Knowledge Continuum

Notes and Thoughts

An experiment to spark conversations


The extensional nature of cognitive artifacts

Edwin Hutchins once said: "We are all cognitive bricoleurs–opportunistic assemblers of functional systems composed of internal and external structures".

I think this taxonomy neatly addresses this issue, that is, the issue of the divide between the internal and the external by cleverly merging the extended mind hypothesis(See Chalmers and Clark) with the Peircian triadic model to create a synergistic relationship between the inside and the outside(representational and the ecological vehicles that facilitate cognition). Thus helping us reframe the notion of external as 'internal-izable'.

And for what it matters, this not only enables us to see the external as part of a continuum, it also provides us a way to jump between the discrete and the continuous based on the nature of the problem. Something that can help us move away from this external-as-a-punctuated-space-that-is-separate-from-the-internal model and allow us to switch between the external and the internal—technique and the technology—in a more seamless manner.


  1. Although not directly related, but there are already several interesting efforts in the direction of unification in the form of category theoretic approaches(For eg. See Diagrammatic reasoning about conscious experience by Signorelli, Wang, and Coecke).


  1. A Taxonomy of Cognitive Artifacts: Function, Information, and Categories