Bees Do It

Distributed Cognition and Psychophysical Laws

Authored by: S. Orestis Palermos

Foundations and Theoretical Perspectives of Distributed Team Cognition

Print publication date:  September  2020
Online publication date:  September  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138625549
eBook ISBN: 9780429459795
Adobe ISBN:


 Download Chapter



Within philosophy of mind, active externalism—the metaphysical assumption that cognition’s material realizers are not always organism-bound—comes in three main forms: the hypothesis of extended cognition, the extended mind thesis, and the hypothesis of distributed cognition. In addition to philosophers of mind, cognitive scientists are also interested in active externalism as a guide to their scientific research programs. However, a scientifically relevant problem surrounding the view in the form of the hypothesis of extended cognition and the extended mind thesis is that arguments in their support usually rely on common-sense functionalism; thus, a common line of criticism against these two versions of active externalism invokes the more scientifically informed alternative of psycho-functionalism. In this chapter, I note that the same objection can be raised against the hypothesis of distributed cognition. Nevertheless, a recent study of the way bee colonies reach decisions on new nest sites indicates that arguments for distributed cognition would go through, even if psycho-functionalism were true. This significant observation speaks in defense of active externalism’s fitness, at least in the form of the hypothesis of distributed cognition, as a guide to cognitive scientific research.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.