Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Explicating the Hypothesis of Extended Cognition

The hypothesis of extended cognition is sometimes formulated as the view that, under certain conditions, cognitive processes extend from the brain into the body and world.  It seems to me that this hypothesis does not have that many places where explication is in order.  The leading candidates for attention are the “certain conditions” and what is meant by a “cognitive process”.  Yet, it seems to me that there is resistance to the need for this latter explication flying under the banner of resistance to such things as a resistance to necessary and sufficient conditions or to having a theory of cognition before one begins doing cognitive psychology.  But, these meta-theoretical concerns seem to be masking basic theoretical issues.

Why believe in, or advocate for, extended cognition without at least a tentative proposal about what cognitive processes are?

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