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Browsing by Author "Calonius, Lauri"

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  • Calonius, Lauri (2013)
    The thesis examines positions that do not restrict cognition and the mind solely to the brain and its neuronal processes. The examination is framed in terms of what it means to say that cognition is embodied, embedded, enactive, extended and distributed (4ED). Four research questions guide this exploration: I) What are the theoretical commitments the different accounts of cognition in 4ED hold on to and how do these relate to each other? II) (Why) should distributed cognition be added with the rest of the 4E accounts? III) What critique does 4ED face and how does providing a mark of the cognitive affect both the proponents as well as the opponents of 4ED? IV) How does the notion of cognitive agency figure in the 4ED approach(es) to cognition? The methodology of the thesis is a comparative and critical study of the source literature. The literature is wideranging and substantive. It expands the fields of philosophy, cognitive science, psychology and artificial intelligence among others. The main authors under study include Andy Clark, Francisco Varela, Ezequiel Di Paolo, Alva Noë, Edwin Hutchins, David Kirsh, John Sutton, Richard Menary, Michael Wheeler, Fred Adams, Kenneth Aizawa, ja Robert Rupert. In addition to the aforementioned authors other sources relevant for the development and refinement of 4ED are examined. The examination is systematic and runs through eight chapters. Chapter one is the introduction that sets out the theoretical background, structure and the aim of the thesis. Chapters 2 5 are dedicated to the presentation of the different approaches to cognition under study. Chapter six is dedicated to the critical analysis of the approaches and the examination of some of the challenges that have been raised against the different approaches to cognition. Chapter seven looks into a more detailed question and aims to clarify the way the approaches conceive cognitive agency. Chapter eight is the concluding chapter that ties the thesis together, clarifies the main issues and gestures at possible future research in the form of open questions that have risen. The thesis uncovers the theoretical commitments the different unorthodox approaches to cognition have. In doing this it also illustrates their important similarities and differences. The study also shows how the orthodox conception of cognition that conceives it essentially as a neuronal process bounded by the head is pushed to take part in the debate on equal ground with the unorthodox positions. In general then the thesis points to the importance of a better understanding of the unorthodox approaches to cognition as a means to a greater overall understanding of the nature of cognition and its place in the world.