UC Merced Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society Title Differentiating Animality from Agency Towards a Foundation for Cognition Publication Date Differentiating Animality from Agency Towards a Foundation for Cognition

Fred Keijzer
2006 Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society   unpublished
The notion of cognition has been difficult to pin down. Embodied and situated approaches to cognition now suggests that agency, construed in terms of perception-action coupling, might provide a clear foundation for cognition. Yet, this attempt has problems of its own. First, a demarcation problem: Which systems are agents and why? Second, a graduality problem: Agency is a way of describing that is either used or not, and it is difficult to envision an incremental route toward agency. To
more » ... agency. To overcome these problems, I differentiate between agency and a new notion, animality. Animality can be described as the sensorimotor organization by means of which animals modify environmental conditions. By developing this notion of animality I claim that it becomes possible to get a grip on the foundational problems of cognition and agency.
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