Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"Defending the Bounds of Cognition" Revisited 3

Ok.  I must admit that there is a point where I now think I misinterpreted Clark's view.  In "Defending" we wrote,
If you are coupled to a rock in the sense of always having it readily available, use it a lot, trust it implicitly, and so forth, Clark infers that the rock constitutes a part of your memory store."  (Adams and Aizawa, 2010, p. 68).
Now, I still think this is kind of funny, but alas not correct.  Insofar as a rock is typically not an information resource, then by Clark's lights it's not something into which cognition can extend.  I've mentioned in a couple of posts already that it's Clark's view that cognition only extends into information resources.  I like using the recipe versus the oven story in baking a cake to make the point.

Nevertheless, I think that the principal point we were driving at is still correct.  One cannot extend cognitive processing into an information resource just by being coupled to it in a "trust and glue" kind of way.

Defending the Bounds of Cognition (with Fred Adams).  (2010) In Menary, R., (Ed.). The Extended Mind, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.  (pp.  67-89).

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