Bruineberg J. P. (2022) Minds Without Borders. Constructivist Foundations 17(3): 231–233. https://cepa.info/7935
Bruineberg J. P.
Minds Without Borders.
Constructivist Foundations 17(3): 231–233.
Fulltext at https://cepa.info/7935
Open peer commentary on the article “A Moving Boundary, a Plastic Core: A Contribution to the Third Wave of Extended-Mind Research” by Timotej Prosen. Abstract: Prosen states that third-wave extended minds should have plastic boundaries. I question the current literature’s focus on locating the boundaries of the mind and discuss whether the current literature falls prey to a metaphysics of domestication. I reassess Prosen’s two desiderata for a third-wave extended mind and argue that third-wave extended mind theories are better off abandoning the “containment metaphor” altogether.
Bruineberg J. P. & Van den Herik J. C. (2021) Embodying mental affordances. Inquiry, Latest articles. https://cepa.info/7976
Bruineberg J. P. & Van den Herik J. C.
Embodying mental affordances.
Inquiry, Latest articles.
Fulltext at https://cepa.info/7976
The concept of affordances is rapidly gaining traction in the philosophy of mind and cognitive sciences. Affordances are opportunities for action provided by the environment. An important open question is whether affordances can be used to explain mental action such as attention, counting, and imagination. In this paper, we critically discuss McClelland’s (‘The Mental Affordance Hypothesis’, 2020, Mind, 129(514), pp. 401–427) mental affordance hypothesis. While we agree that the affordance concept can be fruitfully employed to explain mental action, we argue that McClelland’s mental affordance hypothesis contain remnants of a Cartesian understanding of the mind. By discussing the theoretical framework of the affordance competition hypothesis, we sketch an alternative research program based on the principles of embodied cognition that evades the Cartesian worries. We show how paradigmatic mental acts, such as imagination, counting, and arithmetic, are dependent on sensorimotor interaction with an affording environment. Rather than make a clear distinction between bodily and mental action, the mental affordances highlight the embodied nature of our mental action. We think that in developing our alternative research program on mental affordances, we can maintain many of the excellent insights of McClelland’s account without reintroducing the very distinctions that affordances were supposed to overcome.