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  • Print publication year: 2008
  • Online publication date: June 2012

Chapter 15 - Problem Solving and Situated Cognition

from Part III - Empirical Developments
Situated theorists have reached something approximating an antinativist consensus. The advocate of extended cognition urges us to focus on the traits of extended systems, and it is difficult to see how genes could encode such traits, for genes would seem to affect directly only the organism itself. Humans categorize, perceive, remember, use language, reason, and make sense of the actions of others; these and more are abilities of persisting systems. In contrast, most actual extended systems are short-lived. The embedded approach minimizes the amount of internal representation used to model the human performance of cognitive tasks. Theories of cognition must make some allowance for persisting, internal representations. Children employ amodal representations from early on, and concepts are used in abstract thought, when one is, for example, alone in the study. The wide range of theoretical possibilities opens with respect to nativism and the situated modeling of cognition.
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