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Language as a tool: Towards a cognitive architecture

Authors Sylvie Saget
Published in 25th AMLaP - Architectures and Mechanisms of Language Processing, Moscow, 2019
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science
Language en
Keywords Model of dialog, common ground, memory, cognitive architecture
Subject categories Interaction Technologies, Cognitive science, Applied Psychology, Logic, Linguistics


While processing good enough linguistic representation, dialog partners rely on different perspectives - their own point of view, their addressees’ one, common/shared beliefs - or on existing linguistic representations built during preceding interactions. Rational model of dialog based on a distinction between belief and acceptance (Saget & al., 2006, Saget & al. 2007) demonstrates that adding the notion of acceptance enables to support different kinds of backgrounds, notably mixing perspective-taking and reuse. In this model, rational behavior is refashioned so that constructing good-enough linguistic tools is considered as the standard rational behavior. Central to this model is the inclusion of acceptance. Acceptance here differs from the speech act of assent, ie. agreeing to a proposal whether or not this agreement is in line with one’s mental state. Acceptance is a belief-like mental representation aiming at encapsulating knowledge involved in goal-oriented reasoning (Cohen, 1989). In our computational approach, the rational model has to be transcribed and complemented with a cognitive architecture in order to be implemented in a realistic and tractable way. To do so, we extend the belief and acceptance distinction (Paglieri, 2006) with a fact (declarative knowledge) versus tool (procedural knowledge) distinction. We explore insights both from formal epistemology and cognitive science to specify “belief space” and “acceptance space” as two kinds of memory space with distinguishing properties and cognitive processes. Basing the distinction on one property rather than a collection of properties enables to go beyond distinctions such as voluntary/involuntary reasoning process (Hakli, 2006; Saget, 2007).

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