According to the Extended Mind thesis, the mind extends beyond the skull or the skin: mental processes can constitutively include external devices, like a computer or a notebook. The Extended Mind thesis has drawn both support and criticism. However, most discussions—including those by its original defenders, Andy Clark and David Chalmers—fail to distinguish between two very different interpretations of this thesis. The first version claims that the physical basis of mental features can be located spatially outside the body. (...) Once we accept that the mind depends on physical events to some extent, this thesis, though not obvious, is compatible with a large variety of views on the mind. The second version applies to standing states only, and has to do with how we conceive the nature of such states. This second version is much more interesting, because it points to a potential tension in our conception of minds or selves. However, without properly distinguishing between the two theses, the significance of the second is obscured by the comparative triviality of the first. (shrink)
Extended Cognition (EC) hypothesizes that there are parts of the world outside the head serving as cognitive vehicles. One criticism of this controversial view is the problem of “cognitive bloat” which says that EC is too permissive and fails to provide an adequate necessary criterion for cognition. It cannot, for instance, distinguish genuine cognitive vehicles from mere supports (e.g. the Yellow Pages). In response, Andy Clark and Mark Rowlands have independently suggested that genuine cognitive vehicles are distinguished from supports (...) in that the former have been “recruited,” i.e. they are either artifacts, or, products of evolution. I argue against this proposal. There are counter examples to the claim that “Teleological” EC is either necessary or sufficient for cognition. Teleological EC conflates different types of scientific projects, and inherits content externalism’s alienation from historically impartial cognitive science. (shrink)
The extended-mind thesis says that mental states can extend beyond one’s skin. Clark and Chalmers infer from this that the subjects of such states also extend beyond their skin: the extended-self thesis. The paper asks what exactly the extended-self thesis says, whether it really does follow from the extended-mind thesis, and what it would mean if it were true. It concludes that the extended-self thesis is unattractive, and does not follow from the extended mind (...) unless thinking beings are literally bundles of mental states. (shrink)
Evolutionary theory is undergoing an intense period of discussion and reevaluation. This, contrary to the misleading claims of creationists and other pseudoscientists, is no harbinger of a crisis but rather the opposite: the field is expanding dramatically in terms of both empirical discoveries and new ideas. In this essay I briefly trace the conceptual history of evolutionary theory from Darwinism to neo-Darwinism, and from the Modern Synthesis to what I refer to as the Extended Synthesis, a more inclusive conceptual (...) framework containing among others evo–devo, an expanded theory of heredity, elements of complexity theory, ideas about evolvability, and a reevaluation of levels of selection. I argue that evolutionary biology has never seen a paradigm shift, in the philosophical sense of the term, except when it moved from natural theology to empirical science in the middle of the 19th century. The Extended Synthesis, accordingly, is an expansion of the Modern Synthesis of the 1930s and 1940s, and one that—like its predecessor—will probably take decades to complete. (shrink)
For more than one decade, Andy Clark has defended the now-famous extended mind thesis, the idea that cognitive processes leak into the world. In this paper I analyse Clark’s theoretical justification for the thesis: explanatory simplicity. I argue that his way of justifying the thesis leads into contradiction, either at the level of propositional attitude ascriptions or at the theoretical level. I evaluate three possible strategies of dealing with this issue, concluding that they are all likely to fail and (...) that therefore, as regards explanatory simplicity, the burden of proof is on Clark’s side. The paper divides into two main sections: in “Simplicity and Coherence”, I define the two concepts that are important in this context (simplicity and explanatory coherence). In “How to Cope with Coherence”, these two concepts are applied to the central thought experiment, the Inga/Otto case. It will be shown that justifying the extended mind thesis by reference to simplicity may cause trouble, because ‘extended’ behavioural descriptions are likely to yield rather complicated explanations. (shrink)
This paper will defend the claim that, under certain circumstances, the material vehicles responsible for an agent’s conscious experience can be partly constituted by processes outside the agent’s body. In other words, the consciousness of the agent can extend. This claim will be supported by the Extended Mind Thesis (EMT) example of the artist and their sketchpad (Clark 2001, 2003). It will be argued that if this example is one of EMT, then this example also supports an argument for (...) consciousness extension. Clark (2009) rejects claims of consciousness extension. This paper will challenge Clark and argue that he fails to show that the material vehicles responsible for consciousness must be internal to the agent. (shrink)
We present a specific elaboration and partial defense of the claims that cognition is enactive, embodied, embedded, affective and (potentially) extended. According to the view we will defend, the enactivist claim that perception and cognition essentially depend upon the cognizer’s interactions with their environment is fundamental. If a particular instance of this kind of dependence obtains, we will argue, then it follows that cognition is essentially embodied and embedded, that the underpinnings of cognition are inextricable from those of affect, (...) that the phenomenon of cognition itself is essentially bound up with affect, and that the possibility of cognitive extension depends upon the instantiation of a specific mode of skillful interrelation between cognizer and environment. Thus, if cognition is enactive then it is also embodied, embedded, affective and potentially extended. (shrink)
When extended cognition is extended into mainstream epistemology, an awkward tension arises when considering cases of environmental epistemic luck. Surprisingly, it is not at all clear how the mainstream verdict that agents lack knowledge in cases of environmental luck can be reconciled with principles central to extended cognition.
In the six decades since the publication of Julian Huxley's Evolution: The Modern Synthesis, spectacular empirical advances in the biological sciences have been accompanied by equally significant developments within the core theoretical framework of the discipline. As a result, evolutionary theory today includes concepts and even entire new fields that were not part of the foundational structure of the Modern Synthesis. In this volume, sixteen leading evolutionary biologists and philosophers of science survey the conceptual changes that have emerged since Huxley's (...) landmark publication, not only in such traditional domains of evolutionary biology as quantitative genetics and paleontology but also in such new fields of research as genomics and EvoDevo. Most of the contributors to Evolution—The Extended Synthesis accept many of the tenets of the classical framework but want to relax some of its assumptions and introduce significant conceptual augmentations of the basic Modern Synthesis structure—just as the architects of the Modern Synthesis themselves expanded and modulated previous versions of Darwinism. This continuing revision of a theoretical edifice the foundations of which were laid in the middle of the nineteenth century—the reexamination of old ideas, proposals of new ones, and the synthesis of the most suitable—shows us how science works, and how scientists have painstakingly built a solid set of explanations for what Darwin called the "grandeur" of life. (shrink)
My goal in this paper is to generalize Kirsh and Maglio’s (1994) distinction between pragmatic and epistemic actions from the level of individuals to the level of groups. I use the concept of a collective epistemic action to refer to the ways in which groups of people actively change the structure of their social organization, with the epistemic goal of reshaping and augmenting their cognitive performance as integrated collectivities. By placing a renewed emphasis on the interactions between people, rather than (...) between people and their tools I hope to reconnect the cognitive-scientifically-driven “extended mind” thesis (Clark and Chalmers 1998; Clark 2008) with complementary areas of social-scientific research in which groups are analyzed as the seats of action and cognition in their own right. In particular, the literature to which I aim to build a bridge in this paper are certain segments of social and organizational psychology on the one hand (Larsen and Christensen 1993; Hinsz et al. 1997, Mohammed and Dumville 2001), and theories of collective and institutional action on the other hand (Ostrom 1990, List and Pettit 2011). (shrink)
In my dissertation, I explore the remarkable talent of human beings to modify and co-opt resources of their material and socio-cultural environment, and integrate them with their biological capacities in order to enhance their cognitive prowess. In the first part, I clarify and defend the claim – known as the extended mind thesis – that a significant portion of human cognition literally extends beyond the head into the world, actively incorporating our bodies and an intricate web of material resources (...) (Clark, 2003, 2008; Wilson, 2004). Yet since much of distinctively human cognition occurs when we think in groups, I argue that the bias of this thesis to view cognition as an essentially solitary (albeit bodily or technologically extended) activity is misplaced. In the second part, I re-deploy the idea of cognitive extensions to establish a scientifically respectable version of the group mind thesis – i.e., the claim that groups can have emergent cognitive properties and capacities in their own right. (shrink)
Does cognition sometimes literally extend into the extra-organismic environment (Clark, 2003), or is it always “merely” environmentally embedded (Rupert, 2004)? Underlying this current border dispute is the question about how to individuate cognitive processes on principled grounds. Based on recent evidence about the active role of representation selection and construction in learning how to reason (Stenning, 2002), I raise the question: what makes two distinct, modality-specific pen-and-paper manipulations of external representations – diagrams versus sentences – cognitive processes of the same (...) kind, e.g. episodes of syllogistic reasoning? In response, I defend a “division of labor” hypothesis, according to which external representations are dependent on perceptually grounded neural representations and mechanisms to guide our behavior; these internal mechanisms, however, are dependent on external representations to have their syllogistic content fixed. Only their joint contributions qualify the extended computational process as an episode of syllogistic reasoning in good standing. (shrink)
