Cognitive Science

Cognitive Science
   1) The Basic Idea of Cognitive Science
   The basic idea of cognitive science is that intelligent beings are semantic engines-in other words, automatic formal systems with interpretations under which they consistently make sense. . . . [P]eople and intelligent computers turn out to be merely different manifestations of the same underlying phenomenon. (Haugeland, 1981b, p. 31)
   2) Experimental Psychology, Theoretical Linguistics, and Computational Simulation of Cognitive Processes Are All Components of Cognitive Science
   I went away from the Symposium with a strong conviction, more intuitive than rational, that human experimental psychology, theoretical linguistics, and computer simulation of cognitive processes were all pieces of a larger whole, and that the future would see progressive elaboration and coordination of their shared concerns. . . . I have been working toward a cognitive science for about twenty years beginning before I knew what to call it. (G. A. Miller, 1979, p. 9)
   3) The Nature of Cognitive Science
   Cognitive Science studies the nature of cognition in human beings, other animals, and inanimate machines (if such a thing is possible). While computers are helpful within cognitive science, they are not essential to its being. A science of cognition could still be pursued even without these machines.
   Computer Science studies various kinds of problems and the use of computers to solve them, without concern for the means by which we humans might otherwise resolve them. There could be no computer science if there were no machines of this kind, because they are indispensable to its being. Artificial Intelligence is a special branch of computer science that investigates the extent to which the mental powers of human beings can be captured by means of machines.
   There could be cognitive science without artificial intelligence but there could be no artificial intelligence without cognitive science. One final caveat: In the case of an emerging new discipline such as cognitive science there is an almost irresistible temptation to identify the discipline itself (as a field of inquiry) with one of the theories that inspired it (such as the computational conception . . . ). This, however, is a mistake. The field of inquiry (or "domain") stands to specific theories as questions stand to possible answers. The computational conception should properly be viewed as a research program in cognitive science, where "research programs" are answers that continue to attract followers. (Fetzer, 1996, pp. xvi-xvii)
   4) The Nature of Cognitive Science
   What is the nature of knowledge and how is this knowledge used? These questions lie at the core of both psychology and artificial intelligence.
   The psychologist who studies "knowledge systems" wants to know how concepts are structured in the human mind, how such concepts develop, and how they are used in understanding and behavior. The artificial intelligence researcher wants to know how to program a computer so that it can understand and interact with the outside world. The two orientations intersect when the psychologist and the computer scientist agree that the best way to approach the problem of building an intelligent machine is to emulate the human conceptual mechanisms that deal with language. . . . The name "cognitive science" has been used to refer to this convergence of interests in psychology and artificial intelligence. . . .
   This working partnership in "cognitive science" does not mean that psychologists and computer scientists are developing a single comprehensive theory in which people are no different from machines. Psychology and artificial intelligence have many points of difference in methods and goals. . . . We simply want to work on an important area of overlapping interest, namely a theory of knowledge systems. As it turns out, this overlap is substantial. For both people and machines, each in their own way, there is a serious problem in common of making sense out of what they hear, see, or are told about the world. The conceptual apparatus necessary to perform even a partial feat of understanding is formidable and fascinating. (Schank & Abelson, 1977, pp. 1-2)
   5) The New Field of Cognitive Science
   Within the last dozen years a general change in scientific outlook has occurred, consonant with the point of view represented here. One can date the change roughly from 1956: in psychology, by the appearance of Bruner, Goodnow, and Austin's Study of Thinking and George Miller's "The Magical Number Seven"; in linguistics, by Noam Chomsky's "Three Models of Language"; and in computer science, by our own paper on the Logic Theory Machine. (Newell & Simon, 1972, p. 4)

Historical dictionary of quotations in cognitive science. . 2015.

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