How to demarcate the boundaries of cognition

Biology and Philosophy 27 (4):545-570 (2012)

Authors
David Michael Kaplan
Washington University in St. Louis
Abstract
Advocates of extended cognition argue that the boundaries of cognition span brain, body, and environment. Critics maintain that cognitive processes are confined to a boundary centered on the individual. All participants to this debate require a criterion for distinguishing what is internal to cognition from what is external. Yet none of the available proposals are completely successful. I offer a new account, the mutual manipulability account, according to which cognitive boundaries are determined by relationships of mutual manipulability between the properties and activities of putative components and the overall behavior of the cognitive mechanism in which they figure. Among its main advantages, this criterion is capable of (a) distinguishing components of cognition from causal background conditions and lower-level correlates, and (b) showing how the core hypothesis of extended cognition can serve as a legitimate empirical hypothesis amenable to experimental test and confirmation. Conceiving the debate in these terms transforms the current clash over extended cognition into a substantive empirical debate resolvable on the basis of evidence from cognitive science and neuroscience
Keywords Extended cognition  Embodied cognition  Mutual manipulability  Mechanism  Intervention
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10539-012-9308-4
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 48,902
External links

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

View all 35 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Constitutive Relevance, Mutual Manipulability, and Fat-Handedness.Michael Baumgartner & Alexander Gebharter - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (3):731-756.
An Abductive Theory of Constitution.Michael Baumgartner & Lorenzo Casini - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (2):214-233.
The Metaphysics of Constitutive Mechanistic Phenomena.Marie I. Kaiser & Beate Krickel - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axv058.
Saving the Mutual Manipulability Account of Constitutive Relevance.Beate Krickel - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 68:58-67.
Extended Cognition and the Explosion of Knowledge.David Ludwig - 2014 - Philosophical Psychology (3):1-14.

View all 28 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Overextended Cognition.Shannon Spaulding - 2012 - Philosophical Psychology 25 (4):469 - 490.
Extended Cognition and the Metaphysics of Mind.Zoe Drayson - 2010 - Cognitive Systems Research 11 (4):367-377.
The Embodied Cognition Research Programme.Larry Shapiro - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (2):338–346.
Embodied Social Cognition.Shannon Spaulding - 2011 - Philosophical Topics 39 (1):141-162.
How to Situate Cognition: Letting Nature Take its Course.Robert A. Wilson & Andy Clark - 2009 - In Murat Aydede & P. Robbins (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Situated Cognition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 55--77.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2012-02-19

Total views
183 ( #45,495 of 2,309,951 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
8 ( #104,333 of 2,309,951 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature