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Advances in Cognitive Systems
Samia Nefti
The Institution of Engineering and Technology, 2010
This book has been inspired by the portfolio of recent scientific outputs from a range of European and national research initiatives in cognitive science. It presents an overview of recent developments in cognition research and unites the various emerging research strands within a single text as a reference point for progress in the subject. It also provides guidance for new researchers on the breadth of the field and the interconnections between the various research strands identified here.
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The Cognitive Paradigm
Marc De Mey
University of Chicago Press, 1992
In this study of the cognitive paradigm, De Mey applies the study of computer models of human perception to the philosophy and sociology of science.

"A most stimulating, and intellectually delightful book."—John Goldsmith

"[De Mey] has brought together an unusually wide range of material, and suggested some interesting lines of thought, about what should be an important application of cognitive science: The understanding of science itself."—Cognition and Brain Theory

"It ought to be on the shelf of every teacher and researcher in the field and on the reading list of any student or practitioner seriously interested in how those they serve are likely to set about knowing."—ISIS
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Cognitive Science, Religion, and Theology
From Human Minds to Divine Minds
Justin L. Barrett
Templeton Press, 2011
Cognitive Science, Religion, and Theology is the eighth title published in the Templeton Science and Religion Series, in which scientists from a wide range of fields distill their experience and knowledge into brief tours of their respective specialties. In this volume, well-known cognitive scientist Justin L. Barrett offers an accessible overview of this interdisciplinary field, reviews key findings in this area, and discusses the implications of these findings for religious thought and practice.
 
Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary study of minds and mental activity, and as such, it addresses a fundamental feature of what it is to be human. Further, as religious traditions concern ideas and beliefs about the nature of humans, the nature of the world, and the nature of the divine, cognitive science can contribute directly and indirectly to these theological concerns. Barrett shows how direct contributions come from the growing area called cognitive science of religion (CSR), which investigates how human cognitive systems inform and constrain religious thought, experience, and expression. CSR attempts to answer questions such as: Why do humans tend to be religious? And why are specific ideas (e.g., the possibility of an afterlife) so cross-culturally recurrent? Barrett also covers the indirect implications that cognitive science has for theology, such as human similarities and differences with the animal world, freedom and determinism, and the relationship between minds and bodies.
 
Cognitive Science, Religion, and Theology critically reviews the research on these fascinating questions and discusses the many implications that arise from them. In addition, this short volume also offers suggestions for future research, making it ideal not only for those looking for an overview of the field thus far but also for those seeking a glimpse of where the field might be going in the future.
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The Computer and the Mind
An Introduction to Cognitive Science
Philip Johnson-Laird
Harvard University Press, 1988

In a field choked with seemingly impenetrable jargon, Philip N. Johnson-Laird has done the impossible: written a book about how the mind works that requires no advance knowledge of artificial intelligence, neurophysiology, or psychology. The mind, he says, depends on the brain in the same way as the execution of a program of symbolic instructions depends on a computer, and can thus be understood by anyone willing to start with basic principles of computation and follow his step-by-step explanations.

The author begins with a brief account of the history of psychology and the birth of cognitive science after World War II. He then describes clearly and simply the nature of symbols and the theory of computation, and follows with sections devoted to current computational models of how the mind carries out all its major tasks, including visual perception, learning, memory, the planning and control of actions, deductive and inductive reasoning, and the formation of new concepts and new ideas. Other sections discuss human communication, meaning, the progress that has been made in enabling computers to understand natural language, and finally the difficult problems of the conscious and unconscious mind, free will, needs and emotions, and self-awareness. In an envoi, the author responds to the critics of cognitive science and defends the computational view of the mind as an alternative to traditional dualism: cognitive science integrates mind and matter within the same explanatory framework.

This first single-authored introduction to cognitive science will command the attention of students of cognitive science at all levels including psychologists, linguists, computer scientists, philosophers, and neuroscientists--as well as all readers curious about recent knowledge on how the mind works.

