The aim of this article is to show that externalist accounts of cognition such as Clark and Chalmers’ (1998) “active externalism” lead to an explosion of knowledge that is caused by online resources such as Wikipedia and Google. I argue that externalist accounts of cognition imply that subjects who integrate mobile Internet access in their cognitive routines have millions of standing beliefs on unexpected issues such as the birth dates of Moroccan politicians or the geographical coordinates of villages in southern Indonesia. Although many externalists propose criteria for the bounds of cognition that are designed to avoid this explosion of knowledge, I argue that these criteria are flawed and that active externalism has to accept that information resources such as Wikipedia and Google constitute extended cognitive processes.
Research Professor. Director at Learning Change Project – Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, sustainability, thinkers, ++
Giorgio Bertini does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from these papers, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
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