Doxological Extended Cognition

Zygon 42 (3):749-766 (2007)
. Many Christian theologians have proposed a universal knowledge of God implanted in all humans. Thomas Aquinas famously stated that all humans have some knowledge of God, confused though it may be. John Calvin developed this proposition in much more detail and concluded that there is a cognitive faculty in humans, the sensus divinitatis, committed to giving the cognizer knowledge of God. Independent of such theological concerns, a current movement in cognitive science proposes a radical change to the traditional boundaries drawn around the human mind. Proponents of mental extension, such as Andy Clark, argue that the mind extends well beyond the body and should be approached in a much broader conceptual analysis. This essay arises from the conviction that the Extended Mind framework offers new insights into developing a cognitive understanding of the sensus divinitatis. Drawing in equal parts on current arguments for mental extension and the sensus divinitatis, the essay establishes the compatibility between the two arguments and indicates how an integration of the two can yield significant benefits for both mental extension and the sensus divinitatis: the basing of the sensus divinitatis in a specific cognitive theory that offers explanations of its functions, and the introduction of theism to the EM argument as a potentially useful component in a collaborative cognitive science effort
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9744.2007.00863.x
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