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Volume 66 (2021): Issue 1 (December 2021)

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Volume 64 (2020): Issue 1 (December 2020)

Volume 63 (2020): Issue 1 (September 2020)

Volume 62 (2020): Issue 1 (June 2020)

Volume 61 (2020): Issue 1 (March 2020)

Volume 60 (2019): Issue 1 (December 2019)

Volume 59 (2019): Issue 1 (September 2019)

Volume 58 (2019): Issue 1 (June 2019)

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Volume 56 (2018): Issue 1 (December 2018)

Volume 55 (2018): Issue 1 (September 2018)

Volume 54 (2018): Issue 1 (June 2018)

Volume 53 (2018): Issue 1 (March 2018)

Volume 52 (2017): Issue 1 (December 2017)

Volume 51 (2017): Issue 1 (September 2017)

Volume 50 (2017): Issue 1 (June 2017)

Volume 49 (2017): Issue 1 (March 2017)

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Volume 47 (2016): Issue 1 (December 2016)

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Volume 45 (2016): Issue 1 (June 2016)

Volume 44 (2016): Issue 1 (March 2016)

Volume 43 (2015): Issue 1 (December 2015)

Volume 42 (2015): Issue 1 (September 2015)

Volume 41 (2015): Issue 1 (June 2015)

Volume 40 (2015): Issue 1 (March 2015)

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Volume 38 (2014): Issue 1 (September 2014)

Volume 37 (2014): Issue 1 (June 2014)
Mechanisms and Methods of Decision Making / Ed. by Ewa Roszkowska

Volume 36 (2014): Issue 1 (March 2014)

Volume 35 (2013): Issue 1 (December 2013)

Volume 34 (2013): Issue 1 (October 2013)

Volume 33 (2013): Issue 1 (August 2013)

Volume 32 (2013): Issue 1 (May 2013)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
2199-6059
ISSN
0860-150X
First Published
08 Aug 2013
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English

Search

Volume 41 (2015): Issue 1 (June 2015)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
2199-6059
ISSN
0860-150X
First Published
08 Aug 2013
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English

Search

10 Articles
Open Access

Against Smallism And Localism

Published Online: 24 Jul 2015
Page range: 9 - 23

Abstract

Abstract

The question whether cognition ever extends beyond the head is widely considered to be an empirical issue. And yet, all the evidence amassed in recent years has not sufficed to settle the debate. In this paper we suggest that this is because the debate is not really an empirical one, but rather a matter of definition. Traditional cognitive science can be identified as wedded to the ideals of “smallism” and “localism”. We criticize these ideals and articulate a case in favor of extended cognition by highlighting the historical pedigree and conceptual adequacy of related empirical and theoretical work.

Keywords

  • extended cognition
  • reductionism
  • internalism
  • affordances
  • dynamical systems
  • tool-use
  • social interaction
  • cognitive institutions
Open Access

Thinking Through Tools: What Can Tool-Use Tell Us About Distributed Cognition?

Published Online: 24 Jul 2015
Page range: 25 - 40

Abstract

Abstract

In this paper, I question the notion that tool-use must be driven by an internal representation which specifies the “motor program” enacted in the behaviour of the tool-user. Rather, it makes more sense to define tool-use in terms of characteristics of the dynamics of this behaviour. As the behaviour needs to be adjusted to suit changes in context, so there is unlikely to be a one-to-one, linear mapping between an action and its effect. Thus, tool-use can best be described using concepts from Nonlinear Dynamics. Such an approach can be used to create a sort of cybernetic model of tool-use. However, there is a danger that such a model can either lead us back to internal representations (in that the comparator used to evaluate feedback during behaviour could be assumed to be pre-defined) or could fail to capture cognitive aspects of behaviour. In particular, the question of how the craftworker’s intent can be enacted in the use of tools to produce a specific object seems to be lost in the cybernetic account. My solution is two-fold. First, the “model” is created on-the-fly and adapted through moment-by-moment interactions in the system of tool-user–tool–material–environment. This means that, rather than assuming a pre-defined internal representation that drives behaviour, I propose that cognition involves the selection of salient parameters that characterize the behaviour and the continued monitoring and management of behaviour in terms of these parameters. Second, intent is only loosely defined a priori but crystallizes through the continued interactions between craftworker and object through a process in which the affordances of the object become apparent to, and responded to by, the craftworker.

