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Complex behavioural with the vitalist brush by reductionists such as Jacques Monod. The temporal regulation Anolli et al.

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Biogenic principle 2—Control: Cognition directly or indirectly modulates the physico—chemical-electrical Energy-acquiring activities—including foraging, food processes that constitute an organism. In those disciplines, food-focused activities necessity to which cognition contributes, it points up a have been important to the project of extracting general problem with SOCS approaches to cognition: a subtle principles relating to cognitive function, such as the form of question begging that assumes what requires relation between the size of the hippocampus and explanation.

A kind of slip routinely occurs in the SOCS memory in food-storing birds Macphail and Bolhuis literature between talk of self-organizing physico— , evaluation of predation risk vs. They are Bshary By contrast, according to psychologist not. Kringelbach , the cognitive neuro- molecular level—between the order displayed by a self- sciences have largely ignored the implications of food organizing physical system, such as a hurricane, a con- intake for investigating cognition, despite the fact that it vection cell or a Bose—Einstein condensate, and the engages and integrates a wide range of motivational, feedback-controlled functional organization character- cognitive, and emotional processes of both a basic bio- istic of all biological systems.

Biological organization is logical and a culturally conditioned character. The suspicion is growing that ther- tion of food sources for desirability and appropriateness modynamics cannot get us from physical order to bio- at a minimum, non-toxicity involves the integration of logical organization see especially, Corning and Kline multiple channels of perception visual, olfactory, gus- a , not even with the expanded principles of dissi- tatory,and sensual as well as memory, learning, plan- pative structures Prigogine and related theoretical ning, and prediction.

In mammals, at least, food Filling in the gaps is not a problem for cognitive science, intake involves the subtle interaction between homeo- but theorists building an approach to cognition on static regulation and hedonic sensory pleasure, the qualia SOCS approaches to life should be aware of them. Energy is not the major factor in the development of complex constantly expended and must be replenished.

The cognition—evolved to support food intake. Foremost energetic costs of even the simplest biological system are, among these energy-related social behaviours are coop- by any standard, enormous. The task, which takes 20— language. For thousands of years human technological 30 min, has been compared to 1, human beings advances largely tracked concern with sustenance, stringing beads at a rate of one every 5 h, 8 h a day, beginning with the development of agriculture and the 5 days a week, for 35 years Cairns-Smith , p Ritual practices developed But the bacterium is not only stringing the beads but around planting, harvesting, feasting, food purity, and manufacturing them as well.

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At the metazoan level, a shrew must consume roughly three times its body weight 8 every day or starve Olson , p Surplus much higher priority than it has been accorded hereto- production provided the basis for systems of social and fore in theorizing about the evolution of sociality and economic exchange that led not only to the development the cognitive capacities that subserve it Atkinson This economy is and arable land to slaving campaigns to obtain workers. Cognitive capacities, and their evolutionary knowledge and culture.

All behaviour, from bacterial chemotaxis to from the nest and behave aggressively toward egg layers. Comparative tion is thus the default goal state of a living system, analysis of data from 50 species of social Hymenoptera against which all interactions are calibrated. This provides the fourth principle: Unexpectedly, however, the analysis provided little or no support for relatedness as the general explanation. Evolutionarily speaking, Goodson builds the While kin selection is not an unimportant factor in homeostatic equilibrium theory from the ground up. The regulation found in these colonies.

Even the simplest gradient sampling has a others being physical protection armour and replica- temporal dimension. Property detections are disjunctive, tion, either rapidly or in large numbers pp 42— For a It should be noted that another truck-sized hole in the comparison to be instrumentally useful, there has to be biological back story gapes here. Somehow certain types something—some detected property, some content—to of self-organizing physical system came to value their be compared Koshland For a comparison to own persistence, to the extent that they began to seek occur at all, there has to be some benchmark against out energy resources to preserve their existence.

May- which the new information is calibrated. The more complex the organism, the wider the What sciousness. Systems that transform energy shifts along more than one dimension, and this includes It is worth noting that there is nothing especially all known organisms existing today, require the capacity straightforward about how some things and not others to retain information for a length of time greater than become energy sources for an organism.

Lactose is food zero. While photosynthetic organisms may E. This is necessary for growth and reproduction. This is where of her motivation for volitional behaviour. Pain is more intolerable than thirst, which is more behaviour: sensory inputs; perceptual structuring; learn- intolerable than hunger. However, they are entirely and more. If there were no experience or sensa- nomologically bound, and by the same principles, as the tion, there would be no basis for prioritizing informa- overt behaviour of the simplest organism. The more tional inputs on the basis of primary or secondary need.

Cognition, too, is needs provides the basis for the seventh principle: costly. Thus while e. However, important again. This is possible because organisms have their own on- the seedbed of all biological behaviour, including all board energy supply in the form of adenosine triphosphate ATP. I have argued elsewhere 4 structural coupling.

