In Cognitive Integration: Attacking The Bounds of Cognition Richard Menary argues that the real pay-off from extended-mind-style arguments is not a new form of externalism in the philosophy of mind, but a view in which the 'internal' and 'external' aspects of cognition are integrated into a whole. Menary argues that the manipulation of external vehicles constitutes cognitive processes and that cognition is hybrid: internal and external processes and vehicles complement one another in the completion of cognitive tasks. However, we cannot (...) make good on these claims without understanding the cognitive norms by which we manipulate bodily external vehicles of cognition. -/- Shaun Gallagher: “Menary sets out some extremely welcome clarifications that help to integrate the models of embodied and extended cognition. He not only provides convincing responses to all of the main objections that have been made against these approaches, he also puts flesh on the integrated model by incorporating concepts such as epistemic action, by expanding the discussion to include a Peircean view of representation, by demonstrating its evolutionary roots, and by exploring its implications for language and cognition. This is one of those books that takes us forward a number of giant steps. Menary makes it comprehensive and comprehensible.” . (shrink)
Leading scholars respond to the famous proposition by Andy Clark and David Chalmers that cognition and mind are not located exclusively in the head. Where does the mind stop and the rest of the world begin? In their famous 1998 paper "The Extended Mind," philosophers Andy Clark and David J. Chalmers posed this question and answered it provocatively: cognitive processes "ain't all in the head." The environment has an active role in driving cognition; cognition is sometimes made up of neural, (...) bodily, and environmental processes. Their argument excited a vigorous debate among philosophers, both supporters and detractors. This volume brings together for the first time the best responses to Clark and Chalmers's bold proposal. These responses, together with the original paper by Clark and Chalmers, offer a valuable overview of the latest research on the extended mind thesis. The contributors first discuss objections raised to Clark and Chalmers's thesis. Clark himself responds to critics in an essay that uses the movie Memento's amnesia-aiding notes and tattoos to illustrate the workings of the extended mind. Contributors then consider the different directions in which the extended mind project might be taken, including the need for an approach that focuses on cognitive activity and practice. (shrink)
Is the self narratively constructed? There are many who would answer yes to the question. Dennett (1991) is, perhaps, the most famous proponent of the view that the self is narratively constructed, but there are others, such as Velleman (2006), who have followed his lead and developed the view much further. Indeed, the importance of narrative to understanding the mind and the self is currently being lavished with attention across the cognitive sciences (Dautenhahn, 2001; Hutto, 2007; Nelson, 2003). Emerging from (...) this work, there appear to be a variety of ways in which we can think of the narrative construction of the self and the relationship between the narrative self and the embodied agent. I wish to examine two such ways in this paper. The first I shall call the abstract narrative account, this is because its proponents take the narrative self to be an abstraction (Dennett, 1991; Velleman, 2006). Dennett, for example, refers to the self as a centre of narrative gravity, to be thought of as analogous to a mathematical conception of the centre of gravity of an object. The second I shall call the embodied narrative account and this is the view that the self is constituted both by an embodied consciousness whose experiences are available for narration and narratives themselves, which can play a variety of roles in the agent’s psychological life. (shrink)
Recently internalists have mounted a counter-attack on the attempt to redefine the bounds of cognition. The counter-attack is aimed at a radical project which I call "cognitive integration," which is the view that internal and external vehicles and processes are integrated into a whole. Cognitive integration can be defended against the internalist counter arguments of Adams and Aizawa (A&A) and Rupert. The disagreement between internalists and integrationists is whether the manipulation of external vehicles constitutes a cognitive process. Integrationists think that (...) they do, typically for reasons to do with the close coordination and causal interplay between internal and external processes. The internalist criticisms of the manipulation thesis fail because they misconstrue the nature of manipulation, ignore the hybrid nature of cognition, and take the manipulation thesis to be dependent upon a weak parity principle. (shrink)
Regina Fabry has proposed an intriguing marriage of enculturated cognition and predictive processing. I raise some questions for whether this marriage will work and warn against expecting too much from the predictive processing framework. Furthermore I argue that the predictive processes at a sub-personal level cannot be driving the innovations at a social level that lead to enculturated cognitive systems, like those explored in my target paper.
