Book Chapter

Existentialism and Cognitive Science



Wheeler M & Di Paolo E (2011) Existentialism and Cognitive Science. In: Joseph F, Reynolds J & Woodward A (eds.) The Continuum Companion to Existentialism. Bloomsbury Companions. London: Continuum, pp. 241-259.

First paragraph: In the broadest possible terms, cognitive science is the multidisciplinary attempt to explain psychological phenomena in a wholly scientific manner. Exactly which disciplines count as members of the cognitive-scientific community remains, to some extent, an open question, partly because the mix of disciplines one thinks of as contributing to the overall project will ultimately reflect the specific theoretical outlook on mind, cognition and intelligence which one adopts. However, the interested bystander might typically glimpse some combination of artificial intelligence (including artificial life and certain areas of robotics), psychology (of various stripes), neuroscience, linguistics and philosophy. Traditionally, cognitive science has been dominated by the dual cognitivist principles of representationalism (intelligent systems work by building, storing and manipulating inner representations, where 'inner' standardly means 'realized in the brain') and computationalism (the processes by which those inner representations are built, stored and manipulated are computational in character). However, nonrepresentational and noncomputational approaches (e.g. some versions of the view that cognitive systems should be conceptualized as dynamical systems) are also part of the field's conceptual geography. (For a comprehensive philosophical introduction to cognitive science, see Clark 2001. For an unrivalled history, see Boden 2006.)

Title of seriesBloomsbury Companions
Publication date31/12/2011
Publisher URL…m-9780826438454/
Place of publicationLondon

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Professor Michael Wheeler

Professor Michael Wheeler

Professor, Philosophy