Social Machines: A Philosophical Engineering, by S. Orestis Palermos in Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences.

Abstract. In Weaving the Web (2000), Berners-Lee defines Social Machines as biotechnologically hybrid Web-processes on the basis of which, “high-level activities, which have occurred just within one human’s brain, will occur among even larger more interconnected groups of people acting as if the shared a larger intuitive brain” (201-202). The analysis and design of Social Machines has already started attracting considerable attention both within the industry and academia. Web science, however, is still missing a clear definition of what a Social Machine is, which has in turn resulted in several calls for a “philosophical engineering” (Halpin 2013; Hendler & Berners-Lee, 2010; Halpin et al., 2010). This paper is a first attempt to respond to this call, by combining contemporary philosophy of mind and cognitive science with epistemology. The idea of philosophical engineering implies that a sufficiently good conception of Social Machines should be of both theoretical and practical advantage. To demonstrate how the present approach can satisfy both objectives it will be used in order to address one of Wikipedia’s (the most famous Social Machine to date) most worrying concerns—i.e., the current and ongoing decline in the number of its active contributors (Halfacker et al., 2012).

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Social Machines: A Philosophical Engineering

Group Know-How, by Orestis Palermos and Deborah Tollefsen in Socially Extended Epistemology, Carter, J. A., Clark, A., Kallestrup, J., Palermos S. O., Pritchard, D. (eds.), Oxford University Press

Abstract. While mainstream epistemology has recently turned its focus on individual know-how (e.g., knowing-how to swim, ride a bike, play chess, etc.), there is very little, if any, work on group know-how (e.g., sports-team performance, jazz improvisation, knowing-how to tango, etc.). This chapter attempts to fill the gap in the existing literature by exploring the relevant philosophical terrain. We start by surveying some of the recent debates on individual knowledge-how and we argue that group know-how (G-KH) cannot always be reduced to individual knowledge-how. Rather, certain cases of G-KH call for a non-reductive analysis. A natural place to look for a theory of irreducible G-KH is the literature on joint intentionality and distributed cognition. First, we explore what a joint intentionality approach to G-KH might look like. Then we consider an alternative approach that views G-KH as a form of distributed cognition. Finally, we discuss a potential link between the two approaches.

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Group Know-How

The Dynamics of Group Cognition, by Orestis Palermos in Minds and Machines

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to demonstrate that the postulation of irreducible, distributed cognitive systems (or group minds as they are also known in the literature) is necessary for the successful explanatory practice of cognitive science and sociology. Towards this end, and with an eye specifically on the phenomenon of distributed cognition, the debate over reductionism versus emergence is examined from the perspective of Dynamical Systems Theory (DST). The motivation for this novel approach is threefold. Firstly, DST is particularly popular amongst cognitive scientists who work on modelling collective behaviors. Secondly, DST can deliver two distinct arguments in support of the claim that the presence of mutual interactions between group members necessitates the postulation of the corresponding group entity. Thirdly, DST can also provide a succinct understanding of the way group entities exert downward causation on their individual members. The outcome is a naturalist account of the emergent, and thereby irreducible, nature of distributed cognitive systems that avoids the reductionists’ threat of epiphenomenalism, while being well in line with materialism.

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The Dynamics of Group Cognition

The Ethics of Extended Cognition: Is Having Your Computer Compromised a Personal Assault? by Adam Carter and Orestis Palermos in The Journal of the American Philosophical Association

Abstract: Philosophy of mind and cognitive science (e.g., Clark and Chalmers 1998; Clark 2010; Palermos 2014) have recently become increasingly receptive to the hypothesis of extended cognition, according to which external artifacts such as our laptops and smartphones can—under appropriate circumstances—feature as material realisers of a person’s cognitive processes. We argue that, to the extent that the hypothesis of extended cognition is correct, our legal and ethical theorising and practice must be updated, by broadening our conception of personal assault so as to include intentional harm towards gadgets that have been appropriately integrated. We next situate the theoretical case for extended personal assault within the context of some recent ethical and legal cases and close with some critical discussion.

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The Ethics of Extended Cognition: Is Having Your Computer Compromised a Personal Assault?

