Neoconstructivism: A Unifying Constraint for the Cognitive Sciences


Harnad, Stevan (1982) Neoconstructivism: A Unifying Constraint for the Cognitive Sciences, Erlbaum

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Description/Abstract

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.

Item Type: Book
Additional Information: Address: Hillsdale NJ US
Keywords: behaviorism, cognition, computation, explanation, modeling
Divisions: Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering > Electronics and Computer Science > Web & Internet Science
ePrint ID: 250383
Date Deposited: 04 May 1999
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 19:51
Publisher: Erlbaum
Further Information:Google Scholar
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/250383

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