How the Body Shapes the Way We Think: A New View of Intelligence

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A Bradford Book, 2007 - Computers - 394 pages
4 Reviews

How could the body influence our thinking when it seems obvious that the brain controls the body? In "How the Body Shapes the Way We Think," Rolf Pfeifer and Josh Bongard demonstrate that thought is not independent of the body but is tightly constrained, and at the same time enabled, by it. They argue that the kinds of thoughts we are capable of have their foundation in our embodiment -- in our morphology and the material properties of our bodies.

This crucial notion of embodiment underlies fundamental changes in the field of artificial intelligence over the past two decades, and Pfeifer and Bongard use the basic methodology of artificial intelligence -- "understanding by building" -- to describe their insights. If we understand how to design and build intelligent systems, they reason, we will better understand intelligence in general. In accessible, nontechnical language, and using many examples, they introduce the basic concepts by building on recent developments in robotics, biology, neuroscience, and psychology to outline a possible theory of intelligence. They illustrate applications of such a theory in ubiquitous computing, business and management, and the psychology of human memory. Embodied intelligence, as described by Pfeifer and Bongard, has important implications for our understanding of both natural and artificial intelligence.

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Review: How the Body Shapes the Way We Think: A New View of Intelligence

User Review  - Muhammad al-Khwarizmi - Goodreads

Despite the sometimes cutesy language, the contributions here are not to be understated. After reading this, or Understanding Intelligence, which preceded it, you will never see "disembodied ... Read full review

Review: How the Body Shapes the Way We Think: A New View of Intelligence

User Review  - John Alt - Goodreads

What is embodied cognition? A view in which cognition isn't from the brain alone, but which involves the brain, the body, and the environment. If you check the dictionary, you will find that cognition ... Read full review


Intelligence Thinking and Artificial Intelligence
The Landscape
Toward a Theory of Intelligence

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About the author (2007)

Shanti Pillai is a PhD candidate in the Department of Performance Studies at TischSchool of the Arts/NYU.

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