Friday, October 29, 2004

Down with Politics, Up with Cognition!

I am so thoroughly annoyed/frustrated/bored/disenchanted with politics at this point, with the election only 4 days away, that I can no longer even read political posts. Voter fraud? I don't want to hear about it. Missing explosives? I won't read about it. A bin Laden video? Seriously, who cares? Not I, that's for sure. So, since I won't be reading about it, I sure as hell won't be posting about it. Instead, I'll post about cognition up until the election. So, if anyone who happens by has any issues in cognitive science, psychology (including cognitive, social, or clinical), or some other related field that they would like to read about, let me know in comments or email, and I'll post on it. I'm not getting many visitors right now, so I may end up just posting about what interests me in those fields, but I'm up for suggestions. I'll list some potential topics below, in case something strikes a reader's fancy.

  • Memory, including:
    • False memories/repressed and recovered memories
    • Schematic memory
    • Working memory, including its role in other cognitive processes (e.g., reasoning, analogy, or decision making)
  • Decision making, particularly:
    • Goals: what are they, and how do they influence preference
    • Intertemporal choice
    • The role of analogy in decision making
  • Analogy
    • Models of analogy
    • Analogy and memory
    • Analogical reasoning
    • Analogy and metaphor
    • Analogy and similarity
  • Language
    • Language evolution
    • Language and thought/linguistic determinism/Sapir-Whorf
    • Figurative language (metaphor, idioms, metonymy, etc.)
    • Polysemy
  • Concepts and Categorization
    • Theories of concepts
    • Conceptual combination
    • Types of concepts
  • Reason and Emotion

  • Consciousness

  • Evolutionary Psychology

  • Embodied Cognition

  • Knowledge Representation (in particular, the status of "representations" in cognitive science)

  • The big debates (nature v. nurture, rule-based v. similarity-based, computation v. something else, symbolic vs. connectionist, etc.)

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've always wondered about the role of memory in epistemology. It seems that whenever we talk about rational reasons they are always dependent upon our memory. Even in a math equation, we assume we recall the early steps correctly. Memory is what allows us to transcend the temporal limits of reasoning. Yet, so far as I'm aware, it never gets brought up in epistemological articles. (Or at least I've missed most of them) The role of false memories seems to render a lot of epistemology quite problematic and at a minimum suggests that knowing we know doesn't follow naturally from knowing. While I may be completely wrong, I have this gut feeling that it ought to lead one to externalist accounts as well. 

Posted by Clark Goble

Anonymous said...

Clark - that reminds me of an old post at Close Range about 'flickering knowledge'. Follow the link if you're interested.

Chris - are you into Artificial Intelligence at all? If so, that gets my vote! (I guess that comes under the "big debates" you mention - esp. the computation and connectionism ones. Those would make for fascinating reading.)

Otherwise, I'd also love to hear about theories of concepts, language & thought, representation, or consciousness (I've just read Dennett's Consciousness Explained, and plan to post about it a bit myself once my exams are over).

Actually, just about everything you listed sounds pretty interesting to me... :) 

Posted by Richard

Anonymous said...

Dammnit, Richard, your indecisiveness is not helping! I was hoping someone would decide what I should post so that I didn't have to.

I know a bit about the philosophical issues related to artificial intelligence, and a bit more about robotics, particularly issues related to navigation in robotics, but I don't read a whole lot of AI stuff, so I probably shouldn't try to post on it generally. I could, however, post on symbolic vs. connectionist models (and why I prefer the former), which is close. How does that sound?

 

Posted by Chris

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Metaphor and figurative language! 

Posted by Brandon

Anonymous said...

Brandon, will do. Metaphor will probably take a few posts, as few really agree about what's going on in metaphor (cognitively), which is likely because there are many types of metaphors. Figurative language in general is a bit easier, because I can pick a specific topic. I was planning on posting on the illusory transparency of meaning in idioms anyway, so I think I'll do that.  

Posted by Chris

Anonymous said...

"I could, however, post on symbolic vs. connectionist models (and why I prefer the former), which is close. How does that sound?"

Very cool! I look forward to it :) 

Posted by Richard

Anonymous said...

