The word cognitivism is used in several ways:

  • In ethics, cognitivism is the philosophical view that ethical sentences express propositions, and hence are capable of being true or false. See Cognitivism (ethics). More generally, cognitivism with respect to any area of discourse is the position that sentences used in that discourse are cognitive, that is, are meaningful and capable of being true or false.
  • In aesthetics, cognitivism is the view that a work of art is valuable if it contributes to knowledge.
  • In psychology, cognitivism is the approach to understanding the mind which argues that mental function can be understood as the 'internal' rule-bound manipulation of symbols. See Cognitivism (psychology).
  • In psychology, anecdotal cognitivism is a methodology for interpreting animal behavior in terms of mental states, comparable to the mental states of humans. For example, the methodology attempts to determine the cognitive capacity of animals through observation without the necessity that this observation be regulated or controlled as in an experiment; however, behavior in an experiment can be interpreted using the methodology.
  • Cognition - the study of the human mind (not brain).

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