Mind, Body, World: Foundations of Cognitive Science

(4 reviews)


Michael Dawson, University of Alberta

Pub Date: 2013

ISBN 13: 978-1-9273561-7-3

Publisher: Athabasca University Press

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Reviewed by Valerie Langlois, Ph.D. Student (Cognitive Psychology), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, on 6/20/2018.

Though the textbook does cover the areas and ideas of the subject appropriately, I believe that it focuses more heavily on the computational side of … read more



Reviewed by Jason Finley, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Fontbonne University, on 6/20/2018.

This text is comprehensive, authoritative, and well-cited. It provides a deep and fascinating tour through the momentous ideas and technological … read more



Reviewed by Amy Fountain, Associate Professor, NTE, University of Arizona, on 6/11/2015.

The text covers a broad swath of intellectual history in the development of the Cognitive Sciences - beginning with the Greeks and discussing … read more



Reviewed by Kellie Hall, Professor, California Polytechnic State University, on 7/16/2014.

The book is extremely comprehensive. The history and evolution of the specific field of cognitive science, especially as it relates to … read more


Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1. The Cognitive Sciences: One or Many?
  • Chapter 2. Multiple Levels of Investigation
  • Chapter 3. Elements of Classical Cognitive Science
  • Chapter 4. Elements of Connectionist Cognitive Science
  • Chapter 5. Elements of Embodied Cognitive Science
  • Chapter 6. Classical Music and Cognitive Science
  • Chapter 7. Marks of the Classical?
  • Chapter 8. Seeing and Visualizing
  • Chapter 9. Towards a Cognitive Dialectic

About the Book

Cognitive science arose in the 1950s when it became apparent that a number of disciplines, including psychology, computer science, linguistics, and philosophy, were fragmenting. Perhaps owing to the field’s immediate origins in cybernetics, as well as to the foundational assumption that cognition is information processing, cognitive science initially seemed more unified than psychology. However, as a result of differing interpretations of the foundational assumption and dramatically divergent views of the meaning of the term information processing, three separate schools emerged: classical cognitive science, connectionist cognitive science, and embodied cognitive science.

Examples, cases, and research findings taken from the wide range of phenomena studied by cognitive scientists effectively explain and explore the relationship among the three perspectives. Intended to introduce both graduate and senior undergraduate students to the foundations of cognitive science, Mind, Body, World addresses a number of questions currently being asked by those practicing in the field: What are the core assumptions of the three different schools? What are the relationships between these different sets of core assumptions? Is there only one cognitive science, or are there many different cognitive sciences? Giving the schools equal treatment and displaying a broad and deep understanding of the field, Dawson highlights the fundamental tensions and lines of fragmentation that exist among the schools and provides a refreshing and unifying framework for students of cognitive science.

About the Contributors


Michael R. W. Dawson is a professor of psychology at the University of Alberta. He is the author of numerous scientific papers as well as the books Understanding Cognitive Science (1998), Minds and Machines (2004), Connectionism: A Hands-on Approach (2005), and From Bricks to Brains: The Embodied Cognitive Science of LEGO Robots (2010).