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Mental Representation

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2020)

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  1. The Feelings of Goals Hypothesis: Emotional Feelings Are Non-Conceptual, Non-Motoric Representations of Goals.Assaf Kron & Assaf Weksler - 2022 - Emotion Review 14 (3):217-229.
    This paper proposes and develops the feelings of goals hypothesis. It has two aims: first, to describe the evolutionary function of emotional feelings, and second, to describe the content and the format of EFs. According to FGH, the evolutionary function of EFs is to enable motoric flexibility. Specifically, EFs are a component of a psychological mechanism that permits differential motoric reactions to the same stimulus. Further, according to FGH, EF is a special type of mental representation with the content of (...)
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  • Legal Concepts as Mental Representations.Marek Jakubiec - 2022 - International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 35 (5):1837-1855.
    Although much ink has been spilled on different aspects of legal concepts, the approach based on the developments of cognitive science is a still neglected area of study. The “mental” and cognitive aspect of these concepts, i.e., their features as mental constructs and cognitive tools, especially in the light of the developments of the cognitive sciences, is discussed quite rarely. The argument made by this paper is that legal concepts are best understood as mental representations. The piece explains what mental (...)
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  • Intentionality: Some Lessons From the History of the Problem From Brentano to the Present.Dermot Moran - 2013 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 21 (3):317-358.
    Intentionality (?directedness?, ?aboutness?) is both a central topic in contemporary philosophy of mind, phenomenology and the cognitive sciences, and one of the themes with which both analytic and Continental philosophers have separately engaged starting from Brentano and Edmund Husserl?s ground-breaking Logical Investigations (1901) through Roderick M. Chisholm, Daniel C. Dennett?s The Intentional Stance, John Searle?s Intentionality, to the recent work of Tim Crane, Robert Brandom, Shaun Gallagher and Dan Zahavi, among many others. In this paper, I shall review recent discussions (...)
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  • El pragmatismo biológico de las creencias.Miguel Cabrera Machado - 2019 - Caracas: Amazon.
    La teleosemántica es una teoría teleológica de las representaciones mentales, propugnada por David Papineau, que tiene como propósito ofrecer una explicación naturalista y evolucionista de dichas representaciones, en particular de las creencias. Mi objetivo será analizar las creencias y su relación con la verdad en la obra de Papineau. Según Papineau, los contenidos y las representaciones mentales, específicamente las creencias, cumplen funciones derivadas de la evolución biológica de la especie, y correlativamente, la finalidad de las creencias y los contenidos proviene (...)
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  • Studies on Bhartṛhari and the Pratyabhijñā: Language, Knowledge and Consciousness.Marco Ferrante - 2020 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 48 (2):147-159.
    The article examines the impact the grammarian/philosopher Bhartṛhari had on the way the ‘School of Recognition’ elaborated the notion that knowledge and consciousness have a close relationship with language. The paper first lays out Bhartṛhari’s ideas, showing that his theses are rationally defensible and philosophically refined. More specifically, it claims that the grammarian is defending a view which is in many respects similar to ‘higher-order theories’ of consciousness advanced by some contemporary philosophers of mind. In the second part, the paper (...)
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  • Culture and Cognitive Science.Andreas De Block & Daniel Kelly - 2022 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Human behavior and thought often exhibit a familiar pattern of within group similarity and between group difference. Many of these patterns are attributed to cultural differences. For much of the history of its investigation into behavior and thought, however, cognitive science has been disproportionately focused on uncovering and explaining the more universal features of human minds—or the universal features of minds in general. -/- This entry charts out the ways in which this has changed over recent decades. It sketches the (...)
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  • A Dialogue on Institutions.C. Mantzavinos - 2021 - Heidelberg, New York: Springer.
