•  6
    Radical embodiment in two directions
    Synthese 198 (Suppl 9): 2175-2190. 2018.
    Radical embodied cognitive science is split into two camps: the ecological approach and the enactive approach. We propose that these two approaches can be brought together into a productive synthesis. The key is to recognize that the two approaches are pursuing different but complementary types of explanation. Both approaches seek to explain behavior in terms of the animal–environment relation, but they start at opposite ends. Ecological psychologists pursue an ontological strategy. They begin b…Read more
  •  9
    In Favor of Impropriety
    Constructivist Foundations 15 (3): 213-216. 2020.
    Heras-Escribano argues against the normative character of affordances from a framework that relies on a Wittgensteinian notion of normativity and the incompatibility of direct perception, …
  •  32
    Worlds Apart? Reassessing von Uexküll’s Umwelt in Embodied Cognition with Canguilhem, Merleau-Ponty, and Deleuze
    with Tim Elmo Feiten and Kristopher Holland
    Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy 28 (1): 1-26. 2020.
    Jakob von Uexküll’s account of Umwelt has been proposed as a mediating concept to bridge the gap between ecological psychology’s realism about environmental information and enactivism’s emphasis on the organism’s active role in constructing the meaningful world it inhabits. If successful, this move would constitute a significant step towards establishing a single ecological-enactive framework for cognitive science. However, Uexküll’s thought itself contains different perspectives that are in ten…Read more
  •  30
    Perception, as you make it
    with David W. Vinson, Drew H. Abney, Dima Amso, James E. Cutting, Rick Dale, Jonathan B. Freeman, Laurie B. Feldman, Karl J. Friston, Shaun Gallagher, J. Scott Jordan, Liad Mudrik, Sasha Ondobaka, Daniel C. Richardson, Ladan Shams, Maggie Shiffrar, and Michael J. Spivey
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 39. 2016.
  •  8
    An Ecological Account of Visual 'Illusions'
    Florida Philosophical Review 16 (1): 68-93. 2016.
    Direct realism in one form or another is gaining traction as an approach to perception. With the hope of bolstering such positions, we offer a framework upon which to base an argument for direct realism in matters of perception. Better yet, we offer an empirically supported framework. The framework on offer is that of ecological psychology. With the framework in place, we then discuss how it can address visual illusions, one of the major challenges facing proponents of direct realism.
  •  23
    What the Jeweller’s Hand Tells the Jeweller’s Brain: Tool Use, Creativity and Embodied Cognition
    with Chris Baber and Jamie Hall
    Philosophy and Technology 32 (2): 283-302. 2019.
    The notion that human activity can be characterised in terms of dynamic systems is a well-established alternative to motor schema approaches. Key to a dynamic systems approach is the idea that a system seeks to achieve stable states in the face of perturbation. While such an approach can apply to physical activity, it can be challenging to accept that dynamic systems also describe cognitive activity. In this paper, we argue that creativity, which could be construed as a ‘cognitive’ activity par …Read more
  •  4
    What Should we Be Realist about in Cognitive Science?
    with Fred Hasselman, Rick Dale, and John Holden
  • How to Be an Anti-Representationalist
    Dissertation, Indiana University. 1999.
    This dissertation examines claims made by philosophers and cognitive scientists that cognition does not involve the use of internal, mental representations. Anti-representationalism, the name for the position advocated in such claims, has become rather popular in recent years; indeed, it has become fashionable to simply adopt anti-representationalism. Arguments in favor doing so usually go like this: Here is a model of some cognitive phenomenon. There are no representations in this model. If cog…Read more
  •  34
    Interaction-Dominant Dynamics and Extended Embodiment
    with M. J. Lamb
    Constructivist Foundations 9 (1): 88-89. 2013.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Investigating Extended Embodiment Using a Computational Model and Human Experimentation” by Yuki Sato, Hiroyuki Iizuka & Takashi Ikegami. Upshot: First, we comment on a potential weakness highlighted by the use of self-reporting in the human-coupled windmill experiment as described in the target article. Second, we suggest that the authors treat their windmill models as soft-assembled dynamical systems. This would allow them to investigate extended body schem…Read more
  •  36
  •  40
    Creating Time: Social Collaboration in Music Improvisation
    with Ashley E. Walton, Auriel Washburn, Peter Langland-Hassan, Heidi Kloos, and Michael J. Richardson
    Topics in Cognitive Science 10 (1): 95-119. 2018.
    Musical collaboration emerges from the complex interaction of environmental and informational constraints, including those of the instruments and the performance context. Music improvisation in particular is more like everyday interaction in that dynamics emerge spontaneously without a rehearsed score or script. We examined how the structure of the musical context affords and shapes interactions between improvising musicians. Six pairs of professional piano players improvised with two different …Read more
  •  57
    In this paper, we address the question of how an agent can guide its behavior with respect to aspects of the sociomaterial environment that are not sensorily present. A simple example is how an animal can relate to a food source while only sensing a pheromone, or how an agent can relate to beer, while only the refrigerator is directly sensorily present. Certain cases in which something is absent have been characterized by others as requiring ‘higher’ cognition. An example of this is how during t…Read more
  •  51
    Sensorimotor Empathy
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 23 (5-6): 138-152. 2016.
