognitive psychology foundation to bounded rationality. Has bounded rationality since then fully followed the development of cognitive psychology beyond symbolic information processing in the post-Simonian era? To answer this question, this paper focuses on Simon’s opposition during the 1990s to a new view (...) of cognition called situatedcognition, which has since put into question the entire view in cognitive psychology of humans as symbolic information processors. This paper then reads the cognitivism/situatedcognition debate through the lens of current bounded rationality research in economics, in order to inquire into whether it has tackled the issues in that controversy; to envisage possible new foundations for a cognitive psychology-based bounded rationality. (shrink)
This paper provides an overview over the debate about so-called “situated approaches to cognition” that depart from the intracranialism associated with traditional cognitivism insofar as they stress the importance of body, world, and interaction for cognitive processing. It sketches the outlines of an overarching framework that reveals the differences, commonalities, and interdependencies between the various claims and positions of second-generation cognitive science, and identifies a number of apparently unresolved conceptual and ontological issues.
Because human cognition is creative and socially situated, knowledge accumulates, diffuses, and gets applied in new contexts, generating cultural analogs of phenomena observed in population genetics such as adaptation and drift. It is therefore commonly thought that elements of culture evolve through natural selection. However, natural selection was proposed to explain how change accumulates despite lack of inheritance of acquired traits, as occurs with template-mediated replication. It cannot accommodate a process with significant retention of acquired or horizontally (e.g. (...) socially) transmitted traits. Moreover, elements of culture cannot be treated as discrete lineages because they constantly interact and influence one another. It is proposed that what evolves through culture is the mind; ideas and artifacts are merely reflections of its current evolved state. Interacting minds transform (in part) through through a non-Darwinian autopoietic process similar to that by which early life evolved, involving not survival of the fittest but actualization of their potential. (shrink)
The standard philosophical and folk-psychological accounts of cognition and action credit us with too much spontaneity in our activities and projects. We are taken to be fundamentally active rather than reactive, to project our needs and aims and deploy our full supporting arsenal of cognitive instruments upon an essentially passive environment. The corrected point of view presented here balances this image of active agency with an appreciation of how we are also continually responding to the world, that is, to (...) the pragmatic situations that effectively select subsets of our cognitive resources to be at our disposal in generating responses. The result is a superseding of the standard Cognitive Integrationist picture by a model of a structurally divided mind, comprising a multiplicity of diverse and sometimes-conflicting standpoints, personas, and wills whose elicitation is a complex function of agent intentions and plans, the encountered environment, past experience, and temporal sequence. According to this model, the manifold stored representations constituting a person’s cognitive endowment do not form a single integrated network all equally ready for use. Cognition at any given moment is limited to drawing upon only a subset of one’s perspective, the perspect that is activated in accordance with the specific mental task or situation (the pragmatic context) that one perceives oneself to be facing. The system enlists the environmental context as trigger for practical and theoretical activity, based upon the agent’s prior experience. Though susceptible to certain kinds of error, and not inherently inclined toward innovative thinking, it enables the generally efficient use of our enormous cognitive endowments in conducting our lives in real time. (shrink)
The documented appearance of body ornaments in the archaeological record of early anatomically modern human and late Neanderthal populations has been claimed to be proof of symbolism and cognitive modernity. Recently, Henshilwood and Dubreuil (Current Anthropology 52:361–400, 2011) have supported this stance by arguing that the use of beads and body painting implies the presence of properties typical of modern cognition: high-level theory of mind and awareness of abstract social standards. In this paper I shall disagree with this position. (...) For the purposes of the argument, body ornaments are divided in three categories: aesthetic, indexical and fully-symbolic, on the basis of the necessary and sufficient conditions to construct meaning for each category. As previously acknowledged by a number of authors, I will argue that the abilities considered by Henshilwood & Dubreuil necessarily apply only to fully symbolic ornaments and they do not extend to the aesthetic and indexical categories. Indeed, a series of situated strategies can be sufficient to process non-symbolic categories of ornaments, through their phases of initiation, understanding and maintenance. Since these strategies could be implemented also by non-modern cognitive architectures, it is concluded that early body ornaments are currently unable to support cognitive equivalence between primitive and modern human populations. (shrink)