    This book consists of a dialogue between two interlocutors, Pablo and a student, who discuss a great range of issues in social philosophy and political theory, and in particular, the emergence, working properties and economic effects of institutions. It uses the dialogical form to make philosophy more accessible, but also to show how ideas develop through intellectual interaction. The fact that one of the interlocutors is the "student" in a place in the real world makes the dialogue quasi-fictive in character (...)
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  • Explaining Imagination.Peter Langland-Hassan - 2020 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    ​Imagination will remain a mystery—we will not be able to explain imagination—until we can break it into parts we already understand. Explaining Imagination is a guidebook for doing just that, where the parts are other ordinary mental states like beliefs, desires, judgments, and decisions. In different combinations and contexts, these states constitute cases of imagining. This reductive approach to imagination is at direct odds with the current orthodoxy, according to which imagination is a sui generis mental state or process—one with (...)
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  • A New Class of Fictional Truths.Hannah H. Kim - 2021 - The Philosophical Quarterly 72 (1):90-107.
    It is widely agreed that more is true in a work of fiction than explicitly said. In addition to directly stipulated fictional content (explicit truth), inference and background assumptions give us implicit truths. However, this taxonomy of fictional truths overlooks an important class of fictional truth: those generated by literary formal features. Fictional works generate fictional content by both semantic and formal means, and content arising from formal features such as italics or font size are neither explicit nor implicit: not (...)
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  • On Iconic-Discursive Representations: Do They Bring Us Closer to a Humean Representational Mind?Guillermo Lorenzo & Emilio Rubiera - 2019 - Biosemiotics 12 (3):423-439.
    This paper argues, contrary to Fodor’s well-known position, that the iconic and discursive modes of representation are not mutually exclusive categories. It is argued that there exists at least a third kind of representation which blends the semantic properties of icons and the syntactic properties of discourses. We reason that this iconic-discursive genus behaves differently from other representational formats, such as distributed representations or maps, previously put forward as challenging Fodor’s basic distinction. A reflection follows about how this kind of (...)
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  • The Dynamical Renaissance in Neuroscience.Luis H. Favela - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):2103-2127.
    Although there is a substantial philosophical literature on dynamical systems theory in the cognitive sciences, the same is not the case for neuroscience. This paper attempts to motivate increased discussion via a set of overlapping issues. The first aim is primarily historical and is to demonstrate that dynamical systems theory is currently experiencing a renaissance in neuroscience. Although dynamical concepts and methods are becoming increasingly popular in contemporary neuroscience, the general approach should not be viewed as something entirely new to (...)
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  • Metaplasticity and the Boundaries of Social Cognition: Exploring Scalar Transformations in Social Interaction and Intersubjectivity.Alexander Aston - 2019 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 18 (1):65-89.
    Through the application of Material Engagement Theory to enactivist analyses of social cognition, this paper seeks to examine the role of material culture in shaping the development of intersubjectivity and long-term scalar transformations in social interaction. The deep history of human sociality reveals a capacity for communities to self-organise at radically emergent scales across a variety of temporal and spatial ranges. This ability to generate and participate in heterogenous, multiscalar relationships and identities demonstrates the developmental plasticity of human intersubjectivity. Perhaps (...)
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  • Towards a Cognitive Neuroscience of Intentionality.Alex Morgan & Gualtiero Piccinini - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (1):119-139.
    We situate the debate on intentionality within the rise of cognitive neuroscience and argue that cognitive neuroscience can explain intentionality. We discuss the explanatory significance of ascribing intentionality to representations. At first, we focus on views that attempt to render such ascriptions naturalistic by construing them in a deflationary or merely pragmatic way. We then contrast these views with staunchly realist views that attempt to naturalize intentionality by developing theories of content for representations in terms of information and biological function. (...)
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  • The Dynamics of Group Cognition.S. Orestis Palermos - 2016 - Minds and Machines 26 (4):409-440.
