Lachlan Devine

University of Edinburgh

Project title: Radical Embodied Inferentialism, Language, and Scientific Models

Project summary: ‘The recent pragmatic turn in cognitive science emphasises embodied activity and environmental interaction as essential to cognition, unlike traditional representational approaches. However, a recognised problem is how the former can account for conceptual, ‘higher-level’ cognition involving language, abstract thought, and scientific models, without invoking representations. Addressing this, the project aims to develop a novel synthesis of non-representational cognitive science and inferentialism, the view that symbols’ meanings are determined by linguistic rules specifying the correctness of inferences involving them. The latter is to be employed to explore embodied agents’ skilled interactions with a socio-cultural environment, including the inferential structure of public language.’