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[Xmca-l] Re: How embodied is Cognition?



Greg,
While reading about what Hutto and McGivern on “radical E-approaches to cognition I remembered reading a book by Esther Thelen and Linda Smith , A Dynamic Systems Approach to the Development of Cognition and Action (1994). Here are three quotes:
“We conclude here that, as all mental activity is emergent, situated, historical and embodied, there is in principle no difference between the processes engendering, walking, reaching, and looking for hidden objects and those resulting in mathematics and poetry.” (p. xxiii)

and

“Walking in intact animals is not controlled by an abstraction but in a continual dialogue with the periphery…What sculpts movement patterns are these peripheral demands, not cartoons of the movement that exist beforehand…Cats and humans do not walk in abstractions. They walk in a gravity-dominated, variable, and changing world for different functional purposes. “(p. 9)

and

“In chicks, as in frogs and humans, a dialogue with the periphery is an essential motor, driving developmental change.” (p. 19)


I wonder if Hutto and McGivern would call this radical.

Henry




> On Jan 6, 2015, at 10:36 AM, Greg Thompson <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> I thought this short article "How embodied is Cognition?" by Daniel Hutto
> might be a nice piece to bring together with the pre-frontal discussion in
> the other thread (not as counterpoint but as complement):
> 
> https://www.academia.edu/9614435/How_Embodied_Is_Cognition
> 
> Here is a teaser:
> "E is the letter, if not the word, in today’s sciences of mind. E
> adjectives proliferate. Nowadays it is hard to avoid claims that cognition
> – perceiving, imagining, decision-making, planning – is best understood in
> E terms of some sort. The list of E-terms is long: embodied, enactive,
> extended, embedded, ecological, engaged, emotional, expressive, emergent
> and so on. This short piece explains: the big idea behind this movement;
> how it is inspired by empirical findings; why it matters; and what
> questions the field will face in the future. It focuses on the stronger and
> weaker ways that..."
> -greg
> 
> -- 
> Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
> Assistant Professor
> Department of Anthropology
> 880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
> Brigham Young University
> Provo, UT 84602
> http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson