Models and minds

In Robert E. Cummins & John L. Pollock (eds.), Philosophy and AI. Cambridge: MIT Press. pp. 215--259 (1991)
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Abstract

Cognitive agents, whether human or computer, that engage in natural-language discourse and that have beliefs about the beliefs of other cognitive agents must be able to represent objects the way they believe them to be and the way they believe others believe them to be. They must be able to represent other cognitive agents both as objects of beliefs and as agents of beliefs. They must be able to represent their own beliefs, and they must be able to represent beliefs as objects of beliefs. These requirements raise questions about the number of tokens of the belief representation language needed to represent believers and propositions in their normal roles and in their roles as objects of beliefs. In this paper, we explicate the relations among nodes, mental tokens, concepts, actual objects, concepts in the belief spaces of an agent and the agent's model of other agents, concepts of other cognitive agents, and propositions. We extend, deepen, and clarify our theory of intensional knowledge representation for natural-language processing, as presented in previous papers and in light of objections raised by others. The essential claim is that tokens in a knowledge-representation system represent only intensions and not extensions. We are pursuing this investigation by building CASSIE, a computer model of a cognitive agent and, to the extent she works, a cognitive agent herself. CASSIE's mind is implemented in the SNePS knowledge-representation and reasoning system.

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William J. Rapaport
State University of New York, Buffalo

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