Keeping the collectivity in mind?

Harry Collins*, Andy Clark, Jeff Shrager

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The key question in this three way debate is the role of the collectivity and of agency. Collins and Shrager debate whether cognitive psychology has, like the sociology of knowledge, always taken the mind to extend beyond the individual. They agree that irrespective of the history, socialization is key to understanding the mind and that this is compatible with Clark's position; the novelty in Clark's "extended mind" position appears to be the role of the material rather than the role of other minds. Collins and Clark debate the relationship between self, agency, and the human collectivity. Collins argues that the Clark's extended mind fails to stress the asymmetry of the relationship between the self and its material "scaffolding." Clark accepts that there is asymmetry but that an asymmetrical ensemble is sufficient to explain the self. Collins says that we know too little about the material world to pursue such a model to the exclusion of other approaches including that both the collectivity and language have agency. The collectivity must be kept in mind! (Though what follows is a robust exchange of views it is also a cooperative effort, authors communicating "backstage" with each other to try to make the disagreements as clear and to the point as possible.)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-374
Number of pages22
JournalPhenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Agency
  • Cognitive psychology
  • Collectivity
  • Cyborg
  • Extended mind
  • Interactional expertise
  • Language
  • Self

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