About this topic
Summary The "extended mind" is the idea that mental states and processes extend outside the head in virtue of the environment playing an active role that is analogous to internal brain processes.   For example, extended mind theorists hold that a notebook or a mobile phone might serve as part of someone's memory, just as biological memory can, and can play a similar role in constituting a subject's beliefs.  The extended mind thesis is sometimes called "active externalism" to differentiate it from standard externalism about content, on which the environment plays a less active role. 
Key works The extended mind theses was introduced under that name by Clark & Chalmers 1998.  Predecessors include Wilson 1994, Haugeland 1993, Hutchins 1995, and others.  The idea is developed at book length in Clark 2008, and discussed by many authors in Menary 2010.  Critiques of the view include Adams & Aizawa 2008, Rupert Robert 2009, and Gertler 2007.
Introductions Clark & Chalmers 1998; Clark 2008; Shapiro 2010; Rowlands 2009.
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  1. Extended Cognition and Propositional Memory.J. Adam Carter & Jesper Kallestrup - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (3):691-714.
    The philosophical case for extended cognition is often made with reference to ‘extended-memory cases’ ; though, unfortunately, proponents of the hypothesis of extended cognition as well as their adversaries have failed to appreciate the kinds of epistemological problems extended-memory cases pose for mainstream thinking in the epistemology of memory. It is time to give these problems a closer look. Our plan is as follows: in §1, we argue that an epistemological theory remains compatible with HEC only if its epistemic assessments (...)
  2. Extended Cognition Meets Epistemology.Fred Adams - 2012 - Philosophical Explorations 15 (2):107 - 119.
    This article examines the intersection of the theory of extended mind/cognition and theory of knowledge. In the minds of some, it matters to conditions for knowing whether the mind extends beyond the boundaries of body and brain. I examine these intuitions and find no support for this view from tracking theories of knowledge. I then argue that the apparent difference extended mind is supposed to have for ability or credit theories is also illusory.
  3. Why the Mind is Still in the Head.Fred Adams & Ken Aizawa - forthcoming - In P. Robbins & M. Aydede (eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Situated Cognition. Cambridge University Press.
    Philosophical interest in situated cognition has been focused most intensely on the claim that human cognitive processes extend from the brain into the tools humans use. As we see it, this radical hypothesis is sustained by two kinds of mistakes, confusing coupling relations with constitutive relations and an inattention to the mark of the cognitive. Here we wish to draw attention to these mistakes and show just how pervasive they are. That is, for all that the radical philosophers have said, (...)
  4. Defending the Bounds of Cognition.Fred Adams & Ken Aizawa - 2010 - In Richard Menary (ed.), The Extended Mind. MIT Press. pp. 67--80.
    This chapter discusses the flaws of Clark’s extended mind hypothesis. Clark’s hypothesis assumes that the nature of the processes internal to an object has nothing to do with whether that object carries out cognitive processing. The only condition required is that the object is coupled with a cognitive agent and interacts with it in a certain way. In making this tenuous connection, Clark commits the most common mistake extended mind theorists make; alleging that an object becomes cognitive once it is (...)
  5. Andy Clark on Intrinsic Content and Extended Cognition.Frederick R. Adams & Kenneth Aizawa - manuscript
    This is a plausible reading of what Clark and Chalmers had in mind at the time, but it is not the radical claim at stake in the extended cognition debate.[1] It is a familiar functionalist view of cognition and the mind that it can be realized in a wide range of distinct material bases. Thus, for many species of functionalism about cognition and the mind, it follows that they can be realized in extracranial substrates.[2] And, in truth, even some non-functionalist (...)
  6. Challenges to Active Externalism.Frederick R. Adams & Kenneth Aizawa - forthcoming - In P. Robbins & Murat Aydede (eds.), Cambridge Handbook on Situated Cognition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  7. Defending the Bounds of Cognition.Frederick R. Adams & Kenneth Aizawa - 2010 - In Richard Menary (ed.), The Extended Mind. MIT Press.
