Discussion on the Relationship between Computation, Information, Cognition, and Their Embodiment

Entropy 25 (2):310 (2023)
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Three special issues of Entropy journal have been dedicated to the topics of “InformationProcessing and Embodied, Embedded, Enactive Cognition”. They addressed morphological computing, cognitive agency, and the evolution of cognition. The contributions show the diversity of views present in the research community on the topic of computation and its relation to cognition. This paper is an attempt to elucidate current debates on computation that are central to cognitive science. It is written in the form of a dialog between two authors representing two opposed positions regarding the issue of what computation is and could be, and how it can be related to cognition. Given the different backgrounds of the two researchers, which span physics, philosophy of computing and information, cognitive science, and philosophy, we found the discussions in the form of Socratic dialogue appropriate for this multidisciplinary/cross-disciplinary conceptual analysis. We proceed as follows. First, the proponent (GDC) introduces the info-computational framework as a naturalistic model of embodied, embedded, and enacted cognition. Next, objections are raised by the critic (MM) from the point of view of the new mechanistic approach to explanation. Subsequently, the proponent and the critic provide their replies. The conclusion is that there is a fundamental role for computation, understood as information processing, in the understanding of embodied cognition.

Author Profiles

Gordana Dodig Crnkovic
Chalmers University of Technology
Marcin Miłkowski
Polish Academy of Sciences


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