Augmented Skepticism: The Epistemological Design of Augmented Reality by Orestis Palermos, in Augmented Reality. Reflections on its Contribution to Knowledge Formation, José María Ariso (ed), 2017, De Gruyter

Abstract. In order to solve the problem of the traditional account of knowledge, according to which justification is the ability to provide reflectively accessible positive reasons in support of one’s beliefs, a number of epistemologists have suggested that knowledge is true belief that is the product of cognitive ability. According to this alternative, a belief-forming process may count as a knowledge-conducive cognitive ability if and only if it has been cognitively integrated on the basis of processes of mutual interactions with other aspects of the agents’ cognitive system. One of the advantages of this approach is that it allows knowledge and justification to be extended to such artifacts as telescopes, microscopes, smartphones and augmented reality (AR) systems. AR systems, however, rely on deceptive reality augmentations that could significantly deteriorate the epistemic efficiency of users’ cognitively integrated natures. This could lead to a form of ‘augmented skepticism’, whereby it will be impossible to tell augmented from physical reality apart. In order to solve this problem, epistemology should play an active role in the design of future AR systems and practices. To this end, this chapter puts forward some initial suggestions, concerning the training of AR users and the design of certain reality augmentation features, in order to ensure that everyday epistemic practices won’t be disrupted by the introduction of emerging AR technologies.

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Augmented Skepticism: The Epistemological Design of Augmented Reality

Semantic Inferentialism as (a Form of) Active Externalism, by Adam Carter, James Collin and Orestis Palermos, in Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences.

Abstract. Within contemporary philosophy of mind, it is taken for granted that externalist accounts of meaning and mental content are, in principle, orthogonal to the matter of whether cognition itself is bound within the biological brain or whether it can constitutively include parts of the world. Accordingly, Clark and Chalmers (1998) distinguish these varieties of externalism as ‘passive’ and ‘active’ respectively. The aim here is to suggest that we should resist the received way of thinking about these dividing lines. With reference to Brandom’s (1994; 2000; 2008) broad semantic inferentialism, we show that a theory of meaning can be at the same time a variety of active externalism. While we grant that supporters of other varieties of content externalism (e.g., Putnam 1975 and Burge 1986) can deny active externalism, this is not an option for semantic inferentialists: On this latter view, the role of the environment (both in its social and natural form) is not ‘passive’ in the sense assumed by the alternative approaches to content externalism.

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Semantic Inferentialism as (a Form of) Active Externalism

Group Knowledge and Epistemic Defeat, by Adam Carter, in Ergo.

Abstract. If individual knowledge and justification can be vanquished by epistemic defeaters, then the same should go for group knowledge. Lackey (2014) has recently argued that one especially strong conception of group knowledge defended by Bird (2010) is incapable of explaining how it is that (group) knowledge is ever subject to ordinary mechanisms of epistemic defeat. Lackey takes it that her objections do not also apply to a more moderate articulation of group knowledge—one that is embraced widely in collective epistemology—and which she does not challenge. This paper argues that given certain background premises that are embraced by orthodox thinking in collective epistemology, the more moderate account of group knowledge cannot make sense of either psychological or normative epistemic defeaters. I conclude by offering some suggestions for how the more moderate proposal might avoid this result.

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Group Knowledge and Epistemic Defeat

The Distribution of Epistemic Agency, by Orestis Palermos and Duncan Pritchard, in Social Epistemology and Epistemic Agency: De-centalizing Epistemic Agency. (ed.) P. Reider, Rowman & Littlefield.

Abstract. In this volume, Goldberg (Chapter 1) defines his socio-epistemological research programme by noting that “the pursuit of social epistemology is the attempt to come to terms with the epistemic significance of other minds” (Chapter 1, section 1, p. 8)—and especially the ‘epistemic sensibility’ they exhibit when they operate in common epistemic environments. Goldberg of course has in mind the epistemic sensibility of individual epistemic agents, but he does not want to exclude the possibility of epistemically sensible collective epistemic agents either. The problem, however, is that Goldberg seems to systematically place at the hard core of his programme the assumption that epistemic agents are exclusively individuals and this forces him to leave the question of epistemically sensible collective epistemic agents unaddressed. The aim of the present chapter is to extend Goldberg’s programme to also account for this possibility. To do so, we elaborate on the idea of extended knowledge (Pritchard 2010b; Palermos & Pritchard 2013; Palermos 2011; Palermos 2014b), according to which knowledge-conducive cognitive abilities can be occasionally extended to the artifacts we interact with or they may be even distributed between several individuals at the same time. On the basis of this approach we demonstrate that collective epistemic subjects can qualify as epistemic agents on the basis of being able to collectively exhibit an appropriate form of epistemic sensibility.

