Minds and Machines

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 357–371 | Cite as

Embedded systemsvs individualism

  • Michael Losonsky
General Articles


The dispute between individualism and anti-individualism is about the individuation of psychological states, and individualism, on some accounts, is committed to the claim that psychological subjects together with their environments do not constitute integrated computational systems. Hence on this view the computational states that explain psychological states in computational accounts of mind will not involve the subject's natural and social environment. Moreover, the explanation of a system's interaction with the environment is, on this view, not the primary goal of computational theorizing. Recent work in computational developmental psychology (by A. Karmiloff-Smith and J. Rutkowska) as well as artificial agents or embedded artificial systems (by L.P. Kaelbling, among others) casts doubt on these claims. In these computational models, the environment does not just trigger and sustain input for computational operations, but some computational operations actually involve environmental structures.

Key words

Action anti-individualism artificial agents child development computation embedded systems environmentalism formality condition individualism learning algorithms mobile robots representation 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Losonsky
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyColorado State UniversityFt. CollinsUSA

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