The hand axe, being a thing made of stone, cannot participate in the knapper's cognitive realm per se. Instead, it can only be the index of a mental process, like a footprint is the index of walking. In other words, the hand axe is simply the product, or external representation, of an 'internal' preformed idea, or cognitive process, which was subsequently realized in the external physical world. (Malafouris, 2010, p. 15)So far, so good. So, what reason does Malafouris give for challenging the anti-EC view?
Are there sufficient grounds to uncritically accept as archaeologists the above popular 'internalist' scenario (see also Introduction, this volume)? I think not. From an archaeological perspective, I see no compelling reason why the study of mind should stop at the skin or skull, despite what other disciplines might think. For one thing, most of our evidence about the origin and evolution of human intelligence comes in the form of material culture, rather than abstract ideas and brain tissue. (ibid.)So, there are two things here.
First, he notes that there is no reason (he sees) why the study of mind should stop at the skin or skull. Ok. But, there is an understanding of the anti-EC view according to which the study need not stop at the skin or skull. As I noted in an earlier post, even those who think the mind is in the head think that one needs to understand the role of the body and environment in causally influencing cognitive processes. This is what Rupert labels "HEMC."
Second, there is the observation about where most of our evidence comes from. But, why should the boundaries of the mind be co-extensive with the boundaries of the evidence? If most of our evidence about the origin and evolution of human intelligence were to come from fMRI, would that mean that our minds extend into these giant magnets, etc.?
Now, I would be happy to accept something like the Hypothesis of Extended Evidence, according to which much of our evidence about the origin and evolution of human intelligence extends beyond the boundaries of skin and skull, but not the Hypothesis of Extended Cognition.