This chapter delves deeper into the two “waves” of arguments for EM as discussed in the last chapter. The first wave focuses on questions of functional parity between internal and external processes and focuses mainly on the functional role of causal coupling between internal and external vehicles. The second wave, on the other hand, focuses on questions regarding the complementarity of internal and external vehicles and their consequent integration into a cognitive whole. In contrast to the first, it approaches cognition (...) as being constituted by man’s bodily activities in the world in conjunction with neural processes and vehicles. In this chapter, the first-wave arguments are referred to as “extended-mind-style” arguments; the second-wave arguments are referred to as “cognitive integration-style” arguments. (shrink)
In their papers for this issue, Sterelny and Sutton provide a dimensional analysis of some of the ways in which mental and cognitive activities take place in the world. I add two further dimensions, a dimension of manipulation and of transformation. I also discuss the explanatory dimensions that we might use to explain these cases.
The argument of this paper is that we should think of the extension of cognitive abilities and cognitive character in integrationist terms. Cognitive abilities are extended by acquired practices of creating and manipulating information that is stored in a publicly accessible environment. I call these cognitive practices (2007). In contrast to Pritchard (2010) I argue that such processes are integrated into our cognitive characters rather than artefacts; such as notebooks. There are two routes to cognitive extension that I contrast in (...) the paper, the first I call artefact extension which is the now classic position of the causal coupling of an agent with an artefact. This approach needs to overcome the objection from cognitive outsourcing: that we simply get an artefact or tool to do the cognitive processing for us without extending our cognitive abilities. Enculturated cognition, by contrast, does not claim that artefacts themselves extend our cognitive abilities, but rather that the acquired practices for manipulating artefacts and the information stored in them extend our cognitive abilities (by augmenting and transforming them). In the rest of the paper I provide a series of arguments and cases which demonstrate that an enculturated approach works better for both epistemic and cognitive cases of the extension of ability and character. (shrink)
This chapter examines the pragmatist approach to cognition and experience and provides some of the conceptual background to the “pragmatic turn” currently underway in cognitive science. Classical pragmatists wrote extensively on cognition from a naturalistic perspective, and many of their views are compatible with contemporary pragmatist approaches such as enactivist, extended, and embodied-Bayesian approaches to cognition. Three principles of a pragmatic approach to cognition frame the discussion: First, thinking is structured by the interaction of an organism with its environment. Second, (...) cognition develops via exploratory inference, which remains a core cognitive ability throughout the life cycle. Finally, inquiry/problem solving begins with genuinely irritating doubts that arise in a situation and is carried out by exploratory inference. (shrink)
In Reading in the Brain, Stanislas Dehaene presents a compelling account of how the brain learns to read. Central to this account is his neuronal recycling hypothesis: neural circuitry is capable of being ‘recycled’ or converted to a different function that is cultural in nature. The original function of the circuitry is not entirely lost and constrains what the brain can learn. It is argued that the neural niche co-evolves with the environmental niche in a way that does not undermine (...) the core ideas of neuronal recycling, but which is quite different from the models of cognitive and cultural evolution provided by evolutionary psychology and epidemiology. Dehaene contrasts neuronal recycling with a naïve model of the brain as a general learning device that is unconstrained in what it can learn. Consequently a tension develops in Dehaene's account of the role of plasticity in the acquisition of language. It is argued that the functional and structural changes in the brain that Dehaene documents in great detail are driven by learning and that this learning-driven plasticity does not commit us to a naïve model of the brain. (shrink)
Shaun Gallagher presents an interesting case for the social extension of mind. I argue that there is one way in which Gallagher can argue for social extension, which is continuous with an enculturated model of cognition, such as cognitive integration. This way requires us to think of the mind as extended by social/cultural practices that are specifically targeted at cognitive tasks. The other way in which Gallagher argues for social extension is that social institutions - such as museums or the (...) law - are literal constituents of our minds. This second way involves a number of problems and objections and is inconsistent with an enculturated or practice based approach. I conclude by urging Gallagher to endorse the first way. (shrink)
