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

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
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DOI 10.1007/s10539-012-9308-4
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References found in this work BETA

The Extended Mind.Andy Clark & David J. Chalmers - 1998 - Analysis 58 (1):7-19.

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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.
The Metaphysics of Constitutive Mechanistic Phenomena.Marie I. Kaiser & Beate Krickel - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (3).
An Abductive Theory of Constitution.Michael Baumgartner & Lorenzo Casini - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (2):214-233.
Saving the Mutual Manipulability Account of Constitutive Relevance.Beate Krickel - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 68:58-67.

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