KLI Colloquia are informal, public talks that are followed by extensive dissussions. Speakers are KLI fellows or visiting researchers who are interested in presenting their work to an interdisciplinary audience and discussing it in a wider research context. We offer three types of talks:

1. Current Research Talks. KLI fellows or visiting researchers present and discuss their most recent research with the KLI fellows and the Vienna scientific community.

2. Future Research Talks. Visiting researchers present and discuss future projects and ideas togehter with the KLI fellows and the Vienna scientific community.

3. Professional Developmental Talks. Experts about research grants and applications at the Austrian and European levels present career opportunities and strategies to late-PhD and post-doctoral researchers.

  • The presentation language is English.
  • If you are interested in presenting your current or future work at the KLI, please contact the Scientific Director or the Executive Manager.

Event Details

Mark Bickhard
KLI Colloquia
Cognition and the Brain
Mark BICKHARD (Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA)
2016-05-30 16:30 - 2016-05-30 18:00
Organized by KLI

Topic description:
Standard semantic information models are, arguably, conceptually incoherent and factually false about the brain. But, nevertheless, they constitute the primary frameworks for modeling cognitive processes, including in the brain. If such models are ultimately not viable, what sort of framework could model cognition in the brain?

I will argue that an action based approach, in the general lineage of pragmatism, provides an alternative modeling framework. In this approach, anticipatory processes are necessary as part of the evolutionary solution to (inter-)action selection, and these yield emergent truth value — possibilities of being true or false — and thus ground cognition and representation in general.

Such an action framework requires timing, thus oscillatory/modulatory processes, and this is in fact what we find as I will outline a micro-scale level of this model and, if time permits, a bit of a macro-scale level. This model has some superficial similarities to predictive brain models, but also fundamental and crucial differences.


Biographical note:
Mark Bickhard is the Henry R. Luce Professor in Cognitive Robotics and the Philosophy of Knowledge at Lehigh University. He is affiliated with the Departments of Philosophy and Psychology, and is Director of the Institute for Interactivist Studies. He is Editor of New Ideas in Psychology, Elsevier. His work ranges from process metaphysics and emergence to consciousness, cognition, and language to persons and social ontologies. This work has generated an integrated organization of models encompassing 'The Whole Person`, which is the tentative title of a book in preparation.