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Efficient CognitionThe Evolution of Representational Decision Making$
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Armin W. Schulz

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780262037600

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262037600.001.0001

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Extended Representational Decision Making—A Synthesis

Extended Representational Decision Making—A Synthesis

(p.149) 7 Extended Representational Decision Making—A Synthesis
Efficient Cognition

Armin W. Schulz

The MIT Press

Defenders of the extendedness of cognition often contrast their view with a representationalist view of cognition. They argue that (a) extended cognition and representational cognition are opposed to each other, and that (b) most of cognition is extended and non-representational. However, as I show in this chapter, these claims, at least as they stand, should not be seen to be plausible. This is so for two reasons. First, using the account of the evolution of cognitive and conative representational decision making laid out in the previous two chapters, I show that there is no reason to think that internal mental representations are in any way a needless cognitive addendum, or that reliance on them is extremely rare. Second, on this basis, I show that there are in fact good reasons to think that a number of organisms will, at least sometimes, rely on decision making mechanisms that are both embedded in the environment and representational. In fact, seeing cognition as representational may be a prerequisite to fully understanding how and why it is sometimes extended.

Keywords:   extended cognition, 007 principle, extended mind thesis, embedded cognition

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