Article published in:Mechanicism and Autonomy: What Can Robotics Teach Us About Human Cognition and Action?
Edited by Maria Eunice Quilici Gonzalez, Willem F.G. Haselager and Itiel E. Dror
[Pragmatics & Cognition 15:3] 2007
► pp. 515–546
Robotics, biological grounding and the Fregean tradition
Dynamic, embodied and situated cognition set up organism-environment interaction — agency for short — as the core of cognitive systems. Robotics became an important way to study this behavioral kernel of cognition. In this paper, we discuss the implications of what we call the biological grounding problem for robotic studies: Natural and artificial agents are hugely different and it will be necessary to articulate what must be replicated by artificial agents such as robots. Interestingly, once this issue is explicitly raised, it seems that a full replication of biological features is required for cognition itself to be plausibly cast as a biological phenomenon. Several issues come to the fore once one takes this implication seriously. Why does a full biological interpretation of cognition remain so controversial? How does this impact the relevance of robotics for the study of cognition? We try to articulate and ease the various tensions that arise from this biological scenario.
Published online: 13 December 2007
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