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The Resource Grounds for Cognition : How Goal-guided Behavior Shapes the Mind

Grounds for Cognition : How Goal-guided Behavior Shapes the Mind

Grounds for Cognition : How Goal-guided Behavior Shapes the Mind
Grounds for Cognition
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How Goal-guided Behavior Shapes the Mind
  • Q: Why do organisms need cognition? A: To get information about their environments. Q: Why such information? A: Because organisms need to guide their behaviors to goals. Q: Why guidance? A: Because it leads to goal satisfaction. Q: Why goals? Cognition is a naturally selected response by genetic programs to the evolutionary pressure of guiding behaviors to goals. Organisms are material systems that maintain and replicate themselves by engaging their world in goal-directed ways. This is how guidance of behavior to goal grounds and explains cognition and the main forms in which it manages information. Guidance to goal also makes a difference to the understanding of human cognition. Simpler forms of cognition evolve to handle fixed informational transactions with the world, whereas human cognition evolves the abilities to script flexible goal situations that fit specific contexts of behavior. This teleoevolutionary approach has important implications for cognitive science, two of which are programmatic. One is that information that guides to goal is not exclusively cognitive; guidance is also affected by ecological facts and regularities as well as by design assumptions about them. The other implication is that the functional analyses dominant in cognitive science and philosophy of mind are incomplete and weak. They are incomplete in that they focus only on the explicitly encoded cognitive information and its behavioral consequences, thus ignoring the larger guidance arrangements; and weak because causal and functional relations implement but underdetermine goal-directed and goal-guided procesess. A work dealing expressly with the foundations of cognitive science, this book addresses basic but seldom-asked questions about the evolutionary rationale of cognition and the way this rationale has shaped the major types of cognition. It also provides a
  • teleological answer to these basic questions in terms of goal directedness and particularly guidance of behavior to goal. In so doing, the work defends the scientific respectability and the explanatory necessity of teleology by showing that goal directedness characterizes the work of genetic programs
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Grounds for Cognition : How Goal-guided Behavior Shapes the Mind
Grounds for Cognition : How Goal-guided Behavior Shapes the Mind
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  • Cover -- Title -- Copyright -- Dedication -- Contents -- Acknowledgments -- 1 The Project -- 1. The Argument -- 2. Critical Targets -- 3. Respects and Demarcations -- PART I THE TELEOEVOLUTIONARY STANCE -- 2 By Way of Means and Ends -- 1. An Ur Role for Goals -- 2. Natural Selection -- 3. Teleogenetics -- 4. Teleological Parameters -- 5. Goal as Outcome Programmed -- 6. The Relative Unimportance of Causal and Functional Realizations -- 7. The Merits and Handicaps of Teleology -- 3 The Guidance Equation -- 1. An Unfinished Agenda -- 2. Knowledge -- 3. Information -- 4. Implications of Information -- 5. Constraints on Guidance -- 6. The Job of the Equation -- PART II FORMS OF GUIDANCE -- 4 Teleonomic Guidance -- 1. The Metabolic Parallel -- 2. Teleonomic Tasks: Bacterial Scripts -- 3. Artificial Teleonomy -- 4. The Explanation of Simple Cognition -- 5. Transition -- 5 Primitive Semantics -- 1. The Very Idea of Primitive Semantics -- 2. Semantic Upgradings -- 3. How it Works -- 4. Behavioral Categorization -- 5. Topomaps -- 6. Critical Recapitulation -- 6 Intimations of Re-presentation: Vision -- 1. Vision is Semantic -- 2. What is Visual Perception Up to? -- 3. The Ambivalence of Vision -- 4. Re-presentation -- 5. Uptake -- 7 Mental Guidance -- 1. Conceptualization -- 2. Goal Scripting -- 3. The Proximate Hand of Teleology -- 4. Cogitation by Different Means -- 5. Mental Attitudes -- 6. Imagery and Symbolic Ecologies -- 7. Summing Up: The Teleopragmatic Psyche -- 8 Social Guidance -- 1. Commonsense Teleology -- 2. Making Sense of Others -- 3. The Incoherence of the Propositional Attitude -- PART III IMPLICATIONS -- 9 Psychosemanticism -- 1. Content as Information Task -- 2. Content as State -- 3. Content by Evolution -- 4. The Psychosemantics of Thinking -- 10 Prospects for Explanation -- 1. Discipline Through Evolution
  • 2. Subsumptive Explanation -- 3. The Challenge of Cogitation -- 4. Assimilation -- 5. What to Explain, and in How Much Detail? -- Glossary -- References -- Author Index -- Subject Index
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1 online resource (413 pages)
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