The aim of the paper is to characterize a school of thought-cognitivism -and the discipline to which it gave rise. After a brief summary of the origins of cognitivism, the ontological and methodological principles which define it are described. The relationship that exists between computers and the functionalist idea of considering the mind as a system whose elements are characterized by their functions, and not by their material make-up is then presented. The paper concludes with a discussion about the nature and the name of the discipline generated by cognitivism, the suggestion being that it is a proto-science, to which the name "cognitive studies" is preferable to "cognitive science".
Cognitivism; cognitive science; artificial intelligence; behaviourism; functionalism