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The Distribution of Epistemic Agency

Extended Knowledge-How, by J. Adam Carter & Bolesław Czarnecki, in Erkenntnis

Abstract. According to reductive intellectualists about knowledge-how (e.g. Stanley and Williamson 2001; Stanley 2011; Brogaard 2008; 2009) knowledgehow is a kind of knowledge-that. To the extent that this is right, then insofar as we might conceive of ways knowledge could be extended with reference to active externalist (e.g. Clark and Chalmers 1998; Clark 2008) approaches in the philosophy of mind (e.g. the extended mind thesis and the hypothesis of extended cognition), we should expect no interesting difference between the two. However, insofar as anti-intellectualist approaches to knowledge-how (e.g. Ryle 1946; 1949) are a viable option, there is an overlooked issue of how knowledge-how might be extended, via active externalism, in ways very differently from knowledge-that. This paper explores this overlooked space, and in doing so, illustrates how a novel form of extended knowledge-how emerges from a pairing of active externalism in the philosophy of mind with anti-intellectualism in the theory of knowledge. Crucial to our argument will be a new way of thinking about the extended mind thesis, as it pertains to the kinds of state one is in (on an anti-intellectualist construal) when one knows how to do something, and how this state connects with non-accidentally successful performance.

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Extnended Knowledge-How

Spreading the Credit: Virtue Reliabilism and Weak Epistemic Anti-Individualism, by S. Orestis Palermos, in Erkenntnis

Abstract. Mainstream epistemologists have recently made a few isolated attempts to demonstrate the particular ways, in which specific types of knowledge are partly social. Two promising cases in point are Lackey’s dualism in the epistemology of testimony (2008) and Goldberg’s process reliabilist treatment of testimonial and coverage-support justification (2010). What seems to be missing from the literature, however, is a general approach to knowledge that could reveal the partly social nature of the latter anytime this may be the case. Indicatively, even though Lackey (2007) has recently launched an attack against the Credit Account of Knowledge (CAK) on the basis of testimony, she has not classified her view of testimonial knowledge into any of the alternative, general approaches to knowledge. Similarly, even if Goldberg’s attempt to provide a process reliabilist explanation of the social nature of testimonial knowledge is deemed satisfactory, his attempt to do the same in the case of coverage-support justification does not deliver the requisite result. This paper demonstrates that CAK can in fact provide, pace Lackey’s renunciation of the view, a promising account of the social nature of both testimonial and coverage-supported knowledge. Additionally, however, it can display further explanatory power by also revealing the social nature of knowledge produced on the basis of epistemic artifacts. Despite their disparities, all these types of knowledge count as partly social in nature, because in all these cases, according to CAK, the epistemic credit for the individual agent’s true belief must spread between the individual agent and certain parts of her epistemic community. Accordingly, CAK is a promising candidate for providing a unified approach to several and, perhaps all possible, instances of what we may call ‘weak epistemic anti-individualism’ within mainstream epistemology: i.e., the claim that the nature of knowledge can occasionally be both social and individual at the same time.

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Spreading the credit: Virtue Reliabilism and Weak Epistemic Anti-Individuaism

‘Active Externalism, Virtue Reliabilism and Scientific Knowledge’, by Orestis Palermos, in Synthese.

Abstract: Combining active externalism in the form of the extended and distributed cognition hypotheses with virtue reliabilism can provide the long sought after link between mainstream epistemology and philosophy of science. Specifically, by reading virtue reliabilism along the lines suggested by the hypothesis of extended cognition, we can account for scientific knowledge produced on the basis of both hardware and software scientific artifacts (i.e., scientific instruments and theories). Additionally, by bringing the distributed cognition hypothesis within the picture, we can introduce the notion of epistemic group agents, in order to further account for collective knowledge produced on the basis of scientific research teams.

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Active Externalism, Virtue Reliabilism and Scientific Knowledge


‘Extended Emotion’, by Adam Carter, Emma Gordon and Orestis Palermos, in Philosophical Psychology.

Abstract: Recent thinking within philosophy of mind about the ways cognition can extend (e.g. Clark 2011; Clark & Chalmers 1998; Wilson 2000, 2004; Menary 2006) has yet to be integrated with philosophical theories of emotion, which give cognition a central role. We carve out new ground at the intersection of these areas, and in doing so, defend what we call the extended emotion thesis: i.e., the claim that some emotions can extend beyond skin and skull to parts of the external world.

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Extended Emotion

 ‘Epistemic Situationism, Epistemic Dependence and the Epistemology of Education,’ by J. Adam Carter and Duncan Pritchard, in Epistemic Situationism, Alfano and Fairweather (eds).

