Advertisement

Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Cognitive ability and the extended cognition thesis

Abstract

This paper explores the ramifications of the extended cognition thesis in the philosophy of mind for contemporary epistemology. In particular, it argues that all theories of knowledge need to accommodate the ability intuition that knowledge involves cognitive ability, but that once this requirement is understood correctly there is no reason why one could not have a conception of cognitive ability that was consistent with the extended cognition thesis. There is thus, surprisingly, a straightforward way of developing our current thinking about knowledge such that it incorporates the extended cognition thesis.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Adams F., Aizawa K. (2001) The bounds of cognition. Philosophical Psychology 14: 43–64

  2. Adams F., Aizawa K. (2008) The bounds of cognition. Blackwell, Oxford

  3. Chisholm R. (1977) Theory of knowledge. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs

  4. Clark A. (1998) Being there: Putting brain, body and world together again. MIT Press, Cambridge

  5. Clark A. (2007) Curing cognitive hiccups: A defense of the extended mind. Journal of Philosophy 104: 163–192

  6. Clark A. (2008) Memento’s revenge: The extended mind, extended. In: Menary R. (eds) The extended mind. Ashgate Press, Aldershot

  7. Clark A., Chalmers D. (1998) The extended mind. Analysis 58: 7–19

  8. Cowart, M. (2006). Embodied cognition. In B. Dowden & J. Fieser (Eds.), Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy. Martin, TN: University of Tennessee. http://www.iep.utm.edu/e/embodcog.htm.

  9. Gertler B. (2007) Overextending the mind?. In: Gertler B., Shapiro L. (eds) Arguing about mind. Routledge, London, pp 192–206

  10. Gettier E. (1963) Is justified true belief knowledge?. Analysis 23: 121–123

  11. Goldman A. (1976) Discrimination and perceptual knowledge. The Journal of Philosophy 73: 771–791

  12. Goldman A. (1986) Epistemology and cognition. Harvard University Press, Cambridge

  13. Greco J. (1999) Agent reliabilism. Philosophical Perspectives 13: 273–296

  14. Greco J. (2000) Putting skeptics in their place: The nature of skeptical arguments and their role in philosophical inquiry. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

  15. Greco J. (2002) Knowledge as credit for true belief. In: DePaul M., Zagzebski L. (eds) Intellectual virtue: Perspectives from ethics and epistemology. Oxford University Press, Oxford

  16. Greco J. (2007) The nature of ability and the purpose of knowledge. Philosophical Issues 17: 57–69

  17. Greco J. (2008) What’s wrong with contextualism?. The Philosophical Quarterly 58: 416–436

  18. Greco J. (2009) The value problem. In: Haddock A., Millar A., Pritchard D.H. (eds) Epistemic value. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 313–321

  19. Haddock A., Millar A., Pritchard D.H. (2010) The nature and value of knowledge: Three investigations. Oxford University Press, Oxford

  20. Lackey J. (2007) Why we don’t deserve credit for everything we know. Synthese 158: 345–361

  21. Lehrer K., Cohen S. (1983) Justification, truth, and coherence. Synthese 55: 191–207

  22. Menary R. (2006) Attacking the bounds of cognition. Philosophical Psychology 19: 329–344

  23. Menary R. (2007) Cognitive integration: Mind and cognition unbounded. Palgrave Macmillan, London

  24. Menary, R. (eds) (2008) The extended mind. Ashgate Press, Aldershot

  25. Plantinga A. (1993a) Warrant and proper function. Oxford University Press, Oxford

  26. Plantinga A. (1993b) Warrant: The current debate. Oxford University Press, Oxford

  27. Pritchard D.H. (2005) Epistemic luck. Oxford University Press, Oxford

  28. Pritchard D.H. (2008a) Greco on knowledge: Virtues, contexts, achievements. The Philosophical Quarterly 58: 437–447

  29. Pritchard D.H. (2008b) Sensitivity, safety, and anti-luck epistemology. In: Greco J. (eds) The Oxford handbook of skepticism. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 437–455

  30. Pritchard D.H. (2008c) Virtue epistemology and epistemic luck, revisited. Metaphilosophy 39: 66–88

  31. Pritchard, D. H. (2009a). Anti-luck virtue epistemology. Manuscript.

  32. Pritchard D.H. (2009) Apt performance and epistemic value. Philosophical Studies 143: 407–416

  33. Rowlands M. (1999) The body in mind: Understanding cognitive processes. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

  34. Rowlands M. (2009) Extended cognition and the mark of the cognitive. Philosophical Psychology 22: 1–19

  35. Rupert R. (2004) Challenges to the hypothesis of extended cognition. Journal of Philosophy 101: 389–428

  36. Sosa E. (1988) Beyond skepticism, to the best of our knowledge. Mind 97: 153–189

  37. Sosa E. (1991) Knowledge in perspective: Selected essays in epistemology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

  38. Sosa E. (2007) Apt belief and reflective knowledge. Oxford University Press, Oxford

  39. Vaesen, K. (2009). Knowledge without credit. Manuscript.

  40. Zagzebski L. (1996) Virtues of the mind: An inquiry into the nature of virtue and the ethical foundations of knowledge. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

  41. Zagzebski L. (1999) What is knowledge?. In: Greco J., Sosa E. (eds) Epistemology. Blackwell, Oxford, pp 92–116

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Duncan Pritchard.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Pritchard, D. Cognitive ability and the extended cognition thesis. Synthese 175, 133–151 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-010-9738-y

Download citation

Keywords

  • Cognition
  • Cognitive ability
  • Epistemology
  • Epistemic luck
  • Epistemic virtue
  • Extended cognition
  • Knowledge