In this book, Mark Rowlands challenges the Cartesian view of the mind as a self-contained monadic entity, and offers in its place a radical externalist or environmentalist model of cognitive processes. Cognition is not something done exclusively in the head, but fundamentally something done in the world. Drawing on both evolutionary theory and a detailed examination of the processes involved in perception, memory, thought and language use, Rowlands argues that cognition is, in part, a process whereby creatures manipulate and exploit relevant objects in their environment. It is not simply an internal process of information processing; equally significantly, it is an external process of information processing. This innovative book provides a foundation for an unorthodox but increasingly popular view of the nature of cognition.
• Systematic and wide-ranging • Proposes and defends an unorthodox but increasingly popular view • Of interest to philosophers, psychologists and cognitive scientists
Preface; 1. Introduction: 'a picture held us captive'; Part I. Psychotechtonics: 2. Introduction to part I: 'don't work hard, work smart'; 3. Environmentalism and what it is not; 4. Environmentalism and evolution; 5. Perception; 6. Memory; 7. Thought; 8. Language; Part II. Psychosemantics: 9. Introduction to part II: the need for and the place of a theory of representation; 10. Two theories of representation; 11. Environmentalism and teleological semantics; References; Index.