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Conversations on Cognitive Cultural Studies
Literature, Language, and Aesthetics
Frederick Luis Aldama and Patrick Colm Hogan
The Ohio State University Press, 2014
In recent years, few areas of research have advanced as rapidly as cognitive science, the study of the human mind and brain. A fundamentally interdisciplinary field, cognitive science has both inspired and been advanced by work in the arts and humanities. In Conversations on Cognitive Cultural Studies: Literature, Language, and Aesthetics, Frederick Luis Aldama and Patrick Colm Hogan, two of the most prominent experts on the intersection of mind, brain, and culture, engage each other in a lively dialog that sets out the foundations of a cognitive neuroscientific approach to literature. Despite their shared premises, Aldama and Hogan differ—sometimes sharply—on key issues; their discussion therefore presents the reader not with a single doctrine, but with options for consideration—an appropriate result in this dynamic field.
 
With clarity and learning, Aldama and Hogan consider five central topics at the intersection of literature and cognitive science. They begin with the fundamental question of the nature of the self. From here, they turn to language, communication, and thought before moving on to the central issue of the structure and operation of narrative. The book concludes with thought-provoking explorations of aesthetics and politics. Illustrating their arguments with work that ranges from graphic fiction and popular cinema to William Faulkner and Bertolt Brecht, Aldama and Hogan leave the reader with a clear sense of what cognitive cultural studies have already achieved and the significant promise the discipline holds for the future.
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The Intellective Space
Thinking beyond Cognition
Laurent Dubreuil
University of Minnesota Press, 2015

The Intellective Space explores the nature and limits of thought. It celebrates the poetic virtues of language and the creative imperfections of our animal minds while pleading for a renewal of the humanities that is grounded in a study of the sciences.

According to Laurent Dubreuil, we humans both say more than we think and think more than we say. Dubreuil’s particular interest is the intellective space, a space where thought and knowledge are performed and shared. For Dubreuil, the term “cognition” refers to the minimal level of our mental operations. But he suggests that for humans there is an excess of cognition due to our extensive processing necessary for verbal language, brain dynamics, and social contexts. In articulating the intellective, Dubreuil includes “the productive undoing of cognition.”

Dubreuil grants that cognitive operations take place and that protocols of experimental psychology, new techniques of neuroimagery, and mathematical or computerized models provide access to a certain understanding of thought. But he argues that there is something in thinking that bypasses cognitive structures. Seeking to theorize with the sciences, the book’s first section develops the “intellective hypothesis” and points toward the potential journey of ideas going beyond cognition, after and before computation. The second part, “Animal Meditations,” pursues some of the consequences of this hypothesis with regard to the disparaged but enduring project of metaphysics, with its emphasis on categories such as reality, humanness, and the soul.

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Mental Models
Towards a Cognitive Science of Language, Inference, and Consciousness
Philip Johnson-Laird
Harvard University Press, 1983

Mental Models offers nothing less than a unified theory of the major properties of mind: comprehension, inference, and consciousness. In spirited and graceful prose, Johnson-Laird argues that we apprehend the world by building inner mental replicas of the relations among objects and events that concern us. The mind is essentially a model-building device that can itself be modeled on a digital computer. This book provides both a blueprint for building such a model and numerous important illustrations of how to do it.

In several key areas of cognition, Johnson-Laird shows how an explanation based on mental modeling is clearly superior to previous theory. For example, he argues compellingly that deductive reasoning does not take place by tacitly applying the rules of logic, but by mentally manipulating models of the states of affairs from which inferences are drawn. Similarly, linguistic comprehension is best understood not as a matter of applying inference rules to propositions derived from sentences, but rather as the mind's effort to construct and update a model of the situation described by a text or a discourse. Most provocative, perhaps, is Johnson-Laird's theory of consciousness: the mind's necessarily incomplete model of itself allows only a partial control over the many unconscious and parallel processes of cognition.

This an extraordinarily rich book, providing a coherent account of much recent experimental work in cognitive psychology, along with lucid explanations of relevant theory in linguistics, computer science, and philosophy Not since Miller, Galanter, and Pribram's classic Plans and the Structure of Behavior has a book in cognitive science combined such sweep, style, and good sense. Like its distinguished predecessor, Mental Models may well serve to fix a point of view for a generation.

