In an era during which more and more people show signs of narcissism, extreme individualistic views and a lack of empathy for others, the evidence that a definite change in society has taken place cannot be denied. This change is, in many ways, the result of the fast-growing pace of development and availability of technology, also known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, in terms of which change has become a daily occurrence. Accessibility to the Internet and social media platforms contributes (...) to the rapid change in society and how people and specifically younger generations view themselves and approach others. Amid this change, the church must act as a positive change agent and should not oppose change. Change has become a constant in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and the church thus needs to become an agent in this process of change, to reorientate the focus of society and overcome the self-centeredness induced by current technological progress in society. What should such a focus look like? In answering this question, perspectives from Psalm 82 and the Old Testament are considered.Contribution: This article makes an interdisciplinary contribution, drawing knowledge from the Psalms in the Old Testament, social anthropology and technological advancement studies as to contribute on the relevance of theology today and the importance of understanding generational differences in a time of technological growth and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. (shrink)
Shachar is identified primarily as a primary noun that is translated as ‘dawn’ within the Hebrew Bible, yet one must not ignore its mythical dimension. Within the Davidic trilogy Psalms 108–110, Shachar takes on an important function, concerning the unity and the message of the trilogy within Book V of the Book of Psalms. A process of restoration and hope is announced within Psalm 108 and started within Psalm 110 for Israel after a time of war and exile. This is (...) demonstrated through the mythical, royal and temporal dimensions of Shachar as two dawns within Psalm 108:3 and Psalm 110:3. (shrink)
On the extended mind hypothesis (EM), many of our cognitive states and processes are hybrids, unevenly distributed across biological and nonbiological realms. In certain circumstances, things - artifacts, media, or technologies - can have a cognitive life, with histories often as idiosyncratic as those of the embodied brains with which they couple. The realm of the mental can spread across the physical, social, and cultural environments as well as bodies and brains. My independent aims in this chapter are: first, to (...) describe two compatible but distinct movements or "waves" within the EM literature, arguing for the priority of the second wave (and gesturing briefly toward a third); and, second, to defend and illustrate the interdisciplinary implications of EM as best understood, specifically for historical disciplines, by sketching two case studies. (shrink)
An argument that takes issue with the contemporary epistemological consensus that justification is distinct from knowledge, proposing instead that justified belief simply is knowledge, and arguing in detail that a belief is justified when ...
Philosophy and Memory Traces defends two theories of autobiographical memory. One is a bewildering historical view of memories as dynamic patterns in fleeting animal spirits, nervous fluids which rummaged through the pores of brain and body. The other is new connectionism, in which memories are 'stored' only superpositionally, and reconstructed rather than reproduced. Both models, argues John Sutton, depart from static archival metaphors by employing distributed representation, which brings interference and confusion between memory traces. Both raise urgent issues about (...) control of the personal past, and about relations between self and body. Sutton demonstrates the role of bizarre body fluids in moral physiology, as philosophers from Descartes and Locke to Coleridge struggled to control their own innards and impose cognitive discipline on 'the phantasmal chaos of association'. Going on to defend connectionism against Fodor and critics of passive mental representations, he shows how problems of the self are implicated in cognitive science. (shrink)
