Extended Mind, Extended Conscious Mind, Enactivism

Dissertation, University of Antwerp (2014)
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Abstract

In my thesis, I examined the theories of Extended Mind, Extended Conscious Mind and Enactivism. Briefly, Extended Mind (Clark and Chalmers, 1998) is the claim that objects in the environment can, on occasion, form part of your mental processing. Extended Conscious Mind (Clark, 2009; Ward, 2012) is the claim that environmental objects can, on occasion, also form part of your conscious experience. Enactivism (Varela, Thompson and Rosch, 1991) is the claim that mind and experience are constituted by bodily actions. I argued that although all three theories challenge the idea that the mind is solely located inside the head, they nonetheless disagree as to what this entails for our views about human mentality. For example, Extended Mind and Enactivism have differing views on how to understand the role the body plays in realising mind and experience. I concluded that only a certain variety of Enactivism (e.g. Hutto and Myin, 2013) offers a fresh approach to issues current in philosophy of mind and cognitive science.

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Victor Loughlin
University of Antwerp

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