Researchers in the biological and biomedical sciences, particularly those working in laboratories, use a variety of artifacts to help them perform their cognitive tasks. This paper analyses the relationship between researchers and cognitive artifacts in terms of integration. It first distinguishes different categories of cognitive artifacts used in biological practice on the basis of their informational properties. This results in a novel classification of scientific instruments, conducive to an analysis of the cognitive interactions between researchers and artifacts. It then uses (...) a multidimensional framework in line with complementarity-based extended and distributed cognition theory to conceptualize how deeply instruments in different informational categories are integrated into the cognitive systems of their users. The paper concludes that the degree of integration depends on various factors, including the amount of informational malleability, the intensity and kind of information flow between agent and artifact, the trustworthiness of the information, the procedural and informational transparency, and the degree of individualisation. (shrink)
In everyday life we often act adequately, yet without deliberation. For instance, we immediately obtain and maintain an appropriate distance from others in an elevator. The notion of normativity implied here is a very basic one, namely distinguishing adequate from inadequate, correct from incorrect, or better from worse in the context of a particular situation. In the ﬁrst part of this paper I investigate such ‘situated normativity’ by focusing on unreﬂective expert action. More particularly, I use Wittgenstein’s examples of (...) craftsmen (tailors and architects) absorbed in action to introduce situated normativity. Situated normativity can be understood as the normative aspect of embodied cognition in unreﬂective skillful action. I develop Wittgenstein’s insight that a peculiar type of aﬀective behaviour, ‘directed discontent’, is essential for getting things right without reﬂection. Directed discontent is a reaction of appreciation in action and is introduced as a paradigmatic expression of situated normativity. In the second part I discuss Wittgenstein’s ideas on the normativity of what he calls ‘blind’ rule-following and the ‘bedrock’ of immediate action. What matters for understanding the normativity of (even ‘blind’) rule-following, is not that one has the capacity for linguistic articulation or reﬂection but that one is reliably participating in a communal custom. In the third part I further investigate the complex relationships between unreﬂective skillful action, perception, emotion, and normativity. Part of this entails an account of the link between normativity at the level of the expert’s socio-cultural practice and the individual’s situated and lived normativity. (shrink)
In this paper I consider how thinking emerges out of human infants' relatedness towards the personal and non-personal world. I highlight the contrast between cognitive aspects and cognitive components of psychological functioning, and propose that even when thinking has become a partly separable component of the mind, affective and conative aspects inhere in its nature. I provide illustrative evidence from recent research on the developmental psychopathology of autism. In failing to adopt a developmental perspective, contemporary theorizing has displaced thinking from (...) where it is properly situated - intimately woven with feeling as well as action, and infused with qualities of interpersonal relatedness from which its structure is derived. (shrink)
Our utterances are typically if not always "situated," in the sense that they are true or false relative to unarticulated parameters of the extra-linguistic context. The problem is to explain how these parameters are determined, given that nothing in the uttered sentences indicates them. It is tempting to claim that they must be determined at the level of thought or intention. However, as many philosophers have observed, thoughts themselves are no less situated than utterances. Unarticulated parameters need not (...) be mentally represented. In this paper, I try to make precise the notion of representation at stake here. In one sense of 'representation', something is represented if it is inferentially relevant. In another, less demanding sense, something is represented if it is relevant to the construction of a context-sensitive, ad hoc concept. Ad hoc concepts act as "proxies" for cognitively more demanding representations. They "imitate" the latter's epistemic and pragmatic roles while being inferentially less sophisticated. Thus, there are two senses in which a thought can be said to be situated: (1) its truth-value is relative to a non-represented contextual parameter, (2) its truth-value is not itself relative, but it involves a context-sensitive, ad hoc concept. (shrink)
Our utterances are typically if not always ‘‘situated,'' in the sense that they are true or false relative to unarticulated parameters of the extra-linguistic context. The problem is to explain how these parameters are determined, given that nothing in the uttered sentences indicates them. It is tempting to claim that they must be determined at the level of thought or intention. However, as many philosophers have observed, thoughts themselves are no less situated than utterances. Unarticulated parameters need not (...) be mentally represented. In this paper, I try to make precise the notion of representation at stake here. In one sense of ‘representation', something is represented if it is inferentially relevant. In another, less demanding sense, something is represented if it is relevant to the construction of a contextsensitive, ad hoc concept. Ad hoc concepts act as ‘‘proxies'' for cognitively more demanding representations. They ‘‘imitate'' the latter's epistemic and pragmatic roles while being inferentially less sophisticated. Thus, there are two senses in which a thought can be said to be situated: (1) its truth-value is relative to a non-represented contextual parameter, (2) its truth-value is not itself relative, but it involves a context-sensitive, ad hoc concept. (shrink)
Vaesen disregards a plausible alternative to his position, and so fails to offer a compelling argument for unique cognitive mechanisms. We suggest an ecological alternative, according to which divergent relationships between organism and environment, not exotic neuroanatomy, are responsible for unique cognitive capacities. This approach is pertinent to claims about primate cognition; and on this basis, we argue that Vaesen's inference from unique skills to unique mechanisms is unwarranted.