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Morality for Humans
Ethical Understanding from the Perspective of Cognitive Science
Mark Johnson
University of Chicago Press, 2014
What is the difference between right and wrong? This is no easy question to answer, yet we constantly try to make it so, frequently appealing to some hidden cache of cut-and-dried absolutes, whether drawn from God, universal reason, or societal authority. Combining cognitive science with a pragmatist philosophical framework in Morality for Humans: Ethical Understanding from the Perspective of Cognitive Science, Mark Johnson argues that appealing solely to absolute principles and values is not only scientifically unsound but even morally suspect. He shows that the standards for the kinds of people we should be and how we should treat one another—which we often think of as universal—are in fact frequently subject to change. And we should be okay with that. Taking context into consideration, he offers a remarkably nuanced, naturalistic view of ethics that sees us creatively adapt our standards according to given needs, emerging problems, and social interactions.
           
Ethical naturalism is not just a revamped form of relativism. Indeed, Johnson attempts to overcome the absolutist-versus-relativist impasse that has been one of the most intractable problems in the history of philosophy. He does so through a careful and inclusive look at the many ways we reason about right and wrong. Much of our moral thought, he shows, is automatic and intuitive, gut feelings that we follow up and attempt to justify with rational analysis and argument. However, good moral deliberation is not limited merely to intuitive judgments supported after the fact by reasoning. Johnson points out a crucial third element: we imagine how our decisions will play out, how we or the world would change with each action we might take. Plumbing this imaginative dimension of moral reasoning, he provides a psychologically sophisticated view of moral problem solving, one perfectly suited for the embodied, culturally embedded, and ever-developing human creatures that we are.
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Narrative Theory and the Cognitive Sciences
Edited by David Herman
CSLI, 2003
Research on human intelligence has postulated that studying the structure and use of stories can provide important insight into the roots of self and the nature of thinking. In that spirit, this volume focuses on narrative as a crossroads where cognitive and social psychology, linguistics, literary theory, and the recent hybrid called "cognitive narratology" intersect, suggesting new directions for the cognitive sciences. The ideas contained here demonstrate the importance of narrative as a cognitive style, a genre of discourse, and a resource for literary writing and other forms of communication.
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Network Aesthetics
Patrick Jagoda
University of Chicago Press, 2016
The term “network” is now applied to everything from the Internet to terrorist-cell systems. But the word’s ubiquity has also made it a cliché, a concept at once recognizable yet hard to explain. Network Aesthetics, in exploring how popular culture mediates our experience with interconnected life, reveals the network’s role as a way for people to construct and manage their world—and their view of themselves.

Each chapter considers how popular media and artistic forms make sense of decentralized network metaphors and infrastructures. Patrick Jagoda first examines narratives from the 1990s and 2000s, including the novel Underworld, the film Syriana, and the television series The Wire, all of which play with network forms to promote reflection on domestic crisis and imperial decline in contemporary America. Jagoda then looks at digital media that are interactive, nonlinear, and dependent on connected audiences to show how recent approaches, such as those in the videogame Journey, open up space for participatory and improvisational thought.

Contributing to fields as diverse as literary criticism, digital studies, media theory, and American studies, Network Aesthetics brilliantly demonstrates that, in today’s world, networks are something that can not only be known, but also felt, inhabited, and, crucially, transformed.
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On Consciousness
Ted Honderich
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2004

Where does consciousness exist? In the mind? In the external world? On Consciousness features the most up-to-date considerations of the subject by the internationally renowned philosopher Ted Honderich. In this series of meditations, he systematically contemplates the very nature of consciousness as well as the separate question of how consciousness is related to the brain.

His careful, if not conventional, argument begins with Anomalous Monism, a doctrine that holds that mind and brain are one thing with two kinds of properties not lawfully connected. Honderich goes on to consider the thinking of neuroscientists and functionalists who suppose conscious events are caught for us by their causes and effects. He reconsiders humble truths about the mind as well as his own Union Theory, and the anti-individualism that disconnects the mind from the brain.

Honderich examines each of these beliefs in terms of whether they satisfy agreed criteria for acceptable accounts of consciousness. Because each is found wanting, he puts forth a radically new theory of consciousness as experience. Rather than explaining consciousness in terms of awareness, he develops a new kind of materialism, which transcends the traditional labels given to it by philosophers.

On Consciousness respects the most resilient proposition in the history of the philosophy of mind-that consciousness is not just cellular. Honderich's concept of perceptual consciousness consists in a world that is not merely mental, for it is spatial and contains physical objects. This shift to a near-physicalism asserts that all of consciousness is open to science. Proceeding logically through his arguments, Honderich offers a clearly written, refreshing dose of persuasive realism.

