Material facts about the arrangement of supermarkets and the design of churches, as well as rules of evidence and other social practices, play a critical role in structuring everyday human cognition. This much is hard to deny. I argue that such insights are best accommodated by a view that treats human beings as socially embedded agents that exploit the material aspects of their normatively rich environment. Further, I argue that a socially embedded approach to cognition is preferable to Gallagher’s socially extended approach. But, by encoding skeletal representations of situations, events, and practices that are important for our biological and social lives, we can develop a powerful capacity for remembering things that are important for future interactions without cluttering memory with irrelevant information. This, I must note, is a paradigm case of a socially embedded cognitive capacity.
Research Professor on society, culture, art, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, neuroscience, autopoiesis, self-organization, complexity, systems, networks, rhizomes, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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