TEST is a novel taxonomy of knowledge representations based on three distinct hierarchically organized representational features: Tropism, Embodiment, and Situatedness. Tropic representational features reflect constraints of the physical world on the agent's ability to form, reactivate, and enrich embodied (i.e., resulting from the agent's bodily constraints) conceptual representations embedded in situated contexts. The proposed hierarchy entails that representations can, in principle, have tropic features without necessarily having situated and/or embodied features. On the other hand, representations that are (...) class='Hi'>situated and/or embodied are likely to be simultaneously tropic. Hence, although we propose tropism as the most general term, the hierarchical relationship between embodiment and situatedness is more on a par, such that the dominance of one component over the other relies on the distinction between offline storage versus online generation as well as on representation-specific properties. (shrink)
The frame problem is the difficulty of explaining how non-magical systems think and act in ways that are adaptively sensitive to context-dependent relevance. Influenced centrally by Heideggerian phenomenology, Hubert Dreyfus has argued that the frame problem is, in part, a consequence of the assumption (made by mainstream cognitive science and artificial intelligence) that intelligent behaviour is representation-guided behaviour. Dreyfus' Heideggerian analysis suggests that the frame problem dissolves if we reject representationalism about intelligence and recognize that human agents realize the property (...) of thrownness (the property of being always already embedded in a context). I argue that this positive proposal is incomplete until we understand exactly how the properties in question may be instantiated in machines like us. So, working within a broadly Heideggerian conceptual framework, I pursue the character of a representation-shunning thrown machine. As part of this analysis, I suggest that the frame problem is, in truth, a two-headed beast. The intra-context frame problem challenges us to say how a purely mechanistic system may achieve appropriate, flexible and fluid action within a context. The inter-context frame problem challenges us to say how a purely mechanistic system may achieve appropriate, flexible and fluid action in worlds in which adaptation to new contexts is open-ended and in which the number of potential contexts is indeterminate. Drawing on the field of situated robotics, I suggest that the intra-context frame problem may be neutralized by systems of special-purpose adaptive couplings, while the inter-context frame problem may be neutralized by systems that exhibit the phenomenon of continuous reciprocal causation. I also defend the view that while continuous reciprocal causation is in conflict with representational explanation, special-purpose adaptive coupling, as well as its associated agential phenomenology, may feature representations. My proposal has been criticized recently by Dreyfus, who accuses me of propagating a cognitivist misreading of Heidegger, one that, because it maintains a role for representation, leads me seriously astray in my handling of the frame problem. I close by responding to Dreyfus' concerns. (shrink)
In a recent contribution to this journal, Andrew Fenton and Sheri Alpert have argued that the so-called “extended mind hypothesis” allows us to understand why Brain Computer Interfaces (BCIs) have the potential to change the self of patients suffering from Locked-in syndrome (LIS) by extending their minds beyond their bodies. I deny that this can shed any light on the theoretical, or philosophical, underpinnings of BCIs as a tool for enabling communication with, or bodily action by, patients with LIS: BCIs (...) are not a case of cognitive extension. I argue that Fenton and Alpert’s claim to the contrary is the result of a widespread confusion about some related, but significantly different, approaches to cognition that all fall under the heading of “situatedcognition.” I first provide a short taxonomy of various situated approaches to cognition, highlighting (some of) their important commonalities and differences, which should dissolve some of the confusions surrounding them. Then I show why the extended mind hypothesis is unsuitable as a model of BCI enhancements of LIS patients’ capacity to interact with their surroundings, and I argue that the situated approach with obvious bearings on the sort of questions that were driving Fenton and Alpert is not the idea that cognition is extended , but the idea that cognition is enacted. (shrink)
Descriptions of novice-expert differences, reasoning strategies, explanation-based learning, etc. are descriptions of how people create and use models within a representational language, when interacting with their environment in cycles of perceiving and acting. To complement these descriptions, we need to understand how representational languages are created.
