Upshot: Written by recognized experts in their fields, the book is a set of essays that deals with the influences of early cybernetics, computational theory, artificial intelligence, and connectionist networks on the historical development of computational-representational theories of cognition. In this review, I question the relevance of computability arguments and Jonasian phenomenology, which has been extensively invoked in recent discussions of autopoiesis and Ashby’s homeostats. Although the book deals only indirectly with constructivist approaches to cognition, it is useful reading for those interested in machine-based models of mind.
Cariani P. (2012) Mind, a Machine? Review of “The Search for a Theory of Cognition: Early Mechanisms and New Ideas” edited by Stefano Franchi and Francesco Bianchini. Constructivist Foundations 7(3): 222-227. Available at http://www.univie.ac.at/constructivism/journal/7/3/222.cariani