Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action, and Cognitive Extension

Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action, and Cognitive Extension

by Andy Clark
     
 

When historian Charles Weiner found pages of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman's notes, he saw it as a "record" of Feynman's work. Feynman himself, however, insisted that the notes were not a record but the work itself. In Supersizing the Mind, Andy Clark argues that our thinking doesn't happen only in our heads but that "certain forms of

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Overview

When historian Charles Weiner found pages of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman's notes, he saw it as a "record" of Feynman's work. Feynman himself, however, insisted that the notes were not a record but the work itself. In Supersizing the Mind, Andy Clark argues that our thinking doesn't happen only in our heads but that "certain forms of human cognizing include inextricable tangles of feedback, feed-forward and feed-around loops: loops that promiscuously criss-cross the boundaries of brain, body and world." The pen and paper of Feynman's thought are just such feedback loops, physical machinery that shape the flow of thought and enlarge the boundaries of mind. Drawing upon recent work in psychology, linguistics, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, robotics, human-computer systems, and beyond, Supersizing the Mind offers both a tour of the emerging cognitive landscape and a sustained argument in favor of a conception of mind that is extended rather than "brain-bound." The importance of this new perspective is profound. If our minds themselves can include aspects of our social and physical environments, then the kinds of social and physical environments we create can reconfigure our minds and our capacity for thought and reason.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195333213
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
10/29/2008
Series:
Philosophy of Mind Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Andy Clark is Professor of Philosophy in the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, at Edinburgh University in Scotland. He is the author of several books including Being There: Putting Brain, Body and World Together Again (1997) and Natural-Born Cyborgs: Minds, Technologies and The Future Of Human Intelligence (OUP, 2003).

Table of Contents

Forward: By David Chalmers
Acknowledgements
Introduction: BRAINBOUND versus EXTENDED
I: From Embodiment to Cognitive Extension
1. The Active Body
1.1. A Walk on the Wild Side
1.2. Inhabited Interaction
1.3. Active Sensing
1.4. Distributed Functional Decomposition
1.5. Sensing for Coupling
1.6. Information Self-Structuring
1.7. Perception, Qualia, and Sensorimotor Expectations
1.8. Time and Mind
1.9. Dynamics and (Soft) Computation
1.10
2. The Negotiable Body
2.1. Where the Rubber Meets the Road
2.2. What's in an Interface?
2.3. New Systemic Wholes
2.4. Substitutes
2.5. Incorporation Vs Use
2.6. Towards Cognitive Extension
2.7. Three Grades of Embodiment
3. Material Symbols
3.1. Language as Scaffolding
3.2. Augmenting Reality
3.3. Sculpting Attention
3.4. Hybrid Thoughts?
3.5. From Translation to Coordination
3.6. Second-order Cognitive Dynamics
3.7. Self-made Minds
4. World, Incorporated
4.1. Cognitive Niche Construction: A Primer
4.2. Cognition in the Globe: A Cameo
4.3. Thinking Space
4.4. Epistemic Engineers
4.5. Exploitative Representation and Wide Computation
4.6. Tetris: The Update
4.7. The Swirl of Organization
4.8. Extending the Mind
4.9. BRAINBOUND versus EXTENDED: The Case So Far
II. Boundary Disputes
5. Mind Re-bound?
5.1. EXTENDED Anxiety
5.2. Pencil Me In
5.3. The Odd Coupling
5.4. Cognitive Candidacy
5.5. The Mark of the Cognitive?
5.6. Kinds and Minds
5.7. Perception and Development
5.8. Deception and Contested Space
5.9. Folk Intuition and Cognitive Extension
5.10. Asymmetry and Lopsideness
5.11. Similarity vs Complementarity
5.12. Hippo-World
6. The Cure for Cognitive Hiccups (HEMC, HEC, HEMC)
6.1. Rupert's Challenge
6.2. HEC versus HEMC
6.3. Parity and Cognitive Kinds (Again)
6.4. The Persisting Core
6.5. Cognitive Impartiality
6.6. A Brain Teaser
6.7. Thoughtful Gestures
6.8. Material Carriers
6.9. Loops as Mechanisms
6.10. Anarchic Self-Stimulation
6.11. Autonomous Coupling
6.12. Why the HEC?
6.13. The Cure
7. Rediscovering the Brain
7.1. Matter into Mind
7.2. Honey, I Shrunk the Representations
7.3. Change Spotting: The Sequel
7.4. Thinking about Thinking: The Brain's Eye View
7.5. Born-Again Cartesians?
7.6. Surrogate Situations
7.7. Plug Points
7.8. Brain Control
7.9. Asymmetry Arguments
7.10. Extended in a Vat
7.11. The (Situated) Cognizer's Innards
III: The Limits of Embodiment
8. Painting, Planning, and Perceiving
8.1. Enacting Perceptual Experience
8.2. The Painter and the Perceiver
8.3. Three Virtues of the Strong Sensorimotor Model
8.4. A Vice: Sensorimotor (Hyper) Sensitivity
8.5. What Reaching Teaches
8.6. (Tweaked)Tele-Assistance
8.7. Sensorimotor Summarizing
8.8. Virtual Content, Again
8.9. Beyond the Sensorimotor Frontier
9. Disentangling Embodiment
9.1. Three Threads
9.2. The Separability Thesis
9.3. Beyond Flesh-eating Functionalism.
9.4. Ada, Adder, and Odder
9.5. A Tension Revealed
9.6
9.7. Participant Machinery and Morphological Computation
9.8. Quantifying Embodiment
9.9. The Heideggerian Theatre
10. Conclusions: Mindsized Bites
Appendix: The Extended Mind (Andy Clark and David Chalmers)

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