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Distributed Cognition in Victorian Culture and Modernism$
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Miranda Anderson, Peter Garratt, and Mark Sprevak

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474442244

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474442244.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

A 5th E: Distributed Cognition and the Question of Ethics in Benjamin and Vygotsky, and Horkheimer and Dewey

A 5th E: Distributed Cognition and the Question of Ethics in Benjamin and Vygotsky, and Horkheimer and Dewey

Chapter:
(p.232) 13 A 5th E: Distributed Cognition and the Question of Ethics in Benjamin and Vygotsky, and Horkheimer and Dewey
Source:
Distributed Cognition in Victorian Culture and Modernism
Author(s):

Ben Morgan

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474442244.003.0013

The chapter uses Walter Benjamin’s engagement with Soviet developmental psychologist Lev Vygotsky, and Max Horkheimer’s with the work of American pragmatist John Dewey to suggest a productive path not taken by the Frankfurt School in the 1930s and 1940s as they considered the empirical study of human beings’ ‘mimetic’, i.e. pre-conscious and visceral interactions with others and with the world. Their analyses suggests positive ways of re-thinking the relation between norms and ‘primary intersubjectivity’ if we abandon their unnecessarily stark distinction between mimetic and goal-oriented forms of behaviour. The result is an understanding of how the basis of primary subjectivity, imitation, is itself necessarily distributed and ethically inflected, adding a 5th E to embedded, embodied, enactive and extended cognition.

Keywords:   Frankfurt School, Distributed Cognition, Walter Benjamin, Lev Vygotsky, Max Horkheimer, John Dewey, Primary intersubjectivity

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