This paper introduces a new, expanded range of relevant cognitive psychological research on collaborative recall and social memory to the philosophical debate on extended and distributed cognition. We start by examining the case for extended cognition based on the complementarity of inner and outer resources, by which neural, bodily, social, and environmental resources with disparate but complementary properties are integrated into hybrid cognitive systems, transforming or augmenting the nature of remembering or decision-making. Adams and Aizawa, noting this distinctive complementarity argument, (...) say that they agree with it completely: but they describe it as “a non-revolutionary approach” which leaves “the cognitive psychology of memory as the study of processes that take place, essentially without exception, within nervous systems.” In response, we carve out, on distinct conceptual and empirical grounds, a rich middle ground between internalist forms of cognitivism and radical anti-cognitivism. Drawing both on extended cognition literature and on Sterelny’s account of the “scaffolded mind” (this issue), we develop a multidimensional framework for understanding varying relations between agents and external resources, both technological and social. On this basis we argue that, independent of any more “revolutionary” metaphysical claims about the partial constitution of cognitive processes by external resources, a thesis of scaffolded or distributed cognition can substantially influence or transform explanatory practice in cognitive science. Critics also cite various empirical results as evidence against the idea that remembering can extend beyond skull and skin. We respond with a more principled, representative survey of the scientific psychology of memory, focussing in particular on robust recent empirical traditions for the study of collaborative recall and transactive social memory. We describe our own empirical research on socially distributed remembering, aimed at identifying conditions for mnemonic emergence in collaborative groups. Philosophical debates about extended, embedded, and distributed cognition can thus make richer, mutually beneficial contact with independently motivated research programs in the cognitive psychology of memory. (shrink)
‘There is no place in the phenomenology of fully absorbed coping’, writes Hubert Dreyfus, ‘for mindfulness. In flow, as Sartre sees, there are only attractive and repulsive forces drawing appropriate activity out of an active body’1. Among the many ways in which history animates dynamical systems at a range of distinctive timescales, the phenomena of embodied human habit, skilful movement, and absorbed coping are among the most pervasive and mundane, and the most philosophically puzzling. In this essay we examine both (...) habitual and skilled movement, sketching the outlines of a multidimensional framework within which the many differences across distinctive cases and domains might be fruitfully understood. Both the range of movement phenomena which can plausibly be seen as instances of habit or skill, and the space of possible theories of such phenomena are richer and more disparate than philosophy easily encompasses. We seek to bring phenomenology into contact with relevant movements in psychological theories of skilful action, in the belief that phenomenological philosophy and cognitive science can be allies rather than antagonists. (shrink)
Synthesizing the domains of investigation highlighted in current research in distributed cognition and related fields, this paper offers an initial taxonomy of the overlapping types of resources which typically contribute to distributed or extended cognitive systems. It then outlines a number of key dimensions on which to analyse both the resulting integrated systems and the components which coalesce into more or less tightly coupled interaction over the course of their formation and renegotiation.
I will be arguing that a subject’s belief that p is justified if and only if he knows that p: justification is knowledge. I will start by describing two broad classes of allegedly justified beliefs that do not constitute knowledge and which, hence, cannot be what they are often taken to be if my view is correct. It is far from clear what my view is until I say a lot more about the relevant concept or concepts of justification that (...) concern me. The following section describes several concepts of justification that epistemologists have employed, and, in particular, identifies the two concepts of justification that I claim are coextensive with the concept of knowledge. One of those is the deontological conception of justification: I will be arguing that one ought not believe that p unless one knows that p. I imagine that the major opposition to my view will be that it is simply obvious that there are justified false beliefs, a feeling that I try to dispel in the lengthy section on concepts of justification before I finally get around to giving the main arguments in favor of my view. A view as unorthodox as mine demands more than a single argument: I offer four in the third section. Everyone allows that many people have many unjustified beliefs, and everyone has some unjustified beliefs, but such beliefs appear to be far more prevalent on my view than on more orthodox views. In the last section, I argue that unjustified beliefs, although widespread, are not quite as common as they might appear to be on my view. (shrink)
in Jeremy McKenna (ed), At the Boundaries of Cricket, to be published in 2007 as a special issue of the journal Sport in Society and as a book in the series Sport in the Global Society (Taylor and Francis).