    That about sums up what is wrong with Clark.
  8. The Bounds of Cognition.Frederick Adams & Kenneth Aizawa - 2008 - Wiley-Blackwell.
  9. Cognitive Spread: Under What Conditions Does the Mind Extend Beyond the Body?Zed Adams & Chauncey Maher - 2012 - European Journal of Philosophy 20 (4):420-438.
    The extended mind hypothesis (EMH) is the claim that the mind can and does extend beyond the human body. Adams and Aizawa (A&A) contend that arguments for EMH commit a ‘coupling constitution fallacy’. We deny that the master argument for EMH commits such a fallacy. But we think that there is an important question lurking behind A&A's allegation: under what conditions is cognition spread across a tightly coupled system? Building on some suggestions from Haugeland, we contend that the system must (...)
  10. Clark Missed the Mark: Andy Clark on Intrinsic Content and Extended Cognition.Ken Aizawa - manuscript
    This is a plausible reading of what Clark and Chalmers had in mind at the time, but it is not the radical claim at stake in the extended cognition debate.[1] It is a familiar functionalist view of cognition and the mind that it can be realized in a wide range of distinct material bases. Thus, for many species of functionalism about cognition and the mind, it follows that they can be realized in extracranial substrates.[2] And, in truth, even some non-functionalist (...)
  11. Clark's Conditions on Extended Cognition Are Too Strong.Kenneth Aizawa - manuscript
  12. Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action, and Cognitive Extension – Andy Clark.Kenneth Aizawa - 2010 - Philosophical Quarterly 60 (240):662-664.
  13. The Value of Cognitivism in Thinking About Extended Cognition.Kenneth Aizawa - 2010 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (4):579-603.
    This paper will defend the cognitivist view of cognition against recent challenges from Andy Clark and Richard Menary. It will also indicate the important theoretical role that cognitivism plays in understanding some of the core issues surrounding the hypothesis of extended cognition.
  14. Defending Non-Derived Content.Kenneth Aizawa & Frederick R. Adams - 2005 - Philosophical Psychology 18 (6):661-669.
    In ‘‘The Myth of Original Intentionality,’’ Daniel Dennett appears to want to argue for four claims involving the familiar distinction between original (or underived) and derived intentionality.
  15. Ramsifying Virtue Theory.Mark Alfano - 2015 - In Current Controversies in Virtue Theory. Routledge. pp. 123-35.
    In his contribution, Mark Alfano lays out a new (to virtue theory) naturalistic way of determining what the virtues are, what it would take for them to be realized, and what it would take for them to be at least possible. This method is derived in large part from David Lewis’s development of Frank Ramsey’s method of implicit definition. The basic idea is to define a set of terms not individually but in tandem. This is accomplished by assembling all and (...)
  16. The Embedded and Extended Character Hypotheses.Mark Alfano & Gus Skorburg - forthcoming - In Julian Kiverstein (ed.), Philosophy of the Social Mind. Routledge.
    This paper brings together two erstwhile distinct strands of philosophical inquiry: the extended mind hypothesis and the situationist challenge to virtue theory. According to proponents of the extended mind hypothesis, the vehicles of at least some mental states (beliefs, desires, emotions) are not located solely within the confines of the nervous system (central or peripheral) or even the skin of the agent whose states they are. When external props, tools, and other systems are suitably integrated into the functional apparatus of (...)
  17. Extended Knowledge, the Recognition Heuristic, and Epistemic Injustice.Mark Alfano & Gus Skorburg - forthcoming - In Duncan Pritchard, Jesper Kallestrup, Orestis Palermos & Adam Carter (eds.), Extended Knowledge. Oxford University Press.
    We argue that the interaction of biased media coverage and widespread employment of the recognition heuristic can produce epistemic injustices. First, we explain the recognition heuristic as studied by Gerd Gigerenzer and colleagues, highlighting how some of its components are largely external to, and outside the control of, the cognitive agent. We then connect the recognition heuristic with recent work on the hypotheses of embedded, extended, and scaffolded cognition, arguing that the recognition heuristic is best understood as an instance of (...)