Richard, thanks for the link. The link to Lehigh Valley was quite good as well. There he appears to use the question of memory to argue for a kind of reliabilism. The comments are quite good as well, since the other interpretation is a kind of externalism (due to ones knowledge depending upon context). While I'm quite sympathetic to reliabilism, especially as found in Plantinga or Alston, I also always have this lurking feeling in the back of my mind that something isn't quite right there. I found Williamson's kind of externalism wherein knowledge is a basic mental state and not justified belief quite persuasive with a feeling that it probably is closer to the truth than anything else I've read.

Regarding AI, have you read any of Dreyfus' criticisms of it? Especially in his lectures (alas no longer available online) he provides a lot of good arguments against it.  

Posted by Clark Goble

Anonymous said...

Regarding AI, have you read any of Dreyfus' criticisms of it?Not directly... all I've read yet is a couple of introductory texts which gave an overview of the whole debate. (I'm still fairly new to it all.) Dreyfus was mentioned, though in a none-too-flattering light, as I recall. Perhaps I'd do better to read his arguments first-hand. Is there any book or article that you would especially recommend? 

Posted by Richard

Anonymous said...

Richard, Dreyfus' primary criticism of AI is that most AI researchers (I assume he would exclude someone like Rod Brooks)fail to take into account the importance of embodiment. His most recent book, On the Internet, contains a sustained critique of AI. His book with Stephen Dreyfus, Mind Over Machine is primarily a criticism of AI as well. Then there's his classic, What Computers Still Can't Do: A Critique of Artificial Reason is a bit out of date, but the main argument hasn't changed since then: computers are disembodied machines, and this makes it impossible for them to simulate embodied minds. 

Posted by Chris

Anonymous said...

Sorry, What Computers Still Can't Do isn't antiquated. I should have said What Computers Can’t Do: The Limits of Artificial Intelligence. What Computers Still Can't Do is the 1992 edition of that book. 

Posted by Chris

ghkj said...

This momentousdecree wow gold came as a great beacon gold in wow light of hope buy wow gold to millions of negroslaves wow gold kaufen who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice.maplestory mesos it came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night ofcaptivity.but one hundred years later,maplestory money we must face the tragic fact thatthe negro is still not free.maple money one hundred years later,sell wow gold the lifeof the negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles ofsegregation and the chains of discrimination. one hundred yearslater,maple story money the negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in themidst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.wow powerleveling one hundred yearslater,maple story power leveling the negro is still languishing in the corners of americansociety and finds himself an exile in his own land. so we havecome here today to dramatize wow powerleveln an appalling condition.in a ms mesos sense we have come to our nation''s capital to cash a check.when the architects of our republic wow powerleveln wrote the magnificent wordsof the constitution and the declaration of independence, theywere signing a promissory note maplestory power leveling to which every american was tofall heir. this note was a promise that all men would beguarranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and thepursuit of happiness.it is obvious today that america has defaulted on thispromissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned.instead of honoring this sacred obligation, america has giventhe negro people a bad check which has come back markedinsufficient funds.justice is bankrupt. we refuse to believe that there areinsufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of thisnation. so we have come to cash this check -- a check that willgive us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security ofjustice. we have also come to this hallowed spot to remindamerica of the fierce urgency of now

Kevin said...

牙醫,植牙,矯正,紋身,刺青,創業,批發,皮膚科,痘痘,中醫,飛梭雷射,毛孔粗大,醫學美容,痘痘,肉毒桿菌,seo,關鍵字行銷,關鍵字自然排序,網路行銷,關鍵字自然排序,關鍵字行銷seo,關鍵字廣告,部落格行銷,網路行銷,seo,關鍵字行銷,關鍵字廣告,關鍵字,自然排序,部落格行銷,網路行銷,網路爆紅,牛舌餅婚紗台中婚紗,腳臭,腳臭,腳臭,腳臭,腳臭,腳臭,腳臭,腳臭,中古車,二手車,中古車,二手車,高雄婚紗,街舞,融資,借貸,借錢,小產,雞精,紋身,刺青