Sometimes I remember my past experiences from an ‘observer’ perspective, seeing myself in the remembered scene. This paper analyses the distinction in personal memory between such external observer visuospatial perspectives and ‘field’ perspectives, in which I experience the remembered actions and events as from my original point of view. It argues that Richard Wollheim’s related distinction between centred and acentred memory fails to capture the key phenomena, and criticizes Wollheim’s reasons for doubting that observer ‘memories’ are genuine personal memories. Since (...) field perspectives in personal memory are also likely to be the product of constructive processes, we should reject the common assumption that such constructive processes inevitably bring distortion and error. Yet field perspectives tend to be treated as privileged also in the domains of memory for skilled movement, and memory for trauma. In each case, it is argued that visuospatial perspective in personal memory should be distinguished from other kinds of perspective such as kinesthetic perspective and emotional perspective. (shrink)
A woman is listening to Sinatra before work. As she later describes it, ‘suddenly from nowhere I could hear my mother singing along to it … I was there again home again, hearing my mother … God knows why I should choose to remember that … then, to actually hear her and I had this image in my head … of being at home … with her singing away … like being transported back you know I got one of those (...) … like shivery feelings really suddenly’ (Anderson 2004, 9-10). An older couple, discussing their honeymoon forty years ago, each say that they can’t remember the show they saw, until through iterative, puzzled cross-cuing they finally get there – ‘Desert Song, that’s it’ (Harris et al 2011, 292). An elderly English veteran of a prisoner of war camp in Japan, finishing up morning tea with a young Japanese social scientist interested in reconciliation, suddenly calls out loudly - in Japanese - ‘stand to attention’. He stands to attention in front of her: like many of the men she interviews, he physically re-enacts fragments of that long-past world of the camp, bringing that absent past into this new present context with a visceral shock (Murakami 2001, 2012; Middleton & Brown 2005, 133-136). (shrink)
Persons think. Bodies, time-slices of persons, and brains might also think. They have the necessary neural equipment. Thus, there seems to be more than one thinker in your chair. Critics assert that this is too many thinkers and that we should reject ontologies that allow more than one thinker in your chair. I argue that cases of multiple thinkers are innocuous and that there is not too much thinking. Rather, the thinking shared between, for example, persons and their bodies is (...) exactly what we should expect at the intersection of part sharing and the supervenience of the mental on the physical. I end by responding to the overcrowding objection, the personhood objection, the personal-pronoun reference problem and the epistemic objection. (shrink)
I start with a brief assessment of the implications of Sterelny’s anti-individualist, anti-internalist apprentice learning model for a more historical and interdisciplinary cognitive science. In a selective response I then focus on two core features of his constructive account: collaboration and skill. While affirming the centrality of joint action and decision making, I raise some concerns about the fragility of the conditions under which collaborative cognition brings benefits. I then assess Sterelny’s view of skill acquisition and performance, which runs counter (...) to dominant theories that stress the automaticity of skill. I suggest that it may still overestimate the need for and ability of experts to decompose and represent the elements of their own practical knowledge. (shrink)
Experiences of embodied remembering are familiar and diverse. We settle bodily into familiar chairs or find our way easily round familiar rooms. We inhabit our own kitchens or cars or workspaces effectively and comfortably, and feel disrupted when our habitual and accustomed objects or technologies change or break or are not available. Hearing a particular song can viscerally bring back either one conversation long ago, or just the urge to dance. Some people explicitly use their bodies to record, store, or (...) cue memories. Others can move skilfully, without stopping to think, in complex and changing environments thanks to the cumulative expertise accrued in their history of fighting fires, or dancing, or playing hockey. The forms of memory involved in these cases may be distinct, operating at different timescales and levels, and by way of different mechanisms and media, but they often cooperate in the many contexts of our practices of remembering. (shrink)
Through a selective historical, theoretical, and critical survey of the uses of the concept of scaffolding over the past 30 years, this chapter traces the development of the concept across developmental psychology, educational theory, and cognitive anthropology, and its place in the interdisciplinary field of distributed cognition from the 1990s. Offering a big-picture overview of the uses of the notion of scaffolding, it suggests three ways to taxonomise forms of scaffolding, and addresses the possible criticism that the metaphor of scaffolding (...) retains an overly individualist vision of cognition. The chapter is aimed at a broad interdisciplinary audience interested in processes of learning, teaching, and apprenticeship as they apply to the study of memory. (shrink)
