Motor Cognition in Design Sciences


  • Anna Estany Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona



motor cognition, design sciences, praexology, design thinking, interactive vision


Starting from the naturalistic program and within the framework of cognitive sciences, issues such as the representation of knowledge, the role of technology, the relationship between theory and experiment and the theoretical burden of observation have been addressed. In any of these analyses, the idea is to contrast the philosophical proposal with some of the theories and results of the cognitive sciences, with the purpose of seeing to what extent they reinforce each other, one reinforces the other but not the other way around, or they are irrelevant. The objective of this work is to place design at the center of philosophical analysis from the perspective of cognitive science. However, the cognitive approach has been applied much less to the analysis of design sciences, despite the fact that its possibilities are not less when it comes to addressing the challenges involved in the application of scientific knowledge to the transformation of the world. The starting hypothesis is that there are implications between design sciences and motor cognition; therefore, they are not irrelevant. The degree of connection and neurocognitive foundation of the design sciences will be elucidated as the analysis progresses in order to draw conclusions, both for the design processes and for the cognitive approach in general.


Casacuberta Sevilla, D. J., & Estany, A. (2011). Tecnología y unidad de cognición: de cómo affordances y andamiajes convierten el laboratorio en parte de nuestra mente extendida. In Martínez, S., Huang, X., & Guillaumin, G. (Eds.), Historia, prácticas y estilos en la filosofía de la ciencia. Hacia una epistemología plural, pp. 193-216. México: Porrúa.

Cross, Nigel (2006). Designerly Ways of Knowing. Londres: Springer.

Churchland, P.S., Ramachandran, V. S., & Sejnowski, T. J. (1994). A Critique of Pure Vision. In C. Koch (Ed.), Large-scale Neural Theories of the Brain, pp. 23-74. Cambridge: The MIT Press.

Esparza DY., Larue J. (2008). Interacciones cognitivo-motoras: el papel de la representación motora. Revista de Neurología, 46 (04), 219-224.

Estany, A. (2001). The Theory-Laden Thesis of Observation in the Light of Cognitive Psychology. Philosophy of Science, 68 (2), 203-217.

Estany, A. (2012). The stabilizing role of material structure in scientific practice. Philosophy Study, 6 (2), 398-410.

Estany, A. (2013). Interactive Vision and Experimental Traditions: How to Frame the Relationship. Open Journal of Philosophy, 3(2), 292-301.

Estany, A. y Cuevas, A. (2021). Introduction: Ronald N. Giere, A Reference and Mentor of Philosophy of Science. ArtefaCToS, 10 (1), 5-10.

Gallese, V. (2000). The Inner Sense of Action. Agency and Motor Representations. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 7 (10), 23-40.

Giere, Ronald (1979). Understanding scientific reasoning. Nueva York-Londres: Holt-Rinerhart and Winston.

Giere, Ronald (1988). Explaining science. A cognitive approach. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Giere, Ronald (Ed.) (1992). Cognitive models of science. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press.

Hesse, M.B. (1966). Models and analogies in science. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press.

Hutchin, E. (2005). Material anchors for conceptual blends. Journal of Pragmatics, 37, 1555-1577.

Jeannerod M. (2001). Neural simulation of action: a unifying mechanism for motor cognition. Neuroimage, 1 (2),103-109.

Jeannerod, M. (2006). Motor cognition. What actions tell the self. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kotarbinski, T. (1965). Praxiology. An introduction to the science of efficient action. New York: Pergamon Press.

Laudan, L. (1984). Science and Values. The Aims of Science and Their Role in Scientific Debate. Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Lawson, B. (2004). What designers know. Londres: Routledge.

Lawson, B. (2006). How Designers Think: The Design Process Demystified. Londres: Elsevier/Architectural.

Leisman, G, Moustafa, A.A., Shafir, T. (2016). Thinking, Walking, Talking: Integratory Motor and Cognitive Brain Function. Public Health, 25 de Mayo. 10.3389/fpubh.2016.00094/

McCrory, R. J. (1974). The design method-A scientific approach to valid design. En Rapp, F. (ed.) Contributions to a Philosophy of Technology, pp. 158-173. Dordrecht: D. Reidel.

Merton, R. K. (1973). The sociology of science. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Niiniluoto, I, (1993). The aim and structure of applied research. Erkenntnis, 38, 1-21.

Prinz, W. (2003). How do we know about our own action? En S. Maasen, W. Prinz, W. & G. Roth (Eds.), Voluntary action. Brains, minds and society, pp. 21-33. New York: Oxford University Press.

Rizzolatti, G., Sinigaglia, C. (2006). Mirrors in the brain: How Our Minds Share Actions, Emotions, and Experience. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Simon, H. (1993). The science of the artificial. Cambridge: MIT.

Williams, R.F. (2004). Making meaning from a clock: Material artifacts and conceptual blending in time-telling instruction. PhD Dissertation, Department Cognitive Science, University of California, San Diego.



2022-12-01 — Updated on 2022-12-02

How to Cite

Estany, A. (2022). Motor Cognition in Design Sciences. Revista De Humanidades De Valparaíso, (20), 13–28.



Monographic Section