Published online by Cambridge University Press: 18 April 2019
In this chapter we introduce the motivation for studying "cognition and intractability." We provide an intuitive introduction to the problem of intractability as it arises for models of cognition using an illustrative every day problem as running example: selecting toppings on a pizza. Next, we review relevant background information about the conceptual foundations of cognitive explanation, computability and tractability. At the end of this chapter the reader should have a good understanding of the conceptual foundations of the Tractable Cognition thesis, including its variants: The P-Cognition thesis and the FPT-Cognition thesis, which motivates diving into the technical concepts and proof techniques covered in Chapters 2–7.