Skip to main content

From Content-Externalism to Vehicle-Externalism1

  • Crystal L’hote (a1)

ABSTRACT: Consensus has it that Putnam-Burge style arguments for content-externalism do not strengthen the case for vehicle-externalism, i.e., the thesis that some mental states include as their parts notebooks, iPhones, and other extra-bodily phenomena. Rowlands and Sprevak, among others, argue that vehicle-externalism gets stronger support from Clark and Chalmers’s parity principle and functionalism, generally. I contest this assessment and thereby give reason to reconsider the support that content-externalism provides the extended mind thesis: although content-externalism does not entail vehicle-externalism, as Rowlands argues, neither does functionalism. The functionalist cannot reject the content-externalist argument for vehicle-externalism on these grounds without undercutting her own.

Hide All

I thank the generous participants at the 2009 Cognitive Systems and Extended Mind conference at the University of Osnabrueck for their comments on an early version on this paper, especially Robert Rupert and Ken Aizawa. Any persisting confusion is wholly my own. I also owe thanks to John Izzi for his assistance in the preparation of this manuscript and to the Office of the VPAA at St. Michael’s College for a summer research fellowship that facilitated a project of which this work is a part.

Hide All
Adams F. and Aizawa K. 2008 The Bounds of Cognition. Wiley-Blackwell.
Adams F. and Aizawa K. 2001The Bounds of Cognition.” Philosophical Psychology 14: 4364.
Burge T. 1979Individualism and the Mental.” Midwest Studies in Philosophy 4: 73121.
Clark A. 2008 Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action, and Cognitive Extension. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Clark A. 2005Intrinsic Content, Active Memory, and the Extended Mind.” Analysis 65: 111.
Clark A. 1998 Being There: Putting Mind, Body, and World Back Together Again. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Clark A. and Chalmers D. 1998The Extended Mind.” Analysis 58.1: 719.
Davidson D. 1987Knowing One’s Own Mind.” Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 60: 441–48.
Dennett D. 2001 Consciousness Explained. Boston: Little Brown and Co.
Hurley S. 1998Vehicles, Contents, Conceptual Structure and Internalism.” Analysis 58: 16.
Kaplan D. 1979Dthat.” Syntax and Semantics, vol. 9, ed. Cole P.. New York: Academic Press. Reprinted in The Philosophy of Language.Ed. A. P. Martinich. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985.
McDowell J. 1982Criteria Defeasibility and Knowledge.” Proceedings of the British Academy: 455–79.
McGinn C. 1989 Mental Content. New York: Blackwell.
Millikan R. 1991Perceptual Content and Fregean Myth.” Mind 100.4: 441460.
Millikan R. 1989Biosemantics.” Journal of Philosophy 86: 281–97.
Millikan R. 1987 Language, Thought, and Other Biological Categories. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Noe A. 2009 Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain and Other Lessons from the Biology of Consciousness. Hill and Wang.
Putnam H. 1975The Meaning of ‘Meaning’.” Language, Mind, and Knowledge, Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, vol. VII. Ed. Gunderson K.. University of Minnesota Press. 131–93.
Rowlands M. 2008 The Body in Mind: Understanding Cognitive Processes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Rowlands M. 2003 Externalism: Putting Mind and World Back Together Again. McGill-Queen’s University Press.
Rupert R. 2009 Cognitive Systems and the Extended Mind. New York: Oxford University Press.
Rupert R. 2004Challenges to the Thesis of Extended Cognition.” Journal of Philosophy 101.8: 389428.
Snowdon P. 1981Perception, Vision and Causation.” Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 81: 175–92.
Sprevak M. 2009Extended Cognition and Functionalism.” The Journal of Philosophy 106: 503527.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review / Revue canadienne de philosophie
  • ISSN: 0012-2173
  • EISSN: 1759-0949
  • URL: /core/journals/dialogue-canadian-philosophical-review-revue-canadienne-de-philosophie
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 4
Total number of PDF views: 9 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 169 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 17th January 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.