  18. Superdupersizing the Mind: Extended Cognition and the Persistence of Cognitive Bloat.Sean Allen-Hermanson - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (3):791-806.
    Extended Cognition (EC) hypothesizes that there are parts of the world outside the head serving as cognitive vehicles. One criticism of this controversial view is the problem of “cognitive bloat” which says that EC is too permissive and fails to provide an adequate necessary criterion for cognition. It cannot, for instance, distinguish genuine cognitive vehicles from mere supports (e.g. the Yellow Pages). In response, Andy Clark and Mark Rowlands have independently suggested that genuine cognitive vehicles are distinguished from supports in (...)
  19. Functionalism and Embodied, Embedded Mind - The Extended Story.Lise Marie Andersen - 2007 - Dissertation, Edinburgh University
    In “The Mind Incarnate” Shapiro argues that research in the area of embodied, embedded mind and cognition undermines a functionalist program. In contrast Clark, in “Pressing the Flesh”, argues that embodied, embedded approaches can be viewed as extended functionalistic approaches. In the light of these arguments my thesis is devoted to elucidating the logical relation between functionalism and embodied, embedded approaches. I argue that the functionalist programme is not undermined by embodied and embedded approaches. Shapiro argues that research of embodied, (...)
  20. Extended Rationality: A Hinge Epistemology.Natalie A. Ashton - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly:pqv122.
  21. Simply Extended Mind.Alexander Auf der Straße - 2012 - Philosophia 40 (3):449-458.
    For more than one decade, Andy Clark has defended the now-famous extended mind thesis, the idea that cognitive processes leak into the world. In this paper I analyse Clark’s theoretical justification for the thesis: explanatory simplicity. I argue that his way of justifying the thesis leads into contradiction, either at the level of propositional attitude ascriptions or at the theoretical level. I evaluate three possible strategies of dealing with this issue, concluding that they are all likely to fail and that (...)
  22. The Artifactual Mind: Overcoming the ‘Inside–Outside’ Dualism in the Extended Mind Thesis and Recognizing the Technological Dimension of Cognition. [REVIEW]Ciano Aydin - 2015 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 14 (1):73-94.
    This paper explains why Clark’s Extended Mind thesis is not capable of sufficiently grasping how and in what sense external objects and technical artifacts can become part of our human cognition. According to the author, this is because a pivotal distinction between inside and outside is preserved in the Extended Mind theorist’s account of the relation between the human organism and the world of external objects and artifacts, a distinction which they proclaim to have overcome. Inspired by Charles S. Peirce’s (...)
  23. A Piece of iMe: An Interview with David Chalmers.Julian Baggini - 2008 - The Philosophers' Magazine (43):41-49.
    The radical view, the view we’re kind of pushing, is that the iPhone can be seen literally as a part of my mind. I actually remember things: in virtue of this information being in the iPhone, it is part of my memory. The iPhone isn’t just a tool for my cognition, it’s part of my cognition.
  24. Persons and the Extended-Mind Thesis.Lynne Rudder Baker - 2009 - Zygon 44 (3):642-658.
    The extended-mind thesis (EM) is the claim that mentality need not be situated just in the brain, or even within the boundaries of the skin. Some versions take "extended selves" be to relatively transitory couplings of biological organisms and external resources. First, I show how EM can be seen as an extension of traditional views of mind. Then, after voicing a couple of qualms about EM, I reject EM in favor of a more modest hypothesis that recognizes enduring subjects of (...)
  25. Is Memory Merely Testimony From One's Former Self?David James Barnett - 2015 - Philosophical Review 124 (3):353-392.
    A natural view of testimony holds that a source's statements provide one with evidence about what the source believes, which in turn provides one with evidence about what is true. But some theorists have gone further and developed a broadly analogous view of memory. According to this view, which this essay calls the “diary model,” one's memory ordinarily serves as a means for one's present self to gain evidence about one's past judgments, and in turn about the truth. This essay (...)
