Minds: extended or scaffolded?
- Kim SterelnyAffiliated withPhilosophy and Tempo and Mode, Australian National UniversityPhilosophy, Victoria University of Wellington Email author
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
This paper discusses two perspectives, each of which recognises the importance of environmental resources in enhancing and amplifying our cognitive capacity. One is the Clark–Chalmers model, extended further by Clark and others. The other derives from niche construction models of evolution, models which emphasise the role of active agency in enhancing the adaptive fit between agent and world. In the human case, much niche construction is epistemic: making cognitive tools and assembling other informational resources that support and scaffold intelligent action. I shall argue that extended mind cases are limiting cases of environmental scaffolding, and while the extended mind picture is not false, the niche construction model is a more helpful framework for understanding human action.
KeywordsExtended mind Externalism Niche construction Social learning
- Minds: extended or scaffolded?
Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences
Volume 9, Issue 4 , pp 465-481
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Extended mind
- Niche construction
- Social learning
- Kim Sterelny (1) (2)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Philosophy and Tempo and Mode, Australian National University, 0200, Acton, ACT, Australia
- 2. Philosophy, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand