Memory, Natural Kinds, and Cognitive Extension; or, Martians Don’t Remember, and Cognitive Science Is Not about Cognition

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Abstract
This paper evaluates the Natural-Kinds Argument for cognitive extension, which purports to show that the kinds presupposed by our best cognitive science have instances external to human organism. Various interpretations of the argument are articulated and evaluated, using the overarching categories of memory and cognition as test cases. Particular emphasis is placed on criteria for the scientific legitimacy of generic kinds, that is, kinds characterized in very broad terms rather than in terms of their fine-grained causal roles. Given the current state of cognitive science, I conclude that we have no reason to think memory or cognition are generic natural kinds that can ground an argument for cognitive extension
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First archival date: 2015-11-21
Latest version: 3 (2019-01-07)
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2012-12-11

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