Extended circularity: A new puzzle for extended cognition

Jesper Kallestrup, Joseph Carter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Mainstream epistemology has typically taken for granted a traditional picture of the metaphysics of mind, according to which cognitive processes (e.g. memory storage and retrieval) play out entirely within the bounds of the skull and skin. But this simple ‘intracranial’ picture is falling increasingly out of step with contemporary thinking in the philosophy of mind and cognitive science. Likewise, though, proponents of active externalist approaches to the mind—e.g. the hypothesis of extended cognitition (HEC)—have proceeded by and large without asking what epistemological ramifications should arise once cognition is understood as criss-crossing the bounds of brain and world. This paper aims to motivate a puzzle that arises only once these two strands of thinking are brought in contact with one another. In particular, we want to first highlight a kind of condition of epistemological adequacy that should be accepted by proponents of extended cognition; once this condition is motivated, the remainder of the paper demonstrates how attempts to satisfy this condition seem to inevitably devolve into a novel kind of epistemic circularity. At the end of the day, proponents of extended cognition have a novel epistemological puzzle on their hands.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExtended Epistemology
EditorsJ. Adam Carter, Andy Clark, Jesper Kallestrup, S. Orestis Palermos, Duncan Pritchard
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)9780198769811
Publication statusPublished - May 2018

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  • Extended Knowledge

    Pritchard, D., Clark, A., Kallestrup, J., Carter, J. A. & Palermos, S. O.



    Project: Research

  • Extended Epistemology: An introduction

    Carter, J. A. (ed.), Clark, A. (ed.), Kallestrup, J. (ed.), Palermos, S. (ed.) & Pritchard, D. (ed.), 2018, Extended Epistemology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 1-14

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

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