Classical computationalism—-the view that mental states are computational states—-has come under attack in recent years. Critics claim that in defining computation solely in abstract, syntactic terms, computationalism neglects the real-time, embodied, real-world constraints with which cognitive systems must cope. Instead of abandoning computationalism altogether, however, some researchers are reconsidering it, recognizing that real-world computers, like minds, must deal with issues of embodiment, interaction, physical implementation, and semantics.
Explanation and Interaction describes the problems and issues involved in generating interactive user-sensitive explanations. It presents a particular computational system that generates tutorial, interactive explanations of how simple electronic circuits work. However, the approaches and ideas in the book can be applied to a wide range of computer applications where complex explanations are provided, such as documentation, advisory, and expert systems.
Intentions in Communication brings together major theorists from artificial intelligence and computer science, linguistics, philosophy, and psychology whose work develops the foundations for an account of the role of intentions in a comprehensive theory of communication. It demonstrates, for the first time, the emerging cooperation among disciplines concerned with the fundamental role of intention in communication.
In this provocative book, Lance Rips describes a unified theory of natural deductive reasoning and fashions a working model of deduction, with strong experimental support, that is capable of playing a central role in mental life.Rips argues that certain inference principles are so central to our notion of intelligence and rationality that they deserve serious psychological investigation to determine their role in individuals' beliefs and conjectures.
Computational modeling plays a central role in cognitive science. This book provides a comprehensive introduction to computational models of human cognition. It covers major approaches and architectures, both neural network and symbolic; major theoretical issues; and specific computational models of a variety of cognitive processes, ranging from low-level (e.g., attention and memory) to higher-level (e.g., language and reasoning). The articles included in the book provide original descriptions of developments in the field.
Einstein said that "the whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking." David Klahr suggests that we now know enough about cognition—and hence about everyday thinking—to advance our understanding of scientific thinking. In this book he sets out to describe the cognitive and developmental processes that have enabled scientists to make the discoveries that comprise the body of information we call "scientific knowledge."
In Mind and Mechanism, Drew McDermott takes a computational approach to the mind-body problem (how it is that a purely physical entity, the brain, can have experiences). He begins by demonstrating the falseness of dualist approaches, which separate the physical and mental realms. He then surveys what has been accomplished in artificial intelligence, clearly differentiating what we know how to build from what we can imagine building.
Since the 1970s the cognitive sciences have offered multidisciplinary ways of understanding the mind and cognition. The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences (MITECS) is a landmark, comprehensive reference work that represents the methodological and theoretical diversity of this changing field.
In this book Simon Parsons describes qualitative methods for reasoning under uncertainty, "uncertainty" being a catch-all term for various types of imperfect information. The advantage of qualitative methods is that they do not require precise numerical information. Instead, they work with abstractions such as interval values and information about how values change. The author does not invent completely new methods for reasoning under uncertainty but provides the means to create qualitative versions of existing methods.
In this engaging book, Jerry Fodor argues against the widely held view that mental processes are largely computations, that the architecture of cognition is massively modular, and that the explanation of our innate mental structure is basically Darwinian. Although Fodor has praised the computational theory of mind as the best theory of cognition that we have got, he considers it to be only a fragment of the truth. In fact, he claims, cognitive scientists do not really know much yet about how the mind works (the book's title refers to Steve Pinker's How the Mind Works).