The Cognitive Architecture of Embodied Mind

By Helena Knyazeva.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The dynamic approach to understanding of the human consciousness, its cognitive activities and cognitive architecture is one of the most promising approaches in the modern epistemology and cognitive science. The conception of embodied mind is under discussion in the light of nonlinear dynamics and of the idea co-evolution of complex systems developed by the Moscow scientific school. The cognitive architecture of the embodied mind is rather complex: data from senses and products of rational thinking, the verbal and the pictorial, logic and intuition, the analytical and synthetic abilities of perception and of thinking, the local and the global, the analogue and the digital, the archaic and the post-modern are intertwined in it. In the process of cognition, co-evolution of embodied mind as an autopoietic system and its surroundings takes place. The perceptual and mental processes are bound up with the structure of human body. Nonlinear and circular connecting links between the subject of cognition and the world constructed by him can be metaphorically called a nonlinear cobweb of cognition. Cognition is an autopoietic activity because it is directed to the search of elements that are missed; it serves to completing integral structures. According to the theory of blow-up regimes in complex systems elaborated by Sergey P.Kudyumov and his followers, the idea of co-evolution is connected with the concept of tempoworlds. To co-evolve means to start to develop in one and the same tempoworld and to use the possibility – in case of a proper intergation into a whole structure – to accelerate the tempo of evolution. The cognitive activities of the human being can be considered as a movement (active walk) in landscapes of co-evolution when he cognizes and changes environment and is changed himself by the very activities. The similar conclusion can be drawn from Francisco Varela’s conception of enactive cognition.

Keywords: Embodied Mind, Cognitive Architecture, Nonlinearity, Nonlinear Dynamics, Landscapes of Co-evolution, Autopoiesis, Enactive Cognition, Francisco Varela

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 8, Issue 12, pp.1-10. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 613.194KB).

Dr. Helena Knyazeva

Head of Department, Department of Evolutionary Epistemology, Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russian Federation

Helena Knyazeva (born in 1959 in Moscow) is Head of Department at the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, where she received Ph.D. in Philosophy in 1986, Dr. habil. in Epistemology in 1994. In 1997-98, 2004 and 2005, she was an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow at Hermann Haken’s Center of Synergetics, University of Stuttgart (Germany). Her fields of research interests are epistemology and philosophy of science. She published 7 books in Russian and about 30 research articles in international professional journals. She is a member of a number international associations, including the German Society for Complex Systems and Nonlinear Dynamics and the Association for Complex Thinking in France. Her recent works related to the theme of this article are the books “Synergetics: Nonlinearity of Time and Landscapes of Co-evolution” 2007, URSS Publishers, Moscow, and “Foundations of Synergetics: A Man Creating Himself and His Future 4th edition, 2011, URSS Publishers, Moscow (both books in Russian, in co-authorship with S.P. Kurdyumov) as well as the article “Nonlinear Cobweb of Cognition” (In: Foundations of Science, 2009, Vol. 14, N.3, p.167-179).

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