Are a statue and the lump of clay that constitutes it one object or two? Many philosophers have answered ‘two’ because the lump seems to have properties, such as the property of being able to survive flattening, that the statue lacks. This answer faces a serious problem : it seems that nothing grounds the difference in properties between colocated objects. The statue and lump are in the same environment and inherit properties from the same composing parts. But it seems that (...) differences in properties should be grounded. For this reason, philosophers including Mark Heller, Dean Zimmerman, Theodore Sider, Trenton Merricks, and Eric Olson have rejected the answer ‘two’. -/- I offer a solution to the grounding problem, in order to revive the traditional account. I argue that extrinsic relations contribute to the supervenience base of many kinds or sorts, and these extrinsic relations ground differences between colocated objects, such as statues and lumps of clay, human beings and lumps of tissue, and planets and masses of matter. The same collection of parts can stand in more than one extrinsic relation, with each relation grounding the composition of a distinct kind of object. In cases in which this happens, the properties of each object differ from the properties of other objects that share the same parts. (shrink)
Remembering is one of the most characteristic and most puzzling of human activities. Personal memory, in particular – the ability mentally to travel back into the past, as leading psychologist Endel Tulving puts it – often has intense emotional or moral significance: it is perhaps the most striking manifestation of the peculiar way human beings are embedded in time, and of our limited but genuine freedom from our present environment and our immediate needs. Memory has been significant in the history (...) of philosophy as much in relation to ethics and to epistemology as in theories of psyche, mind, and self. (shrink)
Martin and Deutscher’s remarkable 1966 paper ‘Remembering’ still offers great riches to memory researchers across distinctive traditions, both in its methodological ambition (successfully marrying phenomenological and causal discourses) and in its content. In this short discussion, after briefly setting the paper in its context, we hone in on two live and under-explored issues which have gained attention recently under new labels – the extended mind hypothesis, and the constructive nature of memory. We suggest that Martin and Deutscher’s causal analysis of (...) memory is compatible with the idea that activities of remembering may be distributed across heterogeneous social and external resources, focussing in on their neglected example of creatures who ‘remember as we do’ as long as they carry round metal boxes which are given to them at birth. We then argue that the causal analysis is in some tension with the extent to which remembering is a constructive activity, because there may be no clear way to determine the appropriate ‘limits of accuracy’ within which a past event or experience must be represented. (shrink)
‘‘COGNITIVE ECOLOGY’’ is a fruitful model for Shakespearian studies, early modern literary and cultural history, and theatrical history more widely. Cognitive ecologies are the multidimensional contexts in which we remember, feel, think, sense, communicate, imagine, and act, often collaboratively, on the ﬂy, and in rich ongoing interaction with our environments. Along with the anthropologist Edwin Hutchins,1 we use the term ‘‘cognitive ecology’’ to integrate a number of recent approaches to cultural cognition: we believe these approaches offer productive lines of engagement (...) with early modern literary and historical studies.2 The framework arises out of our work in extended mind and distributed cognition.3 The extended mind hypothesis arose from a post-connectionist philosophy of cognitive science. This approach was articulated in Andy Clark’s Being There: Putting Brain, Body, and World Together Again, and further developed by Susan Hurley and Mark Rowlands, among others.4 The distributed cognition approach arose independently, from work in cognitive anthropology, HCI (Human-Computer Interaction), the sociology of education and work, and science studies. The principles of distributed cognition were articulated in Hutchins’s ethnography of navigation, Cogni- tion in the Wild,5 and developed by theorists such as David Kirsh and Lucy Suchman.6 These models share an anti-individualist approach to cognition. In all these views, mental activities spread or smear across the boundaries of skull and skin to include parts of the social and material world. In remembering, decision making, and acting, whether individually or in small groups, our complex and structured activities involve many distinctive dimensions: neural, affective, kines-. (shrink)
Human memory in the wild often involves multiple forms of remembering at once, as habitual, affective, personal, factual, shared, and institutional memories operate at once within and across individuals and small groups. The interdisciplinary study of the ways in which history animates dynamical systems at many different timescales requires a multidimensional framework in which to analyse a broad range of social memory phenomena. Certain features of personal memory - its development, its constructive nature, and its role in temporally extended agency (...) - make it apt for various forms of integration into larger socio-cognitive systems. Drawing on ideas from psychology, distributed cognition, and social theory, this paper aims to make conceptual space for a naturalistic ontology of collective memory. (shrink)
Published in Darren Tofts, Annemarie Jonson, and Alessio Cavallaro (eds), _Prefiguring Cyberculture: an intellectual history_ (MIT Press and Power Publications, December 2002). Please do send comments: email me. Back to my main publications page . Back to my home page.