    The aim of this paper is to demonstrate that the postulation of irreducible, distributed cognitive systems is necessary for the successful explanatory practice of cognitive science and sociology. Towards this end, and with an eye specifically on the phenomenon of distributed cognition, the debate over reductionism versus emergence is examined from the perspective of Dynamical Systems Theory. The motivation for this novel approach is threefold. Firstly, DST is particularly popular amongst cognitive scientists who work on modelling collective behaviors. Secondly, DST (...)
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  • Three Misconceptions Concerning Strong Embodiment.Liam P. Dempsey & Itay Shani - 2015 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 14 (4):827-849.
    The strong embodied mind thesis holds that the particular details of one’s embodiment shape the phenomenological and cognitive nature of one’s mind. On the face of it, this is an attractive thesis. Yet strong embodiment faces a number of challenges. In particular, there are three prominent misconceptions about the scope and nature of strong embodiment: 1) that it violates the supposed multiple realizability of mentality; 2) that it cannot accommodate mental representation; and 3) that it is inconsistent with the extended (...)
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  • There Are No I-Beliefs or I-Desires at Work in Fiction Consumption and This is Why.Peter Langland-Hassan - 2020 - In Explaining Imagination. Oxford: pp. 210-233.
    Currie’s (2010) argument that “i-desires” must be posited to explain our responses to fiction is critically discussed. It is argued that beliefs and desires featuring ‘in the fiction’ operators—and not sui generis imaginings (or "i-beliefs" or "i-desires")—are the crucial states involved in generating fiction-directed affect. A defense of the “Operator Claim” is mounted, according to which ‘in the fiction’ operators would be also be required within fiction-directed sui generis imaginings (or "i-beliefs" and "i-desires"), were there such. Once we appreciate that (...)
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  • Creativity.Peter Langland-Hassan - 2020 - In Explaining Imagination. Oxford: pp. 262-296.
    Comparatively easy questions we might ask about creativity are distinguished from the hard question of explaining transformative creativity. Many have focused on the easy questions, offering no reason to think that the imagining relied upon in creative cognition cannot be reduced to more basic folk psychological states. The relevance of associative thought processes to songwriting is then explored as a means for understanding the nature of transformative creativity. Productive artificial neural networks—known as generative antagonistic networks (GANs)—are a recent example of (...)
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  • Essential Laws. On Ideal Objects and Their Properties in Early Phenomenology.Guillaume Fréchette - 2015 - In Bruno Leclercq, Sebastien Richard & Denis Seron (eds.), Objects and Pseudo-Objects Ontological Deserts and Jungles From Brentano to Carnap. De Gruyter. pp. 143-166.
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  • Unawareness and Implicit Belief.Edward J. R. Elliott - manuscript
    Possible worlds models of belief have difficulties accounting for unawareness, the inability to entertain (and hence believe) certain propositions. Accommodating unawareness is important for adequately modelling epistemic states, and representing the informational content to which agents have in principle access given their explicit beliefs. In this paper, I develop a model of explicit belief, awareness, and informational content, along with an sound and complete axiomatisation. I furthermore defend the model against the seminal impossibility result of Dekel, Lipman and Rustichini, according (...)
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  • Mind and Object. An Essay on Intentionality.Patrik Engisch - 2017 - Dissertation, Université de Fribourg
    Provides a certain conception of the target of a theory of intentionality in terms of five properties (aboutness, non-existence, aspectuality, generality, and semantic normativity) and provides a guided tour of how different styles of theories of intentionality can meet up these requirements.
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  • Nonconscious Pain, Suffering, and Moral Status.Bernardo Aguilera - 2020 - Neuroethics 13 (3):337-345.
    Pain is an unwanted mental state that is often considered a sufficient ground for moral status. However, current science and philosophy of mind suggest that pains, like other perceptual states, might be nonconscious. This raises the questions of whether the notion of nonconscious pain is coherent and what its moral significance might be. In this paper I argue that the existence of nonconscious pain is conceptually coherent; however as a matter of fact our brains might always represent pains consciously. I (...)
