The Mind's New Science: A History of the Cognitive Revolution

The Mind's New Science: A History of the Cognitive Revolution

Language: English

Pages: 448

ISBN: 0465046355

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The first full-scale history of cognitive science, this work addresses a central issue: What is the nature of knowledge?

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human experience, any science that attempts to exclude them is doomed from the start. Other critics agree that some or all of these features are of the essence in human experience, but do not feel that they are insusceptible to scientific explanation. Their quarrel with an antiseptic cognitive science is that it is wrong to bracket these dimensions artificially. Instead, cognitive scientists should from the first put their noses to the grindstone and incorporate such dimensions fully into their

In applying logical methods to the world of empirical experience, the members of the Vienna circle combined the spirit of rationalism and empiricism. They also sought to establish a place for philosophy within the world of laboratory science by providing the tools for analyzing scientific statements and practices. In hindsight, their procedures were too artificially constrained, and their idea of theory too tied to behaviorist and positivist strictures. And yet even those cognitivists who see

knowing subject could be adequately controlled. This new psychology took many forms in many places, and there were definite swings of the pendulum between molar and molecular approaches, between an emphasis on the determining role of the environment and one on the contributions of the subject to the task at hand. Excesses of introspectionism at the tum of the century were replaced in tum by excesses of behaviorism in the early part of the twentieth century. In particular, mentalistic constructs

were disallowed, and aspects of language and problem solving were either omitted altogether or treated in much attenuated form. By the late 1940s, at the time of the Hixon Symposium, it was becoming clear that neither the physiological nor the psychological forms of behaviorism were viable. Available as alternative models were Gestalt psychology, as well as the still-isolated efforts to study higher forms of problem solving by Bartlett, Piaget, and a few other investigators. But it took the

as great as its creators had wished, and because the field of artificial intelligence moved in different directions, the program can be regarded as the first to simulate a spectrum of human symbolic behavior. GPS also occupied a major role in Simon and Newell's thinking about the enterprise in which they were engaged. As they conceived it, all intelligence involves the use and manipulation of various symbol systems, such as those featured in mathematics or logic. In the past, such manipulation

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