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Andy Clark and His Critics$
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Matteo Colombo, Elizabeth Irvine, and Mog Stapleton

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190662813

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190662813.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 April 2021

When Is a Mind Extended?

When Is a Mind Extended?

(p.128) 10 When Is a Mind Extended?
Andy Clark and His Critics

David Kirsh

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores four conditions for operationalizing the concept of cognitive extension. (1) Temporal tightness of the coupling—interaction between inner and outer processes must be fast, tight, and fluid, interacting at the speed of thought. (2) External mind parts must be transparent extensions of ourselves like glasses or prosthetic limbs that are psychologically absorbed into the subject’s body sense. We act through these parts or processes rather than on them. (3) Cognitive extensions are “owned”; they are not independent functioning units that could be a source of cognition themselves; inner processes confer cognitive status on the outer. (4) Extended parts or processes interact bidirectionally; causation is reciprocal, though controlled from the biological side. The chapter concludes that extension does exist. Through interaction we create an extended cognitive envelope. The parts of this envelope are episodic processes enacting external thinking rather than being an enduring assemblage of parts. To make the final leap to durable mind parts—external assemblages that are parts of a person even when not in use—requires reasoning of the sort lawyers and judges do best, not scientists.

Keywords:   extended mind, embedded cognition, mindpart, coupling, enactive thinking, Otto thought experiment

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