Adams and Aizawa (2010b) define cognitivism as the processing of representations with underived content. In this paper, I respond to their use of this stipulative definition of cognition. I look at the plausibility of Adams and Aizawa’s cognitivism, taking into account that they have no criteria for cognitive representation and no naturalistic theory of content determination. This is a glaring hole in their cognitivism—which requires both a theory of representation and underived content to be successful. I also explain why my (...) own position, cognitive integration, is not susceptible to the supposed causal-coupling fallacy. Finally, I look at the more interesting question of whether the distinction between derived and underived content is important for cognition. Given Adams and Aizawa’s concession that there is no difference in content between derived and underived representations (only a difference in how they get their content) I conclude that the distinction is not important and show that there is empirical research which does not respect the distinction. (shrink)
In this paper I aim to show that the creation and manipulation of written vehicles is part of our cognitive processing and, therefore, that writing transforms our cognitive abilities. I do this from the perspective of cognitive integration: completing a complex cognitive, or mental, task is enabled by a co-ordinated interaction between neural processes, bodily processes and manipulating written sentences. In section one I introduce Harris’ criticisms of ways in which writing has been said to restructure thought (Goody 1968; McLuhan (...) 1962, 1964; Ong 1982). This will give us a preliminary idea about possible pitfalls for a cognitive integrationist account. The second section outlines, firstly, how integrated cognitive systems function. Secondly, the model is applied to a hybrid mental act where writing allows us to complete complex cognitive tasks. The final section outlines the sense in which, following Harris, there is “a more realistic picture of how writing restructures thought” [Harris, R., 1989. How does writing restructure thought? Language and Communication 9 (2/3) 99–106] that is concealed by the ‘romantic fantasies’ of theorists such as the above. This picture is one of writing providing an autoglottic space in which a new form of theoretical thinking becomes prevalent. The cognitive integrationist understands this in terms of the nature of the written vehicles and how we manipulate them. (shrink)
Expertise is extended by becoming immersed in cultural practices. We look at an example of mathematical expertise in which immersion in cognitive practices results in the transformation of expert performance.
Naturalistic philosophers ought to think that the mind is continuous with the rest of the world and should not, therefore, be surprised by the findings of the extended mind, cognitive integration and enactivism. Not everyone is convinced that all mental phenomena are continuous with the rest of the world. For example, intentionality is often formulated in a way that makes the mind discontinuous with the rest of the world. This is a consequence of Brentano’s formulation of intentionality, I suggest, and (...) can be overcome by revealing that the concept of intentional directedness as he receives it from the Scholastics is quite consistent with the continuity thesis. It is only when intentional directedness is conjoined with intentional inexistence that intentionality and content are consistent with a discontinuity thesis (such as Brentano’s thesis). This makes room to develop an account of intentional directedness that is consistent with the continuity thesis in the form of Peirce’s representational principle. I also argue against a form of the discontinuity thesis in the guise of the derived/underived content distinction. Having shown that intentionality is consistent with the continuity thesis I argue that we should focus on intentionality and representation as bodily enacted. I conclude that we would be better off focussing on representation and intentionality in action rather than giving abstract functional accounts of extended cognition. (shrink)
Cognitive integration is a contribution to the embodied, embedded, and extended cognition movement in philosophy and cognitive science and the extended synthesis movement in evolutionary biology— particularly cultural evolution and niche construction. It is a framework for understanding and studying cognition and the mind that draws on several sources: empirical research in embodied cognition, arguments for extended cognition, distributed cognition, niche construction and cultural inheritance, developmental psychology, social learning, and cognitive neuroscience. Its uniqueness rests in its ability to account for (...) a range of cognitive phenomena diachronically across both ontogenetic and phylogenetic time scales as well as synchronically on faster time scales incorporating real- time online bodily interactions with the local environment. Furthermore, it does so by going beyond straightforwardly causal and dynamical descriptions of the phenomena in question to include normative social practices that govern and coordinate the brain- body- environment interactions that form the core of the cognitive integration (CI) framework. The three main pillars of the CI framework are interaction, cognitive practices, and the transformation of cognitive abilities. In this chapter I will outline the framework in terms of its core commitments, provide motivations for these core commitments, and discuss core examples of CI at work. I shall also respond to several recent criticisms of the CI framework. (shrink)
