Wolfgang Prinz

Wolfgang Prinz is Director Emeritus of the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Science in Leipzig, and the author of Open Minds: The Social Making of Agency and Intentionality (MIT Press, 2012).

  • Action Science

    Action Science

    Foundations of an Emerging Discipline

    Wolfgang Prinz, Miriam Beisert, and Arvid Herwig

    An overview of today's diverse theoretical and methodological approaches to action and the relationship of action and cognition.

    The emerging field of action science is characterized by a diversity of theoretical and methodological approaches that share the basic functional belief that evolution has optimized cognitive systems to serve the demands of action. This book brings together the constitutive approaches of action science in a single source, covering the relation of action to such cognitive functions as perception, attention, memory, and volition. Each chapter offers a tutorial-like description of a major line of inquiry, written by a leading scientist in the field. Taken together, the chapters reflect a dynamic and rapidly growing field and provide a forum for comparison and possible integration of approaches.

    After discussing core questions about how actions are controlled and learned, the book considers ecological approaches to action science; neurocogntive approaches to action understanding and attention; developmental approaches to action science; social actions, including imitation and joint action; and the relationships between action and the conceptual system (grounded cognition) and between volition and action.

    An emerging discipline depends on a rich and multifaceted supply of theoretical and methodological approaches. The diversity of perspectives offered in this book will serve as a guide for future explorations in action science.

    Contributors Lawrence W. Barsalou, Miriam Beisert, Valerian Chambon, Thomas Goschke, Patrick Haggard, Arvid Herwig, Herbert Heuer, Cecilia Heyes, Bernhard Hommel, Glyn W. Humphreys, Richard B. Ivry, Markus Kiefer, Günther Knoblich, Sally A. Linkenauger, Janeen D. Loehr, Peter J. Marshall, Andrew N. Meltzoff, Wolfgang Prinz, Dennis R. Proffitt, Giacomo Rizzolatti, David A. Rosenbaum, Natalie Sebanz, Corrado Sinigaglia, Sandra Sülzenbrück, Jordan A. Taylor, Michael T. Turvey, Claes von Hofsten, Rebecca A. Williamson

    • Hardcover $19.75 £14.99
  • Open Minds

    Open Minds

    The Social Making of Agency and Intentionality

    Wolfgang Prinz

    A novel proposal that the cognitive architecture for volition and cognition arises from particular kinds of social interaction and communication.

    In Open Minds, Wolfgang Prinz offers the novel claim that agency and intentionality are first perceived and understood in others, and that it is only through practices and discourses of social mirroring that individuals come to apply these features to themselves and to shape their architectures for volition and cognition accordingly. Developing a (social science) constructive approach within a (cognitive science) representational framework, Prinz argues that the architectures for agency (volition) and intentionality (cognition) arise from particular kinds of social interaction and communication. Rather than working as closed, individual systems, our minds operate in ways that are fundamentally open to other minds.

    Prinz describes mirror systems and mirror games, particular kinds of representational mechanisms and social games that provide tools for aligning closed individual minds with other minds. He maps the formation of an architecture for volition, addressing issues of agency and intention-based top-down control, then outlines the ways the same basic ideas can be applied to an architecture for cognition, helping to solve basic issues of subjectivity and intentionality.

    Addressing the reality and efficacy of such social artifacts as autonomy and free will, Prinz contends that our beliefs about minds are not just beliefs about their workings but powerful tools for making them work as we believe. It is through our beliefs that our minds work in a particular way that we actually make them work in that way.

    • Hardcover $50.00 £40.00
  • Disorders of Volition

    Disorders of Volition

    Natalie Sebanz and Wolfgang Prinz

    Philosophers, psychologists, neuroscientists, and psychiatrists examine the will and its pathologies from theoretical and empirical perspectives, offering a conceptual overview and discussing schizophrenia, depression, prefrontal lobe damage, and substance abuse as disorders of volition.

