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sition that I argued against there, while (ii) overlooks or simply dismisses
wide realizations as a species of total realization. Even if we conceded
that bare-bones folk psychology was individualistic, both strategies would
seem to manifest one or another form of smallism.
My claim, then, is that the move from bare-bones to full-blown folk
psychology involves a shift from a purely internal mental capacity to a
bodily enactive skill. But I also want to suggest that some of our most
sophisticated deployments of folk psychology, such as understanding a
complicated narrative about the mental lives of others, and manipulating
another™s full-blown folk psychology “ involve a symbolic capacity that
is world-involving. In such cases, folk psychology starts to look not just
taxonomically but locationally externalist.
Consider narrative engagement that involves understanding the full-
blown folk psychology of characters in a literary, dramatic, or cinematic
genre. To understand, say, a certain kind of novel one must not only as-
cribe full-blown folk psychological states to the characters in the novel
but also understand those characters™ (partial) views of the world, a world
which naturally includes other people. (Very effective novels in this re-
spect include Vladimir Nabokov™s Lolita or Ian McEwan™s The Innocent or
Amsterdam.) As you read deeper into the novel, you must modify your
representations of the folk psychological representations that each char-
acter has. But since the metarepresentational load here increases dra-
matically with the complexity of the portrayal of the characters and their
relationships to one another, it is no surprise that even partial expertise
typically involves knowing how to ¬nd one™s way about in the novel. It involves
knowing how to locate and identify the folk psychological representations
that respective characters have, and the signs of these in the novel itself.
Here the representations that are the object of your own representations
are located somewhere other than in your own head. In short, this un-
derstanding involves constructing a representational loop that extends
beyond the head and into the minds of the ¬ctional characters “ and
perhaps the narrator or even the author “ with which you are engaged.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, much the same is true of appreciating the full-
blown folk psychology of real people, especially those to whom you are
close. Our representations of the mental lives of companions and friends
are more sophisticated not simply because of the added internal com-
plexity such representations have in our own heads, but because they
index richer mental representations in the minds of one™s companions
The Embedded Mind and Cognition 209

than those in the minds of strangers. Rather than simply encoding in-
formation about these mental representations, we engage and interact
with them, and in so doing extend the system of mental representations
to which we have access beyond the boundary of our own skins. As with
our reliance on cognitive artifacts to bear some of the representational
load borne during a complicated cognitive task, here we exploit rather
than replicate the representational complexity of our environments. But
unlike at least the cases of distributed cognition that I have discussed in
which the individual is displaced as the unit of cognition, here individu-
als remain both the unit of cognition and the locus of representational
control, with interactions with external representations augmenting the
internal representational systems of individuals.
Both the case of narrative engagement and that of locationally wide,
full-blown folk psychology involve representational capacities whose lo-
cus of control is still, by and large, internal. But such a locus of control
is not an essential feature of full-blown folk psychology, even if in many
instances it is a pervasive feature. We can come to rely on others psycho-
logically in such deep ways that we in effect surrender our autonomy, or
have it stripped away from us. A ¬nal word about such cases and their
relationship to the externalist mind.
Consider, ¬rst, cases in which one person has blind devotion to and
trust in another, which can involve close kin relations, lovers and life
partners, or religious believers and their spiritual leaders. In extreme
cases, the thought and action of the trusting party is given over to that of
the trustee. When that happens we have a locus of control that is external
to the trusting party. As with these other forms of locationally wide folk
psychological systems, the cognitive capacity here is world involving, with
the relevant folk psychological representations being located both inside
and outside of a given individual™s head. The folk psychological states of
the trustee come to form a part, a controlling part, of the folk psychology
of the trusting party, effectively displacing some of the higher cognitive
capacities of that individual.
Suppose, for example, that sustained deception arises in a relation of
blind devotion or trust. From the perspective of the deceiver, manipula-
tor, or person trusted, the locus of control here remains internal. But from
the perspective of the deceived, the manipulated, or the person trust-
ing, their representational folk psychological states are controlled by folk
psychological states beyond what we usually think of as their own mind.
There are, I think, many real-life situations that approximate this sort
of case, even if few involve pure blind devotion and trust. They may involve
Thinking Through and Beyond the Body
210

partial or mutual psychological dependencies, enhanced or diminished
cognitive functioning, asymmetrical power relations, or sustained decep-
tion and manipulation. It would be close to the pure cases that the self,
the subject of psychological states, is no longer bounded by the body, and
where separation of the trusting and trustee approximates the severing of
a physical boundary within an organism. This provides one way to think
about the death of a loved one, or the betrayal of personal trust, and the
psychology of the grief or anger that follows in its wake.