Abstract. It is argued that the situationist challenge to virtue epistemology fails to establish what it claims to establish, at least so long as the latter proposal is understood correctly. We begin by making the case for such a challenge, which we grant is prima facie strong, at least insofar as one’s focus is the kind of rationally grounded knowledge typically possessed by mature humans. It is argued, however, that the extent of situational influence on cognitive performance that epistemic situationists can credibly lay claim to is in fact consistent with the most plausible rendering of virtue epistemology. This is a modest virtue epistemology which is motivated, in contrast to a robust virtue epistemology, by appeal to the phenomenon of epistemic dependence. It is argued that once one appreciates the epistemic dependence of knowledge, then one realises that there is no essential tension between bona fide rationally grounded knowledge, by virtue-theoretic lights, and the influence of situational factors on the acquisition of such knowledge. It is granted, however, that epistemic situationism demonstrates that much of our rationally grounded knowledge involves less by way of cognitive achievement than we often suppose, and hence that the epistemic situationist can lay claim to a mitigated version of their main thesis. Furthermore, it is explained that this has ramifications for the extent of understanding-why a subject possesses. We conclude by putting these points to work in the epistemology of education, where we demonstrate that situational factors can in fact be exploited in order to develop, in pedagogical settings, cognitive ability and thereby enable students to exhibit higher levels of cognitive achievement.

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Epistemic Situationism, Epistemic Dependence and the Epistemology of Education

 ‘Epistemic Internalism, Content Externalism and Subjective/Objective Justification Distinction’, by Adam Carter and Orestis Palermos, in the American Philosophical Quarterly

Abstract: We consider two arguments against the compatibility of epistemic internalism and content externalism. Both arguments are shown to fail because they equivocate on the concept of justification involved in their premises. To highlight the crux of the involved equivocation, we introduce the distinction between subjective and objective justification, which can be independently motivated on the basis of a wide range of thought experiments to be found in the mainstream literature on epistemology. The subjective/objective justification distinction is also ideally suited for providing new insights with respect to central issues within epistemology, including the internalism/externalism debate and the New Evil Demon intuition.

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Epistemic Internalism, Content Externalism and the Subjective/Objective Justification Distinction 

‘Extended Cognition and Propositional Memory’,  by Adam Carter and Jesper Kallestrup, in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research

Abstract. The philosophical case for extended cognition is often made with reference to ‘extended-memory cases’ (e.g. Clark & Chalmers 1998); though, unfortunately, proponents of the hypothesis of extended cognition (HEC) as well as their adversaries have failed to appreciate the kinds of epistemological problems extended-memory cases pose for mainstream thinking in the epistemology of memory. It is time to give these problems a closer look. Our plan is as follows: in §1, we argue that an epistemological theory remains compatible with HEC only if its epistemic assessments do not violate what we call ‘the epistemic parity principle’. In §2, we show how the constraint of respecting the epistemic parity principle stands in what appears to be a prima facie intractable tension with mainstream thinking about cases of propositional memory. We then outline and evaluate in §3 several lines of response.

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Extended Cognition and Propositional Memory

‘Active Externalism and Episremic Internalism’, by Adam Carter and Orestis Palermos, in Erkenntnis

Abstract. Internalist approaches to epistemic justification are, though controversial, considered a live option in contemporary epistemology. Accordingly, if ‘active’ externalist approaches in the philosophy of mind—e.g. the extended cognition and extended mind theses—are in principle incompatible with internalist approaches to justification in epistemology, then this will be a strike against, at least the prima facie appeal of, active externalism. It is shown here however that, contrary to preteoretical intuitions, neither the extended cognition nor the extended mind theses are in principle incompatible with two prominent versions of epistemic internalism—viz., accessibilism and mentalism. In fact, one possible diagnosis is that pretheoretical intuitions regarding the incopmatibility of active externalism with epistemic internalism are symptomatic of a tacit yet incorrect identification of epistemic internalism with epistemic individualism. Thus, active externalism is not in principle incompatible with epistemic internalism per se and does not (despite initial appearances to the contrary) significantly restrict one’s options in epistemology.

