Mind and artifact: A multidimensional matrix for exploring cognition-artifact relations

In J. M. Bishop & Y. J. Erden (eds.), Proceedings of the 5th AISB Symposium on Computing and Philosophy (pp. 54-61) (2012)
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Abstract

What are the possible varieties of cognition-artifact relations, and which dimensions are relevant for exploring these varieties? This question is answered in two steps. First, three levels of functional and informational integration between human agent and cognitive artifact are distinguished. These levels are based on the degree of interactivity and direction of information flow, and range from monocausal and bicausal relations to continuous reciprocal causation. In these levels there is a hierarchy of integrative processes in which there is an increasing degree of hybridization. Therefore, from a functional and informational level of abstraction, it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish between agent and artifact in this hierarchy. Second, a multidimensional matrix for exploring cognition-artifact relations is sketched. The dimensions in the matrix include reliability, durability, trust, procedural and representational transparency, individualization, bandwidth, speed of information flow, distribution of computation, and cognitive and artifactual transformation. Together, these dimensions constitute a multidimensional space in which particular cognition-artifact relations can be located. The higher a particular cognition-artifact relation scores on these dimensions, the more integration and hybridization occurs, and the more tightly coupled the overall system is. It is then better, for explanatory reasons, to see agent and artifact as one cognitive system with a distributed informational architecture.

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Richard Heersmink
Tilburg University

Citations of this work

Dimensions of integration in embedded and extended cognitive systems.Richard Heersmink - 2015 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 13 (3):577-598.
Varieties of the extended self.Richard Heersmink - 2020 - Consciousness and Cognition 85:103001.
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The extended mind.Andy Clark & David J. Chalmers - 1998 - Analysis 58 (1):7-19.
Minds: extended or scaffolded?Kim Sterelny - 2010 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (4):465-481.
Extended cognition and the mark of the cognitive.Mark Rowlands - 2009 - Philosophical Psychology 22 (1):1 – 19.

View all 16 references / Add more references