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Representation in dynamical and embodied cognition

Keijzer, F. 2002 In : Cognitive Systems Research. 2002, 3, p. 275-288 14 p.

Research output: ScientificArticle


The move toward a dynamical and embodied understanding of cognitive processes initiated a debate about the usefulness of the notion of representation for cognitive science. The debate started when some proponents of a dynamical and embodied approach argued that the use of representations could be discarded in many circumstances. This remained a minority view however and there is now a tendency to shove this critique of the usefulness of representations aside as a non-issue for a dynamical and situated approach to cognition (Clark, 1997b; Bechtel, 1998). In opposition, I will argue that the representation issue is far from settled, and instead forms the kernel of an important conceptual shift between traditional cognitive science and a dynamical and embodied approach. This will be done by making explicit the key features of representation in traditional cognitive science and by arguing that the representation-like entities that come to the fore in a dynamical and embodied approach are significantly different from the traditional notion of representation. This difference warrants a change of terminology to signal an important change in meaning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-288
Number of pages14
JournalCognitive Systems Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002

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