Modern psychology has, to all intents and purposes, become synonymous with cognitive psychology, with its emphasis on the idea that the brain is some kind of computer, whose job it is to take sensory input, process information, and produce motor output. In particular, evolutionary approaches to psychology, as applied to both human and nonhuman animals, are strongly committed to this computational theory of mind, placing the brain at a remove from both the body and environment, and denying the intimate connections that exist between them. As a result, a great injustice is done to both humans and nonhuman animals: on the one hand, we fail to recognize the distinctive nature of nonhuman cognition, and on the other, we continue to promote a somewhat misleading view of human psychological capacities. Here, Dr. Barrett will suggest a more mutualistic, embodied, enactive view might allow us to ask more interesting questions about how animals of all kinds come to know their worlds, in ways that avoid both the (inevitable) anthropocentric baggage and “Cartesian disease” of the cognitivist viewpoint.
CE: 1.0 credit BACB