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Why the extended mind is nothing special but is central

Ongaro, Giulio and Hardman, Doug and Deschenaux, Ivan (2022) Why the extended mind is nothing special but is central. [Preprint]

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Abstract

The extended mind thesis states that the mind is not brain-bound but extends into the physical world. The philosophical debate around the thesis has mostly focused on extension towards epistemic artefacts, treating the phenomenon as a special capacity of the human organism to recruit external physical resources to solve individual tasks. This paper argues that if the mind extends to artefacts in the pursuit of individual tasks, it extends to other humans in the pursuit of collective tasks. Paradigmatic cases of extended mind in the original literature are only particular manifestations of the more general capacity for collective intentionality, the unique power of human minds to be jointly directed at goals, intentions, or values. Because this capacity holds developmental and diachronic primacy over human-epistemic artefacts relations, the extended mind should not be seen as a special phenomenon, but as a central aspect of the human condition. The original extended mind thesis carried important implications for how the cognitive sciences should proceed. In a version of the thesis that accommodates collective intentionality, these implications would go far deeper than originally assumed.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Ongaro, Giuliog.ongaro@lse.ac.uk0000-0003-2782-0642
Hardman, Dougdihardman@bournemouth.ac.uk0000-0001-6717-2323
Deschenaux, Ivani.deschenaux@lse.ac.uk0000-0002-7737-6255
Keywords: Extended mind; collective intentionality; shared cognition; extended emotions; social ontology
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Action
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Learning and Memory
General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Structure of Theories
Depositing User: Dr. Giulio Ongaro
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2022 03:44
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2022 03:44
Item ID: 20245
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Action
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Learning and Memory
General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Structure of Theories
Date: 23 February 2022
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/20245

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