In this wide-ranging book the author presents his critique of the contemporary portrayal of cognition, an analysis of the conceptual foundations of cognitive science and a proposal for a new concept of the mind. Shanon argues that the representational account is seriously lacking and that far from serving as a basis of cognitive activity, representations are the products of such activity. He proposes an alternative view of the mind in which the basic capability of the cognitive system is not the manipulation of symbols but rather action in the world. His book offers a different outlook on the phenomenon of consciousness and presents a new conception of psychological theory and explanation. This revised second edition includes a new Postscript.
Benny Shanon received his PhD in psychology from Stanford University in 1974. Currently he holds the Barbara and Morton Mandel Chair in Cognitive Psychology and Education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Professor Shanon's research interests include the semantics and pragmatics of natural language, thought processes and creativity, altered states of consciousness, the conceptual foundations of cognitive science, and the phenomenology of human consciousness. He has published two books, The Representational and the Presentational (1993) and The Antipodes of the Mind: Charting the Phenomenology of the Ayahuasca Experience (Oxford University Press, 2002).