Being There: Putting Brain, Body, and World Together Again

Being There: Putting Brain, Body, and World Together Again

by Andy Clark

Hardcover

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Overview

Brain, body, and world are united in a complex dance of circular causation and extended computational activity. In Being There, Andy Clark weaves these several threads into a pleasing whole and goes on to address foundational questions concerning the new tools and techniques needed to make sense of the emerging sciences of the embodied mind. Clark brings together ideas and techniques from robotics, neuroscience, infant psychology, and artificial intelligence. He addresses a broad range of adaptive behaviors, from cockroach locomotion to the role of linguistic artifacts in higher-level thought.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262032407
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 02/29/2000
Pages: 269
Product dimensions: 6.29(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.93(d)

About the Author


Andy Clark is Doctor of Philosophy at the School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences at the University of Sussex.

Table of Contents

Preface: Deep Thought Meets Fluent Action xi(4)
Acknowledgments xv(2)
Groundings xvii
Introduction: A Car with a Cockroach Brain 1(8)
I Outing the Mind 9(76)
1 Autonomous Agents: Walking on the Moon
11(24)
1.1 Under the Volcano
11(1)
1.2 The Robots' Parade
12(9)
1.3 Minds without Models
21(2)
1.4 Niche Work
23(2)
1.5 A Feel for Detail?
25(6)
1.6 The Refined Robot
31(4)
2 The Situated Infant
35(18)
2.1 I, Robot
35(1)
2.2 Action Loops
36(3)
2.3 Development without Blueprints
39(3)
2.4 Soft Assembly and Decentralized Solutions
42(3)
2.5 Scaffolded Minds
45(2)
2.6 Mind as Mirror vs. Mind as Controller
47(6)
3 Mind and World: The Plastic Frontier
53(18)
3.1 The Leaky Mind
53(1)
3.2 Neural Networks: An Unfinished Revolution
53(6)
3.3 Leaning on the Environment
59(4)
3.4 Planning and Problem Solving
63(4)
3.5 After the Filing Cabinet
67(4)
4 Collective Wisdom, Slime-Mold-Style
71(12)
4.1 Slime Time
71(2)
4.2 Two Forms of Emergence
73(3)
4.3 Sea and Anchor Detail
76(1)
4.4 The Roots of Harmony
77(3)
4.5 Modeling the Opportunistic Mind
80(3)
Intermission: A Capsule History
83(2)
II Explaining the Extended Mind 85(92)
5 Evolving Robots
87(16)
5.1 The Slippery Strategems of the Embodied, Embedded Mind
87(1)
5.2 An Evolutionary Backdrop
88(1)
5.3 Genetic Algorithms as Exploratory Tools
89(1)
5.4 Evolving Embodied Intelligence
90(4)
5.5 SIM Wars (Get Real!)
94(3)
5.6 Understanding Evolved, Embodied, Embedded Agents
97(6)
6 Emergence and Explanation
103(26)
6.1 Different Strokes?
103(1)
6.2 From Parts to Wholes
103(10)
6.3 Dynamical Systems and Emergent Explanation
113(6)
6.4 Of Mathematicians and Engineers
119(4)
6.5 Decisions, Decisions
123(4)
6.6 The Brain Bites Back
127(2)
7 The Neuroscientific Image
129(14)
7.1 Brains: Why Bother?
129(1)
7.2 The Monkey's Fingers
130(3)
7.3 Primate Vision: From Feature Detection to Tuned Filters
133(3)
7.4 Neural Control Hypotheses
136(5)
7.5 Refining Representation
141(2)
8 Being, Computing, Representing
143(34)
8.1 Ninety Percent of (Artificial) Life?
143(1)
8.2 What Is This Thing Called Representation?
143(6)
8.3 Action-Oriented Representation
149(4)
8.4 Programs, Forces, and Partial Programs
153(7)
8.5 Beating Time
160(3)
8.6 Continuous Reciprocal Causation
163(3)
8.7 Representation-Hungry Problems
166(4)
8.8 Roots
170(4)
8.9 Minimal Representationalism
174(3)
III Further! 177(46)
9 Minds and Markets
179(14)
9.1 Wild Brains, Scaffolded Minds
179(1)
9.2 Lost in the Supermarket
180(4)
9.3 The Intelligent Office?
184(2)
9.4 Inside the Machine
186(4)
9.5 Designer Environments
190(3)
10 Language: The Ultimate Artifact
193(26)
10.1 Word Power
193(1)
10.2 Beyond Communication
194(6)
10.3 Trading Spaces
200(7)
10.4 Thoughts about Thoughts: The Mangrove Effect
207(4)
10.5 The Fit of Language to Brain
211(2)
10.6 Where Does the Mind Stop and the Rest of the World Begin?
213(6)
11 Minds, Brains, and Tuna (A Summary in Brine)
219(4)
Epilogue 223(6)
Notes 229(20)
Bibliography 249(16)
Index 265

