Heidegger and social cognition
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Perhaps the most influential part of Heidegger's analysis of human existence (Dasein) for the cognitive sciences is his concept of readiness-to-hand (Zuhandenheit) where he shows that our primary stance toward the world, or our primary way of being-in-the-world, is to be pragmatically involved in everyday contexts. This analysis directly inspires the rich embodied account of action in Merleau-Ponty, is strongly reflected in Dreyfus's critique of artificial intelligence, and resonates well with both the Gibsonian concept of affordances and recent enactive accounts of perception and action. One of the important implications of this analysis is that overly cognitive accounts of human existence, which emphasize our internal mental representations of the objective world, and which both cognitive science and its associated philosophical tradition have treated as central, should be regarded as something derived and secondary.
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