  26. Extended Cognition and the Extended Mind: Introduction.Gary Bartlett - 2016 - Essays in Philosophy 17 (2):1-7.
    The hypothesis that cognition, and the mind more generally, might extend beyond the margins of the body came to prominence in the 1990s. The most oft-cited source is Andy Clark and David Chalmers’ celebrated 1998 article ‘The Extended Mind’. The six papers in this issue of Essays in Philosophy explore various aspects of the extended mind thesis and related ideas. While all but one of them discuss Clark and Chalmers’ article, and all are sympathetic to the extended mind movement, the (...)
  27. Whither Internalism? How Internalists Should Respond to the Extended Mind Hypothesis.Gary Bartlett - 2008 - Metaphilosophy 39 (2):163–184.
    A new position in the philosophy of mind has recently appeared: the extended mind hypothesis (EMH). Some of its proponents think the EMH, which says that a subject's mental states can extend into the local environment, shows that internalism is false. I argue that this is wrong. The EMH does not refute internalism; in fact, it necessarily does not do so. The popular assumption that the EMH spells trouble for internalists is premised on a bad characterization of the internalist thesis—albeit (...)
  28. Nature and Culture of Finger Counting: Diversity and Representational Effects of an Embodied Cognitive Tool.Andrea Bender & Sieghard Beller - 2012 - Cognition 124 (2):156-182.
  29. The Molecules of Social Recognition Memory: Implications for Social Cognition, Extended Mind, and Neuroethics.J. Bickle - 2008 - Consciousness and Cognition 17 (2):468-474.
    Social cognition, cognitive neuroscience, and neuroethics have reached a synthesis of late, but some troubling features are present. The neuroscience that currently dominates the study of social cognition is exclusively cognitive neuroscience, as contrasted with the cellular and increasingly molecular emphasis that has gripped mainstream neuroscience over the past three decades. Furthermore, the recent field of molecular and cellular cognition has begun to unravel some molecular mechanisms involved in social cognition, especially pertaining to the consolidation of memories of particular conspecific (...)
  30. Interacting to Remember at Multiple Timescales: Coordination, Collaboration, Cooperation and Culture in Joint Remembering.Lucas M. Bietti & John Sutton - 2015 - Interaction Studies 16 (3):419-450.
    Everyday joint remembering, from family remembering around the dinner table to team remembering in the operating theatre, relies on the successful interweaving of multiple cognitive, bodily, social and material resources, anchored in specific cultural ecosystems. Such systems for joint remembering in social interactions are composed of processes unfolding over multiple but complementary timescales, which we distinguish for analytic purposes so as better to study their interanimation in practice: (i) faster, lower-level coordination processes of behavioral matching and interactional synchrony occurring at (...)
  31. All the Things We Know: Extended Knowledge.Jens Christian Bjerring & Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen - 2014 - Philosophical Issues 24 (1):24-38.
    In this paper we explore the potential bearing of the extended mind thesis—the thesis that the mind extends into the world—on epistemology. We do three things. First, we argue that the combination of the extended mind thesis and reliabilism about knowledge entails that ordinary subjects can easily come to enjoy various forms of restricted omniscience. Second, we discuss the conceptual foundations of the extended mind and knowledge debate. We suggest that the theses of extended mind and extended knowledge lead to (...)
  32. Conceptions of Cognition for Cognitive Engineering.Olle Blomberg - 2011 - International Journal of Aviation Psychology 21 (1):85-104.
    Cognitive processes, cognitive psychology tells us, unfold in our heads. In contrast, several approaches in cognitive engineering argue for a shift of unit of analysis from what is going on in the heads of operators to the workings of whole socio-technical systems. This shift is sometimes presented as part of the development of a new understanding of what cognition is and where the boundaries of cognitive systems are. Cognition, it is claimed, is not just situated or embedded, but extended and (...)
  33. Do Socio-Technical Systems Cognise?Olle Blomberg - 2009 - Proceedings of the 2nd AISB Symposium on Computing and Philosophy.
