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Cognitive Spread: Under What Conditions Does the Mind Extend Beyond the Body?

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Abstract

The extended mind hypothesis (EMH) is the claim that the mind can and does extend beyond the human body. Adams and Aizawa (A&A) contend that arguments for EMH commit a ‘coupling constitution fallacy’. We deny that the master argument for EMH commits such a fallacy. But we think that there is an important question lurking behind A&A's allegation: under what conditions is cognition spread across a tightly coupled system? Building on some suggestions from Haugeland, we contend that the system must exhibit a distinctive sort of semantic activity, semantic activity that the system as a whole takes responsibility for.

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