, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 273-288

First online:

Cognitive technology and the pragmatics of impossible plans — A study in cognitive prosthetics

  • Roger LindsayAffiliated withPsychology Unit, Oxford Brookes University

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Do AI programs just make it quicker and easier for humans to do what they can do already, or can the range of do-able things be extended? This paper suggests that cognitively-oriented technology can make it possible for humans to construct and carry out mental operations, which were previously impossible. Probable constraints upon possible human mental operations are identified and the impact of cognitive technology upon them is evaluated. It is argued that information technology functions as a cognitive prosthetic enhancing human intelligence and planning capabilities. Boundaries and constraints which Kant, Whorf, and many post-modernist theorists have seen as intrinsic to human cognition now cease to apply.


Cognitive ability Cognitive prosthetics Planning processes Pragmatics Relevance