Process and Mind: Exploring the Relationship Between Process Philosophy and the Nonlinear Dynamical Systems Science of Cognition
This work examines the relationship between Alfred North Whitehead’s process philosophy and the nonlinear dynamical systems framework for studying cognition. I argue that the nonlinear dynamical systems approach to cognitive science presupposes many key elements of his process philosophy. The process philosophical interpretation of nature posits events and the dynamic relations between events as the fundamental substrate of reality, as opposed to static physical substances. I present a brief history of the development of substance thought before describing Whitehead’s characterization of nature as a process. In following, I will examine the both the computational and nonlinear dynamical systems frameworks for investigating cognition. I will show that the computational paradigm is subject to many of the same criticisms as substance. Conversely, I will show that nonlinear dynamical cognitive science avoids these criticisms and is congenial to Whitehead’s philosophy insofar as it is suitable for describing emergent processes. To conclude, I suggest that the nonlinear dynamical cognitive science confirms and validates Whitehead’s philosophy. Furthermore, I argue that process philosophy is an appropriate characterization of nature for guiding inquiry in cognitive science.
Favela, Luis H.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Orlando (Main) Campus
Length of Campus-only Access
Moralez, Larry A., "Process and Mind: Exploring the Relationship Between Process Philosophy and the Nonlinear Dynamical Systems Science of Cognition" (2016). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 91.
History of Philosophy Commons, Philosophy of Mind Commons, Philosophy of Science Commons