7 the mind beyond itself
Dissatisfaction with the idea that mental representation is simply a form
of encoding has motivated a variety of ways of thinking of the mind as
embodied and embedded. While some radical, early expressions of both
connectionism and dynamic approaches to cognition implied that the
notion of representation itself was the source of the problem, for the most
part representation has been reconceptualized rather than consigned
to the dustbin of Bad Ideas. By articulating the notion of exploitative
representation in Part Two and showing how it applies to higher cognition
in this chapter, I have presented a view of the mind as encultured, as
embedded in social and technical networks, and as constructed through
its extension beyond the boundary of the individual.
Although I have said less about the mind as embodied, I think that the
exploitative view of representation can be applied to make sense of the
embodiment of cognition as well, where the body becomes another re-
source that cognitive systems use to work their magic no different in kind
from cognitive resources in the environment to which the individual is
coupled. Recent representational views that emphasize the embodiment
of cognition, such as those of George Lakoff and Mark Johnson, Arthur
Glenberg, and Rick Grush, different as they are from one another, main-
tain what we might think of as a Cartesian bias in thinking of cognition
in terms of what lies within the skin “ ideally, the brain “ of the indi-
vidual cognizer. In this respect, I suspect that they remain too closely
wedded to encoding views of representation. Mental representation is
metaphorically structured (Lakoff and Johnson), operates through em-
bodied encodings (Glenberg), or is processed through inner dynamical
models or emulators (Grush). We need to look beyond both head and
body in thinking about mental representation.21
There is a more conservative and a more radical strand to the argu-
ment in this chapter for adopting an externalist perspective of cognition.
The Embedded Mind and Cognition 211

The more conservative strand works with the idea that a range of psy-
chological states and processes are taxonomically wide in that how they
are individuated, classi¬ed, or taxonomized relies on factors outside of
the head, and thus do not supervene on the intrinsic, physical proper-
ties of individuals. By applying this strategy not just to the philosopher™s
favorite, (bare-bones) folk psychology, but to a range of states and pro-
cesses in subpersonal psychological theories, one can see that taxonomic
externalism is not simply an implication of the Putnam-Burge thought ex-
periments but implicit in much existing psychological explanatory prac-
tice. I suspect that, particularly amongst cognitive psychologists, there will
remain the feeling that taxonomic externalism remains merely a metapsy-
chological perspective on explanatory practice, rather than a view that
actively guides the research that is done within the cognitive sciences
themselves.
Such a view is more dif¬cult to sustain with respect to the more radical
strand to the argument, the one that holds that at least some psychologi-
cal states and processes are locationally externalist: In a literal sense, they
physically extend beyond the head of the individual who has them. Much
of the discussion in this and in the previous chapter has focused on both
examples of this type of externalist psychology and general features of
cognition that make this a viable paradigm for structuring psychologi-
cal research. Locational externalism appeals to the ways in which cogni-
tion, particularly human cognition, relies on and incorporates physical
and social aspects of the environment of the individual. The context-
sensitive view of realization in Part Two provides a missing link between
a materialist metaphysics and such an externalist psychology. The ac-
companying explanatory strategy of integrative synthesis does the same
for methodology and explanatory practice in the cognitive sciences and
externalism.
While psychologists and cognitive scientists themselves may not view
the metaphysics here as all that relevant to the type of science they de-
velop, the direction of research in the cognitive sciences has been shaped
by the general sense that a properly scienti¬c psychology should be in-
dividualistic, in much the way that it was shaped in a previous genera-
tion by the sense that such a psychology should be behavioristic. Views
of what there is, of what you need to postulate (or can™t postulate) in
your ontology to do your science, are often not far beneath the surface
of explanatory practice. In particular, by scratching a little at the idea
that cognition is a form of symbol-processing, we were able to identify
why individualism might seem a necessary or desirable view of cognitive
Thinking Through and Beyond the Body
212