I critically assess two widely cited evolutionary biological arguments for two versions of the ‘Extended Mind Thesis’ (EMT): namely, an argument appealing to Dawkins’s ‘Extended Phenotype Thesis’ (EPT) and an argument appealing to ‘Developmental Systems Theory’ (DST). Specifically, I argue that, firstly, appealing to the EPT is not useful for supporting the EMT (in either version), as it is structured and motivated too differently from the latter to be able to corroborate or elucidate it. Secondly, I extend and (...) defend Rupert’s argument that DST also fails to support or elucidate the EMT (in either version) by showing that the considerations in favour of the former theory have no bearing on the truth of the latter. I conclude by noting that the relevance of this discussion goes beyond the debate surrounding the EMT, as it brings out some of the difficulties of introducing evolutionary biological considerations into debates in psychology and philosophy more generally. (shrink)
For Descartes, minds were essentially non-extended things. Contemporary cognitive science prides itself on having exorcised the Cartesian ghost from the biological machine. However, it remains committed to the Cartesian vision of the mental as something purely inner. Against the idea that the mind resides solely in the brain, advocates of the situated and embodied nature of cognition have long stressed the importance of dynamic brain-body-environment couplings, the opportunistic exploitation of bodily morphology, the strategic performance of epistemically potent actions, the (...) generation and use of external representations, and the cognitive scaffolding provided by artifacts and social-cultural practices. According to the “extended mind” thesis, a significant portion of human cognition literally extends beyond the brain into the body and its environment. My goal in this book is to clarify the nature and scope of this thesis, and to defend its central insight that cognition is not confined to the boundaries of the biological individual. (shrink)
Vision constitutes an interesting domain, or range of domains, for debate over the extended mind thesis, the idea that minds physically extend beyond the boundaries of the body. In part this is because vision and visual experience more particularly are sometimes presented as a kind of line in the sand for what we might call externalist creep about the mind: once all reasonable concessions have been made to externalists about the mind, visual experience marks a line beyond which lies (...) a safe haven for individualists. Here I want to put a little more pressure on such a view of visual experience, as well as to offer a more constructive, positive argument in defense of the idea of extended vision. (shrink)
According to the extended cognition hypothesis (henceforth ExC), there are conditions under which thinking and thoughts (or more precisely, the material vehicles that realize thinking and thoughts) are spatially distributed over brain, body and world, in such a way that the external (beyond-the-skin) factors concerned are rightly accorded fully-paid-up cognitive status.1 According to functionalism in the philosophy of mind, “what makes something a mental state of a particular type does not depend on its internal constitution, but rather on the (...) way it functions, or the role it plays, in the system of which it is a part” (Levin 2008). The respective fates of these two positions may not be independent of each other. The claim that ExC is in some way a form of, dependent on, entailed by, or at least commonly played out in terms of, functionalism is now pretty much part of the received view of things (see, e.g., Adams and Aizawa 2008; Clark and Chalmers 1998; Clark 2005, 2008, this volume a, b, forthcoming; Menary 2007; Rupert 2004; Sprevak manuscript; Wheeler forthcoming). Thus ExC might be mandated by the existence of functionally specified cognitive systems whose boundaries are located partly outside the skin. This is the position that Andy Clark has recently dubbed extended functionalism (Clark 2008, forthcoming; see also Wheeler forthcoming). (shrink)
Less than a decade ago, “rational choice theory” seemed oddly impervious to criticism. Hundreds of books, articles and studies were published every year, attacking the theory from every angle, yet it continued to attract new converts. How times have changed! The “anomalies” that Richard Thaler once blithely cataloged for the Journal of Economic Perspectives are now widely regarded, not as curious deviations from the norm, but as falsifying counterexamples to the entire project of neoclassical economics. The work of experimental game (...) theorists has perhaps been the most influential in showing that people do not maximize expected utility, in any plausible sense of the terms “maximize,” “expected,” or “utility.” The evidence is so overwhelming and incontrovertible that, by the time one gets to the end of a book like Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational,1 it begins to feel like piling on. The suggestion is pretty clear: not only are people not as rational as decision and game theorists have traditionally taken them to be, they are not even as rational as they themselves take themselves to be. This conclusion, however, is not self-evident. The standard interpretation of these findings is that people are irrational: their estimation of probabilities is vulnerable to framing effects, their treatment of (equivalent) losses and gains is asymmetric, their choices violate the sure-thing principle, they discount the future hyperbolically, and so on. Indeed, after surveying the experimental findings, one begins to wonder how people manage to get on in their daily lives at all, given the seriousness and ubiquity of these deliberative pathologies. And yet, most people do manage to get on, in some form or another. This in itself suggests an.. (shrink)
I argue for the possibility of an extremely intimate connection between the emotional content of the music and the emotional state of the person who produces that music. Under certain specified conditions, the music may not just influence, but also partially constitute the musician’s emotional state.
Andy Clark once remarked that we make the world smart so we don’t have to be (Clark, 1997). What he meant was that human beings (along with many other animals) alter and transform their environments in order to accomplish certain tasks that would prove difficult (or indeed impossible) without such transformations. This remarkable insight goes a long way towards explaining many aspects of human culture, ranging from linguistic notational systems to how we structure our cities. It also provides the basis (...) for Mark Rowlands’ thought-provoking and insightful book, The New Science of the Mind. (shrink)
In the movie, Memento, the hero, Leonard, suffers from a form of anterograde amnesia that results in an inability to lay down new memories. Nonetheless, he sets out on a quest to find his wife’s killer, aided by the use of notes, annotated polaroids, and (for the most important pieces of information obtained) body tattoos. Using these resources he attempts to build up a stock of new beliefs and to thus piece together the puzzle of his wife’s death. At one (...) point in the movie, a character exasperated by Leonard’s lack of biological recall, shouts. (shrink)
The extended-mind thesis (EM) is the claim that mentality need not be situated just in the brain, or even within the boundaries of the skin. Some versions take "extended selves" be to relatively transitory couplings of biological organisms and external resources. First, I show how EM can be seen as an extension of traditional views of mind. Then, after voicing a couple of qualms about EM, I reject EM in favor of a more modest hypothesis that recognizes enduring (...) subjects of experience and agents with integrated bodies. Nonetheless, my modest hypothesis allows subpersonal states to have nonbiological parts that play essential roles in cognitive processing. I present empirical warrant for this modest hypothesis and show how it leaves room for science and religion to coexist. (shrink)
There is no Argument that the Mind Extends On the basis of two argumentative examples plus their 'parity principle', Clark and Chalmers argue that mental states like beliefs can extend into the environment. I raise two problems for the argument. The first problem is that it is more difficult than Clark and Chalmers think to set up the Tetris example so that application of the parity principle might render it a case of extended mind. The second problem is that, (...) even when appropriate versions of the argumentative examples can be constructed, the availability of a second, internalist parity principle precludes the possibility of inferring that the mind extends. Choosing which parity principle we ought to wield would involve deciding beforehand whether or not the mind can extend. Thus Clark and Chalmers beg the question by employing their parity principle rather than the internalist one. I conclude that they fail to provide a proper argument to support the extended mind thesis. (shrink)
Andy Clark and David Chalmers claim that cognitive processes can and do extend outside the head.1 Call this the “hypothesis of extended cognition” (HEC). HEC has been strongly criticised by Fred Adams, Ken Aizawa and Robert Rupert.2 In this paper I argue for two claims. First, HEC is a harder target than Rupert, Adams and Aizawa have supposed. A widely-held view about the nature of the mind, functionalism—a view to which Rupert, Adams and Aizawa appear to subscribe— entails HEC. (...) Either HEC is true, or functionalism is false. The relationship between functionalism and HEC goes beyond support for the relatively uncontroversial claim that it is logically or nomologically possible for cognition to extend (the “can” part of HEC); functionalism entails that cognitive processes do extend in the actual world. Second, I argue that the version of HEC entailed by functionalism is more radical than the version that Clark and Chalmers suggest. I argue that it is so radical as to form a counterexample to functionalism. If functionalism is modified to prevent these consequences, then HEC falls victim to Rupert, Adams and Aizawa’s original criticism. An advocate of HEC has two choices: (1) accept functionalism and radical HEC; (2) give up HEC entirely. Clark and Chalmers’ intermediate position of a modest form of HEC is unsustainable. The argument of this paper, although initially appearing to support Clark and Chalmers, ultimately argues against their position. The price of HEC is rampant expansion of the mind into the world, and the implausibility of such expansion is indicative of deep-seated problems with functionalism. The argument of this paper consequently speaks to wider issues than just the status of HEC. The reasons for.. (shrink)
