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EnactionToward a New Paradigm for Cognitive Science$
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John Stewart, Olivier Gapenne, and Ezequiel A. Di Paolo

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780262014601

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262014601.001.0001

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Directive Minds: How Dynamics Shapes Cognition

Directive Minds: How Dynamics Shapes Cognition

(p.219) 8 Directive Minds: How Dynamics Shapes Cognition

Andreas K. Engel

The MIT Press

This chapter elaborates on a “pragmatic turn” in the cognitive sciences, turning it away from the traditional representation-centered framework and pushing it toward a paradigm that focuses on understanding the intimate relation between cognition and action. Its goal is to explore possible implications of such an “action-oriented” paradigm for cognitive neuroscience. In addition to reviewing major conceptual components of this new framework, neurobiological evidence supporting this notion is presented and discussed. This new view is related to recent findings on the dynamics of signal flow in the nervous system and on encoding dimensions of neural activity patterns. As argued in the later parts of the chapter, new outlooks on the “meaning,” functional roles, and presumed “representational” nature of neural processes are likely to emerge from this confrontation.

Keywords:   pragmatic turn, cognitive sciences, representation-centered framework, cognition, action, action-oriented paradigm, cognitive neuroscience, signal flow, nervous system, neural activity patterns

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