In Turner Brian (ed.), The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Social Theory. Wiley (forthcoming)

Authors
Georg Theiner
Villanova University
Abstract
The ‘extended mind’ thesis asserts that cognitive processes are not bound by the skull or even skin of biological individuals, but actively incorporate environmental structures such as symbols, tools, artifacts, media, cultural practices, norms, groups, or institutions. By distributing cognition across space, time, and people in canny ways, we circumvent or overcome the biological limitations of our brains. Human beings are creative, albeit opportunistic experts in cognitive ‘self-transcendence.’ This entry surveys discussions of EM in philosophy of mind and cognitive science which point to this overarching theme.
Keywords Extended Mind  Active Externalism  Distributed Cognition  Vygotsky  Functionalism  Material Culture
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