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Developing Scaffolds in Evolution, Culture, and Cognition$
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Linnda R. Caporael, James R. Griesemer, and William C. Wimsatt

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780262019552

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262019552.001.0001

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Onwards and Upwards with the Extended Mind

Onwards and Upwards with the Extended Mind

From Individual to Collective Epistemic Action

Chapter:
(p.191) 8 Onwards and Upwards with the Extended Mind
Source:
Developing Scaffolds in Evolution, Culture, and Cognition
Author(s):

Georg Theiner

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262019552.003.0009

My goal in this chapter is to show that Kirsh and Maglio’s (1994) distinction between pragmatic and epistemic action can be generalized from the level of individuals to that of groups. The concept of a collective epistemic action refers to ways in which groups actively change the structure of their social organization to improve their epistemic performance as collective agents. By emphasizing the interactions among people, rather than between people and their tools, I reconnect the “extended mind” thesis with complementary areas of social-scientific research in which groups are analyzed as the seats of action and cognition in their own right.

Keywords:   Assembly bonus, Group decision-making, Collective information-sampling, Group rationality, Discursive dilemma, Distributed cognition, Extended mind thesis, Group cognition, Hidden profile, Judgment aggregation

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