Embodied human minds operate in and spread across a vast and uneven world of things—artifacts, technologies, and institutions which they have collectively constructed and maintained through cultural and individual history. This chapter seeks to add a historical dimension to the enthusiastically future-oriented study of “natural-born cyborgs” in the philosophy of cognitive science,3 and a cognitive dimension to recent work on material memories and symbol systems in early modern England, bringing humoral psychophysiology together with material culture studies. The aim is to (...) sketch an integrative framework which spans early modern ideas and practices relating to brains, bodies, memory, and objects. Embodiment and environment, I’ll argue, were not (always) merely external influences on feeling, thinking, and remembering, but (in certain circumstances) partly constitutive of these activities. (shrink)
As a topic in the philosophy of psychology, dreaming is a fascinating, diverse, and severely underdeveloped area of study. The topic excites intense public interest in its own right, while also challenging our confidence that we know what the words “conscious” and “consciousness” mean. So dreaming should be at the forefront of our interdisciplinary investigations: theories of mind which fail to address the topic are incomplete. This chapter illustrates the tight links between conceptual and empirical issues by highlighting surprisingly deep (...) disagreements among leading dream scientists over what might seem basic aspects of their topic. (shrink)
I introduce the seven papers in this special issue, by Andy Clark, Je´roˆme Dokic, Richard Menary, Jenann Ismael, Sue Campbell, Doris McIlwain, and Mark Rowlands. This paper explains the motivation for an alliance between the sciences of memory and the extended mind hypothesis. It examines in turn the role of worldly, social, and internalized forms of scaffolding to memory and cognition, and also highlights themes relating to affect, agency, and individual differences.
1. Introduction: memory and interdisciplinarity (footnote 1) Memory is studied at a bewildering number of levels, in a daunting range of disciplines, and with a vast array of methods. Is there any sense at all in which memory theorists - from neurobiologists to narrative theorists, from the developmental to the postcolonial, from the computational to the cross-cultural - are studying the same phenomena? This exploratory review paper sketches the bare outline of a positive framework for understanding current work on memory, (...) both within the various cognitive sciences and across the gulfs between the cognitive and the social sciences. (shrink)
Does self?knowledge help? A rationalist, presumably, thinks that it does: both that self?knowledge is possible and that, if gained through appropriate channels, it is desirable. Descartes notoriously claimed that, with appropriate methods of enquiry, each of his readers could become an expert on herself or himself. As well as the direct, first?person knowledge of self to which we are led in the Meditationes , we can also seek knowledge of our own bodies, and of the union of our minds and (...) our bodies: the latter forms of self?knowledge are inevitably imperfect, but are no less important in guiding our conduct in the search after truth. (shrink)
Sven Bernecker’s contribution to the ongoing revival in the philosophy of memory offers a consistent vision and analysis of propositional remembering, and covers a range of topics in analytic metaphysics and epistemology. Bernecker defends a methodological externalism, by which memory ‘must be analyzed from a third-person point of view’ (34): so even though conceptual analysis remains the primary method, the ‘linguistic intuitions’ that guide it ‘are not a priori but empirical working hypotheses’ (31). Given the central role of such intuitions (...) in Bernecker’s treatment of many briefly described thought experiments throughout the book, it is strange that he does not defend their use more explicitly in this early section on method, instead leaving it to a later footnote (147, n. 11) to say that ‘trying to defend the use of intuitions in the philosophy of memory would . . . take us too far afield’. Bernecker’s subtitle signals a restricted target audience: this is a book for those analytic philosophers who will enjoy long exegeses on Twin Earth, slow switching or quasi-memory. Psychological results on memory are cited, but only piecemeal, and interactive dialogue with scientific theory is not Bernecker’s aim. (shrink)