    The role of knowledge has long been seen as problematic in the sensorimotor approach to experience. I offer an amended version of the sensorimotor approach, which replaces knowledge with what I call 'sensorimotor empathy'. Sensorimotor empathy is implicit, sometimes unintentional, skilful perceptual and motor coordination with objects and other people. I argue that sensorimotor empathy is the foundation of social coordination, and the key to understanding our conscious experience. I also explain…Read more
  •  96
    Summary. The “New Computationalism” that is the subject of this special issue requires an appropriate notion of representation. The purpose of this essay is to recommend such a notion. In cognitive science generally, there have been two primary candidates for spelling out what it is to be a representation: teleological accounts and accounts based on “decoupling.” I argue that the latter sort of account has two serious problems. First, it is multiply ambiguous; second, it is revisionist and alien…Read more
  •  127
    Gibsonian affordances for roboticists
    with Michael T. Turvey
    Using hypersets as an analytic tool, we compare traditionally Gibsonian (Chemero 2003; Turvey 1992) and representationalist (Sahin et al. this issue) understandings of the notion ‘affordance’. We show that representationalist understandings are incompatible with direct perception and erect barriers between animal and environment. They are, therefore, scarcely recognizable as understandings of ‘affordance’. In contrast, Gibsonian understandings are shown to treat animal-environment systems as uni…Read more
  •  660
    We provide a taxonomy of the two most important debates in the philosophy of the cognitive and neural sciences. The first debate is over methodological individualism: is the object of the cognitive and neural sciences the brain, the whole animal, or the animal--environment system? The second is over explanatory style: should explanation in cognitive and neural science be reductionist-mechanistic, inter-level mechanistic, or dynamical? After setting out the debates, we discuss the ways in which t…Read more
  •  82
    This article is about a sidebar in James Gibson's last book, The ecological approach to visual perception. In this sidebar, Gibson, the founder of the ecological perspective of perception and action, argued that to perceive an affordance is not to classify an object. Although this sidebar has received scant attention, it is of great significance both historically and for recent discussions about specificity, direct perception, and the functions of the dorsal and ventral streams. It is argued tha…Read more
  •  17
    Punctuation equilibrium and optimization: An a-life model
    with Ravi Jonnal
    D. Blank (Ed.) Proceedings of the 2000 Midwest Ai and Cognitive Society Conference. forthcoming.
  •  2
    Reconsidering Ryle: Editor's introduction
    Electronic Journal of Anlaytic Philosophy 7. 2002.
  •  216
    Is life computable?
    with Michael T. Turvey
    This paper has two primary aims. The first is to provide an introductory discussion of hyperset theory and its usefulness for modeling complex systems. The second aim is to provide a hyperset analysis of Robert Rosen’s metabolism-repair systems and his claim that living things are closed to efficient cause. Consequences of the hyperset models for Rosen’s claims concerning computability and life are discussed.
  •  264
    In this talk, we defend extended cognition against several criticisms. We argue that extended cognition does not derive from armchair theorizing and that it neither ignores the results of the neural sciences, nor minimizes the importance of the brain in the production of intelligent behavior. We also argue that explanatory success in the cognitive sciences does not depend on localist or reductionist methodologies; part of our argument for this is a defense of what might be called ‘holistic scien…Read more
  •  288
    An outline of a theory of affordances
    Ecological Psychology 15 (2): 181-195. 2003.
    The primary difference between direct and inferential theories of perception concerns the location of perceptual content, the meaning of our perceptions. In inferential theories of perception, these meanings arise inside animals, based upon their interactions with the physical environment. Light, for example, bumps into receptors causing a sensation. The animal (or its brain) performs inferences on the sensation, yielding a meaningful perception. In direct theories of perception, on the other ha…Read more
  •  79
    Several articles have recently appeared arguing that there really are no viable alternatives to mechanistic explanation in the biological sciences (Kaplan and Bechtel; Kaplan and Craver). We argue that mechanistic explanation is defined by localization and decomposition. We argue further that systems neuroscience contains explanations that violate both localization and decomposition. We conclude that the mechanistic model of explanation needs to either stretch to now include explanations wherein…Read more
  •  255
    To accept that cognition is embodied is to question many of the beliefs traditionally held by cognitive scientists. One key question regards the localization of cognitive faculties. Here we argue that for cognition to be embodied and sometimes embedded, means that the cognitive faculty cannot be localized in a brain area alone. We review recent research on neural reuse, the 1/f structure of human activity, tool use, group cognition, and social coordination dynamics that we believe demonstrates h…Read more
  •  232
    In her essay --?Information, Perception and Action--, Claire Michaels reaches two conclusions that run very much against the grain of ecological psychology. First, she claims that affordances are not perceived, but simply acted upon; second, because of this, perception and action ought to be conceived separately. These conclusions are based upon a misinterpretation of empirical evidence which is, in turn, based upon a conflation of two proper objects of perception: objectively with properties an…Read more
  •  32
    A recent set of experiments of ours supported the notion of a transition in experience from readiness-to-hand to unreadiness-tohand proposed by phenomenological philosopher Martin Heidegger. They were also an experimental demonstration of an extended cognitive system. We generated and then temporarily disrupted an interaction- dominant system that spans a human participant, a computer mouse, and a task performed on the computer screen. Our claim that this system was interaction dominant was base…Read more
  • Introduction
    Electronic Journal of Analytic Philosophy 7. 2002.