The Complex Mind: An Interdisciplinary Approach
The dominant approach of the last century to behaviour was ‘associationism’ – reducing the complexity of behaviour to the homogeneous strengthening and weakening of simple connections between stimuli and responses. Chomsky‘s devastating critique of this account of human language in the 1960s, resulted in a cease fire with human’s allowed ‘cognitive minds‘ with more expressive machinery, and animals resigned to the graveyard of associations. As messy as all ceasefires, this one left some animal researchers thinking associationism as bad a theory for animals as for people. But the good effect was that there was a broad appreciation that no one discipline would understand the complexities of the mind, and their origins. This book brings comparative and developmental psychology, robotics, linguistics and philosophy to bear on the problem of understanding the biological continuities and discontinuities of the human mind.