What is Active Externalism?
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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The aim of this paper is to scrutinize active externalism and its repercussions for externalism about mental content. I start from the claim that active externalism is a variant of content externalism that is induced by the extended cognition thesis as a thesis about cognitive vehicles. Various features of active externalism are explored by comparison with the known forms of passive externalism - particularly in connection with the multirealizability of the external content-determining components and mental causation. A crucial result is that social externalism is strictly speaking a variant of active externalism. I conclude with a first ansatz for a general account of meaning inspired by extended cognition: a use theory supplemented by a functional-role account.
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