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Abstract: The situated cognition movement has emerged in recent decades (although it has roots in psychologists working earlier in the 20th century including Vygotsky, Bartlett, and Dewey) largely in reaction to an approach to explaining cognition that tended to ignore the context in which cognitive activities typically occur. Fodor’s (1980) account of the research strategy of methodological solipsism, according to which only representational states within the mind are viewed as playing causal roles in producing cognitive activity, is an extreme characterization of this approach. (As Keith Gunderson memorably commented when Fodor first presented this characterization, it amounts to reversing behaviorism by construing the mind as a white box in a black world). Critics as far back as the 1970s and 1980s objected to many experimental paradigms in cognitive psychology as not being ecologically valid; that is, they maintained that the findings only applied to the artificial circumstances created in the laboratory and did not generalize to real world settings (Neisser, 1976; 1987). The situated cognition movement, however, goes much further than demanding ecologically valid experiments—it insists that an agent’s cognitive activities are inherently embedded and supported by dynamic interactions with the agent’s body and features of its environment
Abstract: Cognitive science, as an interdisciplinary school of thought, may have recently moved beyond the bandwagon stage onto the throne of orthodoxy, but it does not make a favorable first impression on many people. Familiar reactions on first encounters range from revulsion to condescending dismissal--very few faces in the crowd light up with the sense of "Aha! So that's how the mind works! Of course!" Cognitive science leaves something out, it seems; moreover, what it apparently leaves out is important, even precious. Boiled down to its essence, cognitive science proclaims that in one way or another our minds are computers, and this seems so mechanistic, reductionistic, intellectualistic, dry, philistine, unbiological. It leaves out emotion, or what philosophers call qualia, or value, or mattering, or . . . the soul. It doesn't explain what minds are so much as attempt to explain minds away
Abstract: Our focus in the article is to introduce a simple methodology of generating teaching-learning sequences using the semantic network techinque, followed by the emergent properties of such a network and their implications for the teaching-learning process (didactics) with marginal notes on epistemological implications. A collaborative portal for teachers, which publishes a network of prerequisites for teaching/learning any concept or an activity is introduced. The article ends with an appeal to the global community to contribute prerequisites of any subject to complete the global roadmap for an altas being built on similar lines as Wikipedia. The portal is launched and waiting for community participation at http://www.gnowledge.org.
Abstract: Much of traditional AI exemplifies the explicit representation paradigm, and during the late 1980''s a heated debate arose between the classical and connectionist camps as to whether beliefs and rules receive an explicit or implicit representation in human cognition. In a recent paper, Kirsh (1990) questions the coherence of the fundamental distinction underlying this debate. He argues that our basic intuitions concerning explicit and implicit representations are not only confused but inconsistent. Ultimately, Kirsh proposes a new formulation of the distinction, based upon the criterion ofconstant time processing.The present paper examines Kirsh''s claims. It is argued that Kirsh fails to demonstrate that our usage of explicit and implicit is seriously confused or inconsistent. Furthermore, it is argued that Kirsh''s new formulation of the explicit-implicit distinction is excessively stringent, in that it banishes virtually all sentences of natural language from the realm of explicit representation. By contrast, the present paper proposes definitions for explicit and implicit which preserve most of our strong intuitions concerning straightforward uses of these terms. It is also argued that the distinction delineated here sustains the meaningfulness of the abovementioned debate between classicists and connectionists
Abstract: Explicitness has usually been approached from two points of view, labelled by Kirsh the structural and the process view, that hold opposite assumptions to determine when information is explicit. In this paper, we offer an intermediate view that retains intuitions from both of them. We establish three conditions for explicit information that preserve a structural requirement, and a notion of explicitness as a continuous dimension. A problem with the former accounts was their disconnection with psychological work on the issue. We review studies by Karmiloff-Smith, and Shanks and St. John to show that the proposed conditions have psychological grounds. Finally, we examine the problem of explicit rules in connectionist systems in the light of our framework
Abstract: Unifying traditional cognitive science is the idea that thinking is a process of symbol manipulation, where symbols lead both a syntactic and a semantic life. The syntax of a symbol comprises those properties in virtue of which the symbol undergoes rule-dictated transformations. The semantics of a symbol constitute the symbolsÕ meaning or representational content. Thought consists in the syntactically determined manipulation of symbols, but in a way that respects their semantics. Thus, for instance, a calculating computer sensitive only to the shape of symbols might produce the symbol Ô5Õ in response to the inputs Ô2Õ, Ô+Õ, and Ô3Õ. As far as the computer is concerned, these symbols have no meaning, but because of its program it will produce outputs that, to the user, Òmake senseÓ given the meanings the user attributes to the symbols
Abstract: I examine whether it is possible for content relevant to a computer''s behavior to be carried without an explicit internal representation. I consider three approaches. First, an example of a chess playing computer carrying emergent content is offered from Dennett. Next I examine Cummins response to this example. Cummins says Dennett''s computer executes a rule which is inexplicitly represented. Cummins describes a process wherein a computer interprets explicit rules in its program, implements them to form a chess-playing device, then this device executes the rules in a way that exhibits them inexplicitly. Though this approach is intriguing, I argue that the chess-playing device cannot exist as imagined. The processes of interpretation and implementation produce explicit representations of the content claimed to be inexplicit. Finally, the Chinese Room argument is examined and shown not to save the notion of inexplicit information. This means the strategy of attributing inexplicit content to a computer which is executing a rule, fails
Abstract: The self-advertising, at least, suggests that 'situated cognition' involves the most fundamental conceptual re-organization in AI and cognitive science, even appearing to deny that cognition is to be explained by mental representations. In their defence of the orthodox symbolic representational theory, A. Vera and H. Simon (1993) have rebutted many of these claims, but they overlook an important reading of situated arguments which may, after all, involve a revolutionary insight. I show that the whole debate turns on puzzles familiar from the history of philosophy and psychology and these may serve to clarify the current disputes
Abstract: Does self?knowledge help? A rationalist, presumably, thinks that it does: both that self?knowledge is possible and that, if gained through appropriate channels, it is desirable. Descartes notoriously claimed that, with appropriate methods of enquiry, each of his readers could become an expert on herself or himself. As well as the direct, first?person knowledge of self to which we are led in the Meditationes , we can also seek knowledge of our own bodies, and of the union of our minds and our bodies: the latter forms of self?knowledge are inevitably imperfect, but are no less important in guiding our conduct in the search after truth