Conceptions of cognitive functions in a science of knowing

Research output: Book/ReportReport


This article presents a critical discussion of the use of the notion “frame”, especially by computer scientists, as a theoretical construct to describe the cognitive representation of information. It is argued that an adequate description of “knowledge” requires the utilization of the notion “schema” as the theoretical construct. Based on this discussion, the construction of abstract cognitive models is proposed. Further, the concept of a memory is considered superfluous because the assumed cognitive structure is conceived as being essentially “shapeless” and not directly accessible through consciousness. The basic assumptions of models too concrete in nature are examined and it is argued that the object orientation and a reduction of "knowing" to some effective procedure governing theoretical discussions within the field of Artificial Intelligence and recently in Cognitive Science is seriously misleading with respect to cognitive functions and the development of knowledge.


  • Bernhard Bierschenk
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Psychology


  • Cognitive models, constructive routines, data abstraction, frame, memory, schema
Original languageEnglish
PublisherDepartment of Educational and Psychological Research, School of Education, Lund University at Malmö
Number of pages36
Publication statusPublished - 1981
Publication categoryResearch

Publication series

ISSN (Print)0046-0230

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