Keywords

  • affordance
  • tool-use
  • internal representation
  • nonlinear dynamics
Open Access

Interactivity And Mental Arithmetic: Coupling Mind And World Transforms And Enhances Performance

Published Online: 24 Jul 2015
Page range: 41 - 59

Abstract

Abstract

Interactivity has been linked to better performance in problem solving, due in part to a more efficient allocation of attentional resources, a better distribution of cognitive load, but perhaps more important by enabling the reasoner to shape and reshape the physical problem presentation to promote the development of the problem solution. Interactivity in solving quotidian arithmetic problems involves gestures, pointing, and the recruitment of artefacts to facilitate computation and augment efficiency. In the experiment reported here, different types of interactivity were examined with a series of mental arithmetic problems. Using a repeated-measures design, participants solved series of five 11-digit sums in four conditions that varied in the type of interactivity: (i) no interactivity (participants solved the problems with their hands on the table top), (ii) pointing (participants could point at the numbers), (iii) pen and paper (participants could note interim totals with a pen), and (iv) tokens (the sums were presented as 11 numbered tokens the arrangement of which participants were free to modify as they proceeded to the solution). Performance in the four conditions was measured in terms of accuracy, calculation error, and efficiency (a ratio composed of the proportion correct over the proportion of time invested in working on the sums). These quantitative analyses were supplemented by a detailed qualitative examination of a participant’s actions in the different conditions. The integration of artefacts, such as tokens or a pen, offered reasoners the opportunity to reconfigure the physical presentation of the problem, enacting different arithmetic strategies: the affordance landscape shifts as the problem trajectory is enacted through interactivity, and this generally produced better “mental” arithmetic performance. Participants also felt more positive about and better engaged with the task when they could reconfigure the problem presentation through interactivity. These findings underscore the importance of engineering task environments in the laboratory that offer a window on how problem solving unfolds through a coalition of mental and physical resources.

Keywords

  • interactivity
  • mental arithmetic
  • problem solving
  • distributed representation
  • flow
Open Access

REC: Just Radical Enough

Published Online: 24 Jul 2015
Page range: 61 - 71

Abstract

Abstract

We address some frequently encountered criticisms of Radical Embodied/Enactive Cognition. Contrary to the claims that the position is too radical, or not sufficiently so, we claim REC is just radical enough.

Keywords

  • radical enactivism
  • representational content
  • perception
  • language
Open Access

The Hard Problem Of Content: Solved (Long Ago)

Published Online: 24 Jul 2015
Page range: 73 - 88

Abstract

Abstract

In this paper, I argue that even if the Hard Problem of Content, as identified by Hutto and Myin, is important, it was already solved in naturalized semantics, and satisfactory solutions to the problem do not rely merely on the notion of information as covariance. I point out that Hutto and Myin have double standards for linguistic and mental representation, which leads to a peculiar inconsistency. Were they to apply the same standards to basic and linguistic minds, they would either have to embrace representationalism or turn to semantic nihilism, which is, as I argue, an unstable and unattractive position. Hence, I conclude, their book does not offer an alternative to representationalism. At the same time, it reminds us that representational talk in cognitive science cannot be taken for granted and that information is different from mental representation. Although this claim is not new, Hutto and Myin defend it forcefully and elegantly.

Keywords

  • representation
  • Hard Problem of Content
  • satisfaction conditions
  • information
Open Access

Scaffolded Minds And The Evolution Of Content In Signaling Pathways

Published Online: 24 Jul 2015
Page range: 89 - 103

Abstract

Abstract

Hutto and Myin (2013) famously argue that basic minds are not contentful and content exists only as far as it is scaffolded with social and linguistic practices. This view, however, rests on a troublesome distinction between basic and scaffolded minds. Since Hutto and Myin have to account for language purely in terms of joint action guidance, there is no reason why simpler communication systems, such as cellular signaling pathways, should not give rise to scaffolded content as well. This conclusion remains valid even if one rejects the view of language as mediated through public symbols and embraces global antirepresentationalism. Content evolves spontaneously in complex regulatory systems, such as human, animal, and cellular communication.

