Extended X: Extending the Reach of Active Externalism

25 Pages Posted: 12 May 2022

See all articles by Paul Smart

Paul Smart

University of Southampton


The terms “extended cognition” and the “extended mind” identify two strands of philosophical argument that are commonly subsumed under the general heading of active externalism. The present paper describes an integrated approach to understanding extended cognition and the extended mind—one that papers over the differences between these two, ostensibly distinct, forms of cognitive extension. As an added bonus, the paper describes how active externalism might be applied to the realm of non-cognitive phenomena, thereby yielding an expansion in the theoretical and empirical scope of the active externalist enterprise. Both these points of progress stem from what is called the dispositional hypothesis . According to the dispositional hypothesis, extended cognition occurs when the mechanisms responsible for the manifestation of dispositional properties include components that lie beyond the borders of the thing to which the dispositional properties are ascribed.

Keywords: Active Externalism, Extended Cognition, Extended Mind, Mechanism, Disposition

Suggested Citation

Smart, Paul, Extended X: Extending the Reach of Active Externalism. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4106401 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4106401

Paul Smart (Contact Author)

University of Southampton ( email )

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