Mind, in Peirce’s process semiotics, are processes in development which are not bound to, or delimited by, individuals, be their individual psychologies, behaviors, or bodies. We call this position active semiotic externalism.
Externalism is the thesis that mental contents (intentional mental states, or mental states that are “about” something) are partly in the environment, in contrast to internalism, in which mental contents are determined by intrinsic properties of a mind (see Lau & Deutsch, 2019). Active externalism is a kind of externalism about mental processes: not only intentionality (the “aboutness” of mental representations) is partly determined by the environment, but the environment plays an active role in driving cognitive processes. Peirce’s theory of mind entails a semeiotic and processualist active externalism in the sense that (1) signs drive cognition and (2) signs are spread beyond the heads of individuals, enacting a mediated continuity between an individual mind and an environment. Thus, cognition is materially-driven by exosomatic interactions.
(We have approached Peirce’s semiotic theory of mind in several articles. See publications)
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João Queiroz & Pedro Atã