This paper explores the relationship between several ideas about the mind and cognition. The hypothesis of extended cognition claims that cognitive processes can and do extend outside the head, that elements of the world around us can actually become parts of our cognitive systems. It has recently been suggested that the hypothesis of extended cognition is entailed by one of the foremost philosophical positions on the nature of the mind: functionalism, the thesis that mental states are defined by (...) their functional relations rather than by their physical constituents. Furthermore, it has been claimed that functionalism entails a version of extended cognition which is sufficiently radical as to be obviously false. I survey the debate and propose several ways of avoiding this conclusion, emphasizing the importance of distinguishing the hypothesis of extended cognition from the related notion of the extended mind. (shrink)
According to the thesis of the extended mind (EM) , at least some token cognitive processes extend into the cognizing subject's environment in the sense that they are (partly) composed of manipulative, exploitative, and transformative operations performed by that subject on suitable environmental structures. EM has attracted four ostensibly distinct types of objection. This paper has two goals. First, it argues that these objections all reduce to one basic sort: all the objections can be resolved by the provision of (...) an adequate and properly motivated criterion—or mark—of the cognitive. Second, it provides such a criterion—one made up of four conditions that are sufficient for a process to count as cognitive. (shrink)
This is a plausible reading of what Clark and Chalmers had in mind at the time, but it is not the radical claim at stake in the extended cognition debate. It is a familiar functionalist view of cognition and the mind that it can be realized in a wide range of distinct material bases. Thus, for many species of functionalism about cognition and the mind, it follows that they can be realized in extracranial substrates. And, in truth, even some (...) non-functionalist views of cognition apparently allow for the possibility that cognition extends into the external world. So, the (logical, conceptual, or nomological) possibility of extended cognition seems to us not the kind of radical view the advocates of this view have often implied. This is not, of course, to assess or pass judgment on the truth of these possibilities; it is only to note that they are not what most agitates people about the hypothesis of extended cognition. Framing the radical extended cognition hypothesis is a more delicate matter than framing the modal extended cognition hypothesis, but something like the following is in the ballpark. The radical extended cognition hypothesis maintains that, in many mundane cases of tool use, human cognitive processes extend into the tools. The principal reason this hypothesis is so delicate is that there remains much room for dispute about what constitutes a. (shrink)
According to the view known variously as the extended mind (Clark & Chalmers 1998), vehicle externalism (Hurley 1998; Rowlands 2003, 2006) active externalism (Clark and Chalmers 1998), locational externalism (Wilson 2004) and environmentalism (Rowlands 1999), at least some token mental processes extend into the cognizing organism’s environment in that they are composed, partly (and, on most versions, contingently), of manipulative, exploitative, and transformative operations performed by that subject on suitable environmental structures. More precisely, what I shall refer to as (...) the thesis of the extended mind (EM) is constituted by the following claims: • The world is an external store of information relevant to processes such as perceiving, remembering, reasoning … (and possibly) experiencing. • At least some mental processes are hybrid – they straddle both internal and external operations. • The external operations take the form of action: manipulation, exploitation and transformation of environmental structures – ones that carry information relevant to the accomplishing of a given task. • At least some of the internal processes are ones concerned with supplying a subject with the ability to appropriately use relevant structures in its environment. As I shall understand it, therefore, the thesis of the extended mind is (1) an ontic thesis, of (2) partial and (3) contingent (4) composition of (5) some mental processes. 1. It is ontic in the sense that it is a thesis about what (some) mental processes are, as opposed to an epistemic thesis about the best way of understanding mental processes. This ontic claim, of course, has an epistemic consequence: it is not possible to understand the nature of at least some of the mental processes without understanding the extent to which that organism is capable of manipulating, exploiting and transforming relevant structures in its environment (Rowlands 1999).. (shrink)
We argue that the letter of the Extended Mind hypothesis can be accommodated by a strongly internalist, broadly Cartesian conception of mind. The argument turns centrally on an unusual but (we argue) highly plausible view on the mark of the mental.
According to the view that has become known as the extended mind , some token mental processes extend into the cognizing organism’s environment in that they are composed (partly) of manipulative, exploitative, and transformative operations performed by that subject on suitable environmental structures. Enactivist models understand mental processes as (partly) constituted by sensorimotor knowledge and by the organism’s ability to act, in appropriate ways, on environmental structures. Given the obvious similarities between the two views, it is both tempting and (...) common to regard them as essentially variations on the same theme. In this paper, I shall argue that the similarities between enactivist and extended models of cognition are relatively superficial, and the divergences are deeper than commonly thought. (shrink)
This paper explores some of the differences between the enactive approach in cognitive science and the extended mind thesis. We review the key enactive concepts of autonomy and sense-making . We then focus on the following issues: (1) the debate between internalism and externalism about cognitive processes; (2) the relation between cognition and emotion; (3) the status of the body; and (4) the difference between ‘incorporation’ and mere ‘extension’ in the body-mind-environment relation.
This paper discusses two perspectives, each of which recognises the importance of environmental resources in enhancing and amplifying our cognitive capacity. One is the Clark–Chalmers model, extended further by Clark and others. The other derives from niche construction models of evolution, models which emphasise the role of active agency in enhancing the adaptive fit between agent and world. In the human case, much niche construction is epistemic: making cognitive tools and assembling other informational resources that support and scaffold intelligent (...) action. I shall argue that extended mind cases are limiting cases of environmental scaffolding, and while the extended mind picture is not false, the niche construction model is a more helpful framework for understanding human action. (shrink)
The extended mind thesis is the claim that mental states extend beyond the skulls of the agents whose states they are. This seemingly obscure and bizarre claim has far-reaching implications for neuroethics, I argue. In the first half of this article, I sketch the extended mind thesis and defend it against criticisms. In the second half, I turn to its neuroethical implications. I argue that the extended mind thesis entails the falsity of the claim that interventions into (...) the brain are especially problematic just because they are internal interventions, but that many objections to such interventions rely, at least in part, on this claim. Further, I argue that the thesis alters the focus of neuroethics, away from the question of whether we ought to allow interventions into the mind, and toward the question of which interventions we ought to allow and under what conditions. The extended mind thesis dramatically expands the scope of neuroethics: because interventions into the environment of agents can count as interventions into their minds, decisions concerning such interventions become questions for neuroethics. (shrink)
Is the brain the biological substrate of consciousness? Most naturalistic philosophers of mind have supposed that the answer must obviously be «yes » to this question. However, a growing number of philosophers working in 4e (embodied, embedded, extended, enactive) cognitive science have begun to challenge this assumption, arguing instead that consciousness supervenes on the whole embodied animal in dynamic interaction with the environment. We call views that share this claim dynamic sensorimotor theories of consciousness (DSM). Clark (2009) a founder (...) and leading proponent of the hypothesis of the extended mind, demurs, arguing that as matter of fact the biology of consciousness doesn’t allow for a brain, body and world boundary crossing architecture. We begin by looking at one of the arguments for DSM, the variable neural correlates argument. We then outline two criticisms that Clark has made of this argument and endorse his criticisms. However we finish up by using the case of sensory substitution to argue that something of this argument for DSM nevertheless survives. We suggest that Clark ought to concede sensory substitution as a case in which the conscious mind extends. (shrink)
The extended mind hypothesis (Clark and Chalmers in Analysis 58(1):7–19, 1998; Clark 2008) is an influential hypothesis in philosophy of mind and cognitive science. I argue that the extended mind hypothesis is born to be wild. It has undeniable and irrepressible tendencies of flouting grounding assumptions of the traditional information-processing paradigm. I present case-studies from social cognition which not only support the extended mind proposal but also bring out its inherent wildness. In particular, I focus on cases (...) of action-understanding and discuss the role of embodied intentionality in the extended mind project. I discuss two theories of action-understanding for exploring the support for the extended mind hypothesis in embodied intersubjective interaction, namely, simulation theory and a non-simulationist perceptual account. I argue that, if the extended mind adopts a simulation theory of action-understanding, it rejects representationalism. If it adopts a non-simulationist perceptual account of action-understanding, it rejects the classical sandwich view of the mind. (shrink)
The problem of qualitative heterogeneity is to explain how an extended simple can enjoy qualitative variation across its spatial or temporal axes, given that it lacks both spatial and temporal parts. I discuss how friends of extended simples should address the problem of qualitative heterogeneity. I present a series of arguments designed to show that rather than appealing to fundamental distributional properties one should appeal to tiny and short-lived tropes. Along the way, issues relevant to debates about material (...) composition, persistence over time and existence monism are discussed.  . (shrink)
In this talk, we defend extended cognition against several criticisms. We argue that extended cognition does not derive from armchair theorizing and that it neither ignores the results of the neural sciences, nor minimizes the importance of the brain in the production of intelligent behavior. We also argue that explanatory success in the cognitive sciences does not depend on localist or reductionist methodologies; part of our argument for this is a defense of what might be called ‘holistic science’.
