Is mind extended or scaffolded? Ruminations on Sterelney's (2010) extended stomach

Greenwood, Jennifer (2013) Is mind extended or scaffolded? Ruminations on Sterelney's (2010) extended stomach. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, Online First 1-22. doi:10.1007/s11097-013-9337-8

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Author Greenwood, Jennifer
Title Is mind extended or scaffolded? Ruminations on Sterelney's (2010) extended stomach
Journal name Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1568-7759
Publication date 2013-09-26
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s11097-013-9337-8
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume Online First
Start page 1
End page 22
Total pages 22
Place of publication Dordrecht, Netherlands
Publisher Springer Netherlands
Language eng
Formatted abstract
In his paper, in this journal, Sterelney (Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9:465–481, 2010) claims that cases of extended mind are limiting cases of environmental scaffolding and that a niche construction model is a more helpful, general framework for understanding human action. He further claims that extended mind cases fit into a corner of a 3D space of environmental scaffolds of cognitive competence. He identifies three dimensions which determine where a resource fits into this space and suggests that extended mind models seem plausible when a resource is highly reliable, individualised/entrenched and a single-user resource. Sterelney also claims that the most important cognition-enhancing resources are provided collectively by one generation to the next. In this paper, I argue that Sterelney is both right and wrong and this because he focuses primarily on external, physical resources and construes scaffolding as exclusively unidirectional and diachronic. Using examples of unfamiliar tool use, visual processing and human emotional ontogenesis, I argue, respectively, that extended mind cases include those which fail to meet Sterelney’s dimensional criteria; that the most important cognition—enhancing resources are those which actually build brains; that these are provided on a one-to-one basis in emotional ontogenesis; and, this depends on bidirectional and synchronic (if disproportionate) cognitive scaffolding.
Keyword Extended mind
Emotional ontogenesis
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 26 September 2013

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry
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Created: Mon, 28 Oct 2013, 20:39:06 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry