Philosophical Issues 24 (1):409-425 (2014)

Authors
Adam Toon
University of Exeter
Abstract
One important debate between scientific realists and constructive empiricists concerns whether we observe things using instruments. This paper offers a new perspective on the debate over instruments by looking to recent discussion in philosophy of mind and cognitive science. Realists often speak of instruments as ‘extensions’ to our senses. I ask whether the realist may strengthen her view by drawing on the extended mind thesis. Proponents of the extended mind thesis claim that cognitive processes can sometimes extend beyond our brains and bodies into the environment. I suggest that the extended mind thesis offers a way to make sense of realists’ talk of instruments as extensions to the senses and that it provides the realist with a new argument against the constructive empiricist view of instruments
Keywords Scientific realism  Constructive empiricism  The Extended Mind Thesis
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Reprint years 2014
DOI 10.1111/phis.12040
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The Extended Mind.Andy Clark & David J. Chalmers - 1998 - Analysis 58 (1):7-19.
Laws and Symmetry.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1989 - Oxford University Press.
The Scientific Image.C. Van Fraassen Bas - 1980 - Oxford University Press.

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