What People are Saying About This

Mitchel Resnick

When people think about thinking, they often think of Rodin's Thinker: an individual in quiet contemplation. Even cognitive scientists fall into this trap; too often, they view thinking as an isolated mental function. This book provides a much richer and more accurate image. Clark's Thinker thinks through action and interaction with the environment, combining brain with body and world.

Edwin Hutchins

Andy Clark's Being There is a beautifully written, very accessible roadmap to the shifting territory of contemporary cognitive science. He weaves a clear, unifying vision of cognitive science of truly impressive scope, giving coherent shape to the many changes happening in the disparate parts of the field. This is a must-read book for every researcher and student in every corner of the cognitive science.

Garland E. Allen

In Being There, Andy Clark explores the nature of consciousness and intelligence in a refreshingly new light. Discarding the Cartesian dualism of mind and body, he fashions an interactive view of intelligent action that forces us to see the brain as situated not only in the body's complex physiological environment, but also in the real world of phsyical entities and complex situations to which it must continually respond. In short, he presents a view of consciousness of a process of constant feedback loops between the brain, the body, and the material world in which the organism—including overselves—lives.

Dave Cliff

Writing in highly readable and entertaining style, Andy Clark gives his perspective on key developments in the science of mind over the last decade, and offers his own compelling arguments for how further research should proceed. This very enjoyable book should be essential reading, and deserves to become a classic.

William Bechtel

'If it ain't broke, don't fix it.' sounds good to lots of cognitive scientists, but not to Andy Clark. In Being There, he argues that today's cognitive science indeed is broken: by neglecting body and world, it has paid the price of having to do too much with too little. Clark's fix is to recouple a dynamic brain to its body and world. He leads us on a magical mystery tour of a new research landscape populated by artificial termites, Tetris-playing humans, and many other wondrous beings.

Nature - Margaret A. Boden

Clark's book is an excellent introduction to this new movement in cognitive science. It is clear, wide ranging, well informed, and full of fascinating examples. And, unusually, it manages to be both eminently sensible and highly provocative.

Paul M. Churchland

This is Andy Clark's best book yet. It is a fast-moving but highly accessible synthesis of several of the most radical and cutting-edge research programs within cognitive science and the philosophy of mind. As a wise summary alone, it would be welcome to readers in a half-dozen academic disciplines. But Clark—ever just, ever patient—knits the work together into a coherent unity. It is a fertile and compelling vision, and a real intellectual achievement.

Owen Flanagan

Clarks' book is a very good read. Its major strength is that it provides an easily accessible introduction to some of the hottest approaches in the 'science of mind'—neural network research, embodied cognition, autonomous agent robotics. What makes these approaches hot and novel has to do with the fact that they are radical, but already showing their promise in practice. Clark is a first-rate thinker, always at the cutting edge, able to synthesize seemingly disparate ideas, and, most importantly, able to make us think about the 'mind' in new and better ways.

