What Matters?: Putting Common Sense to Work

What Matters?: Putting Common Sense to Work


Document Type



A cognitive psychologist and an industrial design engineer draw from their experiences trying to make technology work for people to reflect on the foundations of Cognitive Science and Product Design. This work is motivated by the sense that there is a large gap between the type of experiences studied in laboratories and experiences of people working with every day technology. This has led the authors to question the metaphysical foundations of cognitive science and to suggest alternative directions that might provide better insights for design. An important inspiration for this alternative direction is Pirsig’s Metaphysics of Quality described in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Lila. The goal is to move beyond ‘information processing’ and the computer metaphor, toward ‘meaning creation’ as inspired by recent discoveries in dynamics and selforganizing systems. This book takes the reader on a journey beyond the conventional dichotomy of mind and matter to explore a world of ‘what matters’ in hopes of inspiring the design of human-technology systems that work beautifully.

Publication Date



Wright State University Libraries




Abduction, Abstraction Hierarchy, Affordance, Applied Cognition, Applied Psychology, Cognition, Cognitive Systems Engineering, Common Sense, Control Theory, Cybernetics, Decision Making, Design, DesignX, Dualism, Dyadic Semiotic Systems, Ecological Psychology, Ecological Rationality, Ergonomics, Essential Friction, Experience-Centered Design, Human-Centered Design, Human Computer Interaction or HCI, Human Factors, Inclusional Thinking, Industrial Design Engineering, Information Processing, Intuitive Decision Making, Lila, Meaning Processing, Metaphysics of Quality, Muddling Through, Naturalistic Decision Making, Pragmatism, Problem Solving, Radical Empiricism, Self-Organizing Systems, Semiotics, Sensemaking, Situated Cognition, Situation Awareness, Sociotechnical Systems, SRK Model, Triadic Semiotic Systems, Voltaire’s Bastards, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, John Dewey, William James, James Gibson, Robert Pirsig, Charles Sanders Peirce, Jens Rasmussen


Cognitive Psychology | Engineering | Industrial Engineering | Operations Research, Systems Engineering and Industrial Engineering | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Read more by John Flach on Perspicacity at http://blogs.wright.edu/learn/johnflach/.

What Matters?: Putting Common Sense to Work