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Can Culture form part of the Extended Mind?


Silvina Maestro


The hypothesis of extended cognition asserts that human cognitive processes might also include constituents external to the human body, that is, elements in its environment. This essay argues that if we can accept that the mind extends to resources outside the brain, culture might be seen as a case of extended mind. I explore cognitive activities that utilize agent’s biological resources exogenous to the brain; by allowing the concept of cognition to encompass embodied processes, intra-cranial chauvinism might be overcome. I then present ideas that support the active role played by the environment in cognitive processes. Culture and its artefacts, be they physical or not, do not simply scaffold cognition but have the capacity of actively affecting it, enough to make the culture-mind system distinctly different were the constituent elements not to be coupled. Thus, cultural environments form structures that may regulate and restrict the behaviour of agents, dictating their scope of action
How to Cite: Maestro, S., 2019. Can Culture form part of the Extended Mind?. Rerum Causae, 10(2), pp.107–116.
Published on 14 Sep 2019.
Peer Reviewed


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