    Science tries to understand human action from two perspectives, the cognitive and the volitional. The volitional approach, in contrast to the more dominant "outside-in" studies of cognition, looks at actions from the inside out, examining how actions are formed and informed by internal conditions. In Disorders of Volition, scholars from a range of disciplines seek to advance our understanding of the processes supporting voluntary action by addressing conditions in which the will is impaired. Philosophers, psychologists, neuroscientists, and psychiatrists examine the will and its pathologies from both theoretical and empirical perspectives, offering a conceptual overview and discussing specific neurological and psychiatric conditions as disorders of volition.After presenting different conceptual frameworks that identify agency, decision making, and goal pursuit as central components of volition, the book examines how impairments in these and other aspects of volition manifest themselves in schizophrenia, depression, prefrontal lobe damage, and substance abuse.

    Contributors George Ainslie, Tim Bayne, Antoine Bechara, Paul W. Burgess, Anna-Lisa Cohen, Daniel Dennett, Stéphanie Dubal, Philippe Fossati, Chris Frith, Sam J. Gilbert, Peter Gollwitzer, Jordan Grafman, Patrick Haggard, Jay G. Hull, Marc Jeannerod, Roland Jouvent, Frank Krueger, Neil Levy, Peter F. Liddle, Kristen L. Mackiewitz, Thomas Metzinger, Jack B. Nitschke, Jiro Okuda, Adrian M. Owen, Chris Parry, Wolfgang Prinz, Joëlle Proust, Michael A. Sayette, Werner X. Schneider, Natalie Sebanz, Jon S. Simons, Laurie B. Slone, Sean A. Spence

    • Hardcover $50.00 £37.95
    • Paperback $19.75 £14.99

Contributor

  • The Pragmatic Turn

    The Pragmatic Turn

    Toward Action-Oriented Views in Cognitive Science

    Andreas K. Engel, Karl J. Friston, and Danica Kragic

    Experts from a range of disciplines assess the foundations and implications of a novel action-oriented view of cognition.

    Cognitive science is experiencing a pragmatic turn away from the traditional representation-centered framework toward a view that focuses on understanding cognition as “enactive.” This enactive view holds that cognition does not produce models of the world but rather subserves action as it is grounded in sensorimotor skills. In this volume, experts from cognitive science, neuroscience, psychology, robotics, and philosophy of mind assess the foundations and implications of a novel action-oriented view of cognition.

    Their contributions and supporting experimental evidence show that an enactive approach to cognitive science enables strong conceptual advances, and the chapters explore key concepts for this new model of cognition. The contributors discuss the implications of an enactive approach for cognitive development; action-oriented models of cognitive processing; action-oriented understandings of consciousness and experience; and the accompanying paradigm shifts in the fields of philosophy, brain science, robotics, and psychology.

    Contributors Moshe Bar, Lawrence W. Barsalov, Olaf Blanke, Jeannette Bohg, Martin V. Butz, Peter F. Dominey, Andreas K. Engel, Judith M. Ford, Karl J. Friston, Chris D. Frith, Shaun Gallagher, Antonia Hamilton, Tobias Heed, Cecilia Heyes, Elisabeth Hill, Matej Hoffmann, Jakob Hohwy, Bernhard Hommel, Atsushi Iriki, Pierre Jacob, Henrik Jörntell, Jürgen Jost, James Kilner, Günther Knoblich, Peter König, Danica Kragic, Miriam Kyselo, Alexander Maye, Marek McGann, Richard Menary, Thomas Metzinger, Ezequiel Morsella, Saskia Nagel, Kevin J. O'Regan, Pierre-Yves Oudeyer, Giovanni Pezzulo, Tony J. Prescott, Wolfgang Prinz, Friedemann Pulvermüller, Robert Rupert, Marti Sanchez-Fibla, Andrew Schwartz, Anil K. Seth, Vicky Southgate, Antonella Tramacere, John K. Tsotsos, Paul F. M. J. Verschure, Gabriella Vigliocco, Gottfried Vosgerau

    • Hardcover $50.00 £40.00