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Sidney Carls-Diamante
Congratulations to Postdoctoral Fellow Sidney CARLS-DIAMANTE for being awarded the WERNER CALLEBAUT PRIZE

Make up your mind: octopus cognition and hybrid explanations

by Sidney Carls-Diamante

ArticleinSynthese · January 2019 with 28 Reads

DOI: 10.1007/s11229-019-02102-2



In order to argue that cognitive science should be more accepting of explanatory plurality, this paper presents the control of fetching movements in the octopus as an exemplar of a cognitive process that comprises distinct and non-redundant representation-using and non-representational elements. Fetching is a type of movement that representational analyses can normally account for completely—but not in the case of the octopus. Instead, a comprehensive account of octopus fetching requires the non-overlapping use of both representational and non-representational explanatory frameworks. What this need for a pluralistic or hybrid explanation implies is that cognitive science should be more open to using both representational and non-representational accounts of cognition, depending on their respective appropriateness to the type of cognition in question.