The socially extended mind
This paper contrasts conservative and liberal interpretations of the extended mind hypothesis. The liberal view, defended here, considers cognition to be socially extensive, in a way that goes beyond the typical examples (involving notebooks and various technologies) rehearsed in the extended mind literature, and in a way that takes cognition to involve enactive processes (e.g., social affordances), rather than functional supervenience relations. The socially extended mind is in some cases constituted not only in social interactions with others, but also in ways that involve institutional structures, norms, and practices. Some of the common objections to the extended mind are considered in relation to this liberal interpretation. Implications for critical social theory are explored.
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