What is the role of the environment, and of the information it provides, in cognition? More specifically, may there be a role for certain artefacts to play in this context? These are questions that motivate "4E" theories of cognition (as being embodied, embedded, extended, enactive). In his take on that family of views, Hajo Greif first defends and refines a concept of information as primarily natural, environmentally embedded in character, which had been eclipsed by information-processing views of cognition. He continues with an inquiry into the cognitive bearing of some artefacts that are sometimes referred to as 'intelligent environments'. Without necessarily having much to do with Artificial Intelligence, such artefacts may ultimately modify our informational environments.
With respect to human cognition, the most notable effect of digital computers is not that they might be able, or become able, to think but that they alter the way we perceive, think and act.
The Open Access version of this book, available at http://www.tandfebooks.com/doi/view/10.4324/9781315401867, has been made available under a Creative Commons CC-BY licence
Hajo Greif teaches at the Munich Center for Technology in Society (MCTS), Technical University of Munich, Germany, and the Department of Philosophy, University of Klagenfurt, Austria. His research interests cover the philosophy - and some of the history and the social studies - of science and technology, as well as the philosophy of mind.
Preliminaries: Ants and Robots, Parlour Games and Steam Drills Background Outline I Informational Environments Resurrecting Dretskean Information Information, Behaviour, and Probability The Content of Natural Information, and Some Discontent Alternative Information Natural Information and the Roots of Intentionality Varieties of Perception Perception as Information Processing: The Computational View Information Specifies Affordances: The Ecological View Perceptual Illusions vs. Misperception: The Empirical Strategy The Domains of Natural Information Natural Information and Reference Classes Informational Domains Resurrection at Last Making an Environment History, Ecology, Environment Adapting Ecological Niches Construction and Constitution What is an Informational Environment? Environmental Information and the Use of Cognition What Informational Environments Are How Informational Environments Change II Environments of Intelligence The Extension of the Extended Mind The Extension of Functional Histories The Constitution of Cognitive Extensions Constitutional Matters The Art of Coupling, Basic and Advanced The Nature of Cognitive Artefacts Being Guided by Pictures Cognitive Artefacts and Informational Environments Convergence and Isomorphism The Intelligence of Environments Evolutionary and Cognitive Robotics Embodied Conversational Agents and Social Robotics Second Life Mixed Reality Games Augmented Reality Naturalising the Artificial 10 Afterthoughts on Conceptual Analysis and Human Nature A Domain for Conceptual Analysis A Naturalist's View of Human Nature and Machines BibliographyIndex