1st Edition

Environments of Intelligence From natural information to artificial interaction

By Hajo Greif Copyright 2017
    230 Pages
    by Routledge

    230 Pages
    by Routledge

    What is the role of the environment, and of the information it provides, in cognition? More specifically, may there be a role for certain artefacts to play in this context? These are questions that motivate "4E" theories of cognition (as being embodied, embedded, extended, enactive). In his take on that family of views, Hajo Greif first defends and refines a concept of information as primarily natural, environmentally embedded in character, which had been eclipsed by information-processing views of cognition. He continues with an inquiry into the cognitive bearing of some artefacts that are sometimes referred to as 'intelligent environments'. Without necessarily having much to do with Artificial Intelligence, such artefacts may ultimately modify our informational environments.

    With respect to human cognition, the most notable effect of digital computers is not that they might be able, or become able, to think but that they alter the way we perceive, think and act.

    The Open Access version of this book, available at http://www.tandfebooks.com/doi/view/10.4324/9781315401867, has been made available under a Creative Commons CC-BY licence

    1. Preliminaries: Ants and Robots, Parlour Games and Steam Drills
    2. Background


      I Informational Environments

    3. Resurrecting Dretskean Information
    4. Information, Behaviour, and Probability

      The Content of Natural Information, and Some Discontent

      Alternative Information

      Natural Information and the Roots of Intentionality


    5. Varieties of Perception
    6. Perception as Information Processing: The Computational View

      Information Specifies Affordances: The Ecological View

      Perceptual Illusions vs. Misperception: The Empirical Strategy


    7. The Domains of Natural Information
    8. Natural Information and Reference Classes

      Informational Domains

      Resurrection at Last


    9. Making an Environment
    10. History, Ecology, Environment

      Adapting Ecological Niches

      Construction and Constitution


    11. What is an Informational Environment?
    12. Environmental Information and the Use of Cognition

      What Informational Environments Are

      How Informational Environments Change


      II Environments of Intelligence

    13. The Extension of the Extended Mind
    14. The Extension of Functional Histories

      The Constitution of Cognitive Extensions

      Constitutional Matters

      The Art of Coupling, Basic and Advanced


    15. The Nature of Cognitive Artefacts
    16. Being Guided by Pictures

      Cognitive Artefacts and Informational Environments

      Convergence and Isomorphism


    17. The Intelligence of Environments

    Evolutionary and Cognitive Robotics

    Embodied Conversational Agents and Social Robotics

    Second Life

    Mixed Reality Games

    Augmented Reality

    Naturalising the Artificial



    10 Afterthoughts on Conceptual Analysis and Human Nature

    A Domain for Conceptual Analysis

    A Naturalist’s View of Human Nature and Machines



    Hajo Greif teaches at the Munich Center for Technology in Society (MCTS), Technical University of Munich, Germany, and the Department of Philosophy, University of Klagenfurt, Austria. His research interests cover the philosophy – and some of the history and the social studies – of science and technology, as well as the philosophy of mind.

    "An absorbing volume that integrates an extraordinarily wide area of work, with interesting observations and new twists right to the end."

    Ruth Millikan, University of Connecticut, USA