Rob Wilson (Project Director, Living Archives on Eugenics in Western Canada; Department of Philosophy, University of Alberta)
Abstract. Individualism about the mind was a central topic in the philosophy of mind and cognitive science for much of the 1980s and 1990, and work here has more recently generated, as well as connected with, substantial literatures on the idea of extended cognition and group minds. In this talk I will provide an overview of this trajectory of thought and its relationship to ongoing explanatory practice in the cognitive, biological, and social sciences, what I elsewhere call the "fragile sciences". Part of my view is that what can seem like merely philosophical issues or semantic distractions about individuals and the mental are actually important to the direction that research takes across the fragile sciences, and the talk will be constructed with that view in mind.