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Cognitive science meets the mark of the cognitive: putting the horse before the cart

Gough, Joe (2022) 'Cognitive science meets the mark of the cognitive: putting the horse before the cart.', Biology & Philosophy, 38 (1). pp. 1-24.


Among those living systems, which are cognizers? Among the behaviours of, and causes of behaviour in, living systems, which are cognitive? Such questions sit at the heart of a sophisticated, ongoing debate, of which the recent papers by Corcoran et al. (2020) and Sims and Kiverstein (2021) serve as excellent examples. I argue that despite their virtues, both papers suffer from flawed conceptions of the point of the debate. This leaves their proposals ill-motivated—good answers to the wrong question. Additionally, their proposals are unfit to serve the legitimate roles for characterizations of cognition.

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Date accepted:22 November 2022
Date deposited:05 January 2023
Date of first online publication:17 December 2022
Date first made open access:05 January 2023

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