Title

Similarity-based cognition: radical enactivism meets cognitive neuroscience

Publication Name

Synthese

Abstract

Similarity-based cognition is commonplace. It occurs whenever an agent or system exploits the similarities that hold between two or more items—e.g., events, processes, objects, and so on—in order to perform some cognitive task. This kind of cognition is of special interest to cognitive neuroscientists. This paper explicates how similarity-based cognition can be understood through the lens of radical enactivism and why doing so has advantages over its representationalist rival, which posits the existence of structural representations or S-representations. Specifically, it is argued that there are problems both with accounting for the content of S-representations and with understanding how neurally-based structural similarities can work as representations (even if contentless) in guiding intelligent behavior. Finally, with these clarifications in place, it is revealed how radical enactivism can commit to an account of similarity-based cognition in its understanding of neurodynamics.

Open Access Status

This publication is not available as open access

Volume

198

First Page

5

Last Page

23

Funding Number

DP170102987

Funding Sponsor

Australian Research Council

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Link to publisher version (DOI)

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11229-019-02505-1