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Self-Steered Self-Organization

Keijzer, F. 2003 The Dynamical Systems Approach to Cognition. Tschacher, W. & Dauwalder, J. P. (eds.). Singapore: World Scientific Publishing, p. 243-259 17 p.

Research output: ScientificChapter


Self-organization has become a well-established phenomenon in physics. It is now also propagated as an important phenomenon in psychology. What is the difference between these two forms of self-organization? One important way in which these two forms are distinguished is by the additional presence of some internal guiding force in the psychological case. Kelso in particular defends such a two-component view on self-organization. I will refer to this addition to mere physical self-organization as self-steering. This chapter attempts to conceptualize the idea of self-steering. Kelso’s interpretation of self-steering as intentional and informational forcing will be criticized. This interpretation amounts to the invocation of an unexplained intentional force that falls victim to many of the problems related to regular representationbased cognitive science. Instead, I argue that the notion of self-steering is wider and needs to be developed in its own right rather than being forced into existing intentional or representational molds.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Dynamical Systems Approach to Cognition
EditorsW. Tschacher, J.P. Dauwalder
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherWorld Scientific Publishing
Number of pages17
StatePublished - 2003

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