Hostile Scaffolding


Discussion of cognitive scaffolding is dominated by attention to ways that external structure can support cognitive activity or augment an agent’s cognitive capacities. We call instances where the interests of the user are served benign and argue for the possibility of hostile scaffolding. This is scaffolding which depends on the same capacities of an agent to rely on external structure, but that undermines or exploits that agent while serving the interests of another. We offer one defence of hostile scaffolding by developing an account of a neglected complementarity between extended phenotype thinking and extended functionalism. We support this with a second defence, an account of design features of electronic gambling machines and casino management systems that show how they exemplify hostile scaffolding.

Author Profiles

Ryan Timms
University of KwaZulu-Natal
David Spurrett
University of KwaZulu-Natal


Added to PP

428 (#20,916)

6 months
55 (#22,934)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?