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Active Externalism and Epistemic Internalism

Philosophical Issues Special Issue on ‘Extended Knowledge’, edited by Adam Carter, Jesper kallestrup, Orestis Palermos and Duncan Pritchard

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Table of Contents

 ‘Group Peer Disagreement’, by Adam Carter, in Ratio

Abstract. A popular view in mainstream social epistemology maintains that, in the face of a revealed peer disagreement over p, neither party should remain just as confident vis-a-vis p as she initially was. This ‘conciliatory’ insight has been defended with regard to individual epistemic peers. However, to the extent that (non-summativist) groups are candidates for group knowledge and beliefs, we should expect groups (no less than individuals) to be in the market for disagreements. The aim here will be to carve out and explore an extension of the conciliatory insight from individual peer disagreement to group peer disagreement; in doing so, I’ll raise and address three key problems that face any plausible defence of such a constraint.

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Group Peer Disagreement

 ‘Varieties of Externalism’, by Adam Carter, Jesper Kallestrup, Orestis Palermos and Duncan Pritchard, in Philosophical Issues

Abstract. Our aim is to provide a topography of the relevant philosophical terrain with regard to the possible ways in which knowledge can be conceived of as extended. We begin by charting the different types of internalist and externalist proposals within epistemology, and we critically examine the different formulations of the epistemic internalism/externalism debate they lead to. Next, we turn to the internalism/externalism distinction within philosophy of mind and cognitive science. In light of the above dividing lines, we then examine first the extent to which content externalism is compatible with epistemic externalism; second, whether active externalism entails epistemic externalism; and third whether there are varieties of epistemic externalism that are better suited to accommodate active externalism. Finally, we examine whether the combination of epistemic and cognitive externalism is necessary for epistemology and we comment on the potential ramifications of this move for social epistemology and philosophy of science.

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Varieties Of Externalism

‘Extended Entitlement’, by Adam Carter and Duncan Pritchard, in Epistemic Entitlement, (eds.) P. Graham & N. Pedersen, (Oxford UP)

Abstract: The hypothesis of extended cognition, according to which cognitive processes are not bound by skin and skull but can extend into the world, is gaining traction in the philosophy of mind; but it remains to be seen whether mainstream epistemology can make room for ‘extended’ cognitive processes. One constraining issue is that from an epistemological point of view epistemic evaluations should be symmetrical across pairs of cases where relevant epistemic and psychological factors are held fixed and all that is varied is whether the process is extended. We show, however, that in the classic ‘extended memory’ case used to motivate extended cognition, such epistemic symmetry will be prima facie troublesome to square with the observation that biological memory is a paradigmatically basic epistemic source, whereas extended memory appears to be a non-basic epistemic source. We argue that with a proper conception of cognitive integration in hand this problem can be resolved. In particular, we claim that extended memory cases, properly understood, involve a kind of ‘extended entitlement’, where the entitlement in question is of the same kind as that enjoyed by our non-extended memorial beliefs.
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Extended Entitlement

 ‘Knowledge and Cognitive Integration’, in Synthese, by Orestis Palermos

Abstract: Cognitive integration is a defining yet overlooked feature of our intellect that may nevertheless have substantial effects on the process of knowledge-acquisition. To bring those effects to the fore, I explore the topic of cognitive integration both from the perspective of virtue reliabilism within externalist epistemology and the perspective of extended cognition within externalist philosophy of mind and cognitive science. On the basis of this interdisciplinary focus, I argue that cognitive integration can provide a minimalist yet adequate epistemic norm of subjective justification: so long as the agent’s belief-forming process has been integrated in his cognitive character, the agent can be justified in holding the resulting beliefs merely by lacking any doubts there was something wrong in the way he arrived at them. Moreover, since both externalist philosophy of mind and externalist epistemology treat the process of cognitive integration in the same way, we can claim that epistemic cognitive characters may extend beyond our organismic cognitive capacities to the artifacts we employ or even to other agents we interact with. This move is not only necessary for accounting for advanced cases of knowledge that is the product of the operation of epistemic artifacts or the interactive activity of research teams, but it can further lead to interesting ramifications both for social epistemology and philosophy of science.

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Knowledge and Cognitive Integration

‘Virtue Epistemology, Extended Cognition, and the Epistemology of Education’, in Universitas: Monthly Review of Philosophy and Culture, by Duncan Pritchard

Abstract: How should we, from an epistemological point of view, understand the role of technology in education? On one very natural conception of the epistemic goals of education, such technology can only at best play an enabling role, since ultimately the task of education is to enhance the unaided cognitive abilities of the subject. This way of conceiving of the epistemic goals of education can be compounded once one notices that virtue epistemology offers a very natural framework for understanding the epistemology of education. This is because virtue epistemology often tacitly incorporates a commitment to epistemic individualism, such that one’s cognitive abilities are to be understood exclusively in terms of one’s ‘onboard’, and thus in this sense ‘internal’, cognitive processes. Hence, when virtue epistemology is applied to the epistemology of education, this seems to confirm the idea that technology can at best only play a supporting role. It is argued, however, that the virtue epistemology framework is in fact entirely compatible with an epistemic anti-individualism which allows technology which is outwith the skin of the subject to nonetheless form a constitutive part of the subject’s cognitive processes. It is claimed that such an extended virtue epistemology has a number of attractive features, and some of its implications for the epistemology of education are explored.

