The embedded and extended character hypotheses

Mark Alfano, Joshua August Skorburg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This chapter brings together two erstwhile distinct strands of philosophical inquiry: the extended mind hypothesis and the situationist challenge to virtue theory. According to proponents of the extended mind hypothesis, the vehicles of at least some mental states (beliefs, desires, emotions) are not located solely within the confines of the nervous system (central or peripheral) or even the skin of the agent whose states they are. When external props, tools, and other systems are suitably integrated into the functional apparatus of the agent, they are partial bearers of her cognitions, motivations, memories, and so on. According to proponents of the situationist challenge to virtue theory, dispositions located solely within the confines of the nervous system (central or peripheral) or even the skin of the agent to whom they are attributed typically do not meet the normative standards associated with either virtue or vice (moral, epistemic, or otherwise) because they are too susceptible to moderating external variables, such as mood modulators, ambient sensibilia, and social expectation signaling.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge handbook of philosophy of the social mind
EditorsJulian Kiverstein
Place of PublicationLondon ; New York
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis Group
Pages465-478
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781315530161
ISBN (Print)9781138827691
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

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    Alfano, M., & Skorburg, J. A. (2017). The embedded and extended character hypotheses. In J. Kiverstein (Ed.), The Routledge handbook of philosophy of the social mind (pp. 465-478). London ; New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315530178.ch27