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  • Learning, Institutions, and Economic Performance.C. Mantzavinos - 2004 - Perspectives on Politics 2:75-84.
    In this article, we provide a broad overview of the interplay among cognition, belief systems, and institutions, and how they affect economic performance. We argue that a deeper understanding of institutions’ emergence, their working properties, and their effect on economic and political outcomes should begin from an analysis of cognitive processes. We explore the nature of individual and collective learning, stressing that the issue is not whether agents are perfectly or boundedly rational, but rather how human beings actually reason and (...)
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  • The Place of Development in the History of Psychology and Cognitive Science.Gabriella Airenti - 2019 - Frontiers in Psychology 10.
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  • A Framework for Conscious Information Processing.Balaram Das - manuscript
    This paper exploits the fact that the variability in the inter-spike intervals, in the spike train issuing from a neuron, carries substantial information regarding the input to the neuron. A framework for neuronal information processing is proposed which utilizes the above fact to distinguish phenomenal from non-phenomenal mental representation. In the process, an explanation is offered as to what is it, in the nature of conscious mental states, that imparts them a subjective feeling – there is something it is like (...)
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  • Causal Theories of Mental Content: Where is the "Causal Element" and How Does It Make Intentionality Relational?Mindaugas Gilaitis - 2015 - Problemos 87:19-30.
    This paper has two interrelated aims. The primary aim is to specify the character of philosophical theories of mental content that are usually classified as ‘Causal Theories of Intentionality’, ‘Causal Theories of Representation’, or ‘Causal Theories of Mental Content’ (CTs). More specifically, the aim is to characterize the role and place of causation in philosophical reflections on the nature of mental content, as suggested by theories of this kind. Elucidation of the role of the concept of causation in CTs requires (...)
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  • Twardowski And Representationalism.Ryan Hickerson - 2008 - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 4.
    Normal.dotm 0 0 1 50 252 Kansas State University 4 1 352 12.0 0 false 18 pt 18 pt 0 0 false false false /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} My task in this paper is twofold. On the one hand, I want to provide an account of Twardowski’s treatment of content , as can be found in his book Zur Lehre vom Inhalt und (...)
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  • Metacognition and Reflection by Interdisciplinary Experts: Insights From Cognitive Science and Philosophy.Machiel Keestra - 2017 - Issues in Interdisciplinary Studies 35:121-169.
    Interdisciplinary understanding requires integration of insights from different perspectives, yet it appears questionable whether disciplinary experts are well prepared for this. Indeed, psychological and cognitive scientific studies suggest that expertise can be disadvantageous because experts are often more biased than non-experts, for example, or fixed on certain approaches, and less flexible in novel situations or situations outside their domain of expertise. An explanation is that experts’ conscious and unconscious cognition and behavior depend upon their learning and acquisition of a set (...)
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  • Semantic Internalism is a Mistake.Krystyna Bielecka - 2017 - Hybris. Internetowy Magazyn Filozoficzny 38:123-146.
    The concept of narrow content is still under discussion in the debate over mental representation. In the paper, one-factor dimensional accounts of representation are analyzed, particularly the case of Fodor's methodological solipsism. In methodological solipsism, semantic properties of content are arguably eliminated in favor of syntactic ones. If “narrow content” means content properties independent of external factors to a system (as in Segal's view), the concept of content becomes elusive. Moreover, important conceptual problems with one-factor dimensional account are pointed out (...)
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  • It Seems Like There Aren’T Any Seemings.T. Ryan Byerly - 2012 - Philosophia 40 (4):771-782.
    Abstract I argue that the two primary motivations in the literature for positing seemings as sui generis mental states are insufficient to motivate this view. Because of this, epistemological views which attempt to put seemings to work don’t go far enough. It would be better to do the same work by appealing to what makes seeming talk true rather than simply appealing to seeming talk. Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-12 DOI 10.1007/s11406-012-9363-8 Authors T. Ryan Byerly, Department of Philosophy, Baylor (...)