We offer an argument for the extended mind based on considerations from brain development. We argue that our brains develop to function in partnership with cognitive resources located in our external environments. Through our cultural upbringing we are trained to use artefacts in problem solving that become factored into the cognitive routines our brains support. Our brains literally grow to work in close partnership with resources we regularly and reliably interact with. We take this argument to be in line (...) with complementarity or “second-wave” defences of the extended mind that stress the functional differences between biological elements and external, environmental resources in putative cases of extended cognition. Complementarity defences argue that many of the kinds of cognition humans excel at can only be accomplished by brains working together with a body that directly manipulates and acts on the world [Rowlands (1999); Menary (2007); Sutton (2010)]. We argue that complementarity and functionalist defences of the extended mind aren’t opposed, but that complementarity considerations can provide much needed and hitherto under exploited leverage in defending EMT. Moreover, the developmental work we will describe adds extra weight to the complementarity case for EMT. (shrink)
This is a plausible reading of what Clark and Chalmers had in mind at the time, but it is not the radical claim at stake in the extended cognition debate. It is a familiar functionalist view of cognition and the mind that it can be realized in a wide range of distinct material bases. Thus, for many species of functionalism about cognition and the mind, it follows that they can be realized in extracranial substrates. And, in truth, even some (...) non-functionalist views of cognition apparently allow for the possibility that cognition extends into the external world. So, the (logical, conceptual, or nomological) possibility of extended cognition seems to us not the kind of radical view the advocates of this view have often implied. This is not, of course, to assess or pass judgment on the truth of these possibilities; it is only to note that they are not what most agitates people about the hypothesis of extended cognition. Framing the radical extended cognition hypothesis is a more delicate matter than framing the modal extended cognition hypothesis, but something like the following is in the ballpark. The radical extended cognition hypothesis maintains that, in many mundane cases of tool use, human cognitive processes extend into the tools. The principal reason this hypothesis is so delicate is that there remains much room for dispute about what constitutes a “mundane” case of tool use, such as keeping a notebook at hand at all times, versus an exotic case of tool use, such as having a computer memory chip implanted in one’s brain. Clark never in so many words defends the idea that there are actual cases of extended cognition. Rather, his tacit commitment must be inferred from such things as his proposal that the brain is made to use tools, so we should view tools as part of the mind (Cf., Clark, 2005, p. 8ff.). (shrink)
I argue that extended simples are possible. The argument given here parallels an argument given elsewhere for the claim that the shape properties of material objects are extrinsic, not intrinsic as is commonly supposed. In the final section of the paper, I show that if the shape properties of material objects are extrinsic, the most popular argument against extended simples fails.
This paper reformulates some of the questions raised by extended mind theorists from an enactive, life/mind continuity perspective. Because of its reliance on concepts such as autopoiesis, the enactive approach has been deemed internalist and thus incompatible with the extended mind hypothesis. This paper answers this criticism by showing (1) that the relation between organism and cogniser is not one of co-extension, (2) that cognition is a relational phenomenon and thereby has no location, and (3) that the individuality (...) of a cogniser is inevitably linked with the question of its autonomy, a question ignored by the extended mind hypothesis but for which the enactive approach proposes a precise, operational, albeit non-functionalist answer. The paper raises a pespective of embedded and intersecting forms of autonomous identity generation, some of which correspond to the canonical cases discussed in the extended mind literature, but on the whole of wider generality. In addressing these issues, this paper proposes unbiased, non-species specific definitions of cognition, agency and mediation, thus filling in gaps in the extended mind debates that have led to paradoxical situations and a problematic over-reliance on intutions about what counts as cognitive. (shrink)
A new position in the philosophy of mind has recently appeared: the extended mind hypothesis (EMH). Some of its proponents think the EMH, which says that a subject's mental states can extend into the local environment, shows that internalism is false. I argue that this is wrong. The EMH does not refute internalism; in fact, it necessarily does not do so. The popular assumption that the EMH spells trouble for internalists is premised on a bad characterization of the internalist (...) thesis—albeit one that most internalists have adhered to. I show that internalism is entirely compatible with the EMH. This view should prompt us to reconsider the characterization of internalism, and in conclusion I make some brief remarks about how that project might proceed. (shrink)
This paper introduces a new, expanded range of relevant cognitive psychological research on collaborative recall and social memory to the philosophical debate on extended and distributed cognition. We start by examining the case for extended cognition based on the complementarity of inner and outer resources, by which neural, bodily, social, and environmental resources with disparate but complementary properties are integrated into hybrid cognitive systems, transforming or augmenting the nature of remembering or decision-making. Adams and Aizawa, noting this distinctive (...) complementarity argument, say that they agree with it completely: but they describe it as “a non-revolutionary approach” which leaves “the cognitive psychology of memory as the study of processes that take place, essentially without exception, within nervous systems.” In response, we carve out, on distinct conceptual and empirical grounds, a rich middle ground between internalist forms of cognitivism and radical anti-cognitivism. Drawing both on extended cognition literature and on Sterelny’s account of the “scaffolded mind” (this issue), we develop a multidimensional framework for understanding varying relations between agents and external resources, both technological and social. On this basis we argue that, independent of any more “revolutionary” metaphysical claims about the partial constitution of cognitive processes by external resources, a thesis of scaffolded or distributed cognition can substantially influence or transform explanatory practice in cognitive science. Critics also cite various empirical results as evidence against the idea that remembering can extend beyond skull and skin. We respond with a more principled, representative survey of the scientific psychology of memory, focussing in particular on robust recent empirical traditions for the study of collaborative recall and transactive social memory. We describe our own empirical research on socially distributed remembering, aimed at identifying conditions for mnemonic emergence in collaborative groups. Philosophical debates about extended, embedded, and distributed cognition can thus make richer, mutually beneficial contact with independently motivated research programs in the cognitive psychology of memory. (shrink)
According to a widely accepted constraint on the content of intentions, here called the exclusivity constraint, one cannot intend to perform another agent’s action, even if one might be able to intend that she performs it. For example, while one can intend that one’s guest leaves before midnight, one cannot intend to perform her act of leaving. However, Deborah Tollefsen’s (2005) account of joint activity requires participants to have intentions-in-action (in John Searle’s (1983) sense) that violate this constraint. I argue (...) that the exclusivity constraint should not be accepted as an unconditional constraint on the contents of intentions-in-action: one may intend to perform a basic action that belongs both to oneself and to another agent. Based on the phenomenology of tool use, I first argue that intentions-in-action of one’s basic actions may be technologically extended, meaning that their contents are not restricted to concern the agent’s bodily movements. In analogy with this, I then argue that the phenomenology of some skillful joint activities supports the idea that one’s basic intentions-in-action may be socially extended, in violation of the widely accepted exclusivity constraint. Tollefsen’s account is specifically constructed to account for the joint activities of infants and toddlers who lack the capacity to think of others as planning agents and grasp their plan-like intentions (a capacity required by Michael Bratman’s (1992, 1993, 2009a, b) influential account of joint activity). At the end of the paper, I raise some doubts regarding the extent to which infants and toddlers have socially extended intentions-in-action. (shrink)
This commentry focuses on the one major ecumenical theme propounded in Andy Clark's Being There that I find difficult to accept; this is Clarks advocacy, especially in the third and final part of the book, of the extended nature of the embedded, embodied mind.