Keywords

  • philosophy of cognitive science
  • content
  • Hutto and Myin
  • Hard Problem of Content
  • representation
  • cell signaling
  • the distributed view of language
Open Access

The Ouroboros Model Embraces Its Sensory-Motoric Foundations And Learns To Talk

Published Online: 24 Jul 2015
Page range: 105 - 125

Abstract

Abstract

The Ouroboros Model proposes a brain inspired cognitive architecture including detailed suggestions for the main processing steps in an overall conceptualization of cognition as embodied and embedded computing. All memories are structured into schemata, which are firmly grounded in the body of an actor. A cyclic and iterative data-acquisition and -processing loop forms the backbone of all cognitive activity. Ever more sophisticated schemata are built up incrementally from the wide combination of neural activity, concurrent at the point in time when the memory is established; i.e., distinct representations are accrued. Later on, an entire schema can be reinstated from diverse subsets of its constituent features. In order to decode or compile ever more elaborate constructions, extant building blocks are concatenated. They are serially linked via common or “connection-attributes” of different representations and symbols, and they are employed for serial perception, processing and action, in particular, also for language production. At various levels, commonalities between different schemata lead to a similar preferred use of their respective tokens and subsequently shared categorizations. Rules, for the concatenation of words, akin to the ones governing chemical reactions, can be abstracted. As special kinds of symbols, words and word-classes along with the whole grammar of a language can thus be seen as a direct consequence of the processes outlined in the Ouroboros Model. Strong emphasis is put on the dimension of time over short intervals during active experience and performance, and, in particular, during interactions with other agents.

Keywords

  • schemata
  • serial iterative processing
  • anticipations
  • consistency
  • communication
Open Access

Language As a Memory Carrier Of Perceptually-Based Knowledge. Selected Aspects Of Imagery In Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale And Troilus And Criseyde

Published Online: 24 Jul 2015
Page range: 127 - 141

Abstract

Abstract

In the paper, we address the question of the relation between language and culture from a Cognitive Linguistic perspective. While accounting for the role of language as an aid to cultural transmission in maintaining the community’s conceptual order, we address the question of whether the concept of a linguistic worldview aptly captures the interplay between language and culture. We suggest that, due to cumulative cultural evolution spurred by the incessant development of human knowledge, layers of conceptualisations accumulate over time. It is proposed that this palimpsest of conceptualisations results from human interaction that transcends the constraints of the present moment, encompassing the past and present, as well as delineating possible developments of the community’s future conceptual order.

Keywords

  • language and culture
  • linguistic worldview
  • memory carrier
Open Access

Theoretical Controversies—Terminological Biases: Consciousness Revisited

Published Online: 24 Jul 2015
Page range: 143 - 160

Abstract

Abstract

Although scientific practice sometimes encounters philosophical difficulties, it cannot shoulder the burden of resolving them. This can lead to controversies. An unavoidable difficulty is rooted in the linguistic attitude, i.e., in the fact that to a considerable extent we express our thoughts in words. I will attempt to illuminate some important characteristics of linguistic expression which lead to paradoxical situations, identifiable thanks to philosophy. In my argument, I will investigate how the notion of consciousness has altered over the course of philosophical investigation and how it relates to recent scientific practice. In conclusion, I will focus on a few recent so-called radical positions in philosophy with regard to a framework within which consciousness and more generally mental phenomena can be regarded in a new light, as well as on the barriers we face when trying to unify scientific results.

Keywords

  • consciousness
  • sensorimotor approach
  • global workspace theory
  • Merleau-Ponty
Open Access

Affectivity And Time: Towards A Phenomenology Of Embodied Time-Consciousness

Published Online: 24 Jul 2015
Page range: 161 - 172

Abstract

Abstract

In the article, I develop some ideas introduced by Edmund Husserl concerning time-consciousness and embodiment. However, I do not discuss the Husserlian account of consciousness of time in its full scope. I focus on the main ideas of the phenomenology of time and the problem of bodily sensations and their role in the constitution of consciousness of time. I argue that time-consciousness is primarily constituted in the dynamic experience of bodily feelings.