This is logical organization is self-producing, not merely self- especially true of homeostasis. Genes are transcribed organizing. Organisms are continually produced by a and translated to produce macromolecules that induce network of components, which are themselves being changes or cascades of changes that induce further continually produced by networks of components.

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This gene expression. If it interacts inadequately with and simultaneously produce those components, while in its surrounding medium, it also dies. This emphasis on continual self-production and organism does is aimed at maintaining the particular its maintenance is what distinguishes autopoiesis from sort of autopoietic organization that makes it a member SOCS approaches to life and cognition.

Complex Worlds from Simpler Nervous Systems

Autopoietic organization thus theory of cognition is as strong as a biogenic approach determines the types of interaction of which the system is gets. It can be stated thus: cognition is the domain of capable. Organization on this picture does not equate interactions of a system with its surrounding medium by with structure. As Maturana changes; its organization does not and cannot. In his Nevertheless, natural selection is the most successful early work, Maturana suggested that the domain of theory in biology because it makes sense of a wide interaction was cognitive for another reason, because it variety of biological phenomena.

We have nothing even involved an implicit prediction that certain classes of remotely comparable for making sense of cognition interaction would occur again. Although Maturana later Rose ; Silver ; de Waal , so the appear- resiled from this position, on the basis that organisms actually interact in a continuous present, I believe his 11 This section is a summary of a longer, more detailed presentation original view captures something important about the in Lyon This cized for not being a proper theory see especially Scheper and Scheper For every implements interactions.

This feature, which While SOCS approaches emphasize thermodynamic organisms share with inanimate systems capable of openness, autopoiesis emphasizes closure, but of a interaction, is structural determinism Maturana and particular sort. Although a living system is open to Varela , p No organism exists, perturbation, every experience, every internal event therefore, without operational closure.

Each re- relevant to system maintenance despite changes in the sponse to perturbation can form new pathways for surrounding medium.

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Autopoiesis—indeed, homeosta- interaction or activate and reinforce existing ones. The sis of any kind—is impossible without operational weight each change carries within the economy of the closure see also Rosen , p Structural determinism runs in two directions, Kitano This aspect of living systems provides from the bottom up and from the top down. All an external stimulus can do is trigger a structural change within the organism. From the perspective of an ob- tiates self may be mimicked, as by some parasites, server the assessment of adequacy depends on the or masked, as in the case of endogenous retroviruses that trigger an autoimmune response.

Structural coupling is the con- straightforward and pragmatic, on this account. Does joint result of thermodynamic openness, which allows the interaction work? For this rea- dent of the observed system Maturana , pp 26— The do- this account in terms of operational coherence.

A living The principle of structural determinism generates system that maintains autopoiesis is adapted to its niche problems for the autopoietic approach to cognition, because its operations cohere with—they are not con- notably in its implications for agency. In his later work, tradicted or thwarted by—the surrounding medium.

Studying Organisms with Basic Cognitive Capacities in Artificial Worlds

Adaptation, therefore, is an intrinsically cognitive trivial and fatalistic. No decision points mean no purposes or goals. Maturana seems Varela , p I see no such implication. Global error that fails to kill the system cause autopoiesis to as well as local constraints shape a system. After all, the cease is just another sort of interaction on par with all possible interactions of structural components are other interactions. Clearly, this is not the goals, and there is nothing in structural determinism to case.


An animal can be sick, a plant diseased; an inter- prevent a system having goals, even explicit ones. Exis- action may cause pain or damage but not death.

Contin- tened. How can potentially catastrophic anthropogenic ued autopoiesis is the end toward which interaction is climate change be anything but a mistake—from both directed, and I see no reason why there could not be the perspectives of the observer and of the human hierarchies of ends subserving the overarching one. Finally, an autopoietic system does not and cannot Existential parameters may vary across a range, but exist apart from its surrounding medium, or its niche. It organism Goodson , p But they function interdependently. Despite the obvious norms are relative—to implicit goals, at the very least value of lesion studies, there is ample empirical evidence the implicit goal of continued autopoiesis.

In the ways. The explanations of cognition that, to my classic formulation, the map is not the territory. At the molecular level, where autopoiesis takes place, processes are concatenations that ramify and loop Table 2 summarizes the traits of the anthropogenic and back; they dynamically overlap, interweave and interact. The map is not the territory. By comparison to the biogenic approach, the anthropogenic ground is well trodden indeed. Brain: Cognition is implemented or instantiated 1. There is a continuous line of meaningful descent. Does not rule out the emergence of novel capacities with increasing complexity.

Behaviour: Cognition has an important role 2. Control: Cognition directly or indirectly modulates the in generating adaptive behaviour. Information processing: Cognition involves 3. Complex traits: An adequate theory of 4. Normativity: Cognition relates to the more or less cognition must account for complex behavioural continuous assessment of system needs relative to traits such as language, abstract thinking, beliefs prevailing circumstances, the potential for and desires, phenomenal consciousness, and culture. Intentionality: A distinguishing property of cognition 5.