Humans look at, think about, and manipulate things with tools.1 Some tools are largely pragmatic in nature, and they have a long history in our lineage, but more recently, humans have innovated tools for keeping track of features of the environment. Epistemic tracking tools (as I shall dub them) allow us to think, perceive and manipulate the world with a precision that we would otherwise lack. These epistemic tracking tools (henceforth ETTs) will be the focus of this chapter. ETTs track (...) particular environmental variables examples of such tools include maps, compasses telescopes, sextants, and so on. There are also abstract systems of representation that track numbers, sets, sounds, and phonemes, and collectively as sets of propositions and equations can track physical phenomena, or perhaps even the truth. This chapter will focus on providing an account of the evolutionary platform for ETTs, look at some examples of ETTs in action and some of the consequences of the account for the extended knowledge literature. (shrink)
“ is collection is a much-needed remedy to the confusion about which varieties of enactivism are robust yet viable rejections of traditional representationalism approaches to cognitivism – and which are not. Hutto’s paper is the pivot around which the expert commentators, enactivists and non-enactivists alike, sketch out the implications of enactivism for a wide variety of issues: perception, emotion, the theory of content, cognition, development, social interaction, and more. e inclusion of thoughtful replies from Hutto gives the volume a further (...) degree of depth and integration o en lacking in collections of essays. Anyone interested in assessing the current cutting-edge developments in the. (shrink)
The Cognitive Integration (henceforth CI) framework posits the existence of integrated cognitive systems (henceforth ICS). In this chapter we outline the nature of ICS and their phylogenetic history. We shall argue that phylogenetically earlier forms of cognition are built upon by more recent cultural innovations. Many of the phylogenetically earlier components are forms of sensorimotor interactions with the environment (Menary 2007a, 2010a, 2016). These sensorimotor interactions are redeployed (or retrained) to service more recent cultural innovations (Dehaene & Cohen 2007). The (...) main aim of this chapter is to give an overview of the CI framework in terms of phylogenetically ancient embodied interactions with the environment and the more recent culturally evolved practices that redeploy our primitive capacities for sensorimotor interactions and manipulations of tools, objects and, in a very recent innovation, public systems of representation. In doing so, we provide a case for the enculturation of our bodies and brains. (shrink)
Intentionality is usually defined as the directedness of the mind toward something other than itself. My desire for a cold beer is directed at the cold beer in front of me. Much of consciousness is intentional, my conscious experiences are usually directed at something. However, conscious experiences typically have a phenomenal character: there is something it is like for me to see the deep blue of the Pacific Ocean and to feel the warm water lapping over my feet, and to (...) smell the briny breeze. An important question to answer concerning the relationship between intentionality and consciousness is whether all conscious states are intentional? Another question concerns the explanatory priority of intentionality and phenomenal character: Can phenomenal character be explained in terms of intentionality? Or is it the case that intentionality should be understood in terms of phenomenology? Philosophers from the analytic, phenomenological, and naturalistic traditions have all made important contributions to our understanding of intentionality and consciousness. Some philosophers, such as Dretske, think that our phenomenology is intentionally structured. Others, such as Horgan and Tienson think that intentionality is fundamentally determined by our phenomenology. This looks like an impasse; however it may well be resolved by a combination of contemporary accounts of representation combined with an embodied phenomenology. (shrink)
This article examines the pragmatic conception of self. It describes the views of classical pragmatists Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, John Dewey, and George Herbert Mead on the concept of self. It explains the pragmatic concept of self reinforces the agentive idea that what we do makes us who we are. It suggests that there is no pre-established certainty in the self and that it is marked by fallibility. It outlines the pragmatist assault on the Cartesian picture of the self (...) and contrasts it with the fallible self of pragmatism. (shrink)
We agree with Bruineberg and colleagues' main claims. However, we urge for a more forceful critique by focusing on the extended mind debate. We argue that even once the Pearl and Friston versions of the Markov blanket have been untangled, that neither is sufficient for tackling and resolving the question of demarcating the boundaries of the mind.