Mimetic Minds: Meaning Formation through Epistemic Mediators and External Representations

Mimetic Minds: Meaning Formation through Epistemic Mediators and External Representations

Lorenzo Magnani (University of Pavia, Italy)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 31
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-111-7.ch011
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Abstract

The imitation game between man and machine, proposed by Turing in 1950, is a game between a discrete and a continuous system. In the framework of the recent studies about embodied and distributed cognition, Turing’s “discrete-state machine” can be seen as an external cognitive media-tor that constitutively integrates human cognitive behavior. Through the description of a subclass of these cognitive mediators I call “mimetic minds,” the chapter deals with some of their cognitive and epistemological aspects and with the cognitive role played by the manipulations of the environment that includes them. The illustrated topics directly affect the problem of meaning formation in the light of both human and artificial reasoning, taking advantage of a study on the role of external representa-tions and of what I call “epistemic mediators.”

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