Embodied Cognition

Lawrence A. Shapiro

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Cognitive Science

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780195309799
Published online May 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Embodied Cognition


The article explains the history, core concepts, methodological practices, and future prospects of embodied cognition. Cognitivism treats cognition, including perception, as a constructive process in which computational operations transform a static representation into a goal state. Cognition begins with an input representation so that the psychological subject can be conceived as a passive receptor of information. The cognitivist's primary concern is the discovery of algorithms by which inputs such as those representing shading are transformed into outputs such as those representing shape. The experimental methods need to provide an environment that isolates the stimuli that will be relevant to an investigation of the mental process of interest. Gibson's theory of perception explains that information in the optic array sufficed to specify opportunities for action, thus providing observers with an ability to perceive. Gibson explains that perception is the detection of information that, with no further embellishment, suffices to specify features of an observer's world. The active observer could, by collecting and sampling the wealth of information contained within the optic array, know its world in terms relative to its needs. Embodied cognition researchers conceive of themselves as offering a new framework for studying the mind.

Keywords: embodied cognition; traditional cognitivism; conceptualization; extended cognition; replacement

Article.  14224 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Mind

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