When is a cognitive system embodied? (2002)

Alexander Riegler

Cognitive Systems Research, special issue on "Situated and Embodied Cognition" 3:339-348

For cognitive systems, embodiment appears to be of crucial importance. Unfortunately, nobody seems to be able to define embodiment in a way that would prevent it from also covering its trivial interpretations such as mere situatedness in complex environments. The paper focuses on the definition of embodiment, especially whether physical embodiment is necessary and/or sufficient for cognitive systems. Cognition is characterized as a continuous complex process rather than ahistorical logical capability. Furthermore, the paper investigates the relationship between cognitive embodiment and the issues of understanding, representation and task specification. Keywords: complexity; constructivism; design; embeddedness; representation; teleonomy; understanding

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