The Embedded and Extended Character Hypotheses

In Julian Kiverstein (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of the Social Mind. New York, NY, USA: Routledge. pp. 465-478 (2017)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
This paper brings together two erstwhile distinct strands of philosophical inquiry: the extended mind hypothesis and the situationist challenge to virtue theory. According to proponents of the extended mind hypothesis, the vehicles of at least some mental states (beliefs, desires, emotions) are not located solely within the confines of the nervous system (central or peripheral) or even the skin of the agent whose states they are. When external props, tools, and other systems are suitably integrated into the functional apparatus of the agent, they are partial bearers of her cognitions, motivations, memories, and so on. According to proponents of the situationist challenge to virtue theory, dispositions located solely within the confines of the nervous system (central or peripheral) or even the skin of the agent to whom they are attributed typically do not meet the normative standards associated with either virtue or vice (moral, epistemic, or otherwise) because they are too susceptible to moderating external variables, such as mood modulators, ambient sensibilia, and social expectation signaling. We here draw on both of these literatures to formulate two novel views – the embedded and extended character hypotheses – according to which the vehicles of not just mental states but longer-lasting, wider-ranging, and normatively-evaluable agentic dispositions are sometimes located partially beyond the confines of the agent’s skin.
Reprint years
2017
PhilPapers/Archive ID
ALFTEA
Upload history
Archival date: 2014-12-16
View other versions
Added to PP index
2014-12-17

Total views
417 ( #11,109 of 53,030 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
38 ( #16,873 of 53,030 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.