Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Extended Mind and After: Socially Extended Mind and Actor-Network

Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science
August 2013

Tetsuya Kono

The abstract to this paper begins, "The concept of extended mind has been impressively developed over the last 10 years by many philosophers and cognitive scientists."

Now, maybe I am taking this comment too seriously or too literally and maybe I am just biased here, but maybe readers can give me some insight here.  What do the proponents of EM think have been the "impressive developments" in EM over the last 10 years  (And, here I want to read "impressive developments" straight, by which I mean things that are positive and important developments in EM.)  Thanks in advance for your proposals.


  1. If you say it often enough, it's true, right? On a related note, Hutto & Myin (2013) dedicate several pages (pp. 41-42) to pointing out Brooks' (1991) "great success" with subsumption architectures without noting that the subsumption research program is no longer viewed in the robotics community as viable. Sometimes it seems as if the 'impressive developments' of extended cognition/EM are aspirational rather than actual.

  2. Yes, someone was telling me that the subsumption architecture had been abandoned some time ago in the robotics community. I was surprised at how uncritically they seemed to take the Herbert example. But, having spent a couple of summers in Germany and thereabouts, my sense is that the embodied/embedded perspective has a much larger share of the philosophers in philosophy of mind/psych/cog sci than in the US.

    And, it probably right that you have to sell extended cognition, so that you can undertake a project to transfer it into the social cognition domain. But, I don't want to let me skepticism blind me to something that might be happening.