Spot on Shaun!!! This is exactly what I’ve been banging on about over the past six years – very nice validation from a top-notch theorist. The fruits of my labour will be available in its full form next year as a book entitled Stigmergic Cognition.
This from Froese, Gershenson, and Rosenblueth.
The extended mind hypothesis has stimulated much interest in cognitive science. However, its core claim, i.e. that the process of cognition can extend beyond the brain via the body and into the environment, has been heavily criticized. A prominent critique of this claim holds that when some part of the world is coupled to a cognitive system this does not necessarily entail that the part is also constitutive of that cognitive system. This critique is known as the “coupling-constitution fallacy”. In this paper we respond to this reductionist challenge by using an evolutionary robotics approach to create a minimal model of two acoustically coupled agents. We demonstrate how the interaction process as a whole has properties that cannot be reduced to the contributions of the isolated agents. We also show that the neural dynamics of the coupled agents has formal properties that are inherently impossible for those neural networks in isolation. By keeping the complexity of the model to an absolute minimum, we are able to illustrate how the coupling-constitution fallacy is in fact based on an inadequate understanding of the constitutive role of nonlinear interactions in dynamical systems theory.
Andy Clark lecture.
Check out this essay forthcoming from the power team of Clark, Kilverstein and Farina.
Sensory substitution devices are a type of sensory prosthesis that (typically) convert visual stimuli transduced by a camera into tactile or auditory stimulation. They are designed to be used by people with impaired vision so that they can recover some of the functions normally subserved by vision. In this chapter we will consider what philosophers might learn about the nature of the senses from the neuroscience of sensory substitution. We will show how sensory substitution devices work by exploiting the cross-modal plasticity of sensory cortex: the ability of sensory cortex to pick up some types of information about the external environment irrespective of the nature of the sensory inputs it is processing. We explore the implications of cross-modal plasticity for theories of the senses that attempt to make distinctions between the senses on the basis of neurobiology.
This from the European Journal of Philosophy. Unfortunately, the citation -
Fisher, J. (2009), ‘Critical Notice of The Bounds of Cognition’, Journal of Mind and Brain, 29: 345–57.
Fisher, J. (2008). ‘Critical Notice for The Bounds of Cognition’, Journal of Mind and Behavior, 29: 345-357.