David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Jay Schulkin (ed.), New Directions in Philosophy and Cognitive Science: Adaptation and Cephalic Expression. Palgrave Macmillan (2012)
In a rich and thought-provoking paper, Lambros Malafouris argues that taking material culture seriously means to be ‘systematically concerned with figuring out the causal efficacy of materiality in the enactment and constitution of a cognitive system or operation’ (Malafouris 2004, 55). As I understand this view, there are really two intertwined claims to be established. The first is that the things beyond the skin that make up material culture (in other words, the physical objects and artefacts in which cultural networks and systems of human social relations are realized) may be essential to the enactment of, and be partly constitutive of, certain cognitive systems or operations. The consequence of establishing this claim is supposed to be that we have a mandate to recast the boundaries of the mind so as to include, as proper parts of the mind, things located beyond the skin. Thus, in talking about the contribution of the world to cognition, Malafouris (2004, 58) concludes that ‘what we have traditionally construed as an active or passive but always clearly separated external stimulus for setting a cognitive mechanism into motion, may be after all a continuous part of the machinery itself; at least ex hypothesi’. This is the position that, in philosophical circles, is known increasingly as the extended mind hypothesis (Clark & Chalmers 1998; Menary forthcoming). Henceforth I shall refer to this hypothesis as EM. A stock example will help bring the idea into view. Rumelhart et al. (1986) note that most of us solve difficult multiplication problems by using ‘pen and paper’ as an external resource. This environmental prop enables us to transform a difficult cognitive problem into a set of simpler ones, and to temporarily store the results of certain intermediate calculations. For the fan of EM, the distributed combination of this external resource and certain inner psychological processes constitutes a cognitive system in its own right.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Julian Kiverstein & Andy Clark (2009). Introduction: Mind Embodied, Embedded, Enacted: One Church or Many? Topoi 28 (1):1-7.
Ezequiel Di Paolo (2009). Extended Life. Topoi 28 (1):9-21.
Anthony Crisafi & Shaun Gallagher (2010). Hegel and the Extended Mind. AI and Society 25 (1):123-129.
Similar books and articles
Andy Clark (2006). Material Symbols. Philosophical Psychology 19 (3):291-307.
Lambros Malafouris (2004). The Cognitive Basis of Material Engagement: Where Brain, Body and Culture Conflate. In [Book Chapter].
Michael Wheeler (2010). In Defence of Extended Functionalism. In Richard Menary (ed.), The Extended Mind. Mit Press.
John Sutton (2007). Material Agency, Skills, and History: Distributed Cognition and the Archaeology of Memory. In C. Knappett & L. Malafouris (eds.), Material Agency: Towards a Non-Anthropocentric Approach. Springer.
Richard Menary (2007). Cognitive Integration: Mind and Cognition Unbounded. Palgrave Macmillan.
Zoe Drayson (2010). Extended Cognition and the Metaphysics of Mind. Cognitive Systems Research 11 (4):367-377.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads74 ( #18,461 of 1,101,021 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #81,070 of 1,101,021 )
How can I increase my downloads?