David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (4):483-501 (2010)
Recent theories in cognitive science have begun to focus on the active role of organisms in shaping their own environment, and the role of these environmental resources for cognition. Approaches such as situated, embedded, ecological, distributed and particularly extended cognition look beyond ‘what is inside your head’ to the old Gibsonian question of ‘what your head is inside of’ and with which it forms a wider whole—its internal and external cognitive niche. Since these views have been treated as a radical departure from the received view of cognition, their proponents have looked for support to similar extended views within (the philosophy of) biology, most notably the theory of niche construction. This paper argues that there is an even closer and more fruitful parallel with developmental systems theory and developmental niche construction. These ask not ‘what is inside the genes you inherited’, but ‘what the inherited genes are inside of’ and with which they form a wider whole—their internal and external ontogenetic niche, understood as the set of epigenetic, social, ecological, epistemic and symbolic legacies inherited by the organism as necessary developmental resources. To the cognizing agent, the epistemic niche presents itself not just as a partially self-engineered selective niche, as the niche construction paradigm will have it, but even more so as a partially self-engineered ontogenetic niche, a problem-solving resource and scaffold for individual development and learning. This move should be beneficial for coming to grips with our own (including cognitive) nature: what is most distinctive about humans is their developmentally plastic brains immersed into a well-engineered, cumulatively constructed cognitive–developmental niche
|Keywords||Ontogenetic niche Developmental systems theory extended mind Cognitive niche construction Human nature|
|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
Andy Clark (2008). Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action, and Cognitive Extension. Oxford University Press.
Andy Clark & David J. Chalmers (1998). The Extended Mind. Analysis 58 (1):7-19.
Citations of this work BETA
Andy Clark (2013). Whatever Next? Predictive Brains, Situated Agents, and the Future of Cognitive Science. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 36 (3):181-204.
Richard Menary (2010). The Holy Grail of Cognitivism: A Response to Adams and Aizawa. [REVIEW] Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (4):605-618.
Ben Jeffares (2010). The Co-Evolution of Tools and Minds: Cognition and Material Culture in the Hominin Lineage. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (4):503-520.
David Ludwig (2014). Extended Cognition and the Explosion of Knowledge. Philosophical Psychology (3):1-14.
Richard Menary (2010). Introduction to the Special Issue on 4E Cognition. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (4):459-463.
Similar books and articles
Kim Sterelny (2010). Minds: Extended or Scaffolded? [REVIEW] Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (4):465-481.
Wim J. van der Steen (2000). Niche Construction: A Pervasive Force in Evolution? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (1):162-163.
Andy Clark (2005). Word, Niche and Super-Niche: How Language Makes Minds Matter More. Theoria 20 (54):255-268.
C. Maria Keet (2006). Representations of the Ecological Niche. In B. Klein, I. Johansson & T. Roth-Berghofer (eds.), Third International Workshop on Philosophy and Informatics (WSPI2006), Saarbrucken, Germany. 3-4 May 2006. IFOMIS Reports
Gwen J. Broude (2000). Can Niche-Construction Theory Live in Harmony with Human Equipotentiality? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (1):149-150.
Kenneth Reisman (2007). Is Culture Inherited Through Social Learning? Biological Theory 2 (3):300-306.
Michael Silberstein & Anthony Chemero (2012). Complexity and Extended Phenomenological‐Cognitive Systems. Topics in Cognitive Science 4 (1):35-50.
Andy Clark (2005). Word, Niche and Super-Niche. Theoria 20 (3):255-268.
Stephen J. Cowley (2004). Early Hominins, Utterance-Activity, and Niche Construction. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (4):509-510.
Kevin N. Laland, John Odling-Smee & Marcus W. Feldman (2000). Niche Construction Earns its Keep. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (1):164-172.
Paul E. Griffiths & Karola Stotz (2000). How the Mind Grows: A Developmental Perspective on the Biology of Cognition. Synthese 122 (1-2):29-51.
Meredith J. West & Andrew P. King (2008). Deconstructing Innate Illusions: Reflections on Nature-Nurture-Niche From an Unlikely Source. Philosophical Psychology 21 (3):383 – 395.
Trevor Pearce (2011). Ecosystem Engineering, Experiment, and Evolution. Biology and Philosophy 26 (6):793-812.
Dean Keith Simonton (2000). Human Creativity, Cultural Evolution, and Niche Construction. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (1):159-160.
Added to index2010-11-18
Total downloads65 ( #67,980 of 1,911,657 )
Recent downloads (6 months)7 ( #97,988 of 1,911,657 )
How can I increase my downloads?