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Socially Extended Epistemology$
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J. Adam Carter, Andy Clark, Jesper Kallestrup, S. Orestis Palermos, and Duncan Pritchard

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198801764

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198801764.001.0001

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The “Ontological Complicity” of Habitus and Field

The “Ontological Complicity” of Habitus and Field

Bourdieu as an Externalist

Chapter:
(p.220) 11 The “Ontological Complicity” of Habitus and Field
Source:
Socially Extended Epistemology
Author(s):

Georg Theiner

Nikolaus Fogle

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198801764.003.0012

This chapter approaches the work of the French sociologist, Pierre Bourdieu, from the point of view of embodied, extended, and distributed cognition. The concepts that form Bourdieu’s central dyad, habitus and field, are remarkably consonant with externalist views. Habitus is a form of knowledge that is not only embodied but fundamentally environment-dependent, and field is a distributed network of cognitively active positions that serves not only as a repository of social knowledge, but also as an external template for individual schemes of perception and action. The aim of this chapter’s comparative analysis is not to merely show that Bourdieu’s concepts are compatible with cognitive and epistemological externalism. They further demonstrate that the resources of Bourdieu’s theoretical framework can prove particularly useful for developing externalist accounts of culture and society—two areas that are significantly underexplored within mainstream debates in analytic philosophy.

Keywords:   Pierre Bourdieu, extended cognition, distributed cognition, habitus, field, culture, society

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