We argue that two types of context are central to grounding the semantics for the mass/count distinction. We combine and develop the accounts of Rothstein and Landman, which emphasize overlap at a context. We also adopt some parts of Chierchia’s account which uses precisifying contexts. We unite these strands in a two-dimensional semantics that covers a wide range of the puzzling variation data in mass/count lexicalization. Most importantly, it predicts where we should expect to find such variation for some classes (...) of nouns but not for others, and also explains why. (shrink)
En Sutton 2012, Catherine Sutton presenta una nueva e interesante solución al mayor problema al que se enfrenta el co-ubicacionismo : el problema de la fundamentación. Sin embargo, si es correcto rechazar la tesis defendida por Sutton según la cual los trozos o pedazos de materia están extrínsecamente compuestos,entonces su respuesta al problema de la fundamentación resulta incompleta. Además, es difícil ver cómo podría completarse.
This paper is a tentative step towards a historical cognitive science, in the domain of memory and personal identity. I treat theoretical models of memory in history as specimens of the way cultural norms and artifacts can permeate ('proto')scientific views of inner processes. I apply this analysis to the topic of psychological control over one's own body, brain, and mind. Some metaphors and models for memory and mental representation signal the projection inside of external aids. Overtly at least, medieval and (...) Renaissance theorists agreed that such models had to allow for, or even guarantee, some conception of cognitive order and discipline. Individual memory traces had to be independent, not mixed up or interfering with others. The long tradition of improving or bypassing 'natural memory' by deliberately internalizing artefactual models was part of an arduous process of self-fashioning. Moral panic about confusion and mixture features centrally in the imposition of cognitive discipline in local memory traditions. (shrink)
To hold that only one conscious thing is sitting in your chair, philosophers have appealed to maximality: If a property M is maximal, then anything that has property M does not have large proper parts that have property M. Philosophers have said that ordinary objects are maximal, including houses, cats, rocks, and have argued by analogy that consciousness is maximal. I argue that the maximality principle mistakenly excludes some members of a kind. Thus, it is not the correct principle to (...) explain why, for example, you are conscious but the proper part that is all-of-you-but-your-arm is not conscious. (shrink)
In his contribution to the first issue of Memory Studies, Jeffrey Olick notes that despite “the mutual affirmations of psychologists who want more emphasis on the social and sociologists who want more emphasis on the cognitive”, in fact “actual crossdisciplinary research … has been much rarer than affirmations about its necessity and desirability” (2008: 27). The peculiar, contingent disciplinary divisions which structure our academic institutions create and enable many powerful intellectual cultures: but memory researchers are unusually aware that uneasy faultlines (...) and glaring gulfs lie in the uncertain zones between them. The processes of memory are simultaneously natural and cultural. But our difficulties in imagining even fragments of a genuinely integrated framework for understanding diverse memory-related phenomena do not arise from a simple ‘two-cultures’ problem: it’s not as if there are substantially unified visions of memory within either ‘the sciences’ or ‘the humanities’. (shrink)
We present a synthetic theory of skilled action which proposes that cognitive processes make an important contribution to almost all skilled action, contrary to influential views that many skills are performed largely automatically. Cognitive control is focused on strategic aspects of performance, and plays a greater role as difficulty increases. We offer an analysis of various forms of skill experience and show that the theory provides a better explanation for the full set of these experiences than automatic theories. We further (...) show that the theory can explain experimental evidence for skill automaticity, including evidence that secondary tasks do not interfere with expert performance, and evidence that experts have reduced memory for performance of sensorimotor skills. (shrink)
