Dawson Margin Notes On Smith "Thinking: Introduction"

Smith views thinking as something that is distinctively human. For Smith, "thinking involves mentally representing some aspects of the world (including aspects of ourselves) and manipulating these representations or beliefs so as to yield new beliefs, where the latter may be used in accomplishing some goal." (Q: Given this definition, why view it as being distinctively human -- surely animals and even computers carry out this kind of activity. Is there hidden meaning in Smith's definition??)

The rest of this introduction is basically a catalogue of the topics covered by the chapters in Volume 3. For our purposes early in the course, we might simply take notice of the range of topics that can be studied by cognitive scientists:

Topics Involving Concepts And Reasoning

Topics Involving Memory And Problem Solving

Please note that I don't find Smith's division between concepts/reasoning and memory/problem solving as "natural" as he does! To my mind, a much more natural division would be between symbols (i.e., the representational medium) and the processes used to manipulate these symbols (i.e., the rules of cognition.)

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