Differentiating Animality from Agency. Towards a Foundation for Cognition


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The notion of cognition has been difficult to pin down. Embodied and situated approaches to cognition now suggests that agency, construed in terms of perceptionaction 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 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.
Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)1593-1598
Aantal pagina's6
TijdschriftProceedings of CogSci/ICCS 2006, 1593-1598
StatusPublished - 2006

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