Cognition in Practice
How may we conceive of cognition in practice? What kind of thinking and reflection animate the accomplishment of action? These problems are usually settled by an intellectualist argument: to perform an action is mainly to execute decisions, to carry out plans or intentions, or to follow instructions. According to that view, cognition produces action, but it does not take place in the accomplishment of action itself Such an intellectualist view has been taken up again and developed by recent trends in cognitive science. Why focus on such a view? Because, by its systematizing of current assumptions in most of (he theories of action, it makes the conceptual framework of those theories very clear and allows one to see the inconsistencies of its underpinning. The alternative view outlined in this paper is based on an externalist and pragmatic conception of mind. It considers cognition as a social process and reintegrates it into the performance of situated actions. To do so, it grasps performance as a genuine praxis and specifies the thinking and reflection which animate it in relation to the phenomenon of 'embodied agency.'
Keywords: Symbol., Behaviorism, Action, Embodied Agency, Cognitivism, Cognition, Intelligence, Instructions, Indexicality, Mind, Mental Pilot, Intention, Plan, Order, Objective Spirit, Naturalization of Mind, Situated Action, Rules, Representations
Published online: 01 January 1996
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