Review of Philosophy and Psychology

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 17–33

Active Content Externalism


DOI: 10.1007/s13164-015-0231-x

Cite this article as:
Lyre, H. Rev.Phil.Psych. (2016) 7: 17. doi:10.1007/s13164-015-0231-x


The aim of this paper is to scrutinize active externalism and its repercussions for externalism about mental content. I start from the claim that active externalism is a version of content externalism that follows from the extended cognition thesis as a thesis about cognitive vehicles. Various features of active content externalism are explored by comparison with the known forms of passive externalism – in particular with respect to the multiple realizability of the relevant external content-determining components and with respect to mental causation. A crucial result is that social externalism is already a version of active externalism. I conclude with a first sketch of a general account of meaning inspired by extended cognition: a use theory supplemented by a functional-role account.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophy Department & Center for Behavioral Brain Sciences (CBBS)University of MagdeburgMagdeburgGermany

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