In the first part, I outline the main ideas of Husserl’s early phenomenology of consciousness of time. In the second part, I introduce the phenomenological account of bodily feelings and describe how it evolved in Husserl’s philosophy. Next, I discuss the idea of bodily self-affection and the affective-kinaesthetic origin of consciousness’ temporal flow. In order to better understand this “pre-phenomenal temporality”, I analyse the dynamics of non-intentional, prereflective bodily self-affection. In the third part, I try to complement Husserl’s account by describing the specific dynamics of bodily experience. In order to do so, I appeal to Daniel Stern’s psychological account of dynamic bodily experience, which he calls the “vitality affect”. I argue that the best way to understand the pre-phenomenal dynamics of bodily feelings is in terms of the notion of rhythm.

Keywords

  • phenomenology
  • time-consciousness
  • embodiment
  • affectivity
10 Articles
Open Access

Against Smallism And Localism

Published Online: 24 Jul 2015
Page range: 9 - 23

Abstract

Abstract

The question whether cognition ever extends beyond the head is widely considered to be an empirical issue. And yet, all the evidence amassed in recent years has not sufficed to settle the debate. In this paper we suggest that this is because the debate is not really an empirical one, but rather a matter of definition. Traditional cognitive science can be identified as wedded to the ideals of “smallism” and “localism”. We criticize these ideals and articulate a case in favor of extended cognition by highlighting the historical pedigree and conceptual adequacy of related empirical and theoretical work.

Keywords

  • extended cognition
  • reductionism
  • internalism
  • affordances
  • dynamical systems
  • tool-use
  • social interaction
  • cognitive institutions
Open Access

Thinking Through Tools: What Can Tool-Use Tell Us About Distributed Cognition?

Published Online: 24 Jul 2015
Page range: 25 - 40

Abstract

Abstract

In this paper, I question the notion that tool-use must be driven by an internal representation which specifies the “motor program” enacted in the behaviour of the tool-user. Rather, it makes more sense to define tool-use in terms of characteristics of the dynamics of this behaviour. As the behaviour needs to be adjusted to suit changes in context, so there is unlikely to be a one-to-one, linear mapping between an action and its effect. Thus, tool-use can best be described using concepts from Nonlinear Dynamics. Such an approach can be used to create a sort of cybernetic model of tool-use. However, there is a danger that such a model can either lead us back to internal representations (in that the comparator used to evaluate feedback during behaviour could be assumed to be pre-defined) or could fail to capture cognitive aspects of behaviour. In particular, the question of how the craftworker’s intent can be enacted in the use of tools to produce a specific object seems to be lost in the cybernetic account. My solution is two-fold. First, the “model” is created on-the-fly and adapted through moment-by-moment interactions in the system of tool-user–tool–material–environment. This means that, rather than assuming a pre-defined internal representation that drives behaviour, I propose that cognition involves the selection of salient parameters that characterize the behaviour and the continued monitoring and management of behaviour in terms of these parameters. Second, intent is only loosely defined a priori but crystallizes through the continued interactions between craftworker and object through a process in which the affordances of the object become apparent to, and responded to by, the craftworker.

Keywords

  • affordance
  • tool-use
  • internal representation
  • nonlinear dynamics
Open Access

Interactivity And Mental Arithmetic: Coupling Mind And World Transforms And Enhances Performance