psychology, whether or not one held in addition a computational view of
the nature of these symbols and how they are processed.
The externalism developed in this chapter takes the symbolic nature
of thought seriously but suggests that internal symbols are simply one
kind of cognitive resource used in memory (as constituents of a store-
house), cognitive development (as constituents of theories), and in folk
psychology (as constituents of beliefs). External symbols are an obvious
second kind of cognitive resource used in cognitive processing, but sim-
ply to see externalists as adding external to internal symbols would be
to mischaracterize the shift in perspective implied by the externalism I
have defended. For the central notion becomes that of a cognitive sys-
tem. Some cognitive systems are wide, and some contain both internal
and external symbols. But enactive, bodily cognitive systems, such as wide
procedural memory systems, may be conceptualized in terms of explicit
symbols only with some strain, as may wide perceptual systems that in-
volve the extraction of information that is usually thought of as non- or
subsymbolic.
A large part of the signi¬cance of mind-world coupling lies in its it-
erative nature. We take part of the world, and learn how to incorporate
and use it as part of our cognitive processing. That, in turn, allows us
to integrate other parts of the world that, in turn, both boost our cogni-
tive capacities and allow us to cognitively integrate further parts of the
world. And so on. Although some recent discussions of the embedded-
ness of cognition have focused on novel and future technologies “ from
cell phones, to electronic implants, to telerobotics “ the two most signi¬-
cant forms of iterative scaffolding are older than the human species: the
advent of spoken language (itself a scaffold for much higher cognition
and written symbol systems), and the cognitive dependence of infants on
their parents (the mother of all inventions?).22
With that in mind, we can see how externalism departs from the small-
ist views that typically drive researchers to look further “into” the brain
in search of cognitive systems. Rather, the externalism I have defended
suggests that in order to understand central aspects of cognition we look
not to what™s in the brain but what the brain is in. Memory, the process
of cognitive development, and folk psychology as they actually guide the
cognitive lives we lead are embedded cognitive systems, and much of the
embedding framework is social.
In both species of externalism that I have discussed, the individual
remains the subject or bearer of psychological states, even if she no
longer serves as a boundary demarcating the entities of a respectable
The Embedded Mind and Cognition 213

psychological science. At the end of the previous section I introduced
cases in which this is no longer true “ where subjectivity itself may no
longer be easy to locate “ but I think that such cases, unlike those involv-
ing locationally externalist cognitive systems, are rare. Thus, this is one
respect in which the individual is a focal point even for an externalist
psychology.
To further extend this externalist account of the mind, I turn in the
next chapter to consciousness.
9

Expanding Consciousness




1 the return of the conscious
Although the 1990s was of¬cially the “Decade of the Brain” in the cogni-
tive sciences, judging by the volume and range of literature, for philoso-
phers of mind it was, rather, the “Return of the Conscious.” From early
in the decade, works such as John Searle™s The Rediscovery of the Mind and
Owen Flanagan™s Consciousness Reconsidered aimed to restore conscious-
ness to center stage in the philosophy of mind. This restoration was in
part a way of correcting a distortion that the cognitive revolution™s empha-
sis on unconscious mental processing had wrought, initiating a culture in
which discussions of consciousness could be held without philosophical
embarrassment. By the end of the decade, the philosophical literature on
consciousness had outstripped that on any other topic in the philosophy
of mind.
To be sure, much of the work on consciousness in the last dozen years
or so has attended to or even stemmed from research in the neuro-
sciences. But perhaps the issue that has most engaged philosophers of
mind has been whether the neurosciences or indeed any physical sci-
ence could reveal all there is to know about consciousness. Claims that
there would, of necessity, remain some sort of explanatory or ontological
gap between the world revealed by science and conscious phenomena
themselves had been articulated and defended by Thomas Nagel, Frank
Jackson, and Joseph Levine more than twenty years ago. Such claims have
more recently received a reinvigorated examination by David Chalmers
in his The Conscious Mind, the most widely discussed book by philosophers
of mind since at least D. M. Armstrong™s A Materialist Theory of the Mind.1

214
Expanding Consciousness 215

In this chapter, I do not attempt to review this literature, nor develop
a substantive, comprehensive theory of consciousness, which I suspect
is an illusive goal (more on which in a moment). Rather, I shall focus
speci¬cally on the implications that the sort of externalist psychology
that I have defended in the last two chapters has for consciousness and its
study. Consciousness has seemed especially problematic for externalists,
involving mental phenomena “ ranging from pain to visual experience
to self-knowledge “ for which internalist accounts have seemed prima
facie inescapable. In general terms, conscious mental phenomena have
appeared to be so intimately or immediately related to facts about the
conscious subject, their bearer, and so distantly or mediately related to
facts about the world of that subject, that externalism has faced an uphill
battle in presenting itself as even a possible view of consciousness.

2 processes of awareness and phenomenal states
To begin, let™s review a sampling of the range of mental phenomena that

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