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Embodied Cognition: A field guide

Embodied Cognition: A field guide,10.1016/S0004-3702(03)00054-7,Artificial Intelligence,Michael L. Anderson

Embodied Cognition: A field guide   (Citations: 167)
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The nature of cognition is being re-considered. Instead of emphasizing formal operations on abstract symbols, the new approach foregrounds the fact that cognition is, rather, a situated activity, and suggests that thinking beings ought therefore be considered first and foremost as acting beings. The essay reviews recent work in Embodied Cognition, provides a concise guide to its principles, attitudes and goals, and identifies the physical grounding project as its central research focus.  2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. For over fifty years in philosophy, and for perhaps fifteen in Artificial Intelligence and related disciplines, there has been a re-thinking of the nature of cognition. Instead of emphasizing formal operations on abstract symbols, this new approach focuses attention on the fact that most real-world thinking occurs in very particular (and often very complex) environments, is employed for very practical ends, and exploits the possibility of interaction with and manipulation of external props. It thereby foregrounds the fact that cognition is a highly embodied or situated activity—emphasis intentionally on all three— and suggests that thinking beings ought therefore be considered first and foremost as acting beings. This shift in focus from Descartes' "thinking thing", and the picture of human being and subjectivity it suggests, to a more Heideggerian approach to being in the world, in which agency and interactive coping occupy center stage, is an extremely important development, the implications of which are only just beginning to be fathomed. Very recently a number of books have appeared which detail this shift, and explore in various ways these implications.1 I have selected three of them to discuss in detail here: Cambrian Intelligence by Rodney Brooks (15); Philosophy in the Fleshby George Lakoff and Mark
Journal: Artificial Intelligence - AI , vol. 149, no. 1, pp. 91-130, 2003
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