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A Moderate Approach to Embodied Cognitive Science

Dr. Alvin Goldman

Tuesday, October 25, 2011, 01:00pm - 02:00pm

Rutgers University, Department of Philosophy

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Many programs for cognitive science currently sail under the banner of "embodied cognition." These programs typically seek to separate themselves from standard, or classical, cognitive science (Shapiro, 2011). The present proposal for a conception of embodied cognition is less radical than most. Its rationale is based on two elements, each of which is theoretically plausible and empirically well-founded. The first element in the approach invokes the idea of "bodily formats," i.e., representational codes primarily utilized in forming interoceptive or directive representations of one's own bodily states and activities (Goldman and Vignemont, 2009). The second element appeals to wide-ranging evidence that the brain reuses or redeploys cognitive processes having different original uses (Anderson, 2010). When this redeployment idea is applied to bodily formats of representation, they jointly provide for the possibility that body-coded cognition is an extremely pervasive sector of cognition. This is illustrated in the domain of visual perception by examples from the work of Dennis Proffitt.

Dr. Alvin Goldman