Thursday, 29 January 2015

In the blog post The Extended Breath, Paul Thagard makes a parodic attack on the 4 E’s of contemporary cognitive science and philosophy of mind [embedded, embodied, extended and enactive] by soliciting us to consider, not the conceptualisation of mind as an extended phenomenon, but rather, the breath.

Although challenging all the E’s as one is always going to be overly ambitious, as a piece of parody Thagard’s post is certainly effective. The ridiculousness of his claim, and the apparent ridiculousness of the philosophical position it apparently extolls emerge quite brilliantly as the writing proceeds.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Mainstream experimental psychology; should it be more critical?

I feel there are constant warnings against false dichotomies in psychology, such as nurture versus nature, or that the individual and social binary is extremely fuzzy. Simplistic approaches that attempt to explain human cognition such as perception, based on experiments that measure stimulus response, are extremely reductive. Dewey's paper brilliantly illustrates this. Furthermore, any given theory has underlying assumptions and any research that attempts to provide evidence should be clear about those assumptions.

Monday, 26 January 2015

The Extended Mind - Clark & Chalmers 1998

The first section of the The Extended Mind  argues that cognition can be extended beyond the individual through the use of tools such as pen, paper and computers in coupled systems. The major advances in computing, since this article was written, have provided tools that are easily accepted as extensions to visual and audio processing, memory, problem solving, learning and other cognitive processes. The tools are active in what is described as active externalism. Our cognitive processes are improved substantially through the use of these computer extensions. It is as if some cognitive abilities were transferred into these tools by the hardware and software engineers who created them.  Similarly, the pen and paper only participate in cognition once we transfer some of our cognition to them during the process of writing. 

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Fred's Sample Test Post


This is an example of how your test post should look.  There is text, of course, and for now we don't care about the content of your test.  You should provide a link to a pdf file.  Here for example is a link to The Extended Mind article to be read for next week. Notice I did not put an ugly, bare URL.  Instead, I made some clickable text.   This paragraph is the opening paragraph.  There will be more content, which you get to by clicking on the "Read more" button.