, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 107-113

Robert D. Rupert: Cognitive Systems and the Extended Mind

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1. Suppose there’s this establishment. It’s been around for a while; it’s served its purpose; it’s paid its dues. Although there might have been minor troubles here and there, dissident voices now and then, nothing was too serious; all was well. Recently, however, events have transpired and a change of mind in some has occurred: now, it’s said, the establishment is chauvinistic, overly conservative, straightforwardly narrow-minded. It’s time for a revolution, these some assert. A more liberal, more progressive, more exciting enterprise is in order.

Vague as it is, the above description captures at least the general atmosphere of the current debate concerning the location of the vehicles of cognition. The establishment, viz., the traditional, computationally inspired, and organismically bounded approach to human cognition, has come under fire. Recent (and not so recent) philosophical and scientific findings suggest a picture of human cognition that diverges significantly from that deline