Fundamental physics makes no clear use of causal notions; it uses laws that operate in relevant respects in both temporal directions and that relate whole systems across times. But by relating causation to evidence, we can explain how causation fits in to a physical picture of the world and explain its temporal asymmetry. This paper takes up a deliberative approach to causation, according to which causal relations correspond to the evidential relations we need when we decide on one thing in (...) order to achieve another. Tamsin's taking her umbrella is a cause of her staying dry, for example, if and only if her deciding to take her umbrella for the sake of staying dry is adequate grounds for believing she'll stay dry. This correspondence explains why causation matters: knowledge of causal structure helps us make decisions that are evidence of outcomes we seek. The account also explains why we can control the future and not the past, and why causes come before their effects. When agents properly deliberate, their decisions can never count as evidence for any outcomes they may seek in the past. From this it follows that causal relations don't run backwards. This deliberative asymmetry is itself traced back to asymmetries of evidence and entropy, providing a new way of deriving causal asymmetry from temporally symmetric laws. (shrink)
McKay & Dennett (M&D) suggest that some positive illusions are adaptive. But there is a bidirectional link between memory and positive illusions: Biased autobiographical memories filter incoming information, and self-enhancing information is preferentially attended and used to update memory. Extending M&D's approach, I ask if certain false memories might be adaptive, defending a broad view of the psychosocial functions of remembering.
In David Lewis’s famous ‘Many, but Almost One’, he argues that when objects of the same kind share most of their parts, they can be counted as one. I argue that mereological overlap does not do the trick. A better candidate is overlap in function. Although mereological overlap often goes hand-in-hand with functional overlap, a functional approach is more accurate in cases in which mereology and function are teased apart. A functional approach also solves a version of the problem of (...) the many that Lewis thought was immune to the Almost-One solution. (shrink)
In this paper, we aim to show that the framework of embedded, distributed, or extended cognition offers new perspectives on social cognition by applying it to one specific domain: the psychology of memory. In making our case, first we specify some key social dimensions of cognitive distribution and some basic distinctions between memory cases, and then describe stronger and weaker versions of distributed remembering in the general distributed cognition framework. Next, we examine studies of social influences on memory in cognitive (...) psychology, and identify the valuable concepts and methods to be extended and embedded in our framework; we focus in particular on three related paradigms: transactive memory, collaborative recall, and social contagion. Finally, we sketch our own early studies of individual and group memory developed within our framework of distributed cognition, on social contagion of autobiographical memories, collaborative flashbulb memories, and memories of high school at a high school reunion. We see two reciprocal benefits of this conceptual and empirical framework to social memory phenomena: that ideas about distributed cognition can be honed against and tested with the help of sophisticated methods in the social cognitive psychology of memory; and conversely, that a range of social memory phenomena that are as yet poorly understood can be approached afresh with theoretically motivated extensions of existing empirical paradigms. (shrink)
According to the hypotheses of distributed and extended cognition, remembering does not always occur entirely inside the brain but is often distributed across heterogeneous systems combining neural, bodily, social, and technological resources. These ideas have been intensely debated in philosophy, but the philosophical debate has often remained at some distance from relevant empirical research, while empirical memory research, in particular, has been somewhat slow to incorporate distributed/extended ideas. This situation, however, appears to be changing, as we witness an increasing level (...) of interaction between the philosophy and the empirical research. In this editorial, we provide a high-level historical overview of the development of the debates around the hypotheses of distributed and extended cognition, as well as relevant theory and empirical research on memory, considering both the role of memory in theoretical debates around distributed/extended ideas and strands of memory research that resonate with those ideas; we emphasize recent trends towards increased interaction, including new empirical paradigms for investigating distributed memory systems. We then provide an overview of the special issue itself, drawing out a number of general implications from the contributions, and conclude by sketching promising directions for future research on distributed memory. (shrink)
