Fred Adams, Ken Aizawa: The Bounds of Cognition
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In 1998, Andy Clark and David Chalmers advanced the ‘Extended Mind Hypothesis’ (EMH) according to which cognition is not (merely) intracranial but an extended process spanning brain, body, and environment: if, when solving a cognitive task, we regularly rely on external devices (like notebooks, laptops, PDAs, or iPhones) in tight, real-time interactions, they argued, the vehicles of the cognitive processes by which we solve these tasks may not be found solely in our brain but may include the devices themselves. During the past decade, EMH has sparked a heated debate in which Fred Adams and Ken Aizawa have been its most outspoken critics. They contend that cognitive processes, embodied and embedded as they might be, nevertheless remain ‘brainbound’, and their arguments have now culminated in a slim book entitled The Bounds of Cognition.
Adams and Aizawa (A and A) seek to accomplish three things. First, they defend a positive account of cognition which entails that, as a matter of...