Sunday, March 21, 2010

Extended Cognition and Anderson's Embodied Cognition

Anderson (2005) claims that his embodied cognition approach foregrounds six ideas about cognition and evolution. To paraphrase, these ideas are that cognition has an evolutionary history, that cognition is an adaptation to specific environments in conjunction with specific organismal and environmental features, and that it builds on preexisting behaviors, instincts, needs, and purposes. Any debate over this version of embodied cognition seems to be orthogonal to the debates over the bounds of cognition.  So, for example, why not think that for most of history cognitive processing has taken place only in the central nervous system, but that that cognitive processing has an evolutionary history, that it is an adaptation, and that it builds on the pre-existing?

“How to Study the Mind: An Introduction to Embodied Cognition,” in F. Santoianni and C. Sabatano (eds), Brain Development in Learning Environments: Embodied and Perceptual Advancements, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 65-82

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