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  • Dependence Asymmetry Between Truth and Reality.Jiamin Yu - manuscript
    The thesis aims to account for the pre-theoretic intuition of asymmetric dependence between truth and reality, namely, the intuition that truth depends on reality, but reality doesn’t depend on truth. I start by delineating a framework to answer this question: according to this framework, a proper theory of dependence asymmetry should explain why truth depends on reality (truth-reality dependence) and why reality doesn’t depend on truth (asymmetry). There are two readings of the second requirement: a strong reading and a weak (...)
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  • Radicalizing Numerical Cognition.Karim Zahidi - 2020 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 1):529-545.
    In recent decades, non-representational approaches to mental phenomena and cognition have been gaining traction in cognitive science and philosophy of mind. In these alternative approach, mental representations either lose their central status or, in its most radical form, are banned completely. While there is growing agreement that non-representational accounts may succeed in explaining some cognitive capacities, there is widespread skepticism about the possibility of giving non-representational accounts of cognitive capacities such as memory, imagination or abstract thought. In this paper, I (...)
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  • Remembering Without Storing: Beyond Archival Models in the Science and Philosophy of Human Memory.Ian O'Loughlin - 2014 - Dissertation,
    Models of memory in cognitive science and philosophy have traditionally explained human remembering in terms of storage and retrieval. This tendency has been entrenched by reliance on computationalist explanations over the course of the twentieth century; even research programs that eschew computationalism in name, or attempt the revision of traditional models, demonstrate tacit commitment to computationalist assumptions. It is assumed that memory must be stored by means of an isomorphic trace, that memory processes must divide into conceptually distinct systems and (...)
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  • Phenomenal Intentionality and the Problem of Cognitive Contact.Christopher A. Young - unknown
    Part 1 of the thesis questions the traditional relation model of intentionality. After fixing reference on the target phenomenon, intentionality, and explaining my interest in it, I ask what sorts of things intentionality might be a relation to. I consider ordinary objects, properties, propositions and hybrid views, and conclude all make the intentional relation appear rather mysterious. From there, I move on to examine the relation view’s most prominent proponents, the tracking theorists—pointing out some challenges such views face, and concluding (...)
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  • Enactivism, Radical Enactivism and Predictive Processing: What is Radical in Cognitive Science?Robert W. Clowes & Klaus Gärtner - 2017 - Kairos 18 (1):54-83.
    According to Enactivism, cognition should be understood in terms of a dynamic interaction between an acting organism and its environment. Further, this view holds that organisms do not passively receive information from this environment, they rather selectively create this environment by engaging in interaction with the world. Radical Enactivism adds that basic cognition does so without entertaining representations and hence that representations are not an essential constituent of cognition. Some proponents think that getting rid of representations amounts to a revolutionary (...)
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  • Shannon + Friston = Content: Intentionality in Predictive Signaling Systems.Carrie Figdor - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):2793-2816.
    What is the content of a mental state? This question poses the problem of intentionality: to explain how mental states can be about other things, where being about them is understood as representing them. A framework that integrates predictive coding and signaling systems theories of cognitive processing offers a new perspective on intentionality. On this view, at least some mental states are evaluations, which differ in function, operation, and normativity from representations. A complete naturalistic theory of intentionality must account for (...)
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  • The Embedded View, its Critics, and a Radically Non-Representational Solution.Thomas van Es - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 1):195-211.
    Whether perception involves the manipulation of representations is currently heavily debated. The embedded view advanced by Nico Orlandi seeks a middle passage between representationalism and radical enactivism. In this paper I argue for a non-representational take on EV. I argue that this is the best way to resolve the objections EV has received from both representationalists and non-representationalists. I analyze this debate, and distinguish four sorts of objections: the objection of the wrongfully cut middleman, the argument against explanatory exclusionism, the (...)