Cognitive processes, cognitive psychology tells us, unfold in our heads. In contrast, several approaches in cognitive engineering argue for a shift of unit of analysis from what is going on in the heads of operators to the workings of whole socio-technical systems. This shift is sometimes presented as part of the development of a new understanding of what cognition is and where the boundaries of cognitive systems are. Cognition, it is claimed, is not just situated or embedded, (...) but extended and distributed in the world. My main question in this article is what the practical significance is of this framing of an expanded unit of analysis in a cognitive vocabulary. I focus on possible consequences for how cognitive engineering practitioners think about function allocation in system design, and on what the relative benefits and costs are of having a common framework and vocabulary for talking about both human and technical system components. I argue for what I call an *expansive but deflated conception of cognition*, primarily on pragmatic grounds. In addition, I claim that the important lesson of the “boundaries of cognition” debate in cognitive science is the negative claim that there is not anything special about the biological boundary of the skin and skull per se, rather than some positive claim about where the boundaries of extended or distributed cognitive systems really are. I also examine the role of the concept of cognition in the theoretical frameworks of distributed cognition, joint cognitive systems (also known as cognitive system engineering), and cognitive work analysis. (shrink)
In this chapter, we analyze the relationships between the Internet and its users in terms of situatedcognition 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 situatedcognition 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)
1. The Situation in Cognition 2. SituatedCognition: A Potted Recent History 3. Extensions in Biology, Computation, and Cognition 4. Articulating the Idea of Cognitive Extension 5. Are Some Resources Intrinsically Non-Cognitive? 6. Is Cognition Extended or Only Embedded? 7. Letting Nature Take Its Course.
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)
Until recently, philosophers and psychologists conceived of emotions as brain- and body-bound affairs. But researchers have started to challenge this internalist and individualist orthodoxy. A rapidly growing body of work suggests that some emotions incorporate external resources and thus extend beyond the neurophysiological confines of organisms; some even argue that emotions can be socially extended and shared by multiple agents. Call this the extended emotions thesis. In this article, we consider different ways of understanding ExE in philosophy, psychology, and the (...) cognitive sciences. First, we outline the background of the debate and discuss different argumentative strategies for ExE. In particular, we distinguish ExE from cognate but more moderate claims about the embodied and situated nature of cognition and emotion. We then dwell upon two dimensions of ExE: emotions extended by material culture and by the social factors. We conclude by defending ExE against some objections and point to desiderata for future research. (shrink)
One of the liveliest debates about cognition concerns whether our cognition sometimes extends beyond our brains and bodies. One party says Yes, another No. This paper shows that debate between these parties has been epistemologically confused and requires reorienting. Both parties frequently appeal to empirical considerations and to extra-empirical theoretical virtues to support claims about where cognition is. These things should constrain their claims, but cannot do all the work hoped. This is because of the overlooked fact, (...) uncovered in this paper, that we could never distinguish the rival views empirically or by typical theoretical virtues. I show this by drawing on recent work on testing, predictive accuracy, and theoretical virtues. The recommendation to emerge is that we step back from debate about where cognition is, to the epistemology of what cognition is. (shrink)
If phenomenal experience is a physical phenomenon, it must occur at some spatial and temporal location. Can consciousness be situated in such a strong sense? Although the importance of embodiment and situatedness is often mentioned, most neuroscientists and philosophers alike consider phenomenal experience as an outcome of neural activity. In this paper, the question I would raise is whether the physical underpinnings of conscious experience may be identical with processes temporally and spatially extended beyond the boundary of the skull (...) and the skin. The resulting model of situated consciousness is dubbed the Spread Mind. The hypothesis is verifiable empirically. The model outlines a form of vehicle phenomenal externalism more radical than Clark’s extended mind or Dretske’s content phenomenal externalism. (shrink)
