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From Wide Cognition to Mechanisms: A Silent Revolution

Miłkowski, Marcin and Clowes, Robert and Rucińska, Zuzanna and Przegalińska, Aleksandra and Zawidzki, Tadeusz and Krueger, Joel and Gies, Adam and McGann, Marek and Afeltowicz, Łukasz and Wachowski, Witold and Stjernberg, Fredrik and Loughlin, Victor and Hohol, Mateusz (2018) From Wide Cognition to Mechanisms: A Silent Revolution. Frontiers in Psychology, 9. ISSN 1664-1078

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In this paper, we argue that several recent 'wide' perspectives on cognition (embodied, embedded, extended, enactive, and distributed) are only partially relevant to the study of cognition. While these wide accounts override traditional methodological individualism, the study of cognition has already progressed beyond these proposed perspectives toward building integrated explanations of the mechanisms involved, including not only internal submechanisms but also interactions with others, groups, cognitive artifacts, and their environment. Wide perspectives are essentially research heuristics for building mechanistic explanations. The claim is substantiated with reference to recent developments in the study of "mindreading" and debates on emotions. We argue that the current practice in cognitive (neuro)science has undergone, in effect, a silent mechanistic revolution, and has turned from initial binary oppositions and abstract proposals toward the integration of wide perspectives with the rest of the cognitive (neuro)sciences.

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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Miłkowski, Marcinmmilkows@ifispan.waw.pl0000-0001-7646-5742
Clowes, Robert
Rucińska, Zuzanna
Przegalińska, Aleksandra
Zawidzki, Tadeusz
Krueger, Joel
Gies, Adam
McGann, Marek
Afeltowicz, Łukasz
Wachowski, Witold
Stjernberg, Fredrik
Loughlin, Victor
Hohol, Mateusz
Keywords: distributed cognition; embodied cognition; enactivism; extended mind; grounded cognition; mechanistic explanation; scaffolded mind; wide mechanism
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Neuroscience > Cognitive Neuroscience
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
General Issues > Explanation
Depositing User: Dr. Marcin Miłkowski
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2019 11:08
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2019 11:08
Item ID: 16187
Journal or Publication Title: Frontiers in Psychology
Official URL:
DOI or Unique Handle:
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Neuroscience > Cognitive Neuroscience
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
General Issues > Explanation
Date: 2018
Volume: 9
ISSN: 1664-1078

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