Dynamical explanation and mental representations

Trends in Cognitive Sciences 5 (4):141-142 (2001)
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Abstract

Markman and Dietrich1 recently recommended extending our understanding of representation to incorporate insights from some “alternative” theories of cognition: perceptual symbol systems, situated action, embodied cognition, and dynamical systems. In particular, they suggest that allowances be made for new types of representation which had been previously under-emphasized in cognitive science. The amendments they recommend are based upon the assumption that the alternative positions each agree with the classical view that cognition requires representations, internal mediating states that bear information.2 In the case of one of the alternatives, dynamical systems3, this is simply false: many dynamically-oriented cognitive scientists are anti-representationalists.4,5,6

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Anthony Chemero
University of Cincinnati

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