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The Open Mind
Cold War Politics and the Sciences of Human Nature
Jamie Cohen-Cole
University of Chicago Press, 2013
The Open Mind chronicles the development and promulgation of a scientific vision of the rational, creative, and autonomous self, demonstrating how this self became a defining feature of Cold War culture. Jamie Cohen-Cole illustrates how from 1945 to 1965 policy makers and social critics used the idea of an open-minded human nature to advance centrist politics. They reshaped intellectual culture and instigated nationwide educational reform that promoted more open, and indeed more human, minds. The new field of cognitive science was central to this project, as it used popular support for open-mindedness to overthrow the then-dominant behaviorist view that the mind either could not be studied scientifically or did not exist. Cognitive science also underwrote the political implications of the open mind by treating it as the essential feature of human nature.     
           
While the open mind unified America in the first two decades after World War II, between 1965 and 1975 battles over the open mind fractured American culture as the ties between political centrism and the scientific account of human nature began to unravel. During the late 1960s, feminists and the New Left repurposed Cold War era psychological tools to redefine open-mindedness as a characteristic of left-wing politics. As a result, once-liberal intellectuals became neoconservative, and in the early 1970s, struggles against open-mindedness gave energy and purpose to the right wing.
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Perspectives on Contexts
Edited by Paolo Bouquet, Luciano Serafini, and Richmond H. Thomason
CSLI, 2008

Most human thinking is thoroughly informed by context but, until recently, theories of reasoning have concentrated on abstract rules and generalities that make no reference to this crucial factor. Perspectives on Contexts brings together essays from leading cognitive scientists to forge a vigorous interdisciplinary understanding of the contextual phenomenon. Applicable to human and machine cognition in philosophy, artificial intelligence, and psychology, this volume is essential to the current renaissance in thinking about context.

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Rules, Reason, and Self-Knowledge
Julia Tanney
Harvard University Press, 2012

Julia Tanney offers a sustained criticism of today’s canon in philosophy of mind, which conceives the workings of the rational mind as the outcome of causal interactions between mental states that have their bases in the brain. With its roots in physicalism and functionalism, this widely accepted view provides the philosophical foundation for the cardinal tenet of the cognitive sciences: that cognition is a form of information-processing. Rules, Reason, and Self-Knowledge presents a challenge not only to the cognitivist approach that has dominated philosophy and the special sciences for the last fifty years but, more broadly, to metaphysical-empirical approaches to the study of the mind.

Responding to a tradition that owes much to the writings of Davidson, early Putnam, and Fodor, Tanney challenges this orthodoxy on its own terms. In untangling its internal inadequacies, starting with the paradoxes of irrationality, she arrives at a view these philosophers were keen to rebut—one with affinities to the work of Ryle and Wittgenstein and all but invisible to those working on the cutting edge of analytic philosophy and mind research today. This is the view that rational explanations are embedded in “thick” descriptions that are themselves sophistications upon ever ascending levels of discourse, or socio-linguistic practices.

Tanney argues that conceptual cartography rather than metaphysical-scientific explanation is the basic tool for understanding the nature of the mind. Rules, Reason, and Self-Knowledge clears the path for a return to the world-involving, circumstance-dependent, normative practices where the rational mind has its home.

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Semantic Properties of Diagrams and Their Cognitive Potentials
Atsushi Shimojima
CSLI, 2015
Why are diagrams sometimes so useful, facilitating our understanding and thinking, while at other times they can be unhelpful and even misleading? Drawing on a comprehensive survey of modern research in philosophy, logic, artificial intelligence, cognitive psychology, and graphic design, Semantic Properties of Diagrams and Their Cognitive Potentials reveals the systematic reasons for this dichotomy, showing that the cognitive functions of diagrams are rooted in the characteristic ways they carry information. In analyzing the logical mechanisms behind the relative efficacy of diagrammatic representation, Atsushi Shimojima provides deep insight into the crucial question: What makes a diagram a diagram?
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Toward a Cognitive Theory of Narrative Acts
Edited by Frederick Luis Aldama
University of Texas Press, 2010