I draw upon the conceptual resources of the extended mind thesis (EM) to analyze <span class='Hi'>empathy</span> and interpersonal understanding. Against the dominant mentalistic paradigm, I argue that <span class='Hi'>empathy</span> is fundamentally an extended bodily activity and that much of our social understanding happens outside of the head. First, I look at how the two dominant models of interpersonal understanding, theory theory and simulation theory, portray the cognitive link between folk psychology and <span class='Hi'>empathy</span>. Next, I challenge their internalist (...) orthodoxy and offer an alternative "extended" characterization of <span class='Hi'>empathy</span>. In support of this characterization, I analyze some narratives of individuals with Moebius syndrome, a kind of expressive deficit resulting from bilateral facial paralysis. I conclude by discussing how a Zen Buddhist ethics of responsiveness is helpful for articulating the practical significance of an extended, body-based account of <span class='Hi'>empathy</span>. (shrink)
The special and unique attitudes that we take towards events in our futures/pasts—e.g., attitudes like the dread of an impeding pain—create a challenge for “Reductionist” accounts that reduce persons to aggregates of interconnected person stages: if the person stage currently dreading tomorrow’s pain is numerically distinct from the person stage that will actually suffer the pain, what reason could the current person stage have for thinking of that future pain as being his? One reason everyday subjects believe they have a (...) substantially extended temporal existence stems from introspection—they introspectively experience their selves as being temporally extended. In this paper, I examine whether a Reductionist about personal identity can co-opt this explanation. Using Galen Strawson’s recent work on self-experience as a resource, I reach both a negative and a positive conclusion about the prospects of such a position. First, the relevant kind of self-experience—i.e., the introspective experience of one’s self as being a substantially temporally extended entity—will not automatically arise within a person stage simply in virtue of that stage being psychologically connected to/continuous with other person stages. Second, the relevant kind of self-experience will arise, however, in virtue of person stages weaving together their respective experiences, actions, etc. via a narrative. This positive conclusion points towards a new Reductionist position that focuses upon a narrative, and not mere psychological continuity, in attempting to justify the special attitudes we take towards events in our futures/pasts. (shrink)
This paper explores the ramifications of the extended cognition thesis in the philosophy of mind for contemporary epistemology. In particular, it argues that all theories of knowledge need to accommodate the ability intuition that knowledge involves cognitive ability, but that once this requirement is understood correctly there is no reason why one could not have a conception of cognitive ability that was consistent with the extended cognition thesis. There is thus, surprisingly, a straightforward way of developing our current (...) thinking about knowledge such that it incorporates the extended cognition thesis. (shrink)
In the movie, Memento, the hero, Leonard, suffers from a form of anterograde amnesia that results in an inability to lay down new memories. Nonetheless, he sets out on a quest to find his wife’s killer, aided by the use of notes, annotated polaroids, and (for the most important pieces of information obtained) body tattoos. Using these resources he attempts to build up a stock of new beliefs and to thus piece together the puzzle of his wife’s death. At one (...) point in the movie, a character exasperated by Leonard’s lack of biological recall, shouts: “YOU know? What do YOU know. YOU don’t know anything. In 10 minutes time YOU won’t even know you had this conversation” Leonard, however, believes that he does, day by day, come to know new things. But only courtesy of those photos, tattoos, tricks and ploys. Who is right?These are the kinds of question addressed at length in the paper (co-authored with David Chalmers) ‘The Extended Mind’. Is the mind contained (always? sometimes? never?) in the head? Or does the notion of thought allow mental processes (including believings) to inhere in extended systems of body, brain and aspects of the local environment? The answer, we claimed, was that mental states, including states of believing, could be grounded in physical traces that remained firmly outside the head. As long as a few simple conditions were met (more on which below), Leonard’s notes and tattoos could indeed count as new additions to his store of long-term knowledge and dispositional belief. In the present treatment I revisit this argument, defending our strong conclusion against a variety of subsequent observations and objections. In particular, I look at objections that rely on a contrast between the (putatively) intrinsic content of neural symbols and the merely derived content of external inscriptions, at objections concerning the demarcation of scientific domains via natural kinds, and at objections concerning the ultimate locus of agentive control and the nature of perception versus introspection. I also mention a possible alternative interpretation of the argument as (in effect) a reductio of the very idea of the mind as an object of scientific study. This is an interesting proposal. (shrink)
Experimental studies indicate that nonhuman animals and infants represent numerosities above three or four approximately and that their mental number line is logarithmic rather than linear. In contrast, human children from most cultures gradually acquire the capacity to denote exact cardinal values. To explain this difference, I take an extended mind perspective, arguing that the distinctly human ability to use external representations as a complement for internal cognitive operations enables us to represent natural numbers. Reviewing neuroscientific, developmental, and anthropological (...) evidence, I argue that the use of external media that represent natural numbers (like number words, body parts, tokens or numerals) influences the functional architecture of the brain, which suggests a two-way traffic between the brain and cultural public representations. (shrink)
This paper examines the justification for the hypothesis of extended cognition (HEC). HEC claims that human cognitive processes can, and often do, extend outside our heads to include objects in the environment. HEC has been justified by inference to the best explanation (IBE). Both advocates and critics of HEC claim that we should infer the truth value of HEC based on whether HEC makes a positive, or negative, explanatory contribution to cognitive science. I argue that IBE cannot play this (...) epistemic role. A serious rival to HEC exists with a differing truth value, and this invalidates IBEs for both the truth and falsity of HEC. Explanatory value to cognitive science cannot be used as a guide to the truth value of HEC. (shrink)
There’s a possibly more interesting general question: does technology transform and extend the mind and our mental powers? In a widely discussed 1998 paper titled “The Extended Mind”, Andy Clark and David Chalmers argue that mind and cognition can extend outside the head and can include items and processes in the world. In their thought experiment, Otto has alzheimer’s syndrome but does not lose his ability to function because he records information he learns in a notebook that he always (...) carries. Thus, C&C claim, Otto continues to have beliefs. The notebooks function as his memory. C&C propose a "parity principle": a part of the world is part of a cognitive process if it "functions as a process which, were it done in the head, we would have no hesitation in recognizing [it] as part of the cognitive process .... Cognitive processes ain't (all) in the head!" (in Menary p. 29, original emphasis). (shrink)
The extended mind thesis (EM) asserts that some cognitive processes are (partially) composed of actions consisting of the manipulation and exploitation of environmental structures. Might some processes at the root of social cognition have a similarly extended structure? In this paper, I argue that social cognition is fundamentally an interactive form of space management—the negotiation and management of ‘‘we-space”—and that some of the expressive actions involved in the negotiation and management of we-space (gesture, touch, facial and whole-body expressions) (...) drive basic processes of interpersonal understanding and thus do genuine social-cognitive work. Social interaction is a kind of extended social cognition, driven and at least partially constituted by environmental (non-neural) scaffolding. Challenging the Theory of Mind paradigm, I draw upon research from gesture studies, developmental psychology, and work on Moebius Syndrome to support this thesis. (shrink)
Two critiques of simple adaptationism are distinguished: anti-adaptationism and extended adaptationism. Adaptationists and anti-adaptationists share the presumption that an evolutionary explanation should identify the dominant simple cause of the evolutionary outcome to be explained. A consideration of extended-adaptationist models such as coevolution, niche construction and extended phenotypes reveals the inappropriateness of this presumption in explaining the evolution of certain important kinds of features—those that play particular roles in the regulation of organic processes, especially behavior. These biological or (...) behavioral ‘levers’ are distinctively available for adaptation and exaptation by their possessors and for co-optation by other organisms. As a result they are likely to result from a distinctive and complex type of evolutionary process that conforms neither to simple adaptationist nor to anti-adaptationist styles of explanation. Many of the human features whose evolutionary explanation is most controversial belong to this category, including the female orgasm. (shrink)
This brief article introduces a symposium discussing the extended mind thesis and its suggestive relation to religious thought. Essays by Mark Rowlands, Lynne Rudder Baker, Teed Rockwell, Joel Krueger, Leonard Angel, and Matthew Day present a variety of perspectives.
