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Glasersfeld E. von (1974) Jean Piaget and the radical constructivist epistemology
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On what makes certain dynamical systems cognitive: A minimally cognitive organization program.
Dynamicism has provided cognitive science with important tools to understand some aspects of “how cognitive agents work” but the issue of “what makes something cognitive” has not been sufficiently addressed yet and, we argue, the former will never be complete without the latter. Behavioristic characterizations of cognitive properties are criticized in favor of an organizational approach focused on the internal dynamic relationships that constitute cognitive systems. A definition of cognition as adaptive-autonomy in the embodied and situated neurodynamic domain is provided: the compensatory regulation of a web of stability dependencies between sensorimotor structures is created and pre served during a historical/developmental process. We highlight the functional role of emotional embodiment: internal bioregulatory processes coupled to the formation and adaptive regulation of neurodynamic autonomy. Finally, we discuss a “minimally cognitive behavior program” in evolutionary simulation modeling suggesting that much is to be learned from a complementary “minimally cognitive organization program”
Adaptivity: From metabolism to behavior.
Fulltext at http://cepa.info/4514
In this article, we propose some fundamental requirements for the appearance of adaptivity. We argue that a basic metabolic organization, taken in its minimal sense, may provide the conceptual framework for naturalizing the origin of teleology and normative functionality as it appears in living systems. However, adaptivity also requires the emergence of a regulatory subsystem, which implies a certain form of dynamic decoupling within a globally integrated, autonomous system. Thus, we analyze several forms of minimal adaptivity, including the special case of motility. We go on to explain how an open-ended complexity growth of motility-based adaptive agency, namely, behavior, requires the appearance of the nervous system. Finally, we discuss some implications of these ideas for embodied robotics.
naturalist approach to normativity
decoupling of the nervous system
definition of adaptive behavior
Barrett N. F.
Enactive theory and the problem of non-sense.
Fulltext at http://cepa.info/2472
Review of: Massimiliano Cappuccio and Tom Froese (eds.) Enactive cognition at the edge of sense-making: Making sense of non-sense. PalgraveMacmillan: Basingstoke, UK, 2014
De Jesus P.
The loneliness of the enactive cell: Towards a bio-enactive framework.
The enactive turn in cognitive science fundamentally changes how questions about experience and behaviour are addressed. We propose that there exists a suite of core concepts within enaction that are suited to the characterisation of many kinds of intentional subjects, including and especially animals, plants, collectivities and artefacts. We summarise some basic concerns of enactive theory and show how the common illustration of the single cell ascending a chemotactic gradient serves as a focus point for discussion of important topics such as identity, perspective, value, agency and life-mind continuity. We also highlight two important deficits of this example: the cell is ahistorical and asocial. Historicity and sociality are defining characteristics of living beings and are addressed within enactive theory by the concepts of structural coupling and participatory sense-making, respectively. This strongly biological framework is to be distinguished from scientific psychology which is, we argue, necessarily anthropomorphic. We propose a constrained bio-enactive framework that remains true to its biological foundations and that would allow us to negotiate consensus-based understanding in contested domains, where incompatible value systems enacted by competing systems are in conflict. A consensual ‘we’ is, we contend, a matter of negotiation, not of fixed essence. A bio-enactive framework may serve as a jumping off point for consensus-based discussion within contested domains.
De Jesus P.
From enactive phenomenology to biosemiotic enactivism.
Fulltext at http://cepa.info/2632
Autopoietic enactivism (AE) is a relatively young but increasingly influential approach within embodied cognitive science, which aims to offer a viable alternative framework to mainstream cognitivism. Similarly, in biology, the nascent field of biosemiotics has steadily been developing an increasingly influential alternative framework to mainstream biology. Despite sharing common objectives and clear theoretical overlap, there has to date been little to no exchange between the two fields. This paper takes this under-appreciated overlap as not only a much needed call to begin building bridges between the two areas but also as an opportunity to explore how AE could benefit from biosemiotics. As a first tentative step towards this end, the paper will draw from both fields to develop a novel synthesis – biosemiotic enactivism – which aims to clarify, develop and ultimately strengthen some key AE concepts. The paper has two main goals: (i) to propose a novel conception of cognition that could contribute to the ongoing theoretical developments of AE and (ii) to introduce some concepts and ideas from biosemiotics to the enactive community in order to stimulate further debate across the two fields.
enactive cognitive science
strong life-mind continuity thesis
Egbert M. and Di Paolo E. A.
Integrating behavior and autopoiesis: An exploration in computational chemo-ethology.
Fulltext at http://cepa.info/325
It has been argued that the difference between an autonomous entity and an agent is in the ability of the latter to perform behaviors supplemental to processes of self-maintenance (autopoiesis). Theories have been proposed concerning how such behaviors might relate to autopoiesis, but so far, computational models of autopoiesis have paid little attention to these relations. In this article we present a new model designed to explore the relationship between mechanisms of autopoiesis and behavior. We report on three clarifications of the theory provided by the model: (a) mechanisms of behavior can be related to mechanisms of autopoiesis while remaining operationally distinct, (b) the organization of an operationally closed system can change over time while remaining operationally closed, and (c) behavior modulation based upon autopoietic efficacy has limitations that can be avoided through the use of a partially decoupled behavioral system. Finally, we discuss questions that have surfaced during examination of the model.
Enactive cognitive science: Revisionism or revolution.
Fulltext at http://cepa.info/926
The enactive approach is usually associated with a revolutionary project that aims to transform in a radical way our understanding of mind and cognition. Bold theoretical moves such as the rejection of cognitive representations or the assumption of a deep continuity between life and mind, among other enactive ideas, justify this perception. Nonetheless, when we assume a broader historical perspective, including the long cybernetic tradition that preceded the emergence of cognitive sciences, the image of the enactive approach looks different. Put in the context of the paradigmatic shift that took place between first-order and second-order cybernetics, especially in the case of Maturana’s autopoietic theory, the enactive paradigm, so I will try to show in this work, appears rather like a conservative or revisionist project. Better said, it appears as a slightly hybrid paradigm, wherein original and progressive elements coexist with revisionist components. The paper aims to offer an alternative interpretation of the enactive approach and contribute to a better understanding of its identity as a research program, and its present and its possible future challenges.
The paper offers a reconstruction of the historical relationship between autopoietic theory and the enactive approach, and evaluates the internal consistency of the enactive approach.
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