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Virtue Epistemology, Extended Cognition, and the Epistemology of Education

‘Could Reliability Naturally imply Safety?’, in European Journal of Philosophy, by Orestis Palermos

Abstract: The aim of the present paper is to argue that robust virtue epistemology is correct. That is, a complete account of knowledge is not in need for an additional modal criterion in order to account for knowledge-undermining epistemic luck. I begin by presenting the problems facing robust virtue epistemology by examining two prominent counterexamples—the Barney and ‘epistemic twin earth’ cases. After proposing a way in which virtue epistemology can explain away these two problematic cases, thereby, implying that cognitive abilities are also safe, I offer a naturalistic explanation in support of this last claim, inspired by evolutionary epistemology. Finally, I argue that naturalized epistemology should not be thought of as being exclusively descriptive. On the contrary, the evolutionary story I offer in support of the claim that reliability implies safety can provide us with a plausible epistemic norm.

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Could Reliability Naturally Imply Safety?

‘Extended Knowledge and Social Epistemology’, in Social Epistemology, by Orestis Palermos and Duncan Pritchard

Abstract: The place of social epistemology within contemporary philosophy, as well as its relation to other academic disciplines, is the topic of an ongoing debate. One camp within that debate holds that social epistemology should be pursued strictly from within the perspective of individualistic analytic epistemology. In contrast, a second camp holds that social epistemology is an interdisciplinary field that should be given priority over traditional analytic epistemology, with the specific aim of radically transforming the latter to fit the results and methodology of the former. We are rather suspicious of this apparent tension, which we believe can be significantly mitigated by paying attention to certain recent advances within philosophy of mind and cognitive science. Accordingly, we attempt to explain how extended knowledge, the result of combining active externalism from contemporary philosophy of mind with contemporary epistemology, can offer an alternative conception of the future of social epistemology.   

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‘Extended Knowledge and Social Epistemology’

‘Loops, Constitution, and Cognitive Extension’, forthcoming in Cognitive Systems Research, by S. Orestis Palermos

Abstract: The ‘causal-constitution’ fallacy, the ‘cognitive bloat’ worry, and the persisting theoretical confusion about the fundamental difference between the hypotheses of embedded (HEMC) and extended (HEC) cognition are three interrelated worries, whose common point—and the problem they accentuate—is the lack of a principled criterion of constitution. Attempting to address the ‘causal-constitution’ fallacy, mathematically oriented philosophers of mind have previously suggested that the presence of non-linear relations between the inner and the outer contributions is sufficient for cognitive extension. The abstract idea of non-linearity, however, can be easily misunderstood and has, in the past, led to incorrect and counterintuitive conclusions about what may count as part of one’s overall cognitive system. In order to prevent any further mistakes I revisit dynamical systems theory to study the nature of the continuous mutual interactions that give rise to the aforementioned non-linear relations. Moreover, focusing on these interactions will allow us to provide two distinct arguments in support of the ontological postulation of extended cognitive systems, as well as an objective criterion of constitution. Accordingly, I put forward a version of HEC that treats continuous mutual interactions (and the resultant non-linear relations) not just as sufficient but also as necessary for cognitive extension. Such a qualified version of HEC may exclude certain alleged cases of cognitive extension where the agent does not mutually interact with his artifacts (e.g., shopping lists and directory services), but it is immune both to the ‘causal-constitution’ fallacy and the ‘cognitive bloat’ worry, and it can be sharply distinguished from HEMC.

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Loops, Constitution, and Cognitive Extension

‘Extended Cognition and Epistemic Luck’, forthcoming in Synthese, by J. Adam Carter

Abstract: When extended cognition is extended into mainstream epistemology, an awkward tension arises when considering cases of environmental epistemic luck. Surprisingly, it is not at all clear how the mainstream verdict that agents lack knowledge in cases of environmental luck can be reconciled with principles central to extended cognition.

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‘Extended Cognition and Epistemic Luck’



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