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  • Can Theories of Mental Representation Adequately Explain Mental Imagery?Jelena Issajeva - 2020 - Foundations of Science 25 (2):341-355.
    Traditionally it is taken for granted that mental imagery is a mental representation of some kind or format. This yields that theory of MR can give an adequate and exhaustive explanation of MI. Such co-relation between the two is usually seen as unproblematic. But is it really so? This article aims at challenging the theoretical claim that the dominant ‘two-world’ account of MR can adequately explain MI. Contrary to the standard theory of MR, there are reasons to believe that: MI (...)
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  • Conscious Representations: An Intractable Problem for the Computational Theory of Mind.Bartlomiej Swiatczak - 2011 - Minds and Machines 21 (1):19-32.
    Advocates of the computational theory of mind claim that the mind is a computer whose operations can be implemented by various computational systems. According to these philosophers, the mind is multiply realisable because—as they claim—thinking involves the manipulation of syntactically structured mental representations. Since syntactically structured representations can be made of different kinds of material while performing the same calculation, mental processes can also be implemented by different kinds of material. From this perspective, consciousness plays a minor role in mental (...)
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  • Embodied Cognition: A Field Guide.Michael L. Anderson - 2003 - Artificial Intelligence 149 (1):91-130.
    The nature of cognition is being re-considered. Instead of emphasizing formal operations on abstract symbols, the new approach foregrounds the fact that cognition is, rather, a situated activity, and suggests that thinking beings ought therefore be considered first and foremost as acting beings. The essay reviews recent work in Embodied Cognition, provides a concise guide to its principles, attitudes and goals, and identifies the physical grounding project as its central research focus.
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  • Modelling Phenomena and Dynamic Logic of Phenomena.Boris Kovalerchuk, Leonid Perlovsky & Gregory Wheeler - 2012 - Journal of Applied Non-Classical Logics 22 (1-2):53-82.
    Modelling a complex phenomenon such as the mind presents tremendous computational complexity challenges. Modelling field theory addresses these challenges in a non-traditional way. The main idea behind MFT is to match levels of uncertainty of the model with levels of uncertainty of the evaluation criterion used to identify that model. When a model becomes more certain, then the evaluation criterion is adjusted dynamically to match that change to the model. This process is called the Dynamic Logic of Phenomena for model (...)
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  • La influencia epistemológica del modelo cartesiano de la mente en arqueología cognitiva.Alfredo Robles Zamora - 2019 - Límite: Revista de Filosofía y Psicología 14 (14).
    The aim of this work is to expose the Cartesian Model of the mind in Cognitive Archaeology and point out how it relates to the questions behind this branch of archaeology. Based on this, some of the premises assumed by the Cartesian Model and how they influence the formulation to the problem of epistemological relativism in the branch are explained. According to this problem, since there is no way to evaluate hypotheses in this research area, the investigations on cognition, based (...)
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  • Modeling of Phenomena and Dynamic Logic of Phenomena.Boris Kovalerchuk, Leonid Perlovsky & Gregory Wheeler - 2011 - Journal of Applied Non-Classical Logic 22 (1):1-82.
    Modeling a complex phenomena such as the mind presents tremendous computational complexity challenges. Modeling field theory (MFT) addresses these challenges in a non-traditional way. The main idea behind MFT is to match levels of uncertainty of the model (also, a problem or some theory) with levels of uncertainty of the evaluation criterion used to identify that model. When a model becomes more certain, then the evaluation criterion is adjusted dynamically to match that change to the model. This process is called (...)
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  • Modularity in Mathematics.Jeremy Avigad - 2020 - Review of Symbolic Logic 13 (1):47-79.
    In a wide range of fields, the word “modular” is used to describe complex systems that can be decomposed into smaller systems with limited interactions between them. This essay argues that mathematical knowledge can fruitfully be understood as having a modular structure and explores the ways in which modularity in mathematics is epistemically advantageous.
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