How have sociologists responded to the emergence of environmentalism? What has sociology to offer the study of environmental problems? This uniquely comprehensive guide traces the origins and development of environmental movements and environmental issues, providing a critical review of the most significant debates in the new field of environmental sociology. It covers environmental ideas, environmental movements, social constructionism, critical realism, "ecocentric" theory, environmental identities, risk society theory, sustainable development, Green consumerism, ecological modernization and debates around modernity and post- modernity. Philip (...)Sutton adopts a long-term view, which focuses on the relationship between ideas of nature and environment, ecological identities and social change, providing a framework for future research. Bringing environmental issues into contact with sociological theories, Nature, Environment and Society provides an up-to-date introduction to this important new field. It will be essential reading for all students of sociology, environmental studies and anyone interested in understanding environmental problems. (shrink)
Memory is studied at a bewildering number of levels, with a vast array of methods, and in a daunting range of disciplines and subdisciplines. Is there any sense in which these various memory theorists – from neurobiologists to narrative psychologists, from the computational to the cross-cultural – are studying the same phenomena? In this exploratory position paper, I sketch the bare outline of a positive framework for understanding current work on constructive remembering, both within the various cognitive sciences, and across (...) gulfs between the cognitive and the social sciences. I pinpoint some lines of psychological theory and research which offer promising and compatible ways of thinking about individual memory and shared or social memory simultaneously. These are obviously ambitious projects, and this paper seeks more to elicit help with forging these connections than to present firm results. The aim is to draw out some consequences of empirical work on social memory and in developmental psychology. (shrink)
In this paper, a new method of quantitatively assessing continuity and discontinuity of visual attention is developed. The method is based on representing narrative information using graph theory. It is applicable to any type of narrative report. Since dream reports are often described as bizarre, and since bizarreness is partially characterized by discontinuities in plot, we chose to test our method on a set of dream data. Using specific criteria for identifying and arranging objects of visual attention, dream narratives from (...) 10 subjects were obtained and mapped onto graphs. The interrater reliabilities were 76% and 91% . Discontinuities in visual attention were quantified by plotting transitions from one part of a graph to another, which provided a spatiotemporal map of attention shifts within a narrative. This procedure was compared with other approaches to discontinuity and also applied to a set of 10 fantasy reports from the same subjects. The results showed that our method includes but transcends other approaches and has the capability to distinguish dream and fantasy reports. To our knowledge, the method provides the most rigorous and reliable measure to date of continuity and discontinuity of attention in narrative reports. (shrink)
There is a widespread view that well-learned skills are automated, and that attention to the performance of these skills is damaging because it disrupts the automatic processes involved in their execution. This idea serves as the basis for an account of choking in high pressure situations. On this view, choking is the result of self-focused attention induced by anxiety. Recent research in sports psychology has produced a significant body of experimental evidence widely interpreted as supporting this account of choking in (...) certain kinds of complex sensorimotor skills. We argue against this interpretation, pointing to problems with both the empirical evidence and the underlying theory. The experimental research fails to provide direct support for the central claims of the self-focus approach, contains inconsistencies, and suffers from problems of ecological validity. In addition, qualitative studies of choking have yielded contrary results. We further argue that in their current forms the self-focus and rival distraction approaches both lack the theoretical resources to provide a good theory of choking, and we argue for an expanded approach. Some of the elements that should be in an expanded approach include accounts of the features of pressure situations that influence the psychological response, the processes of situation appraisal, and the ways that attentional control can be overwhelmed, leading to distraction in some cases, and in others, perhaps, to damaging attention to skill execution. We also suggest that choking may sometimes involve performance-impairing mechanisms other than distraction or self-focus. (shrink)