The Life & Mind Seminar Network

Seminar #21: Mental Life, session material

Posted in Seminars by xbarandiaran on July 4, 2007

I have uploaded the OpenOffice presentation slides that I used for the last seminar. You can download them on OpenOffice format or PDF. However there is most interesting part of the session were the sentences that were proposed for discussion:

0: The behaviour of a robot that is capable of recharging its batteries is more “autonomous” than the behaviour of an otherwise identical robot that cannot.

1: The behaviour of a mutant bacteria swimming down the sugar gradient is as intentional for the bacteria as the behaviour of a “normal” bacterial going up the sugar gradient

2: Although it is slowly destroying its autopoiesis the invisible source of radiation next to the the cat is meaningless for her.

3: The behaviour (landmark navigation) produced by a network of cultured living neurons in a petri dish, embodied on a robot, is as genuinelly cognitive as the same behaviour enacted by an ant

4: Autopoiesis (recursivelly self maintaining far-from-thermodynamic-equilibrium dissipative organization) cannot, in principle, be fully modelled with dynamical systems, thus current evolutionary robotics is lacking an essential component to model cognition

5: When we cut, in a mammal, the nerves that connect the sensorimotor nervous system (generating behaviour) with the autonomic nervous system (controlling internal bioregulation) its behaviour should not, in principle, be less meaningfull than before.

Sorry for the delay on posting the information ;)


One Response

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  1. tomfroese said, on July 18, 2007 at 5:33 pm

    Hi Xabier!

    Thanks for the post! It looks like I missed an inherently enactive seminar! ;-)

    I guess you don’t remember which of the 5 sentences were democratically approved and which not?

    There’s something I don’t yet understand about your PhD (hypo)thesis: if I understand you correctly then your claim is that only life-like closure in the behavioral domain is constitutive of intentionality. But what makes it different from metabolic closure such that metabolism is insufficient? In particular I’m thinking about Bitbol and Luisi’s recent paper where they consider a minimal autopoietic entity’s extended homeostatic regulation in the chemical domain as a form of minimal cognition. I guess you disagree with their claim?

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