Published Online: 24 Jul 2015
Page range: 41 - 59

Abstract

Abstract

Interactivity has been linked to better performance in problem solving, due in part to a more efficient allocation of attentional resources, a better distribution of cognitive load, but perhaps more important by enabling the reasoner to shape and reshape the physical problem presentation to promote the development of the problem solution. Interactivity in solving quotidian arithmetic problems involves gestures, pointing, and the recruitment of artefacts to facilitate computation and augment efficiency. In the experiment reported here, different types of interactivity were examined with a series of mental arithmetic problems. Using a repeated-measures design, participants solved series of five 11-digit sums in four conditions that varied in the type of interactivity: (i) no interactivity (participants solved the problems with their hands on the table top), (ii) pointing (participants could point at the numbers), (iii) pen and paper (participants could note interim totals with a pen), and (iv) tokens (the sums were presented as 11 numbered tokens the arrangement of which participants were free to modify as they proceeded to the solution). Performance in the four conditions was measured in terms of accuracy, calculation error, and efficiency (a ratio composed of the proportion correct over the proportion of time invested in working on the sums). These quantitative analyses were supplemented by a detailed qualitative examination of a participant’s actions in the different conditions. The integration of artefacts, such as tokens or a pen, offered reasoners the opportunity to reconfigure the physical presentation of the problem, enacting different arithmetic strategies: the affordance landscape shifts as the problem trajectory is enacted through interactivity, and this generally produced better “mental” arithmetic performance. Participants also felt more positive about and better engaged with the task when they could reconfigure the problem presentation through interactivity. These findings underscore the importance of engineering task environments in the laboratory that offer a window on how problem solving unfolds through a coalition of mental and physical resources.

Keywords

  • interactivity
  • mental arithmetic
  • problem solving
  • distributed representation
  • flow
Open Access

REC: Just Radical Enough

Published Online: 24 Jul 2015
Page range: 61 - 71

Abstract

Abstract

We address some frequently encountered criticisms of Radical Embodied/Enactive Cognition. Contrary to the claims that the position is too radical, or not sufficiently so, we claim REC is just radical enough.

Keywords

  • radical enactivism
  • representational content
  • perception
  • language
Open Access

The Hard Problem Of Content: Solved (Long Ago)

Published Online: 24 Jul 2015
Page range: 73 - 88

Abstract

Abstract

In this paper, I argue that even if the Hard Problem of Content, as identified by Hutto and Myin, is important, it was already solved in naturalized semantics, and satisfactory solutions to the problem do not rely merely on the notion of information as covariance. I point out that Hutto and Myin have double standards for linguistic and mental representation, which leads to a peculiar inconsistency. Were they to apply the same standards to basic and linguistic minds, they would either have to embrace representationalism or turn to semantic nihilism, which is, as I argue, an unstable and unattractive position. Hence, I conclude, their book does not offer an alternative to representationalism. At the same time, it reminds us that representational talk in cognitive science cannot be taken for granted and that information is different from mental representation. Although this claim is not new, Hutto and Myin defend it forcefully and elegantly.

Keywords

  • representation
  • Hard Problem of Content
  • satisfaction conditions
  • information
Open Access

Scaffolded Minds And The Evolution Of Content In Signaling Pathways

Published Online: 24 Jul 2015
Page range: 89 - 103

Abstract

Abstract

Hutto and Myin (2013) famously argue that basic minds are not contentful and content exists only as far as it is scaffolded with social and linguistic practices. This view, however, rests on a troublesome distinction between basic and scaffolded minds. Since Hutto and Myin have to account for language purely in terms of joint action guidance, there is no reason why simpler communication systems, such as cellular signaling pathways, should not give rise to scaffolded content as well. This conclusion remains valid even if one rejects the view of language as mediated through public symbols and embraces global antirepresentationalism. Content evolves spontaneously in complex regulatory systems, such as human, animal, and cellular communication.

Keywords

  • philosophy of cognitive science
  • content
  • Hutto and Myin
  • Hard Problem of Content
  • representation
  • cell signaling
  • the distributed view of language
Open Access

