Towards externalist psychopathology

Philosophical Psychology 15 (3):297-316 (2002)
Abstract
The "width" of the mind is an important topic in contemporary philosophical psychology. Support for active externalism derives from theoretical, engineering, and observational perspectives. Given the history of psychology, psychopathology is notable in its absence from the list of avenues of support for the idea that some cognitive processes extend beyond the physical bounds of the organism in question. The current project is to defend the possibility, plausibility, and desirability of externalist psychopathology. Doing so both adds to the case for externalism and suggests ways of improving our study of cognitive dysfunction. I establish the possibility of externalist psychopathology through the development of models of wide cognitive processing, and, by implication, failure of such processing, from the work of S.L. Hurley and Robert Wilson. The plausibility of wide conceptualization and explanation of cognitive disorders is shown through an examination of apraxia, disorders of learned, skilled movements. The desirability of externalist psychopathology is suggested through a look at theoretical and therapeutic virtues, again drawing on Wilson's work
Keywords Externalism  Metaphysics  Mind  Psychiatry  Psychopathology  Science
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