Extended Cognition, The New Mechanists’ Mutual Manipulability Criterion, and The Challenge of Trivial Extendedness

Mind and Language 35 (4):539–561 (2020)
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Many authors have turned their attention to the notion of constitution to determine whether the hypothesis of extended cognition (EC) is true. One common strategy is to make sense of constitution in terms of the new mechanists’ mutual manipulability account (MM). In this paper I will show that MM is insufficient. The Challenge of Trivial Extendedness arises due to the fact that mechanisms for cognitive behaviors are extended in a way that should not count as verifying EC. This challenge can be met by adding a necessary condition: cognitive constituents satisfy MM and they are what I call behavior unspecific.
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