Sunday, April 18, 2010

Who Supports Revolutionary EC? 3

Richard Menary
The alleged fallacy assumes something like the following picture: an external object/ process X is causally coupled to a cognitive agent Y. The Otto example fits this picture: a notebook coupled to a discrete cognitive agent, whereby the notebook becomes part of the memory system of that agent because it is coupled to the agent. Cognitive integrationists should resist this picture. It is a residual form of internalism, because it assumes a discrete, already formed, cognitive agent. And this is precisely the picture we are arguing against. If we accept the picture of a cognitive agent as implementing a discrete cognitive system, before they ever encounter an external vehicle, then we will have accepted the very picture of cognition we set out to reject.  (Menary, 2006, p. 333)
The manipulation of external vehicles is importantly different from the manipulation of internal vehicles and their integration is the unit of cognitive analysis. We are not just coupling artifacts to pre-existing cognitive agents; the organism becomes a cognitive agent by being coupled to the external environment. (Menary, 2006, p. 342) 
Menary, R. (2006)  Attacking the bounds of cognition.  Philosophical Psychology, 19 329-344.

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