Simon, T and Scholes, R (eds.)
Neoconstructivism: A Unifying Constraint for the Cognitive Sciences,
ABSTRACT: Behavioral scientists studied behavior; cognitive scientists study what generates behavior. Cognitive science is hence theoretical behaviorism (or behaviorism is experimental cognitivism). Behavior is data for a cognitive theorist. What counts as a theory of behavior? In this paper, a methodological constraint on theory construction -- "neoconstructivism" -- will be proposed (by analogy with constructivism in mathematics): Cognitive theory must be computable; given an encoding of the input to a behaving system, a theory must be able to compute (an encoding of) its outputs. It is a mistake to conclude, however, that this constraint requires cognitive theory to be computational, or that it follows from this that cognition is computation.
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