The Philosophy of Dance

Here’s a new entry to the SEP. The photos below are of my favourite dancer of all time — the one and only Sylvie Guillem. I’ve heard that she’s been criticized because she came from a gymnastics background. Sour grapes really just because she pushed the bounds . . . because she could. She was physically stronger than all others and always took complete charge of her career with pieces especially written with her in mind. No glove puppet SG.

Dance is underrepresented in philosophical aesthetics. This means that, as a whole, the philosophical aesthetics of dance lacks the full range of views that one can find in more developed field of aesthetics such as literature or music.




Extended cognition and the explosion of knowledge

Penultimate version.

The aim of this article is to show that externalist accounts of cognition such as Clark and Chalmers’ (1998) “active externalism” lead to an explosion of knowledge that is caused by online resources such as Wikipedia and Google. I argue that externalist accounts of cognition imply that subjects who integrate mobile Internet access in their cognitive routines have millions of standing beliefs on unexpected issues such as the birth dates of Moroccan politicians or the geographical coordinates of villages in southern Indonesia. Although many externalists propose criteria for the bounds of cognition that are designed to avoid this explosion of knowledge, I argue that these criteria are flawed and that active externalism has to accept that information resources such as Wikipedia and Google constitute extended cognitive processes.



How Things Shape the Mind: A Theory of Material Engagement

Here’s a just published review in JMB, endorsed by some heavy hitters such as Edwin Hutchins and Kevin Warwick.

How Things Shape the Mind: A Theory of Material Engagement represents a synthesis of the positions that the author, Lambros Malafouris, has developed over the course of his career, supplemented by the addition of new explanatory examples and unpublished chapters. The main objective of the book is to provide a unitary account of material engagement theory, the actual keystone that binds the multiple streams of argument presented by the author in his previous works. The book is organized in three main sections, which respectively take into account epistemological aspects, theoretical tenets, and empirical applications of material engagement theory.