    The view that an agent’s cognitive processes sometimes include proper parts found outside the skin and skull of the agent is gaining increasing acceptance in philosophy of mind. One main empirical touchstone for this so-called active externalism is Edwin Hutchins’ theory of distributed cognition (DCog). However, the connection between DCog and active externalism is far from clear. While active externalism is one component of DCog, the theory also incorporates other related claims, which active externalists may not want to take on (...)
  34. In What Sense Are Psychical States Extended?Francis H. Bradley - 1895 - Mind 4 (14):225-235.
  35. The Bounds of Cognition • by Frederick Adams and Kenneth Aizawa.Derek Browne - 2009 - Analysis 69 (2):385-386.
    Tools and technologies expand our capacities, including our cognitive capacities. Microscopes extend our perceptual capacities. Notebooks extend the natural limits of memory. These facts are important, for all that they are obvious. The extended cognition hypothesis wants more. Some external devices and processes are literal parts of cognitive processes themselves. When there is fast and reliable access to external data or processes , then the cognitive processes that occur uncontroversially inside the brain literally and controversially extend out into the world (...)
  36. Neurotechnology, Invasiveness and the Extended Mind.Tom Buller - 2013 - Neuroethics 6 (3):593-605.
    According to a standard view, the physical boundary of the person—the skin-and-skull boundary—matters morally because this boundary delineates between where the person begins and the world ends. On the basis of this view we make a distinction between invasive interventions that penetrate this boundary and non-invasive interventions that do not. The development of neuroprosthetics, however, raises questions about the significance of this boundary and the relationship between person and body. In particular it has been argued by appeal to the Extended (...)
  37. Social-Psychological Externalism and the Coupling/Constitution Fallacy.F. Thomas Burke & Stephen Everett - 2013 - In F. Thomas Burke & Krzysztof Piotr Skowronski (eds.), George Herbert Mead in the Twenty-first Century. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 107.
    The coupling/constitution fallacy has been a persistent annoyance if not a stumbling block for some proponents of externalist conceptions of mind (Menary 2010). It has been charged, namely, that anything to be accounted for by way of a conception of mind as being extended outside of the head—as being constituted in part by things external to the body—can just as well be accounted for by way of a more standard inside-the-head conception—with minds being tightly coupled to but not therefore constituted (...)
  38. The Role of Physical Objects in Spatial Thinking.John Campbell - 1993 - In Naomi M. Eilan, R. McCarthy & M. W. Brewer (eds.), Problems in the Philosophy and Psychology of Spatial Representation. Blackwell.
  39. The Sign of the Hand: Symbolic Practices and the Extended Mind.Massimiliano Cappuccio & Michael Wheeler - 2011 - Versus 113:33-56.
  40. Extended Epistemology.Adam Carter, Andy Clark, Jesper Kallestrup, Orestis Palermos & Duncan Pritchard (eds.) - forthcoming - Oxford University Press.
  41. Extended Cognition and Epistemic Luck.J. Adam Carter - 2013 - Synthese 190 (18):4201-4214.
    When extended cognition is extended into mainstream epistemology, an awkward tension arises when considering cases of environmental epistemic luck. Surprisingly, it is not at all clear how the mainstream verdict that agents lack knowledge in cases of environmental luck can be reconciled with principles central to extended cognition.
  42. Semantic Inferentialism as (a Form of) Active Externalism.J. Adam Carter, James Henry Collin & S. Orestis Palermos - forthcoming - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences.
    Within contemporary philosophy of mind, it is taken for granted that externalist accounts of meaning and mental content are, in principle, orthogonal to the matter of whether cognition itself is bound within the biological brain or whether it can constitutively include parts of the world. Accordingly, Clark and Chalmers (1998) distinguish these varieties of externalism as ‘passive’ and ‘active’ respectively. The aim here is to suggest that we should resist the received way of thinking about these dividing lines. With reference (...)
  43. Extended Knowledge-How.J. Adam Carter & Bolesław Czarnecki - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (2):259-273.
