David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (4):645-671 (2010)
The Hypothesis of Extended Cognition (HEC)—that many cognitive processes are carried out by a hybrid coalition of neural, bodily and environmental factors—entails that the intentional states that are reasons for action might best be ascribed to wider entities of which individual persons are only parts. I look at different kinds of extended cognition and agency, exploring their consequences for concerns about the moral agency and personal responsibility of such extended entities. Can extended entities be moral agents and bear responsibility for actions, in addition to or in place of the individuals typically held responsible? What does it mean to be autonomous when one’s cognition is influenced and supported by a milieu of environmental factors? To answer these questions, I explore strong parallels between HEC’s critique of individualism in cognition, and feminist critiques of individualist accounts of self, agency, and autonomy. This relational and social conception of autonomous agency, as scaffolded and supported (or undermined and impaired) by a milieu of social, relational, and normative factors, has important lessons for HEC. Drawing together these two visions of distributed and decentralized aspects of personhood highlights how cognition, action, and responsibility are inextricably linked. It also encourages a reconceptualization of all cognition and all concerns about responsibility for actions, not simply as sometimes extended around individuals, but as fundamentally communal, social, and normative, with individual cognition and individual moral responsibility being derivative special cases, not the paradigm examples. Individuals are merely one of many possible loci of cognition, action, and responsibility
|Keywords||Extended cognition Moral agent Responsibility Collective responsibility Autonomy Relational self|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Frederick R. Adams & Kenneth Aizawa (2010). Defending the Bounds of Cognition. In Richard Menary (ed.), The Extended Mind. Mit Press.
Robert B. Brandom (1994). Making It Explicit: Reasoning, Representing, and Discursive Commitment. Harvard University Press.
Mason Cash (2008). Thoughts and Oughts. Philosophical Explorations 11 (2):93 – 119.
Citations of this work BETA
Richard Menary (2010). Introduction to the Special Issue on 4E Cognition. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (4):459-463.
Similar books and articles
F. Allan Hanson (2008). The Anachronism of Moral Individualism and the Responsibility of Extended Agency. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 7 (3):415-424.
Shannon Spaulding (2012). Overextended Cognition. Philosophical Psychology 25 (4):469 - 490.
Zoe Drayson (2010). Extended Cognition and the Metaphysics of Mind. Cognitive Systems Research 11 (4):367-377.
Davide Secchi (2009). The Cognitive Side of Social Responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics 88 (3):565 - 581.
J. Adam Carter (2013). Extended Cognition and Epistemic Luck. Synthese 190 (18):4201-4214.
Michael David Kirchhoff & Will Newsome (2012). Distributed Cognitive Agency in Virtue Epistemology. Philosophical Explorations 15 (2):165 - 180.
Joel Krueger (2011). Extended Cognition and the Space of Social Interaction. Consciousness and Cognition 20 (3):643-657.
F. Allan Hanson (2009). Beyond the Skin Bag: On the Moral Responsibility of Extended Agencies. [REVIEW] Ethics and Information Technology 11 (1):91-99.
Ezequiel Di Paolo (2009). Extended Life. Topoi 28 (1):9-21.
Kenneth J. Gergen (2011). From Moral Autonomy to Relational Responsibility. Zygon 46 (1):204-223.
Tom Roberts (2011). Taking Responsibility for Cognitive Extension. Philosophical Psychology 25 (4):1-11.
Duncan Pritchard (2010). Cognitive Ability and the Extended Cognition Thesis. Synthese 175 (1):133 - 151.
Stevan Harnad & Itiel Dror (2006). Distributed Cognition: Cognizing, Autonomy and the Turing Test. Pragmatics and Cognition 14 (2):14.
Added to index2010-11-18
Total downloads70 ( #21,905 of 1,099,739 )
Recent downloads (6 months)15 ( #14,340 of 1,099,739 )
How can I increase my downloads?