Endorsement

When people think about thinking, they often think of Rodin's Thinker: an individual in quiet contemplation. Even cognitive scientists fall into this trap; too often, they view thinking as an isolated mental function. This book provides a much richer and more accurate image. Clark's Thinker thinks through action and interaction with the environment, combining brain with body and world.

Mitchel Resnick, Associate Professor, MIT Media Laboratory

From the Publisher

Clarks' book is a very good read. Its major strength is that it provides an easily accessible introduction to some of the hottest approaches in the 'science of mind'—neural network research, embodied cognition, autonomous agent robotics. What makes these approaches hot and novel has to do with the fact that they are radical, but already showing their promise in practice. Clark is a first-rate thinker, always at the cutting edge, able to synthesize seemingly disparate ideas, and, most importantly, able to make us think about the 'mind' in new and better ways.

Owen Flanagan, Professor of Philosophy, Psychology, and Neurobiology, and Chair of Philosophy, Duke University

Being There develops Clark's vision of the present and future of cognitive science. It moves ahead of the current state of the field to anticipate the next stages of cognitive science, a science of the embodied mind, and mind embedded in the world. An excellent and unique book.

Dan Lloyd, Department of Philosophy, Trinity College

This is Andy Clark's best book yet. It is a fast-moving but highly accessible synthesis of several of the most radical and cutting-edge research programs within cognitive science and the philosophy of mind. As a wise summary alone, it would be welcome to readers in a half-dozen academic disciplines. But Clark—ever just, ever patient—knits the work together into a coherent unity. It is a fertile and compelling vision, and a real intellectual achievement.

Paul M. Churchland, Professor, Department of Philosophy; Institute for Neural Computation; Cognitive Science Program; and Science Studies Program, University of California, San Diego

Andy Clark's Being There is a beautifully written, very accessible roadmap to the shifting territory of contemporary cognitive science. He weaves a clear, unifying vision of cognitive science of truly impressive scope, giving coherent shape to the many changes happening in the disparate parts of the field. This is a must-read book for every researcher and student in every corner of the cognitive science.

Edwin Hutchins, Professor of Cognitive Science, University of California, San Diego, and author of Cognition in the Wild

In Being There, Andy Clark explores the nature of consciousness and intelligence in a refreshingly new light. Discarding the Cartesian dualism of mind and body, he fashions an interactive view of intelligent action that forces us to see the brain as situated not only in the body's complex physiological environment, but also in the real world of phsyical entities and complex situations to which it must continually respond. In short, he presents a view of consciousness of a process of constant feedback loops between the brain, the body, and the material world in which the organism—including overselves—lives.

Garland E. Allen, Professor of Biology, Washington University

'If it ain't broke, don't fix it.' sounds good to lots of cognitive scientists, but not to Andy Clark. In Being There, he argues that today's cognitive science indeed is broken: by neglecting body and world, it has paid the price of having to do too much with too little. Clark's fix is to recouple a dynamic brain to its body and world. He leads us on a magical mystery tour of a new research landscape populated by artificial termites, Tetris-playing humans, and many other wondrous beings.

William Bechtel, Editor, Philsophical Psychology

Writing in highly readable and entertaining style, Andy Clark gives his perspective on key developments in the science of mind over the last decade, and offers his own compelling arguments for how further research should proceed. This very enjoyable book should be essential reading, and deserves to become a classic.

Dave Cliff, University of Sussex

When people think about thinking, they often think of Rodin's Thinker: an individual in quiet contemplation. Even cognitive scientists fall into this trap; too often, they view thinking as an isolated mental function. This book provides a much richer and more accurate image. Clark's Thinker thinks through action and interaction with the environment, combining brain with body and world.

Mitchel Resnick, Associate Professor, MIT Media Laboratory

Dan Lloyd

Being There develops Clark's vision of the present and future of cognitive science. It moves ahead of the current state of the field to anticipate the next stages of cognitive science, a science of the embodied mind, and mind embedded in the world. An excellent and unique book.

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