Publication 6108

Cowley S. & Nash L. (2013) Language, interactivity and solution probing: Repetition without repetition. Adaptive Behavior 21(3): 187–198.
Recognition of the importance of autopoiesis to biological systems was crucial in building an alternative to the classic view of cognitive science. However, concepts like structural coupling and autonomy are not strong enough to throw light on language and human problem solving. The argument is presented though a case study where a person solves a problem and, in so doing relies on non-local aspects of the ecology as well as his observer’s mental domain. Like Anthony Chemero we make links with ecological psychology to emphasize how embodiment draws on cultural resources as people concert thinking, action and perception. We trace this to human interactivity or sense-saturated coordination that renders possible language and human forms of cognition: it links human sense-making to historical experience. People play roles with natural and cultural artifacts as they act, animate groups and live through relationships drawing on language that is, at once, artificial and natural. Thus, while constrained by wordings, interactivity is able to fine-tune what we do with action-perception loops. Neither language nor human problem solving reduce to biological sense-making.
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