The Credit Theory of Knowledge (CTK)—as expressed by such figures as John Greco, Wayne Riggs, and Ernest Sosa—holds that knowing that p implies deserving epistemic credit for truly believing that p . Opponents have presented three sorts of counterexamples to CTK: S might know that p without deserving credit in cases of (1) innate knowledge (Lackey, Kvanvig); (2) testimonial knowledge (Lackey); or (3) perceptual knowledge (Pritchard). The arguments of Lackey, Kvanvig and Pritchard, however, are effective only in so far as (...) one is willing to accept a set of controversial background assumptions (for instance, that innate knowledge exists or that doxastic voluntarism is wrong). In this paper I mount a fourth argument against CTK, that doesn’t rest on any such controversial premise, and therefore should convince a much wider audience. In particular, I show that in cases of extended cognition (very broadly conceived), the most salient feature explaining S ’s believing the truth regarding p may well be external to S , that is, it might be a feature of S ’s (non-human, artifactual) environment. If so, the cognitive achievement of knowing that p is not (or only marginally) creditable to S , and hence, CTK is false. (shrink)
Robert Rupert is well-known as an vigorous opponent of the hypothesis of extended cognition (HEC). His Cognitive Systems and the Extended Mind is a first-rate development of his “systems-based” approach to demarcating the mind. The results are impressive. Rupert’s account brings much-needed clarity to the often-frustrating debate over HEC: much more than just an attack on HEC, he gives a compelling picture of why the debate matters.
In a recent contribution to this journal, Andrew Fenton and Sheri Alpert have argued that the so-called “extended mind hypothesis” allows us to understand why Brain Computer Interfaces (BCIs) have the potential to change the self of patients suffering from Locked-in syndrome (LIS) by extending their minds beyond their bodies. I deny that this can shed any light on the theoretical, or philosophical, underpinnings of BCIs as a tool for enabling communication with, or bodily action by, patients with LIS: (...) BCIs are not a case of cognitive extension. I argue that Fenton and Alpert’s claim to the contrary is the result of a widespread confusion about some related, but significantly different, approaches to cognition that all fall under the heading of “situated cognition.” I first provide a short taxonomy of various situated approaches to cognition, highlighting (some of) their important commonalities and differences, which should dissolve some of the confusions surrounding them. Then I show why the extended mind hypothesis is unsuitable as a model of BCI enhancements of LIS patients’ capacity to interact with their surroundings, and I argue that the situated approach with obvious bearings on the sort of questions that were driving Fenton and Alpert is not the idea that cognition is extended , but the idea that cognition is enacted. (shrink)
The Hypothesis of Extended Cognition (HEC)—that many cognitive processes are carried out by a hybrid coalition of neural, bodily and environmental factors—entails that the intentional states that are reasons for action might best be ascribed to wider entities of which individual persons are only parts. I look at different kinds of extended cognition and agency, exploring their consequences for concerns about the moral agency and personal responsibility of such extended entities. Can extended entities be moral agents (...) and bear responsibility for actions, in addition to or in place of the individuals typically held responsible? What does it mean to be autonomous when one’s cognition is influenced and supported by a milieu of environmental factors? To answer these questions, I explore strong parallels between HEC’s critique of individualism in cognition, and feminist critiques of individualist accounts of self, agency, and autonomy. This relational and social conception of autonomous agency, as scaffolded and supported (or undermined and impaired) by a milieu of social, relational, and normative factors, has important lessons for HEC. Drawing together these two visions of distributed and decentralized aspects of personhood highlights how cognition, action, and responsibility are inextricably linked. It also encourages a reconceptualization of all cognition and all concerns about responsibility for actions, not simply as sometimes extended around individuals, but as fundamentally communal, social, and normative, with individual cognition and individual moral responsibility being derivative special cases, not the paradigm examples. Individuals are merely one of many possible loci of cognition, action, and responsibility. (shrink)
This paper will defend the cognitivist view of cognition against recent challenges from Andy Clark and Richard Menary. It will also indicate the important theoretical role that cognitivism plays in understanding some of the core issues surrounding the hypothesis of extended cognition.
Various explanations are offered to explain why employees increasingly work longer hours: the combined effects of technology and globalization; people are caught up in consumerism; and the "ideal worker norm," when professionals expect themselves and others to work longer hours. In this article, we propose that the processes of employer recruitment and selection, employee self-selection, cultural socialization, and reward systems help create extended work hours cultures (EWHC) that reinforce these trends. Moreover, we argue that EWHC organizations are becoming more (...) prevalent and that organizations in which long hours have become the norm may recruit for and reinforce workaholic tendencies. Next, we offer spiritual leadership as a paradigm for organizational transformation and recovery from the negative aspects of EWHC to enhance employee wellbeing and corporate social responsibility without sacrificing profitability, revenue growth, and other indicators of financial performance. Finally, we will offer suggestions for future theory, research, and practice. (shrink)
Pritchard (Synthese 175,133–51, 2010) and Vaesen (Synthese forthcoming) have recently argued that robust virtue epistemology does not square with the extended cognition thesis that has enjoyed an increasing degree of popularity in recent philosophy of mind. This paper shows that their arguments fail. The relevant cases of extended cognition pose no new problem for robust virtue epistemology. It is shown that Pritchard’s and Vaesen’s cases can be dealt with in familiar ways by a number of virtue theories of (...) knowledge. (shrink)
The complex systems approach to cognitive science invites a new understanding of extended cognitive systems. According to this understanding, extended cognitive systems are heterogenous, composed of brain, body, and niche, non-linearly coupled to one another. This view of cognitive systems, as non-linearly coupled brain–body–niche systems, promises conceptual and methodological advances. In this article we focus on two of these. First, the fundamental interdependence among brain, body, and niche makes it possible to explain extended cognition without invoking representations (...) or computation. Second, cognition and conscious experience can be understood as a single phenomenon, eliminating fruitless philosophical discussion of qualia and the so-called hard problem of consciousness. What we call “extended phenomenological-cognitive systems” are relational and dynamical entities, with interactions among heterogeneous parts at multiple spatial and temporal scales. (shrink)
The hypothesis of extended cognition (HEC), or the claim that cognitive processes are not entirely organism-bound and can extend into the world, has received a barrage of criticism. Likewise, defenders of HEC have responded and even retreated into more moderate positions. In this paper, I trace the debate, rehearsing what I take to be the three strongest cases against HEC: nonderived content, causally natural kinds, and informational integration. I then argue that so far, the replies have been unsatisfactory, mainly (...) because they rest on tacit assumptions about the nature of ?human organisms,? which are the very subjects in question. One such reply, Clark's (2008) recent hypothesis of organism-centered cognition (HOC), is shown to be a particularly hasty retreat, specifically in terms of tackling the issue of informational integration. Namely, my position is that Clark concedes too quickly that the organism is the ?chief executor? of this cognitive function and I claim this on the grounds that (1) not all human organisms integrate information in the way Weiskopf (2008) argues they do, and (2) it is not impossible for external tools to be an informationally integrative component of a ?systemic whole.? (shrink)
The general idea of enactive perception is that actual and potential embodied activities determine perceptual experience. Some extended mind theorists, such as Andy Clark, refute this claim despite their general emphasis on the importance of the body. I propose a compromise to this opposition. The extended mind thesis is allegedly a consequence of our commonsense understanding of the mind. Furthermore, extended mind theorists assume the existence of non-human minds. I explore the precise nature of the commonsense understanding (...) of the mind, which accepts both extended minds and non-human minds. In the area of philosophy of mind, there are two theories of intentionality based on such commonsense understandings: neo-behaviorism defended, e.g., by Daniel Dennett, and neo-pragmatism advocated, e.g., by Robert Brandom. Neither account is in full agreement with how people ordinarily use their commonsense understanding. Neo-pragmatism, however, can overcome its problem—its inability to explain why people routinely find intentionality in non-humans—by incorporating the phenomenological suggestion that interactional bodily skills determine how we perceive others’ intentionality. I call this integrative position embodied neo-pragmatism . I conclude that the extended view of the mind makes sense, without denying the existence of non-human minds, only by assuming embodied neo-pragmatism and hence the general idea of enactive perception. (shrink)
This article examines the intersection of the theory of extended mind/cognition and theory of knowledge. In the minds of some, it matters to conditions for knowing whether the mind extends beyond the boundaries of body and brain. I examine these intuitions and find no support for this view from tracking theories of knowledge. I then argue that the apparent difference extended mind is supposed to have for ability or credit theories is also illusory.
Grush's framework has epistemological implications and explains how it is possible to acquire offline empirical knowledge. It also complements the extended-mind thesis, which says that mind leaks into the world. Grush's framework suggests that the world leaks into the mind through the offline deployment of emulators that we usually deploy in our experience of the world.
