, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 203–213 | Cite as

Coping with Descartes’ error in information systems

  • Peter BrödnerEmail author
Original Article


Coming from Hubert Dreyfus’ recent book ‘‘Retrieving Realism” (together with Charles Taylor), the paper presents embodied pre-conceptual perception and representational cognition as two contrasting perspectives on accessing the world. It further characterises the ‘different forms of knowledge emerging from these perspectives and how they dynamically relate to each other. Taking up the Peircean theory of signs and abductive reasoning as methods of discovery, computers are analysed as semiotic machines that formally model and objectify explicit knowledge about social practices and that can be embedded in the sign processes of thereby restructured practices. This practice theoretical perspective allows for both, understanding the limits of AI and pointing to options for productively combining the performance of ‘‘cognitive artifacts” with the tacit skills of knowledge workers.


Abductive reasoning Artificial intelligence Implicit experiential knowledge Explicit propositional knowledge Semiosis Semiotic machine 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.KarlsruheGermany

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