Method and Tactics in Cognitive Science

By Walter Kintsch; James R. Miller et al. | Go to book overview

4
First Among Equals

John Haugeland

University of Pittsburgh

Cognitive science of AI-driven. By this I mean two things. First, pre-AI linguistics (e.g., Chomsky), psychology (e.g., Sternberg), and epistemology (e.g., Quine) can do perfectly well without one another--save the occasional boundary dispute or interdisciplinary platitude. Only AI makes it seem that these fields are closely related, not just in the millenium, but now (or soon, anyway). Second, the older disciplines stand to be transformed, both in practice and in theoretical superstructure, by the proposed merger, whereas AI stands mostly to be broadened and enriched, without much changing its basic character. My principle question is: Why is AI "first among equals" in cognitive science?

More specifically, I focus on the relation between AI and psychology, with particular reference to work on language behavior, and even more particular reference to the preceding articles by Bill Clancey and Wendy Lehnert. Insofar as it would be nice to have a unified cognitive science, it would be nice to say that AI and psychology study the same thing (viz., intelligence), but in different manifestations (viz., artificial and natural). In fact, it would be so nice to say this that many people just do. But the two chapters just mentioned, as well as countless others bearing on the issue, show that there is much more that can and should be said.

I begin by summarizing a number of prima facie contrasts between AI and psychology, trying, as I go, to group them into four main categories. Needless to say, these lines are drawn sharper and cleaner than the divisions really are; seldom does a given specimen fall neatly on one side throughout all the distinctions, and a few cases simply defy consistent classification in these terms. Furthermore, it is becoming fairly common for authors versed in both traditions

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