Toward a Cognitive Theory of Narrative Acts brings together in one volume cutting-edge research that turns to recent findings in cognitive and neurobiological sciences, psychology, linguistics, philosophy, and evolutionary biology, among other disciplines, to explore and understand more deeply various cultural phenomena, including art, music, literature, and film. The essays fulfilling this task for the general reader as well as the specialist are written by renowned authors H. Porter Abbott, Patrick Colm Hogan, Suzanne Keen, Herbert Lindenberger, Lisa Zunshine, Katja Mellman, Lalita Pandit Hogan, Klarina Priborkin, Javier Gutiérrez-Rexach, Ellen Spolsky, and Richard Walsh. Among the works analyzed are plays by Samuel Beckett, novels by Maxine Hong Kingston, music compositions by Igor Stravinsky, art by Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin, and films by Michael Haneke. Each of the essays shows in a systematic, clear, and precise way how music, art, literature, and film work in and of themselves and also how they are interconnected. Finally, while each of the essays is unique in style and methodological approach, together they show the way toward a unified knowledge of artistic creativity.

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Unified Theories of Cognition
Allen Newell
Harvard University Press, 1990

Psychology is now ready for unified theories of cognition—so says Allen Newell, a leading investigator in computer science and cognitive psychology. Not everyone will agree on a single set of mechanisms that will explain the full range of human cognition, but such theories are within reach and we should strive to articulate them.

In this book, Newell makes the case for unified theories by setting forth a candidate. After reviewing the foundational concepts of cognitive science—knowledge, representation, computation, symbols, architecture, intelligence, and search—Newell introduces Soar, an architecture for general cognition. A pioneer system in artificial intelligence, Soar is the first problem solver to create its own subgoals and learn continuously from its own experience.

Newell shows how Soar’s ability to operate within the real-time constraints of intelligent behavior, such as immediate-response and item-recognition tasks, illustrates important characteristics of the human cognitive structure. Throughout, Soar remains an exemplar: we know only enough to work toward a fully developed theory of cognition, but Soar’s success so far establishes the viability of the enterprise.

Given its integrative approach, Unified Theories of Cognition will be of tremendous interest to researchers in a variety of fields, including cognitive science, artificial intelligence, psychology, and computer science. This exploration of the nature of mind, one of the great problems of philosophy, should also transcend disciplines and attract a large scientific audience.

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Vygotsky and Cognitive Science
Language and the Unification of the Social and Computational Mind
William Frawley
Harvard University Press, 1997

Is a human being a person or a machine? Is the mind a social construction or a formal device? It is both, William Frawley tells us, and by bringing together Vygotsky's sociocultural theory of the mind and cognitive science's computational model, he shows us how this not only can but must be. To do so, Frawley focuses on language, particularly on how the computational mind uses language to mediate the internal and the external during thought. By reconciling the linguistic device and the linguistic person, he argues for a Vygotskyan cognitive science.

Frawley begins by exploding the internalist/externalist dichotomy that presently drives cognitive science and falsely pits computationalism against socioculturalism. He replaces the reigning Platonic paradigm of computational mind-science with a framework based on an unusual, unified account of Wittgenstein, thus setting the stage for a Vygotskyan cognitive science centered on three aspects of mind: subjectivity, real-time operation, and breakdown. In this context, he demonstrates how computational psychology accommodates a critical aspect of Vygotskyan theory--private speech--as the mind's metacomputational regulator. An examination of certain congenital disorders (such as Williams Syndrome, Turner Syndrome, and autism) that disrupt speech further clarifies the issue of computational and cognitive control.

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WHY WE READ FICTION
THEORY OF THE MIND AND THE NOVEL
LISA ZUNSHINE
The Ohio State University Press, 2006
Why We Read Fiction offers a lucid overview of the most exciting area of research in contemporary cognitive psychology known as “Theory of Mind” and discusses its implications for literary studies. It covers a broad range of fictional narratives, from Richardson’s Clarissa, Dostoyevski’s Crime and Punishment, and Austen’s Pride and Prejudice to Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, Nabokov’s Lolita, and Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon. Zunshine’s surprising new interpretations of well-known literary texts and popular cultural representations constantly prod her readers to rethink their own interest in fictional narrative. Written for a general audience, this study provides a jargon-free introduction to the rapidly growing interdisciplinary field known as cognitive approaches to literature and culture.
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