David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Biology and Philosophy 27 (4):545-570 (2012)
Advocates of extended cognition argue that the boundaries of cognition span brain, body, and environment. Critics maintain that cognitive processes are confined to a boundary centered on the individual. All participants to this debate require a criterion for distinguishing what is internal to cognition from what is external. Yet none of the available proposals are completely successful. I offer a new account, the mutual manipulability account, according to which cognitive boundaries are determined by relationships of mutual manipulability between the properties and activities of putative components and the overall behavior of the cognitive mechanism in which they figure. Among its main advantages, this criterion is capable of (a) distinguishing components of cognition from causal background conditions and lower-level correlates, and (b) showing how the core hypothesis of extended cognition can serve as a legitimate empirical hypothesis amenable to experimental test and confirmation. Conceiving the debate in these terms transforms the current clash over extended cognition into a substantive empirical debate resolvable on the basis of evidence from cognitive science and neuroscience.
|Keywords||Extended cognition Embodied cognition Mutual manipulability Mechanism Intervention|
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References found in this work BETA
Carl F. Craver (2007). Explaining the Brain: Mechanisms and the Mosaic Unity of Neuroscience. Oxford University Press, Clarendon Press.
James Woodward (2003). Making Things Happen: A Theory of Causal Explanation. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Patrice Soom (2012). Mechanisms, Determination and the Metaphysics of Neuroscience. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (3):655-664.
David Ludwig (2014). Extended Cognition and the Explosion of Knowledge. Philosophical Psychology (3):1-14.
Eric Arnau, Anna Estany, Rafael González del Solar & Thomas Sturm (2014). The Extended Cognition Thesis: Its Significance for the Philosophy of (Cognitive) Science. Philosophical Psychology 27 (1):1-18.
Samuli Pöyhönen (2014). Explanatory Power of Extended Cognition. Philosophical Psychology 27 (5):735-759.
Eric Arnau, Anna Estany, Rafael González del Solar & Thomas Sturm (2013). The Extended Cognition Thesis: Its Significance for the Philosophy of (Cognitive) Science. Philosophical Psychology 27 (1):1-18.
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