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Sketches of Thought (Bradford Books) Hardcover – October 3, 1995

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Editorial Reviews


"While various critiques of the cognitive science model of the mind have been put forth, Vinod Goel is the first scholar to challenge cognitivism on its own turf. Cognitivists will ignore this work at their peril; having attended to it, cognitivists must then attempt to answer it as well."

(Howard Gardner, Professor of Education, Harvard University, author of The Mind's New Science)

"The book's premise that current versions of the computational theory of mind wholly fail to address at least one important kind of cognitive activity is a significant contribution to cognitive science. There has recently been a great deal of interest amoung the cognitive science, AI, and design research communities in the role of sketches, diagrams, and visual representations in problem-solving. Sketches of Thought provides key insights into the functions that sketching serves in early design."

(Mark D. Gross, Director, Laboratory for Design Computing, College of Architecture and Planning, University of Colorado)

"A sustained and original critique of some of the deepest assumptions in current computational cognitive science. Especially salutary is Goel's retention of representation. Rather than simply embrace or dismiss it, he points the way towards an alternative conception that does justice to the informal, the inchoate, the open-ended, the creative. Goel has made an important contribution to releasing us from the grip of an overly formalist conceptualism."

(Brain Cantwell Smith, Xerox PARC and Department of Philosophy, Standford University)

"Vinod Goel sets forth an important argument against the computational theory of mind: namely, that the symbol systems it requires are too restrictive to account for open-minded cognition in ill-structured problem domains such as planning, design, and the arts. His incisive analysis explores uncharted territory and poses serious challenges for computational theories of cognition."

(Stephen E. Palmer, Director, Institue of Cognitive Studies, University of California)

"People use a variety of types of external representations. Goel argues convincingly that one of those uses -- sketching -- cannot be modeled by any available computational theory of mind. His argument that sketching is essnetial to the process of design is original and careful; the account of it gives a fresh critical perspective on computation and cognition. The book should be of interest to anyone who uses sketches or wants to know why and how they are produced."

(Mark Rollins, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology Program, Washington University) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Vinod Goel is Assistant Professor of Psychology at York University.

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