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  • Print publication year: 2008
  • Online publication date: June 2012

Chapter 10 - Embedded Rationality

from Part II - Conceptual Foundations


This chapter provides an introduction to systems thinking and its application in systems theory. This is followed by a review of the historical context in which a non-systems-thinking perspective developed in the study of intelligence, particularly in artificial intelligence (AI) research. Then, the chapter reviews how systems thinking relates to and is manifested in the study of cognition. Next, it summarizes crosscutting themes that constitute the scientific antecedents of situated cognition. Finally, the chapter focuses on recent and continuing dilemmas that foreshadowed the acceptance of situated cognition in the fields of AI and psychology, and suggests prospects for the next scientific advances. The study of animal navigation and social behavior is especially profound for AI and cognitive science because it reveals what simpler mechanisms, that is, fixed programs with perhaps limited learning during maturation, can accomplish.


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