Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Embodied MindCognitive Science and Human Experience$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Francisco J. Varela, Evan Thompson, and Eleanor Rosch

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262529365

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262529365.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 19 May 2022

Selfless Minds

Selfless Minds

(p.105) 6 Selfless Minds
The Embodied Mind

Francisco J. Varela

Evan Thompson

Eleanor Rosch

The MIT Press

This chapter looks at Marvin Minsky's and Seymour Papert's recent proposal to study the mind as a society, which takes the patchwork architecture of cognition as a central element. Minsky and Papert present a view in which minds consist of many “agents” whose abilities are quite circumscribed: each agent taken individually operates only in a microworld of small-scale or “toy” problems. This model of the mind as a society of numerous agents is intended to encompass a multiplicity of approaches to the study of cognition, ranging from distributed, self-organizing networks to the classical, cognitivist conception of localized, serial symbolic processing. The society of mind purports to be, then, something of a middle way in present cognitive science. This middle way challenges a homogenous model of the mind, whether in the form of distributed networks at one extreme or symbolic processers at the other extreme.

Keywords:   Marvin Minsky, Seymour Papert, mind, cognitive architecture, cognition, society of mind, cognitive science

MIT Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.