Reconstructing the Cognitive World: The Next Step
In Reconstructing the Cognitive World, Michael Wheeler argues that we should turn away from the generically Cartesian philosophical foundations of much contemporary cognitive science research and proposes instead a Heideggerian approach. Wheeler begins with an interpretation of Descartes. He defines Cartesian psychology as a conceptual framework of explanatory principles and shows how each of these principles is part of the deep assumptions of orthodox cognitive science (both classical and connectionist). Wheeler then turns to Heidegger's radically non-Cartesian account of everyday cognition, which, he argues, can be used to articulate the philosophical foundations of a genuinely non-Cartesian cognitive science. Finding that Heidegger's critique of Cartesian thinking falls short, even when supported by Hubert Dreyfus's influential critique of orthodox artificial intelligence, Wheeler suggests a new Heideggerian approach. He points to recent research in "embodied-embedded" cognitive science and proposes a Heideggerian framework to identify, amplify, and clarify the underlying philosophical foundations of this new work. He focuses much of his investigation on recent work in artificial intelligence-oriented robotics, discussing, among other topics, the nature and status of representational explanation, and whether (and to what extent) cognition is computation rather than a noncomputational phenomenon best described in the language of dynamical systems theory.
Wheeler's argument draws on analytic philosophy, continental philosophy, and empirical work to "reconstruct" the philosophical foundations of cognitive science in a time of a fundamental shift away from a generically Cartesian approach. His analysis demonstrates that Heideggerian continental philosophy and naturalistic cognitive science need not be mutually exclusive and shows further that a Heideggerian framework can act as the "conceptual glue" for new work in cognitive science.
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Setting the Scene
Clank Whirr Cognition Descartes on Minds and Machines
Descartess Ghost The Haunting of Cognitive Science
Explaining the Behavior of Springs Pendulums and Cognizers
Being Over There Beginning a Heideggerian Adventure
BeingIn with the InCrowd
Doorknobs and Monads
Out of Our Heads
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action-oriented representation activity adaptive richness analysis architecture argument biological brain Cartesian psychology chapter character claim Clark cognitive scientist cognitive-scientific complex computational systems conceptual connectionism connectionist networks constitutive context context-independent continuous reciprocal causation control systems Descartes Descartes's distinctive distributed representations DNNs Dreyfus Dreyfus's dynamical systems dynamical systems theory embodied-embedded cognitive science empirical entities environment epistemic evolutionary evolutionary robotics example explanatory fact factors feature frame problem framework function Gelder general-purpose reason Heidegger Heidegger's Heideggerian holism homuncular human agent idea identified inner representations input intelligent action interpretation kind mechanisms mind modular Muggle nature neural neurons nontrivial causal spread objects online intelligence orthodox cognitive science perception phenomena phenomenology philosophical physical present-at-hand principle of Cartesian processes properties ready-to-hand relevant representationalism richly temporal richness and flexibility robot scientific seems sense smooth coping specific SRPM strategy structures subagential substance dualism subsystems suggest theoretical thought tion Turing machine Wheeler