Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Constructional Tools as the Origin of Cognitive Capacities

By Brian D. Josephson


It is argued that cognitive capacities can be understood as the outcome of the collective action of a set of agents created by tools that explore possible behaviours and train the agents to behave in such appropriate ways as may be discovered. The coherence of the whole system is assured by a combination of vetting the performance of new agents and dealing appropriately with any faults that the whole system may develop. This picture is shown to account for a range of cognitive capacities, including language

Topics: Theoretical Biology, Cognitive Psychology, Complexity Theory, Language, Machine Learning, Neural Nets, Developmental Psychology, Evolutionary Psychology, Learnability, Semantics, Syntax, Neural Modelling, Neuropsychology, Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Mind
Year: 2000
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (1992). Beyond Modularity: a Developmental Perspective on Cognitive Science,
  2. (1997). Rethinking Innateness: A Connectionist Perspective on Development,
  3. (1994). The Language Instinct: the New Science of Language;
  4. (1997). The neural basis of cognitive development: A constructivist manifesto;
  5. (1972). Understanding Natural L nguage;

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.