The Ouroboros Model Embraces Its Sensory-Motoric Foundations And Learns To Talk

Published Online: 24 Jul 2015
Page range: 105 - 125

Abstract

Abstract

The Ouroboros Model proposes a brain inspired cognitive architecture including detailed suggestions for the main processing steps in an overall conceptualization of cognition as embodied and embedded computing. All memories are structured into schemata, which are firmly grounded in the body of an actor. A cyclic and iterative data-acquisition and -processing loop forms the backbone of all cognitive activity. Ever more sophisticated schemata are built up incrementally from the wide combination of neural activity, concurrent at the point in time when the memory is established; i.e., distinct representations are accrued. Later on, an entire schema can be reinstated from diverse subsets of its constituent features. In order to decode or compile ever more elaborate constructions, extant building blocks are concatenated. They are serially linked via common or “connection-attributes” of different representations and symbols, and they are employed for serial perception, processing and action, in particular, also for language production. At various levels, commonalities between different schemata lead to a similar preferred use of their respective tokens and subsequently shared categorizations. Rules, for the concatenation of words, akin to the ones governing chemical reactions, can be abstracted. As special kinds of symbols, words and word-classes along with the whole grammar of a language can thus be seen as a direct consequence of the processes outlined in the Ouroboros Model. Strong emphasis is put on the dimension of time over short intervals during active experience and performance, and, in particular, during interactions with other agents.

Keywords

  • schemata
  • serial iterative processing
  • anticipations
  • consistency
  • communication
Open Access

Language As a Memory Carrier Of Perceptually-Based Knowledge. Selected Aspects Of Imagery In Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale And Troilus And Criseyde

Published Online: 24 Jul 2015
Page range: 127 - 141

Abstract

Abstract

In the paper, we address the question of the relation between language and culture from a Cognitive Linguistic perspective. While accounting for the role of language as an aid to cultural transmission in maintaining the community’s conceptual order, we address the question of whether the concept of a linguistic worldview aptly captures the interplay between language and culture. We suggest that, due to cumulative cultural evolution spurred by the incessant development of human knowledge, layers of conceptualisations accumulate over time. It is proposed that this palimpsest of conceptualisations results from human interaction that transcends the constraints of the present moment, encompassing the past and present, as well as delineating possible developments of the community’s future conceptual order.

Keywords

  • language and culture
  • linguistic worldview
  • memory carrier
Open Access

Theoretical Controversies—Terminological Biases: Consciousness Revisited

Published Online: 24 Jul 2015
Page range: 143 - 160

Abstract

Abstract

Although scientific practice sometimes encounters philosophical difficulties, it cannot shoulder the burden of resolving them. This can lead to controversies. An unavoidable difficulty is rooted in the linguistic attitude, i.e., in the fact that to a considerable extent we express our thoughts in words. I will attempt to illuminate some important characteristics of linguistic expression which lead to paradoxical situations, identifiable thanks to philosophy. In my argument, I will investigate how the notion of consciousness has altered over the course of philosophical investigation and how it relates to recent scientific practice. In conclusion, I will focus on a few recent so-called radical positions in philosophy with regard to a framework within which consciousness and more generally mental phenomena can be regarded in a new light, as well as on the barriers we face when trying to unify scientific results.

Keywords

  • consciousness
  • sensorimotor approach
  • global workspace theory
  • Merleau-Ponty
Open Access

Affectivity And Time: Towards A Phenomenology Of Embodied Time-Consciousness

Published Online: 24 Jul 2015
Page range: 161 - 172

Abstract

Abstract

In the article, I develop some ideas introduced by Edmund Husserl concerning time-consciousness and embodiment. However, I do not discuss the Husserlian account of consciousness of time in its full scope. I focus on the main ideas of the phenomenology of time and the problem of bodily sensations and their role in the constitution of consciousness of time. I argue that time-consciousness is primarily constituted in the dynamic experience of bodily feelings.

In the first part, I outline the main ideas of Husserl’s early phenomenology of consciousness of time. In the second part, I introduce the phenomenological account of bodily feelings and describe how it evolved in Husserl’s philosophy. Next, I discuss the idea of bodily self-affection and the affective-kinaesthetic origin of consciousness’ temporal flow. In order to better understand this “pre-phenomenal temporality”, I analyse the dynamics of non-intentional, prereflective bodily self-affection. In the third part, I try to complement Husserl’s account by describing the specific dynamics of bodily experience. In order to do so, I appeal to Daniel Stern’s psychological account of dynamic bodily experience, which he calls the “vitality affect”. I argue that the best way to understand the pre-phenomenal dynamics of bodily feelings is in terms of the notion of rhythm.

Keywords

  • phenomenology
  • time-consciousness
  • embodiment
  • affectivity

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