Philosophical Studies 175 (8):1829-1849 (2018)

Authors
Richard Heersmink
Monash University
Abstract
In this article, I outline various ways in which artifacts are interwoven with autobiographical memory systems and conceptualize what this implies for the self. I first sketch the narrative approach to the self, arguing that who we are as persons is essentially our life story, which, in turn, determines our present beliefs and desires, but also directs our future goals and actions. I then argue that our autobiographical memory is partly anchored in our embodied interactions with an ecology of artifacts in our environment. Lifelogs, photos, videos, journals, diaries, souvenirs, jewelry, books, works of art, and many other meaningful objects trigger and sometimes constitute emotionally laden autobiographical memories. Autobiographical memory is thus distributed across embodied agents and various environmental structures. To defend this claim, I draw on and integrate distributed cognition theory and empirical research in human-technology interaction. Based on this, I conclude that the self is neither defined by psychological states realized by the brain nor by biological states realized by the organism, but should be seen as a distributed and relational construct.
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-017-0935-0
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References found in this work BETA

The Extended Mind.Andy Clark & David J. Chalmers - 1998 - Analysis 58 (1):7-19.
Phenomenology of Perception.Aron Gurwitsch, M. Merleau-Ponty & Colin Smith - 1964 - Philosophical Review 73 (3):417.
Challenges to the Hypothesis of Extended Cognition.Robert D. Rupert - 2004 - Journal of Philosophy 101 (8):389-428.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Roots of Remembering: Radically Enactive Recollecting.Daniel D. Hutto & Anco Peeters - 2018 - In Kourken Michaelian, Dorothea Debus & Denis Perrin (eds.), New Directions in the Philosophy of Memory. New York: Routledge. pp. 97-118.
Varieties of the Extended Self.Richard Heersmink - 2020 - Consciousness and Cognition 85:103001.
What is an affective artifact? A further development in situated affectivity.Giulia Piredda - 2020 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 19 (3):549-567.

View all 15 citations / Add more citations

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