    According to reductive intellectualists about knowledge-how :147–190, 2008; Philos Phenomenol Res 78:439–467, 2009) knowledge-how is a kind of knowledge-that. To the extent that this is right, then insofar as we might conceive of ways knowledge could be extended with reference to active externalist :7–19, 1998; Clark in Supersizing the mind: embodiment, action, and cognitive extension: embodiment, action, and cognitive extension. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2008) approaches in the philosophy of mind, we should expect no interesting difference between the two. However, (...)
  44. Googled Assertion.J. Adam Carter & Emma C. Gordon - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology (4):486-497.
    Recent work in the philosophy of mind and cognitive science (e.g., Clark and Chalmers 1998; Clark 2010a; Clark 2010b; Palermos 2014) can help to explain why certain kinds of assertions—made on the basis of information stored in our gadgets rather than in biological memory—are properly criticisable in light of misleading implicatures, while others are not.
  45. Varieties of Externalism.J. Adam Carter, Jesper Kallestrup, S. Orestis Palermos & Duncan Pritchard - 2014 - Philosophical Issues 24 (1):63-109.
    Our aim is to provide a topography of the relevant philosophical terrain with regard to the possible ways in which knowledge can be conceived of as extended. We begin by charting the different types of internalist and externalist proposals within epistemology, and we critically examine the different formulations of the epistemic internalism/externalism debate they lead to. Next, we turn to the internalism/externalism distinction within philosophy of mind and cognitive science. In light of the above dividing lines, we then examine first (...)
  46. The Ethics of Extended Cognition: Is Having Your Computer Compromised a Personal Assault?J. Adam Carter & S. Orestis Palermos - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association.
    Philosophy of mind and cognitive science (e.g., Clark and Chalmers 1998; Clark 2010; Palermos 2014) have recently become increasingly receptive tothe hypothesis of extended cognition, according to which external artifacts such as our laptops and smartphones can—under appropriate circumstances—feature as material realisers of a person’s cognitive processes. We argue that, to the extent that the hypothesis of extended cognition is correct, our legal and ethical theorising and practice must be updated, by broadening our conception of personal assault so as to (...)
  47. Active Externalism and Epistemology.J. Adam Carter & S. Orestis Palermos - forthcoming - Oxford Bibliographies Online.
  48. Active Externalism and Epistemic Internalism.J. Adam Carter & S. Orestis Palermos - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (4):753-772.
    Internalist approaches to epistemic justification are, though controversial, considered a live option in contemporary epistemology. Accordingly, if ‘active’ externalist approaches in the philosophy of mind—e.g. the extended cognition and extended mind theses—are _in principle_ incompatible with internalist approaches to justification in epistemology, then this will be an epistemological strike against, at least the _prima facie_ appeal of, active externalism. It is shown here however that, contrary to pretheoretical intuitions, neither the extended cognition _nor_ the extended mind theses are in principle (...)
  49. Offloading Memory to the Environment: A Quantitative Example. [REVIEW]J. Case - 2004 - Minds and Machines 14 (3):387-89.
    R.W. Ashby maintained that people and animals do not have to remember as much as one might think since considerable information is stored in the environment. Presented herein is an everyday, quantitative example featuring calculation of the number bits of memory that can be off-loaded to the environment. The example involves one’s storing directions to a friend’s house. It is also argued that the example works with or without acceptance of the extended mind hypothesis. Additionally, a brief supporting argument for (...)
  50. Extended Cognition, Personal Responsibility, and Relational Autonomy.Mason Cash - 2010 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (4):645-671.
    The Hypothesis of Extended Cognition (HEC)—that many cognitive processes are carried out by a hybrid coalition of neural, bodily and environmental factors—entails that the intentional states that are reasons for action might best be ascribed to wider entities of which individual persons are only parts. I look at different kinds of extended cognition and agency, exploring their consequences for concerns about the moral agency and personal responsibility of such extended entities. Can extended entities be moral agents and bear responsibility for (...)
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