Naturalistic thinking and knowing, the tacit, experiential, and intuitive reasoning of everyday interaction, have long been regarded as inferior to formal reason and labeled primitive, fallible, subjective, superstitious, and in some cases ineffable. But, naturalistic thinking is more rational and definable than it appears. It is also relevant to design. Inquiry into the mechanisms of naturalistic thinking and knowledge can bring its resources into focus and enable designers to create better, human-centered designs for use in real-world settings. This article makes (...) a case for the explicit, formal study of implicit, naturalistic thinking within the fields of design. It develops a framework for defining and studying naturalistic thinking and knowledge, for integrating them into design research and practice, and for developing a more integrated, consistent theory of knowledge in design. It will (a) outline historical definitions of knowledge, attitudes toward formal and naturalistic thinking, and the difficulties presented by the co-presence of formal and naturalistic thinking in design, (b) define and contrast formal and naturalistic thinking as two distinct human cognitive systems, (c) demonstrate the importance of naturalistic cognition in formal thinking and real-world judgment, (d) demonstrate methods for researching naturalistic thinking that can be of use in design, and (e) briefly discuss the impact on design theory of admitting naturalistic thinking as valid, systematic, and knowable. (shrink)
We have a striking ability to alter our psychological access to past experiences. Consider the following case. Andrew “Nicky” Barr, OBE, MC, DFC, (1915 – 2006) was one of Australia’s most decorated World War II fighter pilots. He was the top ace of the Western Desert’s 3 Squadron, the pre-eminent fighter squadron in the Middle East, flying P-40 Kittyhawks over Africa. From October 1941, when Nicky Barr’s war began, he flew 22 missions and shot down eight enemy planes in his (...) first 35 operational hours. He was shot down three times, once 25 miles behind enemy lines while trying to rescue a downed pilot. He escaped from prisoner of war camps four times, once jumping out of a train as it travelled from Italy into Austria. His wife Dot, who he married only weeks before the war, waited for him at home. She was told on at least three occasions that he was missing in action or dead. For 50 years, Nicky Barr never spoke publicly, and rarely privately, of his war-time experiences. He was very much a forgotten and forgetting hero (for further details, see Dornan, 2002). In his first public interview in 2002 on the Australian documentary program “Australian Story”, Nicky explained his 50 year silence by saying. (shrink)
Cognitive science currently offers models of cognition that depart substantively from those of information processing models and classical artificial intelligence, while it embraces methods of inquiry that include case-based, ethnographic, and philosophical methods. To illustrate, five overlapping approaches that constitute departures from classical representational cognitive science are briefly discussed in this paper: dynamical cognition, situatedcognition, embodied cognition, extended mind theory, and integrative cognition. Critical responses to these efforts from members of the self-proclaimed cognitive (...) science orthodoxy are also summarized. The paper then discusses ethical and epistemological implications arising from the “new” cognitive science and from critical responses to it and considers the broader importance of this literature for theoretical and philosophical psychology. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
Over the last two decades the traditional conception of intelligence and other mental powers as stable individual assets has been challenged by approaches in psychology emphasising context and ‘situatedcognition’. This paper argues that the debate should not be seen as an empirical dispute, and relates it to discussions in philosophy of mind between methodological solipsists and varieties of externalists. In the light of this I argue that attempts to conceptualise the identity over time of mental powers qua (...) individual assets run into intractable difficulties. Hence ‘individual asset’ views of many abilities should be abandoned. Implications for education policy particularly in regard to assessment are explored. (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)