Publication 3415

Cowley S. (2014) The Integration Problem: Interlacing Language, Action and Perception. Cybernetics & Human Knowing 21(1–2): 53–65. Fulltext at
Human thinking uses other peoples’ experience. While often pictured as computation or based on the workings of a language-system in the mind or brain, the evidence suggests alternatives to representationalism. In terms proposed here, embodiment is interlaced with wordings as people tackle the integration problem. Using a case study, the paper shows how a young man uses external resources in an experimental task. He grasps a well-defined problem by using material resources, talking about his doings and switching roles and procedures. Attentional skills enable him to act as an air cadet who, among other things, connects action, leadership and logic. Airforce practices prompt him to draw timeously on non-local resources as, using impersonal experience, he interlaces language, action and perception. He connects the cultural and the metabolic in cognitive work as he finds a way to completion of the task.


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