Online Intellectual Virtues and the Extended Mind

Social Epistemology 35 (3):312-322 (2021)
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The internet has become an ubiquitous epistemic source. However, it comes with several drawbacks. For instance, the world wide web seems to foster filter bubbles and echo chambers and includes search results that promote bias and spread misinformation. Richard Heersmink suggests online intellectual virtues to combat these epistemically detrimental effects . These are general epistemic virtues applied to the online environment based on our background knowledge of this online environment. I argue that these online intellectual virtues also demand a particular view of cognitive integration. Online intellectual virtues are incompatible with a popular conception of extended minds proposed by Andy Clark and David Chalmers . I suggest that if we want to hold on to both a conception of online intellectual virtues and some conception of the extended mind, we have to accept a more gradual theory of cognitive integration along the lines of second-wave theories of the extended mind.

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Lukas Schwengerer
University of Duisburg-Essen