Publication 7288

Ratcliffe M. (2012) There can be no cognitive science of dasein. In: Kiverstein J. & Wheeler M. (eds.) Heidegger and cognitive science. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke: 135–156.
Excerpt: In this chapter, I will consider the prospects for a positive Heideggerian approach to cognitive science and artificial intelligence (AI). Hubert Dreyfus and others have of course developed and refined a highly effective Heideggerian critique of cognitive science over a number of years. However, this critique addresses the limitations of a particular way of doing cognitive science rather than cognitive science per se. The orthodox cognitive science of the 1960s and 1970s, aspects of which still linger on today, is charged by Dreyfus with misconstruing the nature of human intelligence in several interrelated ways. For instance, he argues that symbol manipulation cannot facilitate the pervasive practical know-how that is implicated in most, if not all, human thought and activity. Furthermore, classical AI fails to explain how human cognition succeeds in organising a vast, holistic body of knowledge so as to facilitate a grasp of relevance. Somehow, we manage to identify information that is relevant to our negotiation of novel and open-ended situations without running through absolutely everything we know in order to determine what is applicable and what is not. Dreyfus and his brother, Stuart Dreyfus, have also formulated a model of skill acquisition which challenges assumptions that are central to classical AI. According to their account, although we might begin to learn a new skill by employing an explicit rule, skill maturation does not consist in that rule gradually becoming implicit. Instead, explicit rules operate as a kind of scaffolding that is ultimately discarded and replaced by practical, bodily know-how. So possessing a skill is not, first and foremost, a matter of being able to explicitly or implicitly manipulate rules. Associated with this account of skill-learning is an emphasis on the role || of the body in cognition. Much that we accomplish is not a matter of internal computation but of bodily activities embedded in appropriate kinds of environment.
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