Extended Cognition and the Dynamics of Algorithmic Skills

  • Simone Pinna

Part of the Studies in Applied Philosophy, Epistemology and Rational Ethics book series (SAPERE, volume 35)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxvii
  2. Simone Pinna
    Pages 1-17
  3. Simone Pinna
    Pages 73-118
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 119-122

About this book


This book describes a novel methodology for studying algorithmic skills, intended as cognitive activities related to rule-based symbolic transformation, and argues that some human computational abilities may be interpreted and analyzed as genuine examples of extended cognition. It shows that the performance of these abilities relies not only on innate neurocognitive systems or language-related skills, but also on external tools and general agent–environment interactions. Further, it asserts that a low-level analysis, based on a set of core neurocognitive systems linking numbers and language, is not sufficient to explain some specific forms of high-level numerical skills, like those involved in algorithm execution. To this end, it reports on the design of a cognitive architecture for modeling all the relevant features involved in the execution of algorithmic strategies, including external tools, such as paper and pencils. The first part of the book discusses the philosophical premises for endorsing and justifying a position in philosophy of mind that links a modified form of computationalism with some recent theoretical and scientific developments, like those introduced by the so-called dynamical approach to cognition. The second part is dedicated to the description of a Turing-machine-inspired cognitive architecture, expressly designed to formalize all kinds of algorithmic strategies.


Digital Computers Human Computer Pencil-and-Paper Arithmetic Mental Computation Computational Functionalism Ecological Functionalism Cognitive Architecture Ecological Psychology Formal Model of Affordance Organism-environment Interaction Agent-environment Interactions Dynamical Approach to Cognition Discrete-time-and-space Dynamical System Models of Algorithmic Skills Bidimensional Turing Machines BTM model Feed-forward Neural Networks

Authors and affiliations

  • Simone Pinna
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Pedagogia, Psicologia, Filosofia. ALOPHIS—Applied LOgic, Philosophy, and HIstory of ScienceUniversità di CagliariCagliariItaly

Bibliographic information