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



Mike,
That’s what I thought. I especially like the image of “dialogue with the periphery” as “the motor driving developmental change” of all living things, all of creation really, as Darwin sees it. Reaching out. Call and response. Not just embodied, but agency, actively seeking connection temporally and spatially. I love Hutto and and McGivern’s final paragraph:

"Given these challenges it is important to note that radical E-approaches are often motivated by a deeper philosophical concern. There are serious grounds for thinking that we may never get a convincing explanation of how content-bearing mental representations fit into the natural order – not even at the end of science. On standard realistic assumptions, if this turns out to be true – barring mysterianism – this gives us reason to be skeptical about the existence of mental representations and the idea that they play a part in causally explaining behavior. However, mental representations might be understood literally or fictionally. This opens up the possibility that even if mental representations do not, in fact, literally exist, positing them may still play some other crucial explanatory role in our accounts of cognition. However, its proponents encounter other powerful worries – such as explaining what ultimately grounds the content of the models that posit mental representations if not mental representations.”

This, it seems to me, isn’t where science ends, but where science and art blend in creativity. Is this radical? “Mysterianism”?   

Henry


 
> On Jan 6, 2015, at 10:17 PM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
> 
> This part sure sounds radical, Henry:
> 
> in principle no difference between the processes engendering, walking,
> reaching, and looking for hidden objects and those resulting in mathematics
> and poetry.” (p. xxiii)
> 
> On Tue, Jan 6, 2015 at 2:17 PM, HENRY SHONERD <hshonerd@gmail.com> wrote:
> 
>> 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
>> 
>> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science as an object
> that creates history. Ernst Boesch.