Interactional expertise and embodiment

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 38 (4):722-740 (2007)
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Abstract

In this four part exchange, Evan Selinger starts by stating that Collins’s empirical evidence in respect of linguistic socialization and its bearing on artificial intelligence and expertise is valuable; it advances philosophical and sociological understanding of the relationship between knowledge and language. Nevertheless, he argues that Collins mischaracterizes the data under review and thereby misrepresents how knowledge is acquired and understates the extent to which expert knowers are embodied. Selinger reconstructs the case for the importance of the body in the initial acquisition of language and challenges Collins to show how a disembodied entity could become fluent in any language at all.Collins responds by accepting that his approach does not demonstrate quite as much about the irrelevance of the body as he thought it did but that even though he accepts all of Selinger’s claims, ‘the body’ as needed by the philosophical approach set out by Selinger is still a vestigial thing. Collins’s main point, however, is that the philosophical view of the body—the world is divided into embodied agents and unembodied entities—distracts attention from the more interesting empirically researchable question of how the ability to become socialized diminishes, if it does, as the body become more and more minimal. The right research question is not about whether a person can extrapolate from minimal sensory input but how much extrapolation is possible under different circumstances and how it is done.Dreyfus, having seen the whole of the exchange so far, agrees that both have a point but argues that Collins’s approach still misses the well established importance of bodily engagement for full understanding.Collins responds to this by trying to set out more clearly the position associated with the idea of interactional expertise.Keywords: Interactional expertise; Phenomenology; Turing test; Embodiment; Tacit knowledge; Socialization

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Citations of this work

Expertise revisited, Part I—Interactional expertise.Harry Collins & Robert Evans - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 54:113-123.
The core of expertise.Harry Collins - 2013 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 12 (2):399-416.
Derived embodiment and imaginative capacities in interactional expertise.Theresa Schilhab - 2013 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 12 (2):309-325.
Interactional Imogen: language, practice and the body.Harry Collins - 2020 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 19 (5):933-960.

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References found in this work

Philosophical Investigations.Ludwig Wittgenstein - 1953 - New York, NY, USA: Wiley-Blackwell. Edited by G. E. M. Anscombe.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Ian Hacking.
Computing machinery and intelligence.Alan M. Turing - 1950 - Mind 59 (October):433-60.
Knowledge and social imagery.David Bloor - 1976 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Conjectures and Refutations.K. Popper - 1963 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 21 (3):431-434.

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