Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wilson's New Argument

(e) External cognitive resources often play the same or similar functional roles in the detection and creation of meaning as do internal cognitive resources, or complement, compensate for, or enhance those roles. External cognitive resources can replace internal cognitive resources (e.g., external memory) or can create capacities in agents that they would not otherwise have (e.g., Kanzi, the bonobo who has exhibited advanced linguistic capabilities). In either case, they are no less central to cognition than are internal cognitive resources. (Wilson, 2010, p. 175).

Note that the non-modal premise (e) is much stronger than the modal commentary about what external resources can do.  Rupert, Adams, and Aizawa have been pretty insistent over the years that we at least do not want to challenge the modal claims about the possibility of extended cognition; instead, we challenge the idea that external resources function in the same way as to internal resources.

Wilson, R. (2010). "Meaning making and the mind of the externalist" In Menary, R. (ed.), The Extended Mind, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. (pp. 167-188). 

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