This special issue, which includes papers ﬁrst presented at two workshops on ‘Memory, Mind, and Media’ in Sydney on November 29–30 and December 2–3, 2004, showcases some of the best interdisciplinary work in philosophy and psychology by memory researchers in Australasia (and by one expatriate Australian, Robert Wilson of the University of Alberta). The papers address memory in many contexts: in dance and under hypnosis, in social groups and with siblings, in early childhood and in the laboratory. Memory is taken (...) as a test case for evaluating the optimistic vision of a new kind of cognitive science defended by Andy Clark. Clark (2001:154) argues: Much of what matters about human intelligence is hidden not in the brain, nor in the technology, but in the complex and iterated interactions and collaborations between the two ... The study of these interaction spaces is not easy, and depends both on new multidisciplinary alliances and new forms of modelling and analysis. The pay-oﬀ, however, could be spectacular: nothing less than a new kind of cognitive scientiﬁc collaboration involving neuroscience, physiology, and social, cultural, and technological studies in about equal measure. So the central motivation is to investigate critically how well the case of memory would ﬁt the extended mind’ thesis put forward by Clark and Chalmers (Clark and Chalmers 1998; Clark 1997, 2006)—according to which mental states and processes can spread across the.. (shrink)
The extended mind hypothesis (EMH) is the claim that the mind can and does extend beyond the human body. Adams and Aizawa (A&A) contend that arguments for EMH commit a ‘coupling constitution fallacy’. We deny that the master argument for EMH commits such a fallacy. But we think that there is an important question lurking behind A&A's allegation: under what conditions is cognition spread across a tightly coupled system? Building on some suggestions from Haugeland, we contend that the system (...) must exhibit a distinctive sort of semantic activity, semantic activity that the system as a whole takes responsibility for. (shrink)
This paper explores several paths a distinctive third wave of extended cognition might take. In so doing, I address a couple of shortcomings of first- and second-wave extended cognition associated with a tendency to conceive of the properties of internal and external processes as fixed and non-interchangeable. First, in the domain of cognitive transformation, I argue that a problematic tendency of the complementarity model is that it presupposes that socio-cultural resources augment but do not significantly transform the brain’s (...) representational capacities during diachronic development. In this paper I show that there is available a much more dynamical explanation—one taking the processes of the brain’s enculturation into patterned practices as transforming the brain’s representational capacities. Second, in the domain of cognitive assembly, I argue that another problematic tendency is an individualistic notion of cognitive agency, since it overlooks the active contribution of socio-cultural practices in the assembly process of extended cognitive systems. In contrast to an individualistic notion of cognitive agency, I explore the idea that it is possible to decentralize cognitive agency to include socio-cultural practices. (shrink)
Abstract According to a standard view, the physical boundary of the person—the skin-and-skull boundary—matters morally because this boundary delineates between where the person begins and the world ends. On the basis of this view we make a distinction between invasive interventions that penetrate this boundary and non-invasive interventions that do not. The development of neuroprosthetics, however, raises questions about the significance of this boundary and the relationship between person and body. In particular it has been argued by appeal to the (...)Extended Mind thesis that mind and person can extend beyond the body, and hence the skin-and-skull boundary is of questionable significance. In this paper I argue that the Extended Mind thesis is consistent with the ethical relevance of the skin-and-skull barrier. Although it can be argued that cognitive processes and aspect of mind can extend beyond the skin-and-skull boundary as EM claims, it does not follow that the person is also extended beyond this boundary. The moral sense of person is closely related to the notion of person as a subject of experiences and this, in turn, is related to the sensory and somatosensory aspects of the body. The development of neuroprosthetics provides us with reason to see that persons can be variously embodied, but this is consistent with the functional and ethical significance of the skin-and-skull boundary. Content Type Journal Article Category Original Paper Pages 1-13 DOI 10.1007/s12152-011-9133-5 Authors Tom Buller, Philosophy Department, University of Alaska Anchorage, 3211 Providence Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508, USA Journal Neuroethics Online ISSN 1874-5504 Print ISSN 1874-5490. (shrink)
Specifically, "A New Argument Against talk is a section of an upcoming article of Brahman Extended Philosophical Atoms" is mine about Mereological Nihilism and Anti-metaphysics concerned with only the following: Quantum Atomism . The article is going Radical Empiricism..
This paper will defend the cognitivist view of cognition against recent challenges from Andy Clark and Richard Menary. It will also indicate the important theoretical role that cognitivism plays in understanding some of the core issues surrounding the hypothesis of extended cognition.
There is a growing realization in cognitive science that a theory of embodied intersubjectivity is needed to better account for social cognition. We highlight some challenges that must be addressed by attempts to interpret ‘simulation theory’ in terms of embodiment, and argue for an alternative approach that integrates phenomenology and dynamical systems theory in a mutually informing manner. Instead of ‘simulation’ we put forward the concept of the ‘extended body’, an enactive and phenomenological notion that emphasizes the socially mediated (...) nature of embodiment. To illustrate the explanatory potential of this approach, we replicate an agent-based model of embodied social interaction. An analysis of the model demonstrates that the extended body can be explained in terms of mutual dynamical entanglement: inter-bodily resonance between individuals can give rise to self-sustaining interaction patterns that go beyond the behavioral capacities of isolated individuals by modulating their intra-bodily conditions of behavior generation. (shrink)
The Modern Synthesis (MS) is the current paradigm in evolutionary biology. It was actually built by expanding on the conceptual foundations laid out by its predecessors, Darwinism and neo-Darwinism. For sometime now there has been talk of a new Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (EES), and this article begins to outline why we may need such an extension, and how it may come about. As philosopher Karl Popper has noticed, the current evolutionary theory is a theory of genes, and we still (...) lack a theory of forms. The field began, in fact, as a theory of forms in Darwin’s days, and the major goal that an EES will aim for is a unification of our theories of genes and of forms. This may be achieved through an organic grafting of novel concepts onto the foundational structure of the MS, particularly evolvability, phenotypic plasticity, epigenetic inheritance, complexity theory, and the theory of evolution in highly dimensional adaptive landscapes. (shrink)
I take up the question of how models of extended cognition might redirect the academic study of religion. Entering into a conversation of sorts with Emile Durkheim and Bruno Latour regarding the "overtakenness" of social agency, I argue that a robust portrait of extended cognition must redirect our interest in explaining religion in two key ways. First, religious studies should take up the methodological principle of symmetry that informs contemporary histories of science and begin theorizing the efficacy of (...) gods as social actors. Second, theorists of religion should begin noting how the work required to construct spaces in which the gods appear depends on the construction of disciplined and capable subjects. (shrink)
I will begin by noting two of the many convergences between my approach and that of Shaun Gallagher in his paper for the Socially Extended Mind workshop (Gallagher 2011). First, his insistence on the enactive – or what we could call the “dynamic interactional” – character of mind, countering the somewhat static view of classical EM (Extended Mind); and second, the move to a distributed notion of judgment, countering the lingering individualism of classical EM.
The growing prominence of computers in contemporary life, often seemingly with minds of their own, invites rethinking the question of moral responsibility. If the moral responsibility for an act lies with the subject that carried it out, it follows that different concepts of the subject generate different views of moral responsibility. Some recent theorists have argued that actions are produced by composite, fluid subjects understood as extended agencies (cyborgs, actor networks). This view of the subject contrasts with methodological individualism: (...) the idea that actions are produced only by human individuals. This essay compares two views of responsibility: moral individualism (the ethical twin of methodological individualism), and joint responsibility (associated with extended agency theory). It develops a view of what joint responsibility might look like, and considers the advantages it might bring relative to moral individualism as well as the objections that are sure to be raised against it. (shrink)
Prominent defenders of the extended cognition thesis have looked to evolutionary theory for support. Roughly, the idea is that natural selection leads one to expect that cognitive strategies should exploit the environment, and exploitation of the right sort results in a cognitive system that extends beyond the head of the organism. I argue that proper appreciation of evolutionary theory should create no such expectation. This leaves open whether cognitive systems might in fact bear a relationship to the environment that (...) leads to their extension. *Received July 2009; revised January 2010. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, 5185 Helen C. White Hall, 600 North Park Street, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706; e‐mail: email@example.com. (shrink)
This paper engages the extended cognition controversy by advancing a theory which fits nicely into an attractive and surprisingly unoccupied conceptual niche situated comfortably between traditional individualism and the radical externalism espoused by the majority of supporters of the extended mind hypothesis. I call this theory moderate active externalism, or MAE. In alliance with other externalist theories of cognition, MAE is committed to the view that certain cognitive processes extend across brain, body, and world—a conclusion which follows from (...) a theory I develop in “Synergic Coordination: an argument for cognitive process externalism.” Yet, in contradistinction with radical externalism, and in agreement with the internalist orthodoxy, MAE defends the view that mental states are situated invariably inside our heads. This is done, inter alia, by developing a novel hypothesis regarding the vehicles of content (in “Extended cognition without externalized mental states”, and by criticizing arguments in support of mental states externalism (in “Reflections and objections”). The result, I believe, is a coherent theoretical alternative worthy of serious consideration. (shrink)
Andy Clark and David Chalmers have recently argued that the world beyond our skin can constitute part of the mind. That is, our minds can and sometimes do extend beyond our heads and bodies. Clark and Chalmers refer to this claim as the 'Extended Mind'. After illustrating the Extended Mind via a thought-experiment I turn to consider a criticism made by Lawrence Shapiro. After outlining Shapiro's claim I will show that in fact this does little to call into (...) to doubt the Extended Mind. However, Clark holds that the Extended Mind does face a serious criticism from the threat of 'Mental Bloat'; the worry here is that arguing that the mind extends beyond the skin quickly leads to absurdities. I consider Clark's response to this worry but find it to be unconvincing. However, I go on to show that there is in fact little to fear from Mental Bloat. Therefore, it will be my conclusion that there is some reason to hold that the mind ain't just in the head. (shrink)
This paper investigates the applicability of reliabilism to scientific knowledge, and especially focuses on two doubts about the applicability: one about its difficulty in accounting for the epistemological role of scientific instruments, and the other about scientific theories. To respond to the two doubts, we extend virtue reliabilism, a reliabilist-based virtue epistemology, with a distinction of two types of epistemic virtues and the extended mind thesis from Clark and Chalmers (Analysis 58:7–19, 1998 ). We also present a case study (...) on the quantitative research methodology of social sciences to show that the methodology is actually an extended virtue reliabilism on how social science instruments and theories contribute to the formation of social scientific knowledge. (shrink)
A three-valued propositional logic is presented, within which the three values are read as ?true?, ?false? and ?nonsense?. A three-valued extended functional calculus, unrestricted by the theory of types, is then developed. Within the latter system, Bochvar analyzes the Russell paradox and the Grelling-Weyl paradox, formally demonstrating the meaninglessness of both.
This article explores the notion of the Web-extended mind, which is the idea that the technological and informational elements of the Web can sometimes serve as part of the mechanistic substrate that realizes human mental states and processes. It is argued that while current forms of the Web may not be particularly suited to the realization of Web-extended minds, new forms of user interaction technology as well as new approaches to information representation do provide promising new opportunities for (...) Web-based forms of cognitive extension. In addition, it is suggested that extended cognitive systems often rely on the emergence of social practices and conventions that shape how a technology is used. Web-extended minds may thus depend on forms of socio-technical co-evolution in which social forces and factors play just as important a role as do the processes of technology design and development. (shrink)
Might there be extended cognition and thereby extended minds? Rightly, that possibility is being investigated at present by philosophers of mind. Should epistemologists share that spirit, by inquiring into the possibility of extended knowing and thereby of extended knowers? Indeed so, I argue. The key to this shift of emphasis will be an epistemologically improved understanding of the implications of epistemic externalism.
For branching-time temporal logic based on an Ockhamist semantics, we explore a temporal language extended with two additional syntactic tools. For reference to the set of all possible futures at a moment of time we use syntactically designated restricted variables called fan-names. For reference to all possible futures alternative to the actual one we use a modification of a difference modality, localized to the set of all possible futures at the actual moment of time.We construct an axiomatic system for (...) this extended branching-time logic and prove its soundness and completeness with respect to bundle tree semantics. Finally, we show how our axiomatic system can be extended with a variety of important additional operators, such as Since and Until, a global difference operator, operators for undivided and divided histories, reference pointers, etc. (shrink)
A recent set of experiments of ours supported the notion of a transition in experience from readiness-to-hand to unreadiness-tohand proposed by phenomenological philosopher Martin Heidegger. They were also an experimental demonstration of an extended cognitive system. We generated and then temporarily disrupted an interaction- dominant system that spans a human participant, a computer mouse, and a task performed on the computer screen. Our claim that this system was interaction dominant was based on the detection of 1/f noise at the (...) hand-tool interface. The inference from the presence of 1/f noise to the presence of an interaction-dominant system is occasionally disputed. Increasing evidence suggests that inference from multifractality to interaction dominance is more certain than 1/f- like scaling alone. In this paper, we reanalyze the data using the wavelet transform modulus maxima method, showing that the human-mouse system displays multifractality. This reinforces our claims that the system is interaction dominant. (shrink)
The aim of this study was to examine the predictions of three theories of human logical reasoning, (a) mental model theory, (b) formal rules theory (e.g., PSYCOP), and (c) the probability heuristics model, regarding the inferences people make for extended categorical syllogisms. Most research with extended syllogisms has been restricted to the quantifier “All” and to an asymmetrical presentation. This study used three-premise syllogisms with the additional quantifiers that are used for traditional categorical syllogisms as well as additional (...) syllogistic figures. The predictions of the theories were examined using overall accuracy as well as a multinomial tree modelling technique. The results demonstrated that all three theories were able to predict response selections at high levels. However, the modelling analyses showed that the probability heuristics model did the best in both Experiments 1 and 2. (shrink)
In this article I elaborate and codify the extended case method, which deploys participant observation to locate everyday life in its extralocal and historical context. The extended case method emulates a reflexive model of science that takes as its premise the intersubjectivity of scientist and subject of study. Reflexive science valorizes intervention, process, structuration, and theory reconstruction. It is the Siamese twin of positive science that proscribes reactivity, but upholds reliability, replicability, and representativeness. Positive science, exemplified by survey (...) research, works on the principle of the separation between scientists and the subjects they examine. Positive science is limited by "context effects" (interview, respondent, field, and situational effects) while reflexive science is limited by "power effects" (domination, silencing, objectification, and normalization). The article concludes by considering the implications of having two models of science rather than one, both of which are necessarily flawed. Throughout I use a study of postcolonialism to illustrate both the virtues and the shortcomings of the extended case method. Methodology can only bring us reflective understanding of the means which have demonstrated their value in practice by raising them to the level of explicit consciousness; it is no more the precondition of fruitful intellectual work than the knowledge of anatomy is the precondition of "correct" walking. (shrink)
This essay seeks to give a contractarian foundation to the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), meant as an extended model of corporate governance of the firm. It focuses on justification according to the contractarian point of view (leaving compliance and implementation problems to a related article, [Sacconi 2004b, forthcoming in the Journal of Business Ethics]). It begins by providing a definition of CSR as an extended model of corporate governance, based on the fiduciary duties owed to all (...) the firm’s stakeholders. Then, by establishing the basic context of incompleteness of contracts and abuse of authority, it analyses how the extended view of corporate governance arises directly from criticism of the contemporary neo-institutional economic theory of the firm. Thereafter, an application of the theory of bargaining games is used to deduce the structure of a multi-stakeholder firm, on the basis of the idea of a constitutional contract, which satisfies basic requirements of impartial justification and accordance with intuitions of social justice. This is a sequential model of constitutional bargaining, whereby a constitution is first chosen, and then a post-constitutional coalition game is played. On the basis of the unique solution given to each step in the bargaining model, the quest for a prescriptive theory of governance and strategic management is accomplished, so that I am able to define an objective-function for the firm consistent with the idea of CSR. Finally, a contractarian potential explanation for the emergence of the multi-fiduciary firm is provided. (shrink)
Phenotype, whether conventional or extended, is defined as a reflectionof an underlying genotype. Adaptation and the natural selection thatfollows from it depends upon a progressively harmonious fit betweenphenotype and environment. There is in Richard Dawkins' notion ofthe extended phenotype a paradox that seems to undercut conventionalviews of adaptation, natural selection and adaptation. In a nutshell, ifthe phenotype includes an organism's environment, how then can theorganism adapt to itself? The paradox is resolvable